Back 15.10.2009

Climate mainstreaming improves the effectiveness of development cooperation

A recent study by Gaia highlights several opportunities for ensuring that climate variability and change do not threaten the outcomes of Finnish development activities in the field.

Current climate variability is already imposing a significant challenge to Ethiopia. It affects food security, water and energy supply, poverty reduction and sustainable development efforts. It also causes natural resource degradation and natural disasters. The extremely high dependence of the Ethiopian economy on rain fed agriculture, which is very sensitive to climate variability, is one of the main causes of vulnerability in Ethiopia.

Finnish development cooperation activities in Ethiopia focus strategically on sectors (in particular water, education, land use), which are in many respects at the nexus of development and climate challenges. This provides Finland an exceptional opportunity, and a particular responsibility. Finland needs to ensure that all Finnish activities contribute to sustainable growth and poverty reduction as well as to strengthened adaptive capacity in Ethiopia.

“Only by looking at development challenges through a ‘climate lens’ do we have a chance of curbing the global greenhouse gas emissions at a sufficiently rapid rate, and a chance of ensuring that we are capable to cope with the already on-going and accelerating changes in climate” said Mikko Halonen, senior climate change expert at Gaia.

At the request from the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gaia assessed the water sector projects in Ethiopia to review how climate change risks were integrated into the projects. The outcomes of the study give crucial experience on how best to mainstream climate change into the development cooperation.

Read the report:


  • Pasi Rinne, Chairman, +41 79 472 6909,