Climate change adaptation – responding proactively to the effects of climate change

A kneeling woman picking fruit.
The SDC helps people adapt to the effects of climate change. © Neil Palmer (Flickr/CIAT)

The consequences of climate change affect people in developing countries in particular. For this reason, the SDC is helping population groups that are exposed and vulnerable to the effects of climate change to improve their livelihoods. People are thus able to take proactive measures to cope with the long-term consequences of climate change and extreme weather events. 

SDC focus

The SDC promotes development that takes the present and future effects of climate change into consideration. The main goal of climate change adaptation is to mitigate the negative effects of a changing climate on people and to help those affected to adapt.   The sustainable use of land, water and forest resources is crucial to achieving this goal. This is the only way to mitigate the long-term and often drastic consequences for the population of the creeping progression of climate change and of increasingly frequent extreme weather events such as droughts and floods. The SDC supports partner countries in three principal areas: 

1. Promoting concrete climate adaptation strategies and measures

Example: With the Programme of adaptation to climate change in Peru (PACC) and the Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP), the SDC is helping to improve the livelihoods of mountain communities. Expertise from Switzerland and other countries helps the affected communities, as well as public and private institutions, to develop measures in the areas of water, food security and disaster risk reduction.

2. Underlying data for climate strategies

Example: The Capacity Building and Twinning for Climate Observing Systems (CATCOS) project helps developing countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia collect climate data used as the basis for climate strategies and measures.

3. National climate adaptation planning processes

Example: The SDC is assisting interested partner countries, including China, in drawing up national climate adaptation planning processes (NAPs) to enable them to develop integrated and coordinated solutions.

Background

Climate change affects the entire planet. However, the consequences of climate change vary enormously from one region to another because of different social and economic conditions. Socially and economically disadvantaged communities are particularly badly affected. Climate change exacerbates poverty, hunger and conflicts in the countries of the South in particular. The SDC is therefore committed to development that is climate compatible in the long term.

While people living in coastal regions are especially affected by rising sea levels, people in arid and desert regions are suffering from increasing water scarcity. Mountain regions, for their part, are experiencing flooding and mudslides ever more frequently. The livelihoods of the inhabitants of these regions are therefore in special need of protection.

Vulnerability and adaptability

Planning and implementing climate change mitigation measures requires technical expertise, financial resources and the commitment of political decision-makers. All of these are often in short supply in developing countries. Targeted measures can however reduce the climate risks faced by communities and preserve or even improve their livelihoods. For example, thanks to seasonal weather forecasts, smallholder farmers in Peru and India have been able to choose the optimal time to sow and harvest their crops, and have thereby markedly improved their yields.

Links

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Current projects

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Building Damage Assessment in Albania

01.04.2024 - 31.12.2027

The devastating earthquake in 2019 revealed that Albania has a weak policy and institutional framework and low public awareness on building damage assessment. The Swiss project will support Albania in strengthening its disaster risk management institutions at national and municipal level to provide sustainable and effective building damage assessment services, leading to safer living conditions and a more disaster resilient business environment.


8th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, Geneva, June 2025

01.03.2024 - 31.12.2025

The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction is the most important international conference to discuss progress in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR. The eighth session of the Global Platform will be hosted by Switzerland in Geneva in June 2025. It will review advances in the realisation of the calls to action made in 2023 by the United Nations General Assembly on the midterm review of the Sendai Framework and will be key for the identification and support of measures to accelerate DRR implementation and improve coherence with the Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement.


Addressing Climate and El Niño-related Risks in Southeast Asia

01.02.2024 - 31.07.2025

Through an innovative partnership with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC) and Geoneon, the SDC will support the creation of high-quality geospatial data products to support riskinformed and climate-smart decision-making in development cooperation and DRM in priority subnational areas in Lao PDR and Indonesia, contributing to and complementing efforts under the SERVIR Southeast Asia project implemented by ADPC and supported by USAID and NASA.


