PROJECT TITLE: Rural Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resilience Building Project (RICAR)
DONOR: Adaptation Fund
IMPLEMENTING ENTITY: World Food Programme
EXECUTING ENTITY: Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural
PROJECT DURATION: 5 years
TOTAL BUDGET: USD 10,000,000
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Environmental degradation and unsustainable land-use practices are reducing the generation of ecosystem goods and services that support both agricultural productivity and rural livelihoods in The Gambia. Other sources of degradation, such as the over-extraction of woodland trees, uncontrolled bushfires, and the production of charcoal have resulted in the loss of vegetation cover, leading to widespread soil erosion and sediment transfer into the Gambia River.
Climate risks further reduce household availability and access to diverse nutritious foods, increase post-harvest losses, increase disease prevalence (especially malaria), and reduce dietary diversity. Many of these climate impacts are disproportionately felt by women, given their heavy responsibility for unpaid care and domestic work.
The gender division of labour is highly accentuated in the agriculture sector. Gender inequalities influence resilience and vulnerability to poverty, climate, and other shocks and stressors, to the detriment of women. For example, rural women (unlike rural men) lack access to formal credit and land, which limits their engagement in agriculture and investment in climate-resilient technologies.
These vulnerabilities have hindered integrated climate adaptation and reliance in the country, RICAR project is designed to strategically address these issues in the country, especially the rural area.
PROJECT OBJECTIVE: The overall goal of the project is to enhance the adaptive capacity of rural populations in The Gambia through support for climate-resilient and diversified livelihoods.
TARGET GROUPS: The target group of the Rural Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resilience Building Project (RICAR) for concrete adaptation activities is smallholder farmers and other vulnerable rural groups, who are already at risk from climate variability and change, with an emphasis on women and youth. This emphasis is in response to women being disadvantaged and dominant in rural areas, as well as their heightened vulnerability to climate change, and the lack of opportunities for youth in rural areas.
PROJECT COMPONENTS: The project will deliver an integrated package of interventions, through three interlinked components, to address the root causes of vulnerability to climate change and food insecurity for smallholder farmers and rural populations in the targeted climate-vulnerable regions of The Gambia, they are as follows:
- Component 1: Develop knowledge and awareness to underpin evidence-based resilience building and adaptation activities, particularly for women and youth, and enhance capacity for systematic sub-national level adaptation planning
- Component 2: Implement concrete resilience building and adaptation measures in the project target areas
- Component 3: Develop incentives, targeting women and youth, and risk transfer mechanisms, targeting smallholder farmers, for sustainable resilience building and adaptive capacity
- Enhanced knowledge and awareness of the climate change, food security and nutrition nexus, and systems to underpin evidence-based adaptation
- Capacity enhanced on climate change for systematic, equitable, and effective sub-national planning
- Increased adaptive capacity and resilience of targeted communities through concrete adaptation measures and diversified livelihoods
- Women and youth are incentivised to become change agents
- Smallholder farmers adopt sustainable pathways for risk transfer to increase longer-term resilience
PROJECT BENEFICIARIES: The project will focus on a limited number of localities in order to maximize impact in two of the country‘s six regions, namely the Upper River Region (URR) and Central River Region (CRR). Both regions are highly climate-vulnerable, with high levels of poverty, chronic food insecurity, malnutrition, and environmental degradation. They experience considerable barriers to adaptation to climate change impacts, yet have the potential for increased climate-resilient agricultural production, as they have relatively fertile lowland soil, and for livelihood diversification. The project beneficiaries will be between the ages of 15 and 59.
Under Component 1, the project will reach at least 30 percent of the population in the two regions of URR and CRR, or 168,000 people, as direct beneficiaries of the knowledge, awareness raising, climate services, and enhanced approach to adaptation planning activities developed. It will benefit at least an additional 40 percent of the population in URR and CRR, or a further 224,000 people, as indirect beneficiaries through the presence and technical support of better-trained local government staff and enhanced systems for evidence-based and systematic adaptation planning.
Under Component 2, the project will reach 63,000 direct beneficiaries, through a total number of project participants (community members and smallholder farmers) of 6,300, who will benefit from concrete resilience building and adaptation measures, diversified livelihoods developed through the value chain and marketing support and new community-based adaptation plans for their villages.
Under Component 3, the project will reach a maximum of 45,000 direct beneficiaries, through 4,500 project participants who will benefit from activities to increase access to financial services (financial literacy, savings, microfinance, and micro-insurance) to enhance investments in climate-resilient agriculture.