In the decades ahead, climate change will have a significant impact on cities. Building resilience capacities will therefore be an essential part of future urban policies and a core objective of smart city investments. In particular, resilient, climate-sensitive, and responsive actions are needed to adapt better.
Climate-resilient cities will have double benefits as they will be healthier, safer, and more attractive to live in, while experiencing fostered economic development. GFA considers resilience an essential asset in urban planning as it demonstrates a willingness to embrace innovation and a paradigm shift towards adaptation. GFA has supported the implementation of projects in the following fields:
- Climate risk assessment and climate-sensitive urban planning
- Assessing the impacts of climate risks on women, men, and marginalized groups
- Capacity building for local and national stakeholders
- Participatory and climate-sensitive habitat and housing development
- Climate-sensitive budgeting
Agriculture & food
Changes in rainfall patterns and rising temperatures will lead to water shortages, crop failures, and the spread of diseases. This will have devastating impacts on people in developing countries, who are already vulnerable to food insecurity.
A changing climate is making it more difficult for communities to cope with food shortages, in addition to the rising cost of food. To address these challenges, it is essential to develop adaptation strategies for food systems that will help communities become more resilient to climate change. In that respect, experienced GFA experts support:
- Improvement of policies for better land use planning and climate-smart agriculture methods
- Development of agricultural infrastructure and the promotion of agro-entrepreneurship
- Improvement of access to finance for the recovery from climate-related losses
- Strengthening of community engagement and participatory approaches to develop context-specific adaptation strategies
- Provision of access to agrometeorological, market, and agricultural advisory services
- Development of low-carbon, resilient agricultural value chains, and food systems
Nature-based solutions (NbS) aim to protect, sustainably manage, or restore natural ecosystems to address societal challenges. They can be used to address a wide range of challenges, including climate change, water and food security, biodiversity loss, and disaster risk reduction.
NbS offer win-win solutions that can benefit people and nature alike in a cost-effective and sustainable way while addressing many of the challenges facing our planet. Some examples of NbS include reforestation, mangrove or wetland restoration, and green infrastructure. GFA teams of consultants is ready to provide project-related services that can facilitate the introduction of NbS such as:
- Application of IUCN’s Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM) framework and Global Standards for Nature-based Solutions
- Establishment of agro-silvo-fishery-systems
- Restoration and sustainable management of mangrove ecosystems
- Ecosystem rehabilitation including conservation agriculture measures
Climate change is transforming the world we live in, disrupting the natural balance of water, life, and food. This exposes the weaknesses and risks of human and ecological systems. Climate hazards amplify the pressures on shared water resources, threatening the livelihoods and well-being of people across borders. To cope with such challenges, innovative solutions are needed that can enhance the efficiency, sustainability, and resilience of water management.
GFA supports related measures through:
- Feasibility studies
- Training and capacity building
- Performance and efficiency evaluations
- Stakeholder engagement
- Integrated Water Resource Management and transboundary governance
Health & health systems
New health risks result from climate change, which also amplifies existing health problems. The changes take on different forms in different regions, e.g. natural disasters, floods, droughts, storms, or extreme heat waves. What these events have in common is that they directly or indirectly affect human health. Direct health effects can include heat stress, respiratory illnesses, injuries, or mortality, while indirect effects comprise vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, water- or food-borne diseases, malnutrition, non-communicable diseases, and mental health.
These impacts are even more devastating if health systems are unprepared. The latter need to increase their capacity for protecting health in an unstable and changing climate and become climate resilient. This can be achieved through political commitment and effective leadership in the capacity building of health professionals and managers while safeguarding climate and health financing. Integrated environmental risk monitoring, disease surveillance, and early warning systems are as important as emergency preparedness and management as well as climate- and health-oriented research and climate-resilient and sustainable technologies and infrastructure.
In this regard, GFA experts assist clients and partners in:
- Advisory services on infectious disease prevention and customization of national prevention, awareness, and treatment programs
- Pandemic and emergency preparedness and response
- disease surveillance
- Strengthening systems through the One Health approach to account for the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health
- Energy-efficient health infrastructure
- Training of health personnel and managers
Disaster Risk Reduction
Climate change is a major driver of disaster risks such as the frequency and intensity of extreme weather such as floods, droughts, and storms. These events can cause widespread damage and loss of life. Disaster risk reduction (DRR) includes measures such as building resilient infrastructure, improving early warning systems, and educating communities about disaster preparedness. Disaster Risk Reduction and climate change adaptation are closely linked. Many measures that can reduce the risk of disasters can at the same time help communities adapt to the impact of climate change.
GFA focuses on supporting:
- Institutions and communities in access to funding and policy integration of DRR
- Development of methodologies to identify risk reduction measures based on quantitative and qualitative data
- Capacity building as part of local resilience strengthening