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Adaptation financing for projects focused on food systems through the UNFCCC

Aleksandra Conevska, James Ford, Alexandra Lesnikowski and Sherilee Harper

Climate Policy, 2019, vol. 19, issue 1, 43-58

Abstract: Investments in adaptation are required to reduce vulnerability and strengthen the resilience of food systems to the impacts of climate change. For low-income nations, international financing plays a central role in supporting adaptation. In this article, we document and examine adaptation projects targeting food systems financed through funding bodies of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). We find that between 2004 and 2015, 3% (n = 96) of adaptation projects supported through the UNFCCC explicitly focused on the production, processing, distribution, preparation and/or consumption of food, with US$546 m mobilized through funding bodies directly and US$1.44bn through co-financing. Agriculture is the most common sector supported, with extreme weather events the primary climate change-related impact motivating nations to apply for adaptation financing. The majority of actions are documented to adapt the food production component of food systems, with limited focus within projects on the full range of food system vulnerability and the implications on food security.Key policy insights Enhanced international adaptation financing targeting food systems is needed, and in particular financing to address limited adaptation readinessSupported food system projects should include holistic assessments of the entire food system in order to prioritize sector and food system component issue areas for short- and long-term efficiencyTo better analyse food system linkages and aid in the prioritization of adaptation activities, adaptation-directed funds should consider placing a higher emphasis on a cross-sectoral approach within projectsLinkages between official development assistance and adaptation-directed funds could help optimize financing for food systems and mainstream food system adaptation efforts

Date: 2019
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