Unlocking the power of digital technology in low- and middle-income countries to tackle climate change
Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing humanity and we continue to see its impacts, including frequent extreme weather events, displacement of vulnerable populations, increase in temperatures, wildfires and droughts, reduction of wildlife populations and biodiversity, lower agricultural yields, sea-level rises and daily loss of forest. These impacts disproportionately affect populations in low- and middle-income countries.
For over a decade, Mobile for Development, with the support of its donors and partners, has helped advance the use of mobile technologies and digital solutions to deliver socio-economic and climate impact. Our work strives to create a more resilient future where communities not only survive climate shocks, but thrive in spite of them.
The COP26 summit brought parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – and the mobile ecosystem must continue to deliver impact. Thanks to its unique position, Mobile for Development works within the mobile ecosystem and the development sector, advancing the use of mobile technology, connected devices and other digital tools so they can contribute to climate action.
Resilience and Adaptation
Resilience is the “capacity of social, economic and environmental systems to cope with a hazardous event or trend or disturbance, responding or reorganising in ways that maintain their essential function, identity and structure while also maintaining the capacity for adaptation, learning and transformation” (IPCC). Here are some examples of the work we have supported.
An introduction to the GSMA Mobile for Development climate impact narrative
Read an introduction to the GSMA Mobile for Development (M4D) Climate Impact Narrative. It outlines M4D’s pathways to climate impact.
Digitising Mangrove ConservationVideo
Protecting mangroves is critical to reducing global warming and mitigating the impacts of climate change. The mobile industry can play a vital role in connecting vulnerable communities to digital solutions that enable them to improve their resilience to climate change. The GSMA’s Mobile Innovation Hub, GIZ, and the mobile operator Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison (IOH) have partnered to roll out innovative digital solutions to reduce the destruction of mangroves in collaboration with the North Kalimantan community.
The portfolio: GSMA Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation
At COP27, the GSMA, together with the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) announced the 12 organisations that had been awarded a grant under the GSMA Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation. This catalogue profiles the innovations and start-ups within this cohort. We received more than 500 applications and 12 start-ups were selected. They will receive between £100,000 and £250,000 in grant funding, as well as technical assistance and dedicated support from the GSMA in their journey to scale.
Emerging Trends in Climate Tech InnovationsThe GSMA Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation
The report explores the use of mobile and digital technologies across start-ups in LMICs that applied to the GSMA Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation and presents the climate tech innovations being used by the 12 start-up organisations in Asia and Africa selected under GSMA’s first climate grant funding round. The report showcases how technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain can be used creatively to help communities anticipate and adapt to climate shocks and stressors.
Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation: Meet the FoundersVideos
Hear from the founders of The GSMA Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation. The fund was launched to help accelerate the testing, adoption and scalability of digital innovations that enable the world’s most vulnerable populations to adapt, anticipate and absorb the negative impacts of climate change, or strengthen biodiversity. Meet some of the start-up founders featuring Aquarech in Kenya, BENAA Foundation in Egypt, BaKhabar Kissan (BKK) in Pakistan, Crop2Cash in Nigeria, Lersha in Ethiopia, and GeoKrishi in Nepal.
Climate change adaptation and livelihood restoration in Tana River DeltaCase Study
This case study explores World Vision Kenya’s project, which focuses on supporting sustainable natural resource management and farmland restoration to improve long-term resilience of the communities that inhabit the Tana River Delta.
Digitally Enabled Climate FinanceClimate Finance
This flagship report by the GSMA ClimateTech programme provides emerging insights on the role of mobile and digital technology in accessing and delivering climate finance in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
Exploring barriers and incentives to digital solutions in Natural Resource ManagementNatural Resource Management
This research report explores barriers and best practices for digital technologies designed to help communities in LMICs in their efforts to manage natural resources sustainably, based on case studies from Asia and Africa.
The state of mobile-enabled climate technology in IndonesiaReport – Climate Resilience and Adaptation
To enhance Indonesia’s climate mitigation and resilience efforts, the GSMA Mobile Innovation Hub Indonesia conducted a landscaping study that explores the potential for mobile-enabled technology solutions in combating climate changes in three focus areas, namely: energy, waste, and natural resource management (NRM). This report presents an overview of the current use of mobile-enabled technology solutions in Indonesia, investigates barriers encountered by Indonesia that hinder the adoption of mobile-enabled technology solutions, and explores the potential approaches to unlocking novel and innovative climate responses.
Enabling climate services through mobile network operator dataAgriculture
This report outlines the opportunity of CML rainfall observation to build the climate resilience of rural populations. It covers current knowledge on the accuracy and coverage of CML rainfall data, the operational steps required to develop CML data services, and the value-add of CML data to climate resilience services.
