The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance in conjunction with CARE International on Wednesday (August 30th, 2017) organized a webinar to shed light on the engagement of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the Green Climate Fund Project that is currently being implemented in five African countries.
During the webinar, Sven Harmeling of CARE International stressed the importance for CSOs to understand how the project works saying: "There is limited knowledge on GCF and a need for better information flow from authorities in regard to this. Different stakeholders need to work together in preparing for GCF opportunities.”
Sven noted that there are opportunities to develop more proposals and act jointly across different countries through existing networks to build interest and engagement in the GCF project.
He explained that it is important to link all interested parties on the GCF platform to actively share experiences and knowledge to improve initiatives and learn from each other at national level between CSOs and governments
Speaking at the same time, Emmanuel Seck from Ghana briefed the meeting about a workshop in Abidjan that was held in May 26-28, 2017 and attended by 25 participants.
The meeting attendees recommended that existing knowledge and experience on GCF be shared among participants, adding that this provides an opportunity for participants to learn from each other.
They further recommended that there is need to build the capacity of CSOs to engage in the GCF project through national and international networking and increasing accreditation of CSOs to GCF for better advocacy and lobbying.
"There is a need for consultation with CSOs and local authorities to improve national dialogue and to improve the discussion with the private sector at the national level. Consolidating existing networks,” he noted.
Julius Ng’oma from ISONECC briefed the participants about a meeting organised in Malawi that he says was attended by Government, development partners, and CSOs.
He noted that his organisation has done capacity building for CSOs through a series of workshops on climate finance and specifically GCF.
Speaking in the same forum, Peter from CARE Ghana said that his organization has appointed two NIEs namely Eco Bank and a semi-autonomous public institution, adding that three proposals are in the pipeline.
“Processes and procedures are in place with a technical advisory committee present with different stakeholders’ representatives on it. Ghana has worked through an existing network of SDG 13 platform with involvement from all stakeholders. There are a number of ongoing meetings to discuss the GCF,” he said.
He explained that they noticed that sharing information improved stakeholder involvement, adding that it was challenging to find the best way to share the information and how to start dialogue with the government.
“Monitoring the government’s intention to spend GCF money and improving on how CSOs can access this money is of interest,” he noted.
The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance in collaboration with Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) consortium - a partnership of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB), will in October organize the 7th Climate Change and Development in Africa Conference (CCDA-VII).
The conference will be hosted in Nairobi, Kenya starting October 11 to October 13, 2017, with the theme this year being: “Implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in Africa: From Policies to Action”.
This year, CCDA is expected to attract 400-500 participants. Specific constituencies expected to attend from within and outside of Africa include researchers, academia, policy makers, parliamentarians, negotiators, development partners, intergovernmental organizations, media professionals, Multilateral Development Banks, the private sector, civil society, and youth and gender groups.
The meeting aims to critically examine the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of African countries and Africa’s readiness to translate NDCs into actionable development plans and programmes, assess the effectiveness of mechanisms to provide adequate means of implementation to meet the required levels of ambition; and examine global political economy issues for the effective implementation of NDCs in support of sustainable, inclusive and climate-resilient development on the continent.
CCDA-VII will be organized into five sub-themes constituting the “the 5 ‘Is’ of implementing the Paris Agreement in Africa” – Intentions, Interests, Issues, Investments, and Inventory.
The GCF, established by the international community as a financial arrangement to support climate action under the United Nations Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) is still in its initial stages of being set up.
Various processes are being undertaken at the fund to set up working efficient and supportive structures that will deliver on the mandate of the fund.
The GCF is supposed to ensure that climate change finances promote ownership by individual target countries result in transformation at the country and community level, cause long-term impacts that are sustainable and come accompanied with environmental, economic and social benefits.
Although the GCF is still in its initial stages of setting up, the GCF Board together with stakeholders such as Civil Society Organizations are working tirelessly to inform this process in a bid to have a global fund with both global and efficient standards that make it possible for developing countries impacted by climate change to access financing.
It is these financial resources that enable the addressing of climate change impacts through coping and combating climate change.
“How does Africa own the GCF process and benefit as well?”
This is a million-dollar question for African countries. One that needs to be answered with supportive insights by African leadership and all African stakeholders.
At the 17th Board meeting of the GCF in Songdo, Korea, a report on Readiness and Preparatory Support Work Programme; a programme that aims to facilitate through provision of financing developing countries understanding of the GCF process, be involved and as well set up nationally required structures to enable accessing of fiancé by countries; shared by the GCF Secretariat caught my attention.
The report showed that there exist 42 approved Readiness support projects by the GCF that total to an amount of USD12.9M. 42 countries stand to benefit. This financing flows to the country through either the National Designated Authority or Focal point office and intends to support country project(s) development, national stakeholder engagement, strengthening of the capacity of accredited entities, the GCF preparatory process in African countries and development of adaptation planning process.
Successful climate actions in developing countries are a mix of both innovative ideas generated through multi-stakeholder consultative process involving also accredited entities from concept generation, development, design and implementation.
Good practice dictates that involvement is necessary to facilitate ownership. Moreover, having agreed upon actions by all involved parties provides the society an opportunity to make all-inclusive decisions that are binding assuring security and sustainability of country actions. Informed by this, the NDA or Focal Point who play the role of coordinating country GCF engagement has a mandate to ensure good practice to facilitate ownership.
