Enhancing the resilience of the Tsilima Plains ecosystem through ecosystem based adaptation

Lead country


Participating countries


Project status

Under implementation

Implementing period

From April 24, 2017 to April 30, 2022

SDGs addressed by this project

SDG targets

  1. 2.4 Ensure sustainable food production, maintain key ecosystems
  2. 2.4 Ensure sustainable food production, maintain key ecosystems
  3. 2.a Increase investment in agricultural research, infrastructure

Project ID: 4633

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Technical team

  • Ecosystems and Biodiversity Programme

Technical area(s)

  • Ecosystem management and restoration


  • Ecosystem-based adaptation


  • Grasslands
  • FreshWaters
  • Forests


  • Savannas
  • Aquifers
  • Dryland forests

Transformed sector(s)

  • Agriculture

UNDP role(s)

  • Capacity development / Technical assistance
  • Institutional mechanism and system building
  • Risk analysis


  • Food and agricultural commodities
  • Management operation
  • Enabling


  • Sustainable agriculture practices and use of resources (TP 2, 7, 8, 9)
  • Climate resilience for FAC system (TP 6)
  • FACS strategies for sustainable supply chain (TP 4)
  • Sustainable land management
  • Integrated water resource management
  • Mainstream

Social inclusion

  • Local community/CSOs
  • Smallholder farmers

Gender equality

  • Livelihoods for women
  • Women farmers
  • Awareness raising (on gender)

Gender result effectiveness scale

  • Gender targeted


  • People pathway
  • Systems pathway
  • Sci-tech pathway

Risk reduction target(s)

  • Hazard control/mitigation
  • Improve resilience

SDG target(s)

  • 2.4 Ensure sustainable food production, maintain key ecosystems
  • 2.4 Ensure sustainable food production, maintain key ecosystems
  • 2.a Increase investment in agricultural research, infrastructure

Conventions and protocols

  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Private sector(s)

  • Individuals/Entrepreneurs

Hot topic

  • Food and agricultural commodities strategy
  • Nature-based solution

Project description

The demand for agricultural production to supply food for a rapidly increasing population in the Central Highlands of Eritrea is placing pressure on land, forest and water resources through: i) expansion of agricultural land into natural habitats and ecosystems; ii) overgrazing and degradation of rangelands; and iii) unsustainable abstraction/pumping of groundwater. Furthermore, insecurity of tenure – as a result of the traditional diessa land tenure system – is a disincentive for farmers to implement long-term measures for soil and water conservation. Consequently, ecosystems continue to be degraded and therefore being compromised in their provision of the ecosystem goods and services that underpin community livelihoods. This results in reduced agricultural productivity, threatening the food security of local communities.Climate change poses additional threats to the functional integrity of ecosystems, local hydrology, agricultural productive systems and community livelihoods, particularly in the Tsilima region where the population pressures are particularly pronounced. More specifically, increased variations in rainfall, elevated temperatures and greater rates of evapotranspiration are likely to have direct impacts on run-off formation and groundwater recharge capacities of the ecosystems. The preferred solution is to reduce the climate change vulnerability of local communities in the Tsilima Region by: i) enhancing the capacity of government institutions and local communities to mainstream climate risks into research, policies and land-use planning; ii) implementing climate change adaptation interventions that increase the adaptive capacity of local communities; iii) promoting the implementation of on-farm and off-farm soil and water conservation measures; and iv) establishing a system for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of various approaches to climate change adaptation to inform a process of adaptive management. However, there are multiple institutional, technical and financial barriers to achieving the preferred solution, including: i) limited technical capacity and information available for the analysis of climate risks; ii) few incentives for investing in long-term, climate-smart measures; and iii) weak governance systems for the mainstreaming of climate risks into land-use planning and development.

USD $9,150,000

Grant amount

USD $27,500,000

Leveraged amount (co-financing)


Source(s) of fund

Sources of fund


  • Least Developed Countries Fund ($9,150,000)

Implementing partner(s)

  • Government of Eritrea

Related resources

Geospatial information

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Project reports and documentation