Building Climate Resilient Digital Nations – GSMA Mobile 360 APACClimate mitigation and adaptation
Highlights from the Mobile 360 Asia Pacific event session on ‘Building Climate Resilient Digital Nations’ which brought together thought leaders, industry practitioners and project implementers to initiate a conversation on how digital technology can play a vital role in supporting national governments’ work towards their climate mitigation and adaptation targets.
Inclusive climate resilience strategies in the USClimate Resilience
This research report therefore evaluates the gaps in Early Warning Systems for climate-related hazards in the US, and identifies examples of mobile and digital interventions used at the community level in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
Early Warning Systems in the Philippines: Building resilience through mobile and digital technologiesDisaster preparedness & response
The Philippines is one of the countries most affected by natural disasters in the world, and the frequency of events is expected to increase with climate change. This report highlights the opportunities to harness digital innovation and improve disaster preparedness and explores use cases in other LMICs across the four stages of early warning systems.
Exploring opportunities for climate services in Papua New Guinea with DigicelAgriculture
In Papua New Guinea, 85% of the population depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, but this sector is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Accurate and timely weather forecasts and climate predictions will be crucial to anticipate and mitigate the impacts on food security, and support long-term adaptation to climate change. This report looks at how existing mobile network infrastructure can help improve weather and climate services.
COP26 highlights the need to transform smallholder agriculture: Can digital agriculture be an enabler?Agriculture
Smallholder agriculture is one of the most vulnerable sectors to the impacts of climate change, as well as a small but not insignificant source of GHG emissions. Transformative innovation is needed for this sector to thrive in the face of the current climate challenge.
The Climate Crisis: Mobile-enabled solutions in humanitarian emergenciesDisaster preparedness & response
Divided into two overarching sections (mitigation and resilience), this report outlines five use cases in which mobile technology plays a critical role in addressing the climate challenge in humanitarian contexts. It also provides seven case studies from across the M4H portfolio to showcase innovations in practice.
The GSMA Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation 2.0
The GSMA Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation 2.0 aims to pilot and scale-up digital technology innovations that make a positive socio-economic and environmental impact in areas with communities most vulnerable to current or future climate risks.
Pay-As-You-Go smart assets increase farmers’ climate resilienceAgriculture
This case study explores how SunCulture is leveraging PAYG models for solar irrigation systems.
Closing the weather data gap in LMICs using mobile networksAgriculture
Learn more about how mobile operator assets can help close the weather data gap through real-time rainfall observations.
Building resilience through mobile-enabled solutionsDisaster Preparedness & Response
This report shares the key lessons from five innovative mobile-enabled solutions funded through the Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation Fund.
Mobile Technology for Participatory Forest ManagementForestry and Natural resource management
We explore how mobile devices and applications can be leveraged to strengthen participatory forest management (PFM) efforts in Kenya. We used human-centred research approaches to understand the key challenges in PFM implementation and to co-design and test three low fidelity prototypes. Here are some examples of the work we have supported.
CaVEx: Unlocking access to climate financeForestry and Natural resource management
This case study examines 4R Digital’s Carbon Value Exchange platform that monetises carbon reduction and sequestration activities from a range of micro-small projects.
While resilience and adaptation focus on climate-related shocks and stresses, mitigation focuses on opportunities “to keep climate change moderate rather than extreme by reducing emissions or enhancing the sinks of greenhouse gases” (IPCC).
Catalysing partnerships in plasticsWaste management & circular economy solutions
Every year 300million tonnes of plastic waste are produced. 75% of this becomes waste, but there is a huge global economic opportunity of $80 – $120 billion which could be captured if plastic was recycled even once. This report explores mutually beneficial opportunities for plastics organisations and mobile network operators to partner and unlock advantages across the triple bottom line of People, Planet and Profit.
Supporting Innovation in Digital Urban ServicesWaste management, clean energy & energy efficiency and transport, mobility & logistics
This report first describes the opportunity to leverage a powerful digital ecosystem for improving lives, and the role that the GSMA plays to catalyse these solutions through our GSMA Innovation Fund.
Digital Dividends in Plastic RecyclingWaste management & circular economy solutions
This report explores the specific benefits that plastics organisations in LMICs currently reap, or could eventually reap, from using digital tools or services or partnering with technology organisations.
The Value of Pay-as-you-go Solar for Mobile OperatorsClean energy & energy efficiency
This study aims to measure the underlying value that exists in these partnerships for mobile operators by analysing PAYG clients data from five different countries (Uganda, Rwanda, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, and Zambia) over a 12 month period.
Here are the organisations that make our work towards climate action possible
Industry Climate Action
In 2019 the GSMA Board set an ambition for the mobile industry to be net zero by 2050 at the latest. The industry has made a string start with 80% on operators now disclosing their climate impacts. With two thirds of operators committed to rapidly cutting emissions by 2030 we are proud to have been recognised by the UN’s Race to Zero as one of the first Breakthrough sectors. Our leaders are driving change within the industry and empowering other industries to follow suit.Find out more