The increasing concentration of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere-those generated through industrialization and the increasing global demand for energy-has intensified the greenhouse effect that is leading to climate change. Because of this intensified greenhouse effect, droughts, floods, and higher temperatures are threatening food crops, destroying habitat, threatening species, and increasing the incidence of disease.
Developing countries are especially vulnerable to climate change because of their limited capacity and resources to prepare and respond to the impacts. This challenges their efforts to achieve sustainable development aimed at reducing poverty and improving the lives of their people.
As part of Canada's 2009 commitment under the Copenhagen Accord (PDF, 163 KB, 5 pages) on climate change, the Canadian government is providing $400 million in fast-start climate change financing for the 2010-2011 fiscal year. This is Canada's largest-ever contribution to international efforts to address climate change. The funding will support three key areas in which Canada has considerable expertise: adaptation, clean energy, and forests.
CIDA recognizes that taking action to reduce greenhouse gases and adapt to a changing climate are important to achieving its international development goals. For that reason, it supports projects that improve the environment and tackle climate change while promoting its priority themes of:
Climate change could hamper long- and short-term sustainable economic growth, especially in natural resource-based economies and sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, tourism, and energy.
Climate change may also affect the lives of children and youth through food scarcity, changing disease patterns, and the increased risk of conflict over scarce resources.
The increased frequency and intensity of droughts and flooding are adding to the challenge of ensuring food security. Fluctuations in temperature and rainfall can result in crop failures or shifts in growing seasons, leading to shortages of food and a significant increase in the number of undernourished people.
CIDA is taking action on climate change by integrating the promotion of environmental sustainability into the programs and aid delivered to developing countries and is supporting projects specifically aimed at reducing the vulnerability to climate change in countries of focus.
The projects vary from helping countries such as drought-prone Ethiopia maintain sustainable sources of water to assisting communities in Sulawesi, Indonesia, where excess water has destroyed resources.
In Sulawesi, the Environmental Governance and Sustainable Livelihoods project aims to both implement sustainable resource management practices and reduce poverty. Other initiatives, such as the Disaster Risk Management Program in the Caribbean, assist regional organizations, national governments, and local communities to better prepare for natural disasters.
CIDA is also supporting the efforts of its partners to address climate change and meet international commitments to reduce greenhouse gases through its involvement in a range of international programs. These programs include:
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