Photo: FAOLesotho/Borja Miguélez


National Focal Point

  • Ministry of Energy and Meteorology

National Strategic Documents and Timeframe

  • NDC: 2020 – 2030
  • National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) (2007)
  • Vision 2020 statement (implemented by the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS): 2005-2007
  • National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP): 2012/12-2016/17
  • Lesotho Energy Policy (2015)
  • Draft Strategic Plan for the Ministry of Energy and Meteorology (2015/16 to 2020/21)
  • National Rangelands Management Policy (2013)
  • Climate Change Policy and Strategy

Priorities and Needs

Lesotho’s NDC notes that Lesotho is one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change. It states that climate change is already affecting Lesotho’s climatic patterns, aggravating its already challenging climatic attributes and thus causing substantial environmental and socio-economic loss. It describes that floods and droughts have resulted in severe loss to agricultural crop and livestock resulting in food insecurity implications. It goes on to note that almost 50% of Lesotho’s population (estimated at 2 million people) is dependent on rain-fed subsistence agriculture for livelihood and lives in chronic poverty. It states that effectively, the majority of the country’s population does not have adequate adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change, and is thus more vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change and extreme whether events.

The NDC states that Lesotho’s National Adaptation Programme of Action identifies agriculture, energy, water, forestry, gender, infrastructure and human health as sectors and thematic areas which are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, climate variability and extreme climate events.

Current and Planned Adaptation Efforts

Lesotho’s NDC sets out its current adaptation undertakings (strategies, policies, programmes and measures) as well as a summary of Lesotho’s adaptation needs.

In terms of current adaptation takings, it identifies eleven adaptation projects which it ranks in order of priority as follows:

  • Improve Resilience of Livestock Production Systems Under Extreme Climatic Conditions in Various Livelihood Zones in Lesotho
  • Promoting Sustainable Crop Based Livelihood Systems in Foothills, Lowlands and Senqu River Valley
  • Capacity Building and Policy Reform to Integrate Climate Change in Sectoral Development
  • Improvement of Early Warning System Against Climate Induced Disasters and Hazards
  • Securing Village Water Supply for Communities in the Southern Lowlands
  • Management and Reclamation of Degraded and Eroded Land in the Flood Prone Areas
  • Conservation and Rehabilitation of Degraded Wetlands in the Mountain Areas of Lesotho
  • Improvement of Community Food Security Through the Promotion of Food Processing and Preservation Technologies
  • Strengthening and stabilizing eco-tourism based rural livelihoods
  • Promote Wind, Solar and Biogas Energy Use as a Supplement to Hydropower Energy
  • Stabilizing Community Livelihoods which are Adversely Affected by Climate Change Through Improvement of Small Scale Industries

The NDC lists the following complete/ongoing adaptation undertakings:

  • Developing capacity for climate change adaptation capacity in the agricultural sector (2009 – 2011)
  • Conservation agriculture: advocacy, extension / training, research integration into formal curricula (2005 – date)
  • Sorghum breeding for high yield and drought tolerance (1996 to date)
  • High efficiency irrigation systems: Gravity & Drip (1995 to date)
  • Increasing Capacity for Climate Change Adaptation in the Agriculture Sector (2008-2019)
  • Lesotho Climate Change Adaptation of Small-Scale Agricultural Production (2011-2017)
  • Smallholder Agriculture Development Project – Cropping Systems (2011-2017)
  • Lesotho wool & mohair improvement project (2015-2022)
  • Lesotho Block Farming Initiatives (2005 to date)
  • Smallholder Agriculture Development Project – Livestock (2011-2017)
  • Land Rehabilitation Program (2005 to date)
  • Mechanism to Implement the Forestry Initiative for Landscape and Livelihood Improvement Program (2015-2016)
  • Forestry Initiative for Landscape and Livelihoods Improvement Program (2015-2016)

The NDC lists the following planned adaptation undertakings:

  • Adopt improved agricultural systems for both crops and livestock (2020-2030)
  • Implement strategies for improved resource management (2020-2030)
  • Strengthen the implementation of the national Community-Based Forest Resources Management Programme (2020-2030)
  • Support review and implementation of the National Forest Policy (2020-2030)
  • Develop and maintain frequent forest inventory systems to facilitate monitoring of forest status; and initiate a research programme on a range of climate-related topics (2020-2030)
  • Provide extension services to civil society organizations, communities and the private sector to help establish and restore community and private natural forests, plantations and nurseries (2020-2030)

In terms of adaptation needs, the NDC sets out a number of intended policy based actions for the following sectors: water, human health, energy, gender (and vulnerable groups), infrastructure, environment, biodiversity and ecosystems, tourism, land use and culture, as well as cross cutting actions.

Synergies with Disaster Risk Reduction Efforts

One of Lesotho’s priority adaptation projects identified in the NDC and in the NAPA 2007 is the Improvement of Early Warning System Against Climate Induced Disasters and Hazards.

Requirements for Additional Planning, Financial and Technical Capacities

Lesotho’s NDC sets out a number of specific barriers to adaptation in Lesotho, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Technology transfer needs: lack of tools and techniques hinder adaptation to climate change
  • Financial: as a Least Developed Country (LDC), Lesotho has limited financial resources to implement climate change initiatives
  • Institutional: Lesotho lacks institutional infrastructures and frameworks to effectively and coherently implement climate change measures
  • Research and monitoring: there is a lack of the human and financial resources to undertake research and monitoring related to climate change adaptation

Monitoring and Evaluation

The NDC highlights that monitoring and evaluation is crucial for effective and efficient implementation of climate change adaptation activities at the national level. For all government programmes and projects implemented in the country, a monitoring and evaluation framework is in place. These monitoring and evaluation activities are undertaken by the Ministry of Development Planning in collaboration with sectoral ministries.