MANILA, PHILIPPINES - ADB Board of Directors has approved a US$5 million grant to help Central and West Asia address the impacts of climate change on the region.
The assistance will be through policy and capacity development and supporting investments in climate change adaptation.
"Climate change is taking its toll on the region, with declining crop yields, retreat of glaciers, increased diseases and heat stress, and changes in ecosystem functions," says Mark Kunzer, Environment Specialist of ADB's Central and West Asia Department.
In the future, climate change is expected to impact on land and water resources, and consequently agriculture, leading to problems in water and food security, he says.
The region needs immediate investments to reduce risks from increased flooding, drought, dust storms, and other consequences of climate change. There are options available but certain barriers, limitations, and cost constraints need to be overcome.
Most Central and West Asian countries are low greenhouse gas emitters but they are among the most carbon-intensive economies in the world.
The ADB-backed project hopes to promote low-carbon and inclusive economic growth by promoting investments in energy efficiency, fuel switching, industrial processes, renewable energy, improved waste management systems, and land restoration.
The project will also work towards promoting climate change policy dialogue and developing fully functional climate change institutions. At present, national climate change coordination councils, climate change coordination centers, and designated national authorities in Central and West Asia are not well developed and often rely on donor assistance.
ADB will source funding for the project from its technical assistance funding program. The balance of $500,000 needed to complete funding for the project will be provided by the governments of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.