Project Title: “Enhancing Resilience to Climate Change by Mainstreaming Adaption Concerns into Agricultural Sector Development in Liberia. Climate Change Adaptation and Agriculture Project (CCAAP)“
The Climate Change Adaptation Agriculture Project (CCAAP) is valued at U$2.5 million and is expected to serve as a vehicle for implementation of one of the priority actions coming of the Liberia National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) started in August 2012 with an inception and launching workshop. It is being implemented in Bong and Grand Gedeh Counties.
The objective of the project is to increase resilience of poor, agriculturally-dependent communities and decrease vulnerability of agricultural sector to climate change in Liberia. It has two basic components: (1) Capacity Development for Climate Change Management in Agriculture Sector, and (2) Piloting Adaptation Strategies at Community Level. It is still very early for reports of actual results and achievements because the project started in August 2012..
The CCAAP is one of the several projects at the Ministry of Agriculture, within the Program Management Unit, the arm that manages and implements all projects at the Ministry. With funding and support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the GEF, CCAAPP is expected to have a deeper look into the Climate Change issues that are currently affecting our farming activities, as well as the foreseen challenges.
The climate of Liberia can be summarized as follows; annual rainfall is approximately 1,700mm in the north and in excess of 4500mm in the south and along the coast. It falls mainly between May and November (80-95% of the total annually level). The rainfall season is largely controlled by the movement of the tropical rain belt also known as the Inter-Tropical Conversion Zone (ITCZ) which oscillates between the northern and southern tropics over the course of the year. During the winter, the dominant wind direction is reversed, the dry and dusty Harmattan winds blow from the Sahara desert. The southern most parts of Liberia, closest to the equator, receive rainfall throughout the year.
The project addresses the urgent and immediate activities identified in the NAPA, and 2is in line with the priority sectors identified in GEF/LDFC (2006) on a global basis. Notably, this project focuses on urgently needed adaptive capacities in the agricultural sector and addresses priorities identified in both the agricultural and food security sectors. It builds local community adaptation capacities and strengthens county and national government services to be able to address adaptation in a well informed and knowledgeable way. The systemic capacity to address adaptation in Liberia is strengthened through targeted interventions at the policy, planning and budgeting levels. This project is designed to address critical policy gaps in terms of the predominant upland shifting agricultural system and ensuring a sustainable lowland rice production system that currently make local communities and the agricultural and food security sectors more vulnerable to anticipated climate change risks.
The Project Objective
The objective of the project is to increase resilience of poor, agriculturally-dependent communities and decrease vulnerability of agricultural sector to climate change in Liberia.â€Ÿ This objective is to be achieved through three components with associated main outcomes and strategically planned outputs with supporting activities, outlined in the following.
The Project Components
Capacity Building Development
Strengthened institutional and individual capacity to plan and manage climate change in the agricultural sector in Liberia;
Enhancing resilience to Climate Change by mainstreaming adaption concerns into Agricultural sector development in Liberia
Innovative, sustainable, socially appropriate adaptive measures piloted at the community level
Project Locations of implementation
Two counties Grand Gedeh and Bong were selected as demonstration sites within this project, as they illustrate the diversity of the country and the issues outlined in the preceding sections. More specifically it is proposed to work in two districts; Garbazon of Grand Gedeh and Panta of Bong. There is a lack of normal base-line information for this type of field work in Liberia. The conflict years have also left a very different context in the post war rural reality. It is this context that has not been studied adequately and therefore is a priority for the field work of this proposal.
The Project Management, Duration
The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and the funding managed by UNDP under its National Implementation Modality (NIM). FAO is collaborating with the MOA on the implementation of component two. The project is a four year intervention expected to run from September 2011 to September 2015. The implementing partner for this project in Liberia is the Ministry of Agriculture, (MOA), which shall oversee project implementation and will subcontract whenever necessary and within the legal framework of UNDP and the Government of Liberia. The project will potentially be implemented in close collaboration with an international NGO working with project stakeholders and partners especially at the demonstration sites.
CCAAP is executed by the MOA. This means that UNDP releases tranches of funds to the MOA on a quarterly basis under the UNDP 5-year Energy and Environment Programme. The MOA is responsible to ensure accountability, transparency, timely implementation, management and achievement of results. This also means that all aspects of the project will be implemented in line with MOAâ€Ÿs rules and regulations. The MOA will work closely with the implementing partners, the FAO, during the implementation of the project. UNDP will be responsible for providing certified accounts to the donor on all expenditures conducted under the project.
Project Further Description
According to current climatic variability and predicted climate change scenarios for Liberia, agriculture and farming are expected to be significantly undermined by: 1) rainfall patterns changes, shorter and more intensive rainy seasons and temperatures increases resulting in difficulties to identify the o8ptimal time for crop planting, more pests, weeds, animal diseases; 2) reduction of soil moisture; 3) increase of flooding and salinity in coastal regions. As a result, the forecasted climate change may undermine national efforts to revitalize the agriculture sector and to increase food production. This is a direct threat to agricultural production and food security, and in turn a threat to development, peace and stability. In order to respond to these threats the Liberian NAPA has identified, as urgent priority interventions, to enhance resilience to increasing rainfall variability through the diversification of crop cultivation and small ruminants rearing; modifying the timing of crop cultivation in response to changing rainfall patterns; intercropping, irrigation and optimization of lowland/swamp farming practices; pest control, including fencing of farms against rodents, bird scare scrolls, regular weeding, and the use of echoing bells; and, maintaining fast growing nitrogen fixing tree species to improve soil fertility and using multiple-purpose tree species on farmlands to maintain forest cover.
However, the widespread introduction and adoption of the strategies to adapt to climate change, faces a series of barriers, including: insufficient knowledge and awareness amongst decision-makers and planners; the current agriculture policies have not taken climate change into account; low capacity of technical staff and extension agents; the lack of information needed by farmers, on climate change and impacts.
The LDCF Project will address the above barriers, thereby supporting the ongoing process to revitalize the agriculture sector, and ensure that adaptation to climate change is integrated into the revitalization process. Specific contributions toward the reduction of vulnerabilities to climate change will be achieved through the pursuit of specific outcomes including: (a) integrating concerns into relevant policies and planning processes at the state and national levels; (b) comprehensive capacity development for individuals in national agencies focusing on agriculture and in pilot counties, and farmers; (c) demonstration of risk reduction strategies and measures at pilot sites; (d) strengthening technical capacity to integrate climate change risk management into farmer level agricultural capacity; and (e) capturing and disseminating lessons learned to key stakeholders.
Project Coordinator: Roland Lepol