New Zealand is donating nearly $19 million to support people in Asian wetland regions facing the challenges of climate change. This initiative aims to prevent these populations from needing to relocate.
The funds are designated for the Asian Mega-Deltas project. This initiative focuses on fostering farming systems resistant to climate change in areas like the Mekong in Cambodia and Vietnam, the Irrawaddy in Myanmar, and the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna in Bangladesh and India.
Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand’s Foreign Minister, stated the importance of innovative collaborative efforts to combat climate change impacts and reduce regional emissions.
This contribution is part of New Zealand’s 2021 climate finance fund, which had set aside $1.3 billion. The fund prioritised climate action in South and South East Asia. Mahuta explained that the funds would assist both at the individual farm level, offering advice, and at a broader system level, granting access to finance.
Wetland regions in Asia are home to over 170 million people, who Mahuta described as being particularly susceptible to climate change consequences. Issues like water shortages, violent cyclones, and drastic sea level rises are threatening the security of these inhabitants.
Earlier this week, New Zealand also pledged $15.6 million towards Indonesia’s Geothermal Energy programme, supporting the country in reaching its renewable energy goals.
During her time at the Asean conference in Jakarta, Mahuta spoke about the palpable impact of climate change she’s observed in New Zealand and the surrounding areas. She stressed the urgency of enhancing support and collaborative efforts to combat the global threat of climate change.
It’s worth noting that the Earth is experiencing its hottest temperatures on record. Recent data highlights unusually warm oceans, high North Atlantic temperatures, and record low sea ice levels around Antarctica.