Enhancing access to climate finance for locally led adaptation initiatives

Thursday November 30 2023

A combination of logos. PHOTO | COURTESY


In the relentless face-off against climate change, the clarion call for action rings loud and clear: think global, act local! This is not just a catchy slogan; it is a dire necessity in a world where our very survival hinges on local, context-high-yielding solutions.

Nevertheless, it is not just about solutions; it is about empowerment. By entrusting local governments, organisations and communities with leading adaptation initiatives, we unlock insights and expertise, born from an intimate understanding of their environment and the impact of climate variability.

What's more, this approach is also about justice since it ensures that every voice, especially those marginalised, resonates in decision-making, paving the way for a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable future.

For example, local governments can implement policies and regulations to promote sustainable land use. They can also develop climate action plans that include initiatives like high yielding, drought tolerant seed varieties, Nyota Bean, agroforestry, soil and water conservation, renewable energy projects, and education programs on climate resilience.


Rebecca Kioko, a lead farmer in Makindu located in Makueni County, Kenya showcasing the ‘Nyota’ beans in her farm. PHOTO | COURTESY

The key lies not only in recognizing this necessity but also in ensuring local governments and communities are well resourced to take meaningful action and build resilience against future climate change impacts.  


COP26 (Glasgow Climate Pact) and COP27 (Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan) call to action was the need to provide adequate financial resource for developing countries to meet their climate goals and targets outlined in their NDCs. Part of the decisions under this pact included new financial pledges from developed nations amounting to $100 billion annually to support developing countries; pledges made to the Adaptation Fund totaled over $350 million. These financial commitments demonstrate a recognition of the importance of supporting developing countries in their efforts to adapt to climate change.   

Even so, Adaptation finance, primarily directed to multilateral entities and national governments, hinders local access due to bureaucratic hurdles and limited tailored funding. This imbalance leaves communities grappling with barriers to essential funds for climate adaptation, limiting effective response. Systemic power imbalances further complicate access for local governments and organizations.

The Climate Smart Agriculture Multi Stakeholder Platform in Kenya (CSA-MSP) is an initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development and other stakeholders to enhance collaboration and coordination in the implementation of climate action in the agriculture sector.  It enhances grassroots knowledge on climate finance through county CSA-MSPs, facilitating data collection for grassroots needs.

The CSA-MSP engages in policy development, including understanding new policies like Financing Locally Led Climate Action.

Mainstreaming gender and social inclusion, the CSA-MSP builds strategic partnerships for successful climate action Consequently, the CSA-MSP presents an opportunity to address such power imbalances and promote more equitable distribution of climate finance.

By bringing together diverse stakeholders, including government ministries, departments and agencies, research and academia organisations, civil society organisations, development partners and community-based organisations; the platform can inform national decision-making processes and ensure that they are inclusive and representative. Additionally, the platform facilitates knowledge sharing and capacity building, empowering local actors to effectively access and utilise climate finance to enhance their adaptive capacity.  

Spearheaded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock development, the CSA-MSP plays a crucial role in enhancing access to climate finance as provided for in the national climate change policies and legal frameworks which identify agriculture as among the most vulnerable sectors to climate change.

Such efforts help align funding priorities with the country's overall climate and development goals and ensure that resources are allocated to those most vulnerable to climate shocks. Furthermore, the ministry provides technical expertise and guidance to local actors, enhancing their understanding of climate change impacts and enabling them to develop robust adaptation strategies.  

One way to do this is through climate smart agriculture investment planning, which involves identifying and prioritising climate-resilient agricultural practices and technologies that can improve productivity and enhance the resilience of farming systems. By incorporating climate change considerations into agricultural investment planning, countries can ensure that their agriculture sector is better prepared to cope with the impacts of climate change and contribute to sustainable development goals by tapping into existing sources of climate finance.

Additionally, this approach can attract additional funding from international climate finance sources, further supporting the implementation of adaptation measures in the agriculture sector.  

The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT in collaboration with MoALD, CSA-MSP through the Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA) project have developed and disseminated the Climate Smart Agriculture Investment Planning tool (CSAIP). The tool which is targeted at supporting the agriculture sector stakeholders at the grassroots level to access the funds of the recently launched County Climate Resilience Investment Fund of the Financing Locally led Climate Action Project has been disseminated in the counties Siaya, Makueni and Taita Taveta.



The tool provides for Public & Private Stakeholder Diagnostics and Engagement to undertake an analysis of the climate risks for their area, identify and prioritize Investment Opportunities, as well as existing financing mechanisms relevant to the identified opportunities then builds technical capacity of the stakeholders to develop bankable proposal to access the appropriate climate finances. 

The FLLoCA Project is an initiative of the World Bank and the Government of Kenya to make funds available at the local level to support locally led adaptation actions aimed at building the resilience of both livelihoods and ecosystems while contributing to the national development goals the country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement.  

The funds are now available in 45 out of the 47 counties and the project has also supported the setup of the institutional framework to facilitate the disbursement of the funds. Part of the process of establishing the institutional framework included developing the County Climate Change Action Plans informed by the Participatory Climate Risk Assessment, PCRA exercise. The PCRA exercise revealed that 60 percent of the County Climate Change Action Plans developed at that level had prioritised agriculture for investment to implement adaptation actions.  

"In response to the pressing need for local actors to access funding, the information highlighted the importance of a tool like CSAIP. This comprehensive tool addresses crucial areas, including climate scenarios, providing the necessary rationale for climate finance access. The challenge of presenting this climate rationale has led to calls for simplified access modalities during COPs. To counter the disproportionate impact of climate change on vulnerable groups, the CSAIP pilot integrates CSA-MSP Guidelines, ensuring gender and social inclusion are mainstreamed in all phases of proposal development.

This approach not only secures funds at the local level to combat climate change but also strengthens national policy implementation.

FLLoCA, initiated by the National Treasury, is facilitated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development through CSA-MSP, fostering sectoral participation to achieve both climate and national development goals."


Delegates attending a Climate Smart Agriculture Investment Planning tool validation workshop. PHOTO | COURTESY

In addition, the CSAIP pilot includes the integration of sensitization on the CSA-MSP M&E tool. This tool plays a crucial role in facilitating data collection and reporting on climate action within the sector. Within the framework of CSAIP implementation, the CSA-M&E Tool will streamline the collection of data regarding the investments made in sectoral implementation.

Beyond meeting global reporting obligations under Article 13 of the Enhanced Transparency Framework of the Paris Agreement, this data will serve as evidence for the CSA-MSP's advocacy efforts. It will inform decisions on whether to advocate for an increase in the allocation of climate finance to the sector.

Moreover, seizing the opportunity provided by the CSAIP, the CSA-MSP is actively working to bridge the gap in the research-extension-farmer linkage. This involves leveraging partnerships to disseminate the latest research products, tools, and methodologies to farmers in a way that allows them to effectively utilise new knowledge products.