Local Climate Champions in Bangladesh, India, Mexico, and Tanzania Recognized at COP28

December 05, 2023

The four winners of the 2023 Local Adaptation Champions Awards, organized by the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA), were announced at an awards ceremony at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai. The Awards reward exemplary, locally led efforts to address the impacts of climate change and build resilience.

DAI supported the delivery of the Awards in 2022 and 2023 by developing the award categories, reviewing and shortlisting applications, providing publicity and communications, and organizing the COP 28 award ceremony.

GCA attracted more than 500 applications across four categories: Women in Leadership, Innovation in Devolving Finance, Business Adaptation Solutions, and Capacity Building. The winner in each category receives €15,000 to invest in its activities and will benefit from sponsorship by the Adaptation Fund, including attending the Fund’s learning-and-sharing events.

Selected from a shortlist of 20 outstanding projects, the four winners represent a diverse range of activities and a broad geographic scope.

The Local Government Division of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-Operatives, Government of Bangladesh received the award in the Innovation in Devolving Finance category, which spotlights innovative ways to provide flexible, long-term, and patient funding for adaptation at the local level.

In Bangladesh, the Local Government Initiative on Climate Change (LoGIC) is enhancing communities’ ability to plan and finance local adaptation actions that suit their needs and contexts. LoGIC provides a mechanism for accessing and managing climate finance from various sources, a platform for sharing best practices and lessons learned, and a system for monitoring and evaluating effectiveness and impact.

Mohammed Fazla Azim, Joint Secretary and National Project Director, said: “By facilitating access to markets and financing, the project enables climate-vulnerable communities to upscale adaptive practices, diversify income sources, and invest in climate-resilient livelihoods based on traditional knowledge at both national and local levels.” LoGIC is currently operating in nine districts in Bangladesh.

The winner in the Business Adaptation Solutions category highlights how small and large businesses are expanding access to adaptation solutions or technologies that address both local vulnerabilities and structural inequalities, such as those faced by women, youth, and indigenous peoples.

Receiving the award was India-based Aumsat Technologies LLP, which has harnessed satellite-based radar analytics to tackle water scarcity exacerbated by climate change. CEO Riddhish Soni utilized his experience on the Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission to develop Aumsat, a device that analyzes satellite data to pinpoint underground water sources and optimal locations for groundwater recharge sites. The business model is based on users paying a fee per hectare per year to access a web-based platform and analytical services that facilitate precision-farming and smart-resilient agriculture.

The Capacity Building category emphasized innovations that support continuous learning. The winner, Espacio de Encuentro de las Culturas Originarias, A.C., focuses on adaptation to climate change at the local level in vulnerable communities in Oaxaca, a region of Mexico that sees frequent droughts, frosts, and cyclones. The project engages communities in the development and implementation of ecotechnologies such as dry toilets, energy-saving stoves, fog catchers, and vegetable patch irrigation systems.

“Communities involved in this project benefit from affordable, relevant, and innovative ecotechnologies that make them better able to adapt to extreme weather events,” said General Coordinator Tzinnia Carranza López.

Members of the community attend workshops outlining the theoretical and practical elements of these ecotechnologies. “Utilizing ecotechnologies means people can produce their own food using agroecological techniques that are more resilient to extreme weather events,” Carranza López added.

For the Women in Leadership category, GCA invited applications from individual women and women’s groups championing the cause of local adaptation in a variety of ways, from those who are part of government and nongovernment organizations to women working in the private sector or for educational institutions.

Receiving the award was the Pastoral Women’s Council, which works in northern Tanzania to enhance indigenous pastoralist women’s leadership capabilities and build women’s capacity to achieve equality as decision-makers in pastoralist societies. The Lake Natron Community accepted the award in recognition of its members’ commitment to implementing its action plans in a region that is particularly vulnerable to hazards such as droughts and flooding, which threaten livelihoods and create food insecurity.

“Although pastoralist men and women are equally exposed to climate shocks and stress, women have fewer opportunities to access and control productive resources or engage in alternative climate resilience livelihoods and incomes,” said Maanda Ngoitiko, Co-founder and Executive Director. “Their knowledge of the environment is crucial but often goes ignored in drought-mitigation and adaptation strategies.”

The Award winners were selected by a prestigious jury comprising:

• Mariam Bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, United Arab Emirates • Roselinda Soipan Tuiya, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry, Kenya • Abul Kalam Abdul Momen, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh • Andrew Mitchell, Minister of State (Development and Africa) in the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office, United Kingdom • Dan Jørgensen, Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy, Denmark • Ban Ki-moon, Chair of the Global Center on Adaptation Board and 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations • Professor Patrick Verkooijen, CEO, Global Center on Adaptation

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