Uganda’s LoCAL Initiative Conference: Advancing Climate Adaptation

A three-day event organized by the Government of Uganda, with assistance from the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), aimed at enhancing efforts in adaptation that have been further supported through the Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL). The participants seek to glean insights into securing additional resources for adapting to climate change, with the potential to mitigate risks and save lives.

Representatives from various districts affected by the detrimental consequences of climate change, including droughts and floods, convened today alongside civil society organizations, academics, donor partners, and ministers.

During the conference, attendees will share experiences in investing in adaptation through the UNCDF Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL), which serves as a mechanism for directing climate finance to local governments for locally-driven adaptation initiatives.

This initiative aligns with the implementation of various agreements and strategies, including the Paris Agreement, Uganda’s updated Nationally Determined Contributions, ongoing National Adaptation Plan processes, the forthcoming National Climate Finance Strategy 2023-2030, and overarching priorities outlined in the National Development Plan III.

District representatives inspect the site of bridge project Nebbi Uganda UNCDF LoCAL Photo Morish 2024

Following a year of LoCAL implementation, participants will exchange lessons learned and commence preparations to integrate the financing mechanism into national frameworks, thereby facilitating nationwide investments in resilience enhancement.

Lokol Paul, Chairperson of Nabilatuk District in Uganda’s northern Karamoja Subregion, expressed enthusiasm for the event, highlighting the significance of LoCAL for communities profoundly impacted by climate change. He emphasized the project’s potential to address adaptive and resilience capacities, ultimately reducing the vulnerability of populations to climate-induced risks.

The UNCDF LoCAL Facility, supported by funding from Belgium, Denmark, and the European Union, channels climate finance to local governments through Performance-Based Climate Resilience Grants (PBCRGs), accompanied by capacity building and technical assistance. These grants are being allocated to eight districts across Uganda to support locally identified climate adaptation projects such as flood protection and irrigation systems.

Excavation and construction of an irrigation scheme for water intake Uganda UNCDF LoCAL 2024

Sophie De Coninck, Global Climate Facility Manager and Head of the UNCDF Uganda Office, stressed the importance of ensuring that climate finance reaches vulnerable communities directly, emphasizing the pivotal role of districts in implementing climate change strategies at the local level in an inclusive, transparent, and risk-informed manner.

The three-day event in Kampala, organized by the Government of Uganda in collaboration with various ministries and the UNCDF, brings together stakeholders at local, national, and international levels. District representatives from LoCAL-implementing communities have been invited to share their experiences and lessons learned, informing the next phase of LoCAL scale-up in four additional climate change-vulnerable districts.

The UNCDF Facility operates across 35 countries globally, mobilizing over US$200 million in climate finance to date and benefiting more than 18 million people. While functioning as a global facility, LoCAL focuses on addressing local needs by collaborating with national systems to channel climate finance to subnational levels in developing and least-developed countries. The events in Kampala are anticipated to advance the implementation of Uganda’s climate-related commitments and strategies.

District representatives inspect site of bridge project Nebbi Uganda UNCDF Photo Morish 2024

Preceding the main event, stakeholders engaged in discussions on the upcoming National Climate Finance Strategy 2023-2030, organized by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, with support from UNCDF. This engagement provided an opportunity for districts and communities to offer insights based on ground-level realities, contributing to the formulation of the national strategy and enhancing vertical integration of plans and strategies.

Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility activities in Uganda receive financial backing from the European Union, with additional support from the Governments of Sweden and Belgium, reflecting a collaborative effort in addressing the impacts of climate change. Caroline Adriaensen, Head of Cooperation of the EU delegation to Uganda, affirmed the EU’s commitment to locally-led adaptation efforts and hailed the UNCDF LoCAL Facility as an effective solution to address this urgent global challenge

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