UNDP announces $2.2 million in climate action grants for innovators

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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and partners of the Adaptation Innovation Marketplace (AIM) have announced $2.2 million in climate action grants for 22 local innovators across 19 countries, including India.

The first round of funding through the Adaptation Fund Climate Innovation Accelerator (AFCIA) window will enhance local climate action and accelerate the delivery of targets outlined in the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.

The initiative empowers local actors and contributes to the principles for locally led adaptation action, which have been endorsed by UNDP and partners around the world.

The new funding proposals, announced on Monday, will benefit from the technical support and know-how of the Adaptation Innovation Marketplace.

Launched by UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner at the Climate Adaptation Summit in January 2021, AIM is a strategic platform that promotes scaled-up adaptation at the local level, focusing on civil society, non-government organizations, and women and youth innovators.

The marketplace crowds in resources, know-how and support to facilitate local access to climate change finance.

The AIM partners — the International Centre for Climate Change and Development, the Least Developed Countries Universities Consortium on Climate Change, the Global Resilience Partnership, the Climate-Knowledge Innovation Community, and UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) — provide technical support to the Adaptation Fund Climate Innovation Accelerator.

In 2022, the partners of AIM will further collaborate on knowledge sharing and South-South Coordination for the 22 local partners awarded grants in the first round of AFCIA grant giving.

Winning proposals varied from advanced aquaculture in India and expanding the production of climate resilient acai berries in Brazil to the reintroduction of ancient climate-resilient construction techniques in the Sahel and the creation of “blue jobs” in Micronesia.

Grants were awarded across 19 countries, including seven from Africa, 11 from Asia, and four from the Latin America and Caribbean region.

Ten out of the 22 were from least developed countries or small island developing states.

The grants focused on resilient agriculture, technology, community-based adaptation, ecosystem-based payments and services, and entrepreneurship.

The second call for proposals opens in June 2022.

“By supporting locally driven climate innovations, these grants enable us to rethink the way we support climate resilient development. This means embracing The UN’s New Way of Working and Grand Bargain agreements, breaking down silos, working across society, following the localization agenda, and scaling up locally led adaptation and accelerating climate resilience of vulnerable communities,” said Srilata Kammila, UNDP’s Head of Climate Change Adaptation.

The funding is delivered through the Adaptation Fund Climate Innovation Accelerator, a multi-partner programme launched in November 2020 with an initial $10 million grant from the Adaptation Fund.

The programme supports local entrepreneurs in developing countries to grow their innovative resilience-building solutions into viable business models that attract commercial financing.

The latest IPCC report underscores the need to highlighting the role of social justice and diverse forms of knowledge such as indigenous and local knowledge in climate adaptation processes.

The report notes that despite progress in adaptation efforts across all sectors and regions, human-induced climate change has caused widespread losses and damages to nature and people, with the most vulnerable people and systems disproportionately affected.

Africa and small islands in particular face relatively severe challenges across all dimensions of the vulnerability assessed in the report.

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