Canada announces new international climate finance funding for nature-based solutions

Climate change. Image credit: Pixaby

#Canada; #ClimateChage; #SubSaharanAfrica; #IndigenousCommunities; #Biodiversity

Ottawa/CMEDIA: During participating today in a virtual panel discussion called “ “Partnering for Climate: Increasing Resilience Through Nature-Based Solutions,” Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada announced $315 million in new funding for organizations in Canada to engage in climate action activities reinforcing Canada’s commitment to climate adaptation, climate partnerships, and women and girls at the forefront of climate action.

The virtual conference was facilitated by Richard Florizone, President and CEO of the International Institute for Sustainable Development. Sajjan was joined by Augusta Maita, Mozambique’s Minister of Sea, Inland Waters, and Fisheries, and Mary MacDonald, Senior VP and Chief Conservation Officer, World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF-Canada).

Nature-based solutions sustainably manage and restore natural or modified ecosystems and address societal challenges effectively while providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits.

Canada recognizes that urgent action is needed to support people living in regions of the world that are the most vulnerable to the devastating impacts of climate change with the realization that climate change and biodiversity loss know no borders.

The new initiative, called “Partnering for Climate,” represents a significant allocation of Canada’s 5-year, $5.3-billion climate finance commitment made in 2021. The initiative aligns with the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP), in particular the Environment and Climate Action area, and will fund projects from civil society, Indigenous, and other organizations to support climate change adaptation in the Global South.

There will be two funding envelopes, the first, of $300 million to encourage broad non-governmental engagement in climate change programming in sub-Saharan Africa—including $20 million for advancing women’s rights and climate change adaptation.

The second envelope of $15 million, will support Indigenous peoples and organizations in Canada in advancing climate action alongside Indigenous partners in developing countries.

Indigenous peoples around the world often act as stewards of the environment, sharing their traditional ways and knowledge and have developed ways to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change while respecting and protecting the natural environment.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which can affect food and water systems, displace populations and hinder economic development. Mozambique, for example, is especially at risk due to its extensive coastline, and the frequency of droughts, cyclones, and floods in the country has increased in recent years—threatening the coastal and rural areas’ great economic potential, said today’s news release.

Decades of development advances due to the impacts of climate change in Africa are rolling back while contributing to food insecurity, the increased conflict over resources, poor health outcomes, population displacement, and stress on water resources.

“We recognize the particular challenges faced by developing countries, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa, in adapting to the increasing threats of climate change…we created the Partnering for Climate funding initiative—to support engagement with communities most at risk from climate change and to build resilience,” said Sajjan in today’s news release.

Sajjan emphasized that this funding is open to new and non-traditional partnerships for diverse experiences, resources, and expertise to be leveraged for nature-based solutions (e.g. mangrove restoration, agroforestry, wetland protection, etc.) in the most vulnerable places affected by climate change. 

Canada had announced in June 2021 that it would double its climate financing to $5.3 billion over 5 years and is among several countries that have already answered the international call to increase their climate finance contributions.