It is increasingly recognized that small communities are likely to be the most severely affected by climate change impacts, and yet least equipped to cope and adapt. The Community-Based Adaptation (CBA) project, a five-year United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) global initiative that is funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), has been designed to pilot community-based projects that seek to enhance the resiliency of communities, and/or the ecosystems on which they rely on, to climate change impacts. In ten participating countries (Bangladesh, Bolivia, Guatemala, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Samoa, and Vietnam) small-scale ‘project/policy laboratories are created to build the resilience and adaptive capacity of local communities to climate change.
Briefly summarize the project and its objective and how it responds to the needs stated above. Mention all major stakeholders involved. In Northern Kazakhstan, the CBA project “"Adaptation of farmers’ agricultural practices in response to intensified climate aridity in Akmola Oblast” is located in the Arnasay settlement, which is 50 kilometers away from the country’s capital, Astana. The project site is the nation’s agricultural center, but its steppe ecosystem is fragile and subject to harsh weather conditions. Winters are long and cold with heavy winds and summers are hot and with both droughts and heavy rains. The harsh climate conditions have increased soil erosion and land degradation, resulting in damage to the local economy and reducing farmers’ production and incomes. Having observed the negative impacts of climate change upon farming productivity, the residents of Arnasay village have begun to implement adaptation measures to prevent climate change from further threatening their livelihoods. The project was prepared through a participatory process carried out by Akbota Public Foundation, a local NGO. It is being implemented within the local community to help residents improve the sustainability of their livelihoods.
Long-term climate change projections for Kazakhstan forecast rising temperatures and declining average rainfall. Overall, temperatures are expected to increase 1.4°C by 2030 and 2.7°C by 2050. All seasons will be warmer, but winter months will likely see the greatest temperature increases. Rainfall patterns are also projected to change. The arid climate traditional in south of the country is expected to expand northward into historically wetter areas. The cumulative effect of these factors will be increased aridity across the whole of Kazakhstan. The project area is threatened by increased summer evaporation and drying winds that weaken already fragile soils and diminish water resources. Winter snows are melting faster, posing an additional risk when accompanied by strong winds that dry out soils and cause erosion. It will become increasingly difficult for farmers to preserve winter moisture for agricultural use and they will be less able to rely on the nearby Astana Reservoir as its reserves are shrinking. The combination of greater precipitation with warmer winters, earlier snow melting, and spring night-frosts will impact traditional farming practices and calendars. Changes in planting practices and timing will be necessary to adapt and maintain agricultural activity in the region.
The Small Grants programme (SGP) is the delivery mechanism of this project. The SGP National Coordinator oversees the day-to-day management activities. Additionally, the SGP National Coordinator has actively pursued national policy influence in Kazakhstan thru round-table meetings with government officials and other experts thru demonstrations of the CBA projects. Exchange visits and lessons learned have also been shared with other Central Asia countries. Funding from the Government of Switzerland has helped in capacity building and knowledge product development in Kazakhstan, and has allowed policy influence activities in Kazakhstan and Central Asia.