Answers to some FAQ’s
Q. Does my project have to be focused on an Irish Aid partner country?
A. No, applicants are not obliged to focus on an Irish Aid priority country.Â More than 40 different countries have been featured in successful projects since the fund was launched.
However, in 2012 judges will once again favour applications which deal with Irish Aidâ€™s priority countries (Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia, Vietnam and Timor Leste) or Irish Aid priorities (Hunger, HIV and Aids, Gender, Environment and Governance).
In 2012, judges will also favour applications which portray a positive image of Africa or challenge stereotypes and also those that focus on climate change and resilience.
A full list of the criteria upon which judges base their decisions is available at: http://www.simoncumbersmediafund.ie/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/SCMF_Guidelines_Summer2012-final.pdf
For further information on Irish Aidâ€™s partner countries and priorities, please visit www.irishaid.gov.ie
Q.Â Why has Irish Aid chosen climate change and resilience as a focus area for the coming year?
Environment and Climate Change â€“ context
Environmental degradation and climate change pose serious threats to developing countries. The increasing number of droughts, floods and cyclones around the world affect the international communityâ€™s efforts to tackle major global challenges such as food security. Currently, more than one billion people in the world are hungry.
People living in the worldâ€™s least developed countries are hardest hit by climate change. In some parts of sub-Saharan Africa for example, 80% of people earn their living from the land. This makes them more dependent on environmental assets such as fertile soils, clean water, trees and bio-diversity. Environmental hazards, like pollution, environment damage and climate change, affect these poorer populations because they cause drought, crop failure and irregular rainfall patterns.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, agricultural production including access to food is at risk in many of African countries as a result of changing environmental conditions caused by climate change. Without appropriate responses enabling communities to adapt to these unprecedented environmental changes, food security and malnutrition will be seriously exacerbated.
Precious gains made by developing countries are in danger of being reversed if we donâ€™t tackle climate change. It is estimated climate change could push an additional 90 million people into poverty by 2050 and cost up to a fifth of the worldâ€™s Gross Product.
Irish Aid & climate change
Irish Aid recognises that the lives of millions of the poorest people in the world rely directly on natural resources, such as water and healthy soils to meet their basic needs.Â With increasing pressure on the natural environment, from climate change, population pressures, land degradation, increasing water scarcity and other pressures, securing their daily needs from the natural environment is increasingly problematic.
In June 2012 the Global community will meet in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.Â Â The objective of the Conference is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and to address new and emerging challenges.
In this context Irish Aid is interested in highlighting the challenges and opportunities which poor communities experience in responding to and building their resilience to the increasing impacts of climate change.
Q. What type of projects would qualify for funding under the climate change and resilience heading?
A. In a climate-constrained world communities and countries are challenged to depend less on fossil fuels and to adjust to the growing impact of adverse weather events.Â Increasing environmental pressures, including climate change, can potentially undermine international efforts to combat poverty.
Programmes that help communities to prepare for and better cope with the increasing incidence of climatic and other shocks – and ensure that they meet their basic need for food, water and energy in ways that are sustainable and protect the natural environment – need to be promoted and taken to scale.Â These include:
â€¢Â Â Â Approaches and technologies to increase agriculture production that can adapt to the changing impacts of climate change.
oÂ Â Â Conservation agriculture: agricultural practices that concurrently conserve the environment;
oÂ Â Â Agro forestry: combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock to create a more diverse, sustainable and profitableÂ Â Â use of land
oÂ Â Â Watershed management: involves the construction of small dams, the creation of water catchment ponds and the building of trenches to conserve soil and water and improve agricultural productivity
oÂ Â Â The development of drought-resistant crops.
â€¢Â Â Â Efforts at national and community level to predict and better deal with the impacts of adverse weather events and other shocks.Â Increasingly countries are developing disaster risk management strategies.Â Being prepared helps vulnerable communities minimise damage and losses and improve their resilience.
â€¢Â Â Â Efforts to meet the energy requirements of poor households, including energy-efficient stoves, solar, hydro and other renewable energies and forestry initiatives.
â€¢Â Â Â The intensity and frequency of climate-related natural disasters, such as floods, droughts, and cyclones, is leading to an increase in humanitarian disasters. Fragile states, with an already limited capacity to respond to crisis, will be further tested by the simultaneous challenges of poverty, conflict, crisis, and climate change.Â Supporting fragile states to move from humanitarian interventions to long term sustainable development pathways is a key ongoing challenge.
â€¢Â Â Â Gender: climate change affects women and children the most.Â Women need to play a strong role in responding to the challenge and opportunities that climate change presents.
Q. How will judges view applications which involve travel to â€˜high riskâ€™ areas of the world?
A. The safety and security of the successful applicants is a key priority for the judging panel. The Fund reserves the right to withhold funding in instances where the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade advises citizens against travel to certain destinations.
Applicants undertake to familiarise themselves with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Tradeâ€™s travel advice regarding their country of destination before applying to the Fund and before travelling to their destination. Applicants should also read the Departmentâ€™s advice on what to do before travelling; whilst abroad and what to do in an emergency.
The Departmentâ€™s travel advice can be accessed at: http://www.dfa.ie/home/index.aspx?id=275
Applicants should be aware that the final responsibility for undertaking a trip rests solely with the individual concerned and neither the Simon Cumbers Media Fund nor the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade can be held responsible for any injury or loss suffered.