Setting up National Coordination Mechanism with representation from all stakeholder and as well initiating formal consultations with stakeholders are ways to enable meaningful engagement.
This will demonstrate country ownership and acceptance of climate interventions at the country level. With such arrangement, participation and partnerships are forged in country programming that entails identification of a country’s priority areas, project preparation process at both design, development and implementation level and country preparation for the GCF process.
With continuous engagement, country ownership is facilitated and made a reality.
In the just concluded 17th Board Meeting of the Green Climate Fund, Country Ownership was laid emphasis on.
It was within the agenda as ‘Country Ownership Guidelines’ and was as well discussed. The Country Ownership Guidelines document had been presented to the board multiple times and its presentation in BM 17 with no much difference in comparison to the earlier version was of disappointment with CSO communicating that it ‘re-stated what already exists’.
The GCF board decided to include country ownership in the proposal and project activity cycle where the GCF Secretariat upon receiving a concept note from an accredited entity would request that the focal point or NDA confirm that the presented concept note is within the country’s national priorities and country ownership.
With this therefore, the process of proposal or concept note development is envisaged to facilitate country ownership. Moreover, the board as well adopted the Country ownership guidelines.
Though adopted, more work is still to be done on the guidelines to ensure that country ownership is mandatory, that it does not stop at government ownership only but reflects a broader stakeholder ownership, the NDA or focal point take lead of this process and as well a system of evaluation of the country ownership is in place.
Africa needs to embrace country ownership for sustainability of climate change work supported by the GCF and as well access the financing for climate actions.
By Julius Karanja Mbatia,
GCF Fellow of the CSO GCF Readiness Project Fellowship Programme
The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) has been chosen as one of the key partners in a Governing Inclusive Green Growth in Africa (GIGGA) research project.
The project, which will be spearheaded by the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, seeks to lay a foundation for further research into the dynamics, prospects, and implications of green growth on the continent.
“Particular attention will be paid to understanding key challenges for leveraging green growth as a means to tackle inequality and poverty plus interventions that can be honed to transcend existing barriers to deliver results at scale and enhance sustainability,” read a description on their website.
The project comprises researchers from multiple disciplines, from UK, Africa, and India, African think tanks, civil society organisations and government departments.
The project seeks to achieve its objective by organizing workshops, mapping existing green growth activities on the continent, analyzing the political and social environment of African societies and assessing the current technology gap on the continent.
“Capacity will be built through collaborative planning, mentoring, and peer networks. Partnership with a leading research and policy think tank in India will promote South-South cooperation,” read the statement on their website.
The research will address issues on a continental level but will focus on Kenya, which has made efforts to embrace green development, Ethiopia, which is pursuing an ambitious green growth strategy, and Nigeria which is the most populous and biggest economy in Africa.
The project hopes to influence a greater understanding of current activities and patterns of greening in Africa and the implications for poverty reduction and sustainable development; the motivation of key actors, enabling and constraining political economy factors; key institutions and governance approaches; existing challenges, capacity needs/gaps; barriers and opportunities; potential lessons that can be learned from other developing countries, especially India; and identification of potential solutions and cutting-edge research agenda in the area, read the statement on their website.
The Governing Inclusive Green Growth in Africa (GIGGA), led by Professor Chukwumerije Okereke from the University of Reading, is a collaborative Network funded by the United Kingdom Research Council, under the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).
Representatives of pastoral organisations from Turkana, Taita Taveta, Machakos, Isiolo, Nakuru, Narok, Kajiado, and Wajir met at the Ngong Hills Hotel in Nairobi during a workshop organised by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance.
The group was trained on various topics regarding food security and climate change by experts and other leaders in the community.
Below are a few images captured during the meeting:
A participant from ILRI presents during the workshop
Participants during a health break
Workshop participants take a group photo
Participants engage in group discussions during the Food Security and Climate Change in the context of Pastoralism held at Ngong Hills Hotel in Nairobi
Workshop Participants pay attention as a presenter explains his presentation
Workshop participants drawn from various pastoralist groups pay attention during a session
A participant speaks during a panel discussion
African Civil Societies have called on key institutions in the Green Climate Fund (including NDAs and national focal points, relevant ministries, implementing entities, the GCF Board and the GCF Secretariat) to ensure transparency and accountability of procedures and structured and effective engagement of civil society.
Story by PAMACC
Leading non-state actors and civil society groups from across Africa have called on African governments to kick-start the process of designing an African Rule Book for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The book, according to them, will help in galvanising a robust presentation of African perspectives in the Paris Rule Book which is being formulated.
The call was made today at the ongoing civil society consultative talks which precedes the 16th session of the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) in Libreville, Gabon.
Recognising the strategic importance of the Paris Rule Book to the implementation of the climate agreement, the non-state stakeholders urged African environment ministers to ensure that the continent is not left behind in the efforts at crafting the regulatory framework for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
“We want an African rule Book for the implementation of the Paris Agreement that will better measure and manage climate action and support in the light of varying quality and level of information included in countries’ national climate plans (NDCs),” John Bideri, the Co-Chair of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) said.