Low Emission Climate Resilient Development (LECReD)


 Maldives has made significant commitments to the pursuit of a low emission climate resilient development agenda but critical challenges remain. Photo: Masrah Naseem/UNDP Maldives 2012.

The Republic of Maldives is highly vulnerable to climate change due to its low-lying geography that makes it susceptible to flooding and inundation, and its dependence on economic activities that are sensitive to climate change, such as fishing and tourism. It is also highly dependent on imported fossil fuels for its energy supply and this represents a major source of greenhouse gas emissions for the country. Consequently, the Maldives has made significant commitments to the pursuit of a low emission climate resilient development agenda. However, ongoing decentralization reforms, fiscal crisis and low capacity at the sub-national level, mean that local planning is not reflective of national level commitments.

The 3 year, US$9.2 million UN Joint Programme, "Low Emission and Climate Resilient Development" (LECReD), responds to the United Nations Development Assistance Framework Outcome 9: “Enhanced capacities at national and local levels to support low carbon life-styles, climate change adaptation, and disaster risk reduction” and builds on the comparative strengths of United Nations Organizations including UNDP, UNICEF, UNOPS, UNFPA, UN WOMEN, WHO and FAO. The programme is innovative and represents a pioneering initiative of bringing together the wealth of diverse development-oriented expertise from these United Nations Organizations with equally diverse national and local partners to address this multi-faceted development challenge.

Our Work & Results

The programme will assist the Laamu Atoll and its islands to realize low emission and climate resilient development (LECReD). The programme seeks to mainstream LECReD issues into local level development planning and service delivery for greater community-level ownership and sustainability of programme benefits. Towards this objective, the programme will support local councils, civil society, private sector and other local stakeholders to establish platforms for stronger partnerships, improved coordination, and enhanced participation in local planning for LECReD; it will strengthen data and knowledge systems for LECReD; improve local level LECReD development planning and management of service delivery; and through a learning-by-doing approach establish early lessons and build demand for LECReD planning and management for replication and scaling-up.

The aim is that the local development plans will evolve from stand-alone action plans into more strategic and evidence-based instruments, which are climate smart and able to mobilize public and private investment. This programme will be closely linked to the existing national development planning cycle and will build capacity of local and national partners engaged in these local processes. The rationale being that lessons learned will be used to inform replication throughout the country and directly support the national agenda.

In pursuit of the core objective, the programme will achieve the following outputs:

  • Output 1: Partnership, coordination and participation platform for local LECReD planning and action is strengthened;
  • Output 2: Data and knowledge systems established or identified to support evidence-based planning and policy development for LECReD at the local level;
  • Output 3: Improved Local Level Planning and Management for LECReD;

Output 4: Practical local experience in LECReDs interventions leads to learning and promotes replication




·        One key result for the year is the establishment and gradual strengthening of various platforms for dialogue, debate and partnerships between the key stakeholders of the LECReD Programme. These platforms were essential for the smooth initiation and functioning of the programme activities.

·        Another key result for the year would be the synergies created through the various programmatic activities. Community members from different sectors were engaged in dialogue relating to different thematic areas (climate change, food security, water security, energy security, agriculture, fisheries, public health, waste management, governance etc). The engagements varied from multisector dialogue sessions, targeted trainings, study tours, climate change forums and visioning exercises.

·        These dialogues and learnings were replicated through the LECReD Small Grants Scheme. For example, four councils submitted proposals on Solid Waste Management and won grants to implement these systems in their islands. One councils submitted a winning proposal on improving water security and increasing resilience to climate change in there island through establishing a rainwater harvesting mechanism.


·        A key result for 2016 was the National adoption of the revised local development planning methodology by the Local Government Authority. The revised planning methodology which includes elements of climate change adaptation, mitigation, disaster risk reduction and gender equality has been used nationwide to develop the Island Development Plans and Atoll Development Plans for the period 2017-2021. A planning handbook and a video on development planning and financial planning was further developed to support the local development planning process.

·        A ‘Review of the National and Local level Institutional and Governance Arrangements and Legislative Frameworks’ This is the most comprehensive review of the legislative, institutional and governance arrangements carried out in the country to date. The review was also accompanied with a Capacity Development Roadmap and advocacy materials and tools and recommendations for capacity development that are necessary for climate resilient development.

·        Another key piece of assessment that was completed during the reporting period is the Integrated Energy Resource Assessment. Prior to this exercise, there was limited data specific to Laamu Atoll on energy sources, usage and patterns to inform the local development planning process. This assessment provided valuable information on the different types of energy being used in Laamu Atoll while also determining the various energy use patterns by end users including households, schools, government offices and the different economic sectors.

·        A survey of the natural resources available in Laamu Atoll was also initiated during 2016. Once completed, data on available land, land use, terrestrial and marine resources would be collected and this would provide valuable information for local and central level planning and contribute to the National Geographic Information System.

·        Solar Panel Systems were installed in 11 schools across Laamu Atoll, bringing an overall reduction in electricity costs of MVR 818,000 per year (estimate) and saving over 840,000 litres of diesel per year. In addition, a training programme was conducted targeted at the local utility staff (Fenaka Island Office and Regional Office) and the school staff regarding solar energy and maintenance of the solar panel systems. 


UNDP's Role

As a pioneer for the LECRED concept, UNDP has been providing a leadership role in global discourse on climate change adaptation and low emission development and has paved the way to bringing low emission climate resilient development (LECReD) into mainstream development discourse.

UNDP Maldives has been a long-term partner of the Government, in climate change and environmental management, and also in Governance and poverty reduction. UNDP Maldives, has also assisted Maldives in its direct response to climate change including the establishment of a portfolio of LECReD projects. Read more about UNDP's role in the LECReD project in the attached Project Document.



YEAR 2015 - 2016
Donor            Government of Denmark 
Amount USD 4,842,780.00


YEAR 2015-2016             


Government of Denmark  


USD 3,460,397.08

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