Climate & Socially Resilient Livelihoods’ Support (CSRLS)

01.02.2024 - 30.04.2028

The climatic challenges exacerbate Afghanistan's already fragile socio-economic condition. The project by the Afghan NGO, The Liaison Office, aims to sustainably improve lives and livelihoods of the poorest households in selected provinces by strengthening the natural resource base, climate change resilient and diversified livelihoods, relationships within and between communities, as well as joint climate action.


Green Climate Fund Core Contribution 2024-2027

01.01.2024 - 31.12.2027

Designed as an operating entity of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s financial mechanism, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) is the largest multilateral climate fund financing exclusively climate mitigation and adaptation projects in developing countries. Switzerland advocates in the GCF governing board for high impact climate projects with maximum development cobenefits, social inclusion and conflict-sensitivity.  


EmPower II: Women for Climate Resilient Societies

01.12.2023 - 31.12.2025

With EmPower II, SDC contributes to a SIDA-funded project of UN-Women and UNEP promoting  climate-resilient development for women and other marginalized groups. SDC’s support enables disaggregated data products for gender-responsive DRR and climate strategies and enhances capacities on the subnational level among policy-makers and CSOs. SDC’s support also facilitates financial access and literacy on renewable energy in Cambodia, Bangladesh and Indonesia.


Climate Resilience Develoipment in Tajikistan

15.11.2023 - 13.11.2027

The  contribution  to  the HELVETAS project  aims  at building  resilience  of  livelihoods  of  the  rural communities  of  Khatlon  region,  vulnerable  to  climate  change.  The  population  and  particularly women  and  youth  will  engage  in  management,  regeneration  and  protection  of  their  natural resources and biodiversity while implementing disaster risk reduction measures. 


JP DRR for Sustain. Develop. in BiH

01.10.2023 - 30.11.2027

The authorities at all administrative levels will be supported to transform from reactive to proactive multi-sectoral disaster risk management and develop country-wide harmonized frameworks. Disaster risk reduction platforms will be set at all government levels to ensure better understanding of disaster risks and coordination of priority investments to increase resilience of vulnerable communities with a special focus on excluded population groups. 


Humanitarian assistance to people affected by the protracted crisis in Venezuela

01.09.2023 - 31.12.2024

Despite a moderate recovery in some economic indicators during 2022, the Venezuelan economy continues to contract during 2023. Meanwhile, there is no improvement in the structural causes of the humanitarian crisis. As a result, the needs of the most vulnerable are still high. Therefore, Caritas aims to facilitate access on health, nutrition, food security and livelihoods, for vulnerable families in eight states according to the Guidance Note for Venezuela 2022-2024. 


Mozambique Humanitarian Aid UNICEF WASH Preparedness 2023

01.09.2023 - 31.05.2024

Through UNICEF country program support, Switzerland contributes to integrated climate resilience, disaster risk reduction and preparedness in the WASH sector for communities at risk of cyclonic events. The program focuses on communities facing the triple risk of lacking access to WASH while being exposed to climate-related and health-related hazards. In addition, UNICEF program will respond to specific gaps in the emergency response at national and sub-national levels and prepare the WASH sector for a joint and systematic approach to climate change. 


Peru, SEDAPAL: Emergency Water Supply in Lima

01.08.2023 - 31.12.2027

Lima with a population of over 12 million is subject to the highest seismic vulnerability in Peru. Hence, ensuring Lima’s water supply continuity in case of a major earthquake is crucial. The initiative aims at contributing to strengthened preparedness capacities of Lima’s water service provider (SEDAPAL) by improving its technical, financial and logistical capacities, knowledge exchange and inter-sectorial coordination together with key partners from government, academia, and the private sector.


Bangladesh Microinsurance Market Development Programme

01.07.2023 - 31.12.2027

This programme takes forward Switzerland’s global and in-country experience in working on agricultural microinsurance by addressing critical climate risks, hazards and resulting economic shocks for farming people. The programme will sustainably increase resilience of farmers and related micro and small enterprises through climate change adaptation practices, and stimulate sustainable and inclusive growth across multiple agricultural sub-sectors.

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