The impacts of climate change threaten to undermine hard-won development gains in Asia and the Pacific and affect poor people in particular. UNDP helps countries to adapt to and mitigate the negative effects of climate change more effectively by supporting them to develop climate-resilient development strategies and to shift to lower-carbon pathways.
Countries in the region have been supported to change the way they manufacture goods, raise crops and livestock, and generate energy, by moving to more resilient and lower-emission systems and technologies that sustain the environment and also offer income-earning opportunities for the poor.
UNDP supports countries in the development of adaptation strategies and assists them to pilot specific adaptation measures. Importance also is given to the identification of policies that can minimize the detrimental impact of natural disasters on the poorest and build disaster preparedness/risk reduction and management capacities and systems. For example, in Cambodia, 353 drought- and flood-prone villages in 18 provinces have implemented climate change resilience plans with UNDP support. In the Pacific, local communities in 13 island countries and territories are implementing adaptation projects involving 40,000 villagers.
UNDP supports countries to attract and direct public and private investment towards low-carbon development. For example, UNDP is working with the Government of China and the private sector on an ambitious initiative to replace every conventional incandescent light bulb in China with a new energy saving lamp, reducing China’s electricity consumption and its carbon dioxide emissions. So far the project has benefitted more than 500,000 low-income families and 2,300 schools, and has increased the capacity of manufacturers to produce energy saving lamps and energy-efficient industrial supply chains. Our work to remove barriers to widespread implementation of renewable energy programmes has contributed to the ability of the Cook Islands and Samoa to move toward carbon-neutral status by 2020 and for Tokelau to become 100 percent renewable in 2012.
UNDP is also supporting efforts to mitigate climate change by reducing deforestation in developing countries through the United Nations collaborative initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (UN-REDD). UN-REDD is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon development, while UN-REDD+ also includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. UN-REDD Programme supports nationally-led REDD+ processes and promotes the informed and meaningful involvement of all stakeholders, including Indigenous Peoples and other forest-dependent communities, in national and international REDD+ implementation.