The Lesotho United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Office and the Government of Lesotho have implemented the Global Environment Facility (GEF)-financed five-year project “Reducing vulnerability from climate change in Foothills, lower Lowlands and Senqu River”.

The project implemented for a period between 2015 and 2020 is according to a press statement from UNDP aimed at mainstreaming climate risk considerations into the Land Rehabilitation Programme of Lesotho for improved ecosystem resilience and reduced vulnerability of livelihoods to climate shocks. The project is further aimed at supporting the integration of climate change adaptation into national and sub-national land use planning and decision-making.

“Climate change including rising temperatures, and a greater frequency of droughts and extreme rain events, is negatively affecting local communities living in rural parts of Lesotho,” reads the report which further reveals that the fragile mountain ecosystems of Lesotho provide a range of benefits that increase the resilience of such communities to climate change.

These, the report states include regulating services such as storing and retaining water as well as mitigating floods, yet however, these ecosystems are characterised by widespread degradation because of unsustainable land management and exploitation of natural resources.

It also states that the effects of this ecosystem degradation in Lesotho include loss of vegetative cover and extreme soil erosion and that such effects reduce the capacity of these ecosystems to protect vulnerable communities from the increasingly negative impacts of climate change that are threatening their livelihoods.

Source: LENA 06/02/2019