Climate finance funding to support resilience and food security across major Asian river delta areas

Foreign Affairs

Aotearoa New Zealand is increasing efforts to tackle climate change by joining with partners to support the Asian Mega-Deltas initiative that increases climate resilience and provides greater food security to the region.

“To succeed in the global fight against climate change we need to find innovative ways to work together, become more sustainable and lower emissions regionally,” Nanaia Mahuta said.  

“New Zealand’s role in combating climate change in our region is one we take seriously. We’ve boosted funding to our climate finance fund which means we can play a responsible role in supporting adaptation and mitigation.  

“We’re contributing $18.6 million to the Asian Mega-Deltas initiative led by global research partnership CGIAR, which is developing climate change-resilient and productive rice, horticulture, and aquaculture farming systems.

“The Asian Mega-Deltas initiative will assist those living in the Mekong (Cambodia and Viet Nam), Irrawaddy (Myanmar) and Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (Banglasdesh and India) wetlands to adapt to climate change and helping avoid communities from being displaced.

“Climate change modelling predicts water shortages, severe cyclones and climate extremes, with rising sea levels and flooding already seriously undermining the livelihoods and food security of delta inhabitants and food availability beyond the delta area.

“The initiative will contribute to 4.8 million people benefiting from climate adaptation activities and 17 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions being avoided each year from improved rice production systems in the delta regions,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

These Asian wetland areas are home to 178 million people,  more than a third of whom live in poverty and are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

“Our contribution will directly help at a farm level, by providing advice, and at a system level, with access to finance,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

“Drawing on leading-edge science through CGIAR’s network of research institutes, the Asian Mega-Deltas–CGIAR partnership will also improve land-use management to build climate resilience, improve soil health, reduce CO2 emissions from rice production, and increase biodiversity preservation in the delta regions.

“This initiative delivers on Aotearoa New Zealand’s NZ$1.3 billion climate finance commitment announced in 2021, including implementation of climate action in South and South East Asia as a priority,” Nanaia Mahuta said.