People brainstorming using posters
Local and central level authorities working with the community group to elaborate the Theory of Change for the District Adaptation Plan in Mé-Zochi District, São Tomé e Príncipe.

Local adaptation plans in Mozambique and São Tomé e Príncipe

Applying local adaptation to climate change in two African countries

NIRAS supports local adaptation to climate change in Mozambique and São Tomé e Príncipe through international development projects.

Climate change is happening and the need for adaptation is increasing. Many developing countries are particularly vulnerable to climate change. NIRAS has from 2011 – 2017 given technical assistance to the Government of Mozambique to integrate climate change into plans and strategies and support adaptation through capacity building and investment in small-scale infrastructure. The support was given through the Environment Sector Programme Support II (ESPS II) financed by Danida, the EU Commission’s Global Climate Change Alliance and Irish Aid.

NIRAS supports local climate change adaptation

Mozambique is situated in South-Eastern Africa by the Indian Ocean. It is 800.000 km2 and has 28 million inhabitants. It is one of the poorest countries in the World and among the 10 most vulnerable to climate change. With support from ESPS II the Government of Mozambique elaborated and approved the National Climate Change Strategy in 2012. To further its implementation, NIRAS in cooperation with other partners supported climate change adaptation at the decentralized level through Local Adaptation Plans (LAP). These were approved by local authorities and based on extensive community consultations. The LAPs identified key sectors e.g. agriculture, water resources, coastal protection where adaptation interventions are particular needed. A budgeted action plan with a life span of five years was elaborated by district and central level staff from key ministries. By the end of 2017, 54 out of 144 rural districts i.e. 38% had an approved LAP.

Implementing small scale adaptation projects

ESPS II also supported implementation of the LAPs in 11 districts through decentralized financial support and technical assistance to small-scale infrastructure and agriculture projects. More than 30 projects were implemented in the period of 2016 – 17. The projects were selected, prepared and implemented by the local authorities with technical assistance and capacity building from NIRAS. Many projects constructed multi-use solar powered water supply systems, but there were also projects on drought resistant crops, rain water harvesting, storm proof housing and fish farming.

Replicating the experience in São Tomé e Príncipe

The experience from Mozambique is now being replicated in São Tomé e Príncipe in a three-year EU funded project to reduce climate vulnerability. Here NIRAS also provides technical assistance.

São Tomé e Príncipe is a small island state in the Atlantic Ocean with an area of 1004 km2 and a population of about 260.000 people. It is a lower middle-income country vulnerable to sea level rise and changes in temperature and rainfall but less prone to major natural disasters than Mozambique.

NIRAS technical assistance is working with the districts Mé-Zochi and Lembá to elaborate District Adaptation Plans. The methodology elaborated in Mozambique has been revised and adapted to São Tomé e Príncipe in a new guideline. In February 2018 district staff and community members carried out the vulnerability mapping facilitated by the NIRAS.

Attract funding for climate change adaptation

Learning from the experience in Mozambique, the first thing that was done in cooperation with the National Committee for Climate Change was to create a Multisector Technical Team. This team which has specialists on water, agriculture, fishery, environment and land use planning have been working closely with NIRAS in securing the link between central and local level. Final drafts of the two District Adaptation Plans will be presented to stakeholders at a national seminar in May 2018. The District Adaptation Plans are meant as a tool for the country to attract financing for climate change adaptation.

This write up was prepared by Malene Wiinblad, a NIRAS Consultant.

Local authorities working with communities to elaborated the Local Adaptation Plan for Mabote District, Inhambane, Mozambique.