Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, reinforced Canada’s commitment to climate adaptation, climate partnerships, and women and girls at the forefront of climate action by announcing $315 million in new funding for organizations in Canada to engage in climate action activities.
The new initiative, called “Partnering for Climate,” represents a significant allocation of Canada’s 5-year, $5.3-billion climate finance commitment made in 2021. The initiative aligns with the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP), in particular the Environment and Climate Action area, and will fund projects from civil society, Indigenous and other organizations to support climate change adaptation in the Global South.
Two funding envelopes will be created: the first, of $300 million, will encourage broad non-governmental engagement in climate change programming in sub-Saharan Africa—including $20 million for advancing women’s rights and climate change adaptation; the second, of $15 million, will support Indigenous peoples and organizations in Canada in advancing climate action alongside Indigenous partners in developing countries.
Minister Sajjan made the announcement while participating at a virtual panel discussion called “Partnering for Climate: Increasing Resilience Through Nature-Based Solutions,” facilitated by Richard Florizone, President and CEO of the International Institute for Sustainable Development. The Minister was joined by Augusta Maita, Mozambique’s Minister of Sea, Inland Waters, and Fisheries, and Mary MacDonald, Senior VP and Chief Conservation Officer, World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF-Canada).
Sub-Saharan Africa is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which can affect food and water systems, displace populations and hinder economic development. Mozambique, for example, is especially at risk due to its extensive coastline, and the frequency of droughts, cyclones and floods in the country has increased in recent years—threatening the coastal and rural areas’ great economic potential.
Minister Sajjan emphasized that this funding is open to new and non-traditional partnerships. This will allow for diverse experiences, resources and expertise to be leveraged for nature-based solutions (e.g. mangrove restoration, agroforestry, wetland protection, etc.) in the most vulnerable places affected by climate change.
“We recognize the particular challenges faced by developing countries, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa, in adapting to the increasing threats of climate change. That is why we created the Partnering for Climate funding initiative—to support engagement with communities most at risk from climate change and to build resilience.”
– Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada
“Mozambique is working to help our citizens and communities adapt to the negative impacts of climate change. We need to invest in prevention and adaptation and bring together government, local communities and international partners to address these challenges. We also need to invest in women as agents of change for their communities.”
– Augusta Maita, Minister of Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries, Government of Mozambique
“Strengthening ecosystems through targeted climate finance not only builds resilience to a changing climate but contributes to job creation and a marked increase in biodiversity. The significant funding announced today will help secure a more equitable, nature-positive, net-zero-emissions world.”
– Mary MacDonald, Senior Vice President and Chief Conservation Officer, WWF-Canada
- Canada, with its announcement in June 2021 that it would double its climate financing to $5.3 billion over 5 years, is among several countries that have already answered the international call to increase their climate finance contributions.
- The impacts of climate change in Africa are rolling back decades of development advances while contributing to food insecurity, the increased potential for conflict over resources, poor health outcomes, population displacement and stress on water resources.
- Nature-based solutions are actions to protect, sustainably manage and restore natural or modified ecosystems. These solutions address societal challenges effectively while providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits.
- Climate change and biodiversity loss disproportionately affect women and girls. However, their essential roles within families and communities have given them valuable knowledge and leadership capabilities that can help advance locally suited adaptation approaches.
- Many Indigenous communities have developed ways to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change while respecting and protecting the natural environment. Indigenous peoples around the world often act as stewards of the environment, sharing their traditional ways and knowledge.