APCW Session: Enhance Resilience by Bringing Climate Finance to Locally-led Actions

ICLEI South Asia, in collaboration with the Climate and Development Knowledge Network – hosted a panel discussion titled ‘Investing in Locally-led Adaptation for Enhancing Resilience: Possibilities and Barriers’ on November 16, 2023, during the Asia Pacific Climate Week in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

The session, supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), convened experts and practitioners for discussions on the requirements, potential opportunities and challenges faced when seeking financing for Locally-led Adaptation (LLA) projects. It also explored the supportive conditions and mechanisms that can facilitate the flow of finances for community-based adaptation efforts.The discussions provided insights into existing tools for mitigating investment risks, as well as the obstacles and possibilities related to expanding LLA interventions.

The panel discussion, moderated by Mr. Mozaharul Alam, Regional Coordinator, Climate Action, UNEP Asia and the Pacific Office, focused on the major challenges for local governments and local communities in accessing climate finance from national or international sources, and the capacity building of LLA actors to facilitate their access to finance.

In his presentation, Mr. Emani Kumar, Deputy Secretary General, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, and Executive Director, ICLEI South Asia, said that ICLEI supports numerous local governments by offering guidance on effective climate action strategies. Currently, ICLEI is leading the Green City Action Plan initiative in Malaysia, partnering with 14 cities there, with support from the Asian Development Bank. Comparable initiatives are in progress in several countries, where ICLEI facilitates local actions, assists governments in comprehending their climate responsibilities, provides guidance on technology investments, and identifies potential funding sources.

Sharing an example of a community-based approach to adaptation, Mr. Zahid Amin Shashoto, Project Manager at Uttaran, a development organisation based in Dhaka, said that they advocate for a multi-layered approach to LLA, connecting villages to regions. In their efforts to tackle water governance issues in Bangladesh, Uttaran is involving local communities in creating people’s plans of action, and seeking their inputs for water modeling and river management, particularly in sediment control.

Ms. Kathryn Bimson, Programme Officer, IUCN Asia Regional Office, emphasised the significance of LLA in the context of ecosystem-based adaptation, and of keeping local communities involved throughout the adaptation process for sustainable solutions. She also spoke about the importance of collaborations with entities such as IUCN, UNFCCC and ICLEI to facilitate the transformation of local knowledge into national policies for addressing higher-level barriers and supporting policy transformation.

Ms. Kissakorn Lertprasertsuk, a student at Thailand’s Thammasat University, spoke about the role of students as bridges between local communities and the government, citing trust issues among locals towards the latter.

Stressing the need to direct more funding towards grassroots initiatives to empower local efforts, Mr. Arjan de Haan, Senior Programme Specialist at the International Development Research Centre, said that it should be ensured that resources are strategically distributed to address critical global challenges. He added that there are promising opportunities in the form of an increasing variety of financing instruments and that it is crucial for the community to build expertise in navigating these financial tools.

In his concluding remarks, Mr. Mozaharul Alam spoke about the importance of considering the scale of LLA, emphasising its connection to the entire catchment and the need for ecosystem boundary considerations. and also highlighted the significance of blending top-down and bottom-up approaches in project design. Engaging communities throughout the entire project lifecycle, from the initial design phase to monitoring and evaluation, is crucial for the success of LLA  initiatives.

Reflecting on past experiences, he drew parallels to the bundling of small opportunities in the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism scheme to overcome high transaction costs. Mr. Alam suggested that a similar bundling approach could be applied to LLA efforts, potentially streamlining financial flows and enhancing efficiency in achieving adaptation goals.


Kaiser-Friedrich-Str. 7
53113 Bonn
T: +49-228/97 62 99-00
F.+49-228/97 62 99-01 Email: iclei.org
European Secretariat
Leopoldring 3
79098 Freiburg, Germany
Brussels Office
Av. de Tervuren 35
1040 Bruxelles
Berlin Office
St. Oberholz ROS Team Room 4.02 Rosenthaler Str. 72a 10119 Berlin, Germany
Physical address:
3 Knowledge Park
Century City
Cape Town
South Africa
Postal address:
PO Box 5319
South Africa
Canada Office
401 Richmond St. W
Studio 204
Toronto, Ontario
M5V 3A8, Canada
USA Office
536 Wynkoop St.
Suite 901
Denver, Colorado
USA 80202
Mexico, Central American and Caribbean Secretariat
Eje Central Lazaro Cardenas 13 Building Miguel Abed, Floor 5 Office 506 and 507, Col. Centro, CP 06050 Del. Cuauhtemoc, Mexico City, Mexico
Colombia Office
Área Metropolitana del Valle de Aburrá Carrera 53 N° 40A - 31 Medellín, Antioquia – Colombia
ICLEI Argentina
Boulevard Gálvez, 1150 Planta Alta. Santa Fe, Argentina
South America Secretariat Brazil Project Office
Rua Ibiraçu, 226, Vila Madalena
São Paulo / SP - Brazil
CEP 05451-040
South Asia Secretariat
Ground Floor, NSIC-STP Complex NSIC Bhawan, Okhla Industrial Estate New Delhi – 110020, India
East Asia Secretariat
14/F, Seoul Global Center Building, 38 Jongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea (110-110)
Southeast Asia Secretariat
c/o The Manila Observatory Ateneo de Manila University Campus Loyola Heights, Quezon City 1101 Manila, Philippines
ICLEI Indonesia Project Office
Rasuna Office Park III WO. 06-09 Komplek Rasuna Epicentrum Jl. Taman Rasuna Selatan, Kuningan DKI Jakarta, 12960, Indonesia
Oceania Secretariat
Level 1, 200 Little Collins Street Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia
Associate Partnership
Associate Partnership
Associate Partnership
Associate Partnership
Associate Partnership
ICLEI membership application
ICLEI membership application
ICLEI membership application
ICLEI membership application
ICLEI membership application
Want to be a model?
Want to be a model?
Want to be a model?
Want to be a model?
Want to be a model?
ICLEI membership online application form
ICLEI membership online application form
ICLEI membership online application form
ICLEI membership online application form
ICLEI membership online application form