Colombia climate resilient water management project receives US$38.5 million grant from Green Climate Fund


Green Climate Fund provides US$38.5 million grant to Colombia climate resilient water management project /UNDP Colombia Photo

In a significant achievement for Colombia, a key climate change adaptation project for the South American nation was approved for funding by the Green Climate fund in October. The project, Scaling up Climate Resilient Water Management Practices for Vulnerable Communities in La Mojana, Colombia, aims to benefit more than 400,000 citizens, who will participate in strengthening water management, early warning systems and creating livelihood opportunities that are resilient to climate change.

The Mojana region has been particularly hard-hit by climate change; intense flooding and prolonged dry seasons have fundamentally affected water availability, and the ability of its inhabitants to recover after each extreme weather incident. The project aims to tackle this introducing sustainable ecosystem management, including promoting healthier watersheds, protecting communities from floods and supporting poor rural populations to overcome water scarcity during the prolonged dry seasons.

This ecosystem-based approach will also contribute towards Colombia's Nationally Determined Contributions and low-emission future, and pave the way for a Colombia’s first comprehensive climate-adaptive regional development plan, which will include a long-term risk reduction strategy based on improving infrastructure and restoring ecosystem services for regional water management. The project will also introduce new technologies that work with existing and future climate conditions, such as the use of solar power and rain water harvesting, to address long term water supply.

The grant awarded by the Green Climate Fund totals US$38.5 million, or a third of the total project cost. The US$117 million project will be implemented by Colombia’s Adaptation Fund, among other national organizations, with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The remaining project funds will come from co-financing from Colombia’s Adaptation Fund (US$61.8 million) and from local entities (US$17 million).

While most direct support to develop this project has been provided by UNDP, the UN Environment/UNDP/WRI Green Climate Fund Readiness Programme provided indirect support by working with the National Planning Department and the Ministry of Environment to assess current climate investments at the national and local level, identify financing gaps, and integrate adaptation activities in its national and territorial development plans to direct public funds to finance these needs. 

The project was among 11 new projects and programmes valued at USD 392.86 million that were approved for the funding at the last GCF Board meeting of 2017, held in Egypt in October. These new additions bring the Fund’s portfolio to 54 projects and programmes, amounting to USD 2.59 billion in GCF funding.

For more information on the project, visit UNDP’s Climate Change Adaptation website here.