The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is implementing the Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL) initiative that among other functions is designed to support Least Developed Countries (LCDs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The interviewed Sophie De Connick, UNCDF Global Climate Facility Manager, and here are the excerpts:

QUESTION: Tanzania is one of the two countries covered by the LoCAL mechanism in the East African region. How the initiative helps the Government to achieve climate-related sustainable development goals (SDGs)?

ANSWER: The LoCAL mechanism targets building climate change resilient communities by increasing investment in climate change adaptation programs at the local Government level and this is the UNCDF’s contribution to the achievement of the Paris Agreement and Poverty Eradication (SDG 1), Zero hunger (SDG 2), and Climate Action (SDG 13). We are organizing this initiative with support from the European Union (EU) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency(SIDA).

In Tanzania, the LoCAL mechanism contributes to the achievement of national development priorities stipulated in the National Five-Year Development Plan 2021/2022 to 2025/2026(FYDP III), Tanzania Development Vision 2025, Zanzibar Development Plan 2021/26, and Zanzibar Development Vision 2050.

In a nutshell, the mechanism aligns with the national climate change resilience efforts including the National Climate Response Strategy 2021/2026 (NCCR 2021/26).

Implemented through the President’s Office-Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG) in collaboration with the Institute of Rural Development Planning (IRDP) and Local Government Training Institute (LGTI), LoCAL has developed a user manual for the LGAs staff to mainstream climate change issues in the Local Government Authorities (LGAs) budgeting and planning processes.

Through the Performance Based Climate Resilience Grant (PBCRG) system; LoCAL builds the capacity of LGAs to access and effectively use climate finance; focusing on sustainable climate investments not only projects.

QUESTION: What regions and districts are the LoCAL initiatives being executed in Tanzania?

ANSWER: LoCAL mechanism is currently being piloted in Chamwino, Mpwapwa, and Kondoa districts in Dodoma Region. The mechanism is implemented in three phases. With good performance, it will be extended to more districts as an up-scaling phase. At the worldwide level, the LoCAL mechanism covers 322 LGAs by 2021 from 17 countries.

The mechanism combines performance-based climate resilience grants (PBCRGs) in the form of financial top-ups to cover the additional costs of climate change adaptation which ensure programming and verification of climate change expenditures at the local level.

This goes in line with offering strong incentives for performance improvements in enhanced resilience with technical and capacity-building support.

QUESTION: Does the initiative target pastoralist and farmers? If yes, how are they benefiting?

ANSWER: LoCAL targets at promoting climate resilience and supporting individual economies by increasing access to climate finance for LGAs-investments in adaptation. In this case, our main focus is on local communities through the LGAs.

LoCAL investments are guided by an investment menu that provides an indicative list of avenues for engagement depending on the priorities of the identified LGAs and informed by climate impacts on risk.

Different community groups benefit from LoCAL as long as their requirements fall within the LGA’s mandate and are related to the climate change adaptation priorities of the identified LGA.

QUESTION: How much has UNCDF invested in this mechanism as of July 2022?

ANSWER: With support from the EU and SIDA, in Tanzania, the investment is about $450,000(1.05 bn).

Globally, about $125million(291.55bn/-), has been mobilized and disbursed to LoCAL countries, supporting more than 2,000 climate adaptation interventions.

QUESTION: How many beneficiaries do LoCAL target by 2025/2026?

ANSWER: Currently, LoCAL is estimated to benefit about 800,000 people in Tanzania. As the mechanism is expanded to additional districts in Tanzania, which will be about 12 districts in the next phase, it is expected that about 2.9 million people will benefit from LoCAL investments and capacity building of which 51 percent should be women.

As the mechanism matures it is expected to be rolled out nationally, potentially benefiting an increasing number of Tanzania families.

Globally, LoCAL is reaching about 12,5 million people, with the potential to reach more than 600 million people as the mechanism is nationally rolled out.

QUESTION: The LoCAL aims at introducing a system of performance-based climate resilience grants (PBCRGs). What is the system all about?

ANSWER: PBCRG system is aligned with the Government system and aims to provide supplementary capital to finance local public climate change resilient investments in LoCAL targeted districts. It ensures programming and verification of climate change expenditures at the local level while offering strong incentives for performance improvements in enhanced resilience.

PBCRGs aim at ensuring the LGA has the capacity, operates transparently and with enhanced accountability and promotes the effective use of the Government fiscal system, and support LGAs to improve performance in areas such as participatory and inclusive planning, considerations of gender-sensitive aspects in local decision-making processes and investments and in climate risk-informed local plans.

QUESTION: What values do PBCRGs add to LoCAL implementation?

ANSWER: Through the PBCRGs system, districts have accessed climate finance, through the existing inter-Governmental fiscal transfer system, to support the identified climate adaptation investments including:

Completion of a 100-acre Chiboli Solar Powered Irrigation Scheme in Chiboli Village Chamwino District, Rehabilitation of Kisese Dissa Water Catchment, Dissa Village, Kondoa District, and construction of a climate resilient Borehole, Kisisi Village, Mpwapwa District.

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