Myanmar Climate Change Alliance

At a glance

Duration
2013-07-01 to 2019-03-01
Status
Active programmes
Region
Asia
Country
Myanmar
Partners
Min. of Environmental Conservation and Forestry; Min. of Transport (Dept. of Meteorology and Hydrology); Min. of National Planning and Economic Development. UN-Habitat and UNEP are implementing partners.
Total budget
4,10 M€
Sector(s)
GCCA priority area(s)

According to the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, Myanmar's climate is changing, with some observable trends over the last six decades. These include an increase in mean temperature, an increase in overall rainfall in most areas with a declining trend in some areas, late onset and early termination of the south-west monsoon. Overall there has been an increase in extreme weather events and a rise in sea level.

Countries

Myanmar is engaged in an active process of reform and change on many fronts, the situation is dynamic and presents great opportunities as well as challenges. Climate change represents one major challenge as illustrated by a recent study that placed Myanmar in second place globally from extreme weather events in the period 1991-2010. The potential impacts of climate change and the current low state of preparedness necessitates a multi-faceted response. At the time of project's design, the Government was aware that a national Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan was required but not yet prepared and a major part of the GCCA support aimed at supporting the preparation of the strategy. Actions planned included the provision of assistance to a Climate Change Task Force initially focusing on the core concerned ministries: National Planning and Economic Development, Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF) and the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology of the Ministry of Transport. However, as climate change is a cross-cutting issue, line ministries and agencies in climate sensitive sectors were involved. It was also planned that a Myanmar Climate Change Alliance Unit (MCCAU) housed within MOECAF provides the expert advice, technical and administrative support for the strategy development. Needs assessments of the key stakeholders undertaken early in the programme helped refining the precise nature of support required e.g. specific training, technical equipment, exposure to the process of strategy development from countries in the region. The MCCAU was also expected to provide short-term expertise for specific tasks as needed.

GCCA's action programme
Geographical scope
Country groups
Initial GCCA/GCCA+ contribution
4,000,000.00 €

Overall objective

To mainstream climate change into the Myanmar policy development and reform agenda.




Specific objective

To strengthen the climate change related institutional and policy environment through sharing of technical knowledge and best practice, training and institutional support.

To promote evidence-based planning and policy making through pilot integration of climate change into sub-national and local level development planning initiatives




Outputs

Initially the programme aims to make Government, civil society and the private sector in Myanmar more aware of the implications of climate change.

Planned activities included developing a Climate Change knowledge, communication and advocacy strategy to be delivered at national and sub-national levels. The target beneficiaries were policy planners and decision makers, civil society, journalists working in press and television, academia and the private sector. The medias understanding of climate change science and impacts were expected to be enhanced and key government actors at national and sub regional levels were expected to attend major climate change events in the region.

In the medium term the governments' capacity to integrate climate change considerations in policies, strategies, plans and operations shall be enhanced as well as civil societies capacity to contribute to climate change activities.

The assessments were designed to cover institutional and administrative aspects as well as strategy development skills and office equipment needs. Based on the assessments the communication and institutional framework for climate change were expected to be strengthened.

In the process of strategy development it is important that lessons drawn from climate change experience at sub-national and local level activities inform policy making and are communicated to relevant decision-makers in the relevant sectors.

To achieve this a rapid review of existing information and assessments to identify a pilot zone(s) was planned. Then in the selected pilot zone (s) a climate change vulnerabilities and adaptation options assessment to describe the current status of the sub-national government planning process with a view to determining the scope and needs for integrating climate change. Based on the assessment and consultation with appropriate authorities and specialists, the development of guidelines for a call for proposals / small grant programme was envisaged for the implementation of community level adaptation activities.



Achievements to date

1. Policy, institutional and technical support has created a stronger policy environment, unprecedented coordination and better awareness and capacities. The platform has been established solidly and performs as the main port of entry for climate change issues, and is being regarded as a useful instrument by the Government' several agencies. The National Climate Change Strategy was finalised, through a participatory process involving literally hundreds of governmental, civil-society, private sector, urban authorities and academia representatives at both national and local level. But it has also consistently supported other policies for climate change and reference for development partners in this field.

2. Awareness and basic knowledge has increased within concerned government agencies as a result of continued consultations, sharing the basics of climate change, animating forums and technical exchange and engaging with the media. MCCA has focused in this area to develop further visual and graphic tools for working at community level, public opinion and media. In addition it has launched new website that delivers services such as essential work of translation in Myanmar of basic concepts of climate change, notions and access to information and opportunities. It is also used as a public port of entry for comments, e.g. on the National Climate Change Strategy.

3. Eco-system methodology, merging environment and urban expertise, for planning of Towns over the short to long-term is being used to assess vulnerabilities and inform adaptive measures. Priorities are captured in the adaptation local plans, implemented in part by MCCA, and the process documented for replication at national level

4. MCCA has put in place a strong technical unit that delivers advice and constant support to the National Government' different agencies or local authorities, but was also able to service and cooperate with partners, among which for instance: UNICEF on Youth awareness, WWF and Columbia University and Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES) on downscaling climate change, ActionAid, Oxfam and CUSO, NGOs such as Myanmar Environment Restoration Network (MERN) and Spectrum.



Challenges and lessons learned

The MCCA implementation have progressed well, allowing strong relations to be established between the team and MoECAF and wider ministries, private sector and the civil society .

The formation of the High Level MCCA committee by the cabinet was an additional milestone in the development of the programme that represented significant government buy in and ownership of the MCCA but even more broadly of the process to address climate change in Myanmar.