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PACJA Gabon to manage State's $270,000 REDD+ awareness creation fund

The Panafrican Climate Justice Alliance has received a boost in its efforts to fight the climate crisis.

In recognition of the incredible work that PACJA Gabon is carrying out, the government has mandated the alliance to control and manage $270,000 intended for community sensitization on Land use planning and REDD+.

At the same time,  PACJA Gabon will be convening a meeting for 120 members of the Gabonese parliament on 27th May 2019 to lobby for laws that support REDD+ implementation of REDD+ in the country. This is towards achieving objective 2 of the FCPF REDD+ project that PACJA is implementing and which is supported by World Bank. This demonstrates incredible convening power of PACJA in Africa.

The Government of Gabon further threw its weight behind the alliance with a pledge to support the FCPF capacity building project for CSOs on REDD+.

The FCPF project has had a great impact in communities, with the government now saying it is pleased with the role PACJA Gabon is playing in raising awareness on REDD+ throughout the country.

PACJA has demonstrated incredible capacity to mobilise CSOs and communities in general and to rally them behind implementation of REDD+ in Gabon.

The Government of Gabon has adopted a unique approach to implementation of REDD+ in the country, where this concept is embedded in the national development planning. Land use planning has been viewed as the main strategy in REDD+ implementation in the country.

Lundovic Ngok Bomak from the REDD+ office in Gabon addressing a delegation from PACJA secretariet. Mr Lundovic announced that the Government of Gabon will fund PACJA Gabon to support implementation of REDD+ since the government has realized the potential and capacity of PACJA Gabon in mobilizing and awareness creation targeting CSOs and communities

Currently, PACJA Gabon is implementing FCPF REDD+ project which aims at development of capacities of Gabon's community stakeholders to participate actively in the implementation of the REDD+ process in Gabon with the following objectives:

Sensitizing communities on the progress of REDD+ in Gabon, history and challenges of REDD+ in Gabon, in-depth analysis of the R-PIN and R-PP Gabon, presentations of the response strategy to the implementation of REDD + in Gabon.

Improving the understanding of members of civil society platforms engaged in REDD mainly, and other participants on topical issues related to environmental protection, REDD +, Climate change, sustainable development, gender and social equity;

To inform, sensitize and share lessons learned during international workshops initiated by PACJA and its partners on the involvement of CSOs, local communities, women and indigenous peoples in the REDD + process.

Lobbying authorities and development partners for the establishment of an inclusive and multi sectoral national REDD + platform as an advisory and follow-up advisory body but also a key partner of the State of Gabon in the preparation and implementation of REDD +;

Developing a plan of strategic and operational actions of civil society for its effective contribution in the PACJA Gabon will be convening a meeting for 120 members of Gabonese parliament on 27th May 2019 to lobby for laws that support REDD+ implementation of REDD+ in the country. This is towards achieving objective 2 of the FCPF REDD+ project that PACJA is implementing and which is supported by World Bank. This demonstrates incredible convening power of PACJA in Africa.implementation and monitoring of the REDD + process in Gabon,

Information and sensitization campaigns for indigenous peoples and forest dwellers potentially targeted by REDD + on land allocation. These are mainly Pygmy communities.

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Northern Frontier counties not left behind on matters Climate Fund

The PanAfrican Climate Justice Alliance held a three-day workshop in Isiolo to educate the county governments and CSOs on Green Climate Fund (GCF). The event, with a hashtag #GreenClimateFundAccessandModalities - Isiolo edition, was intended to sensitize and create awareness on opportunities surrounding the GCF and how to grab them.

The training, jointly done with the National Treasury, encouraged the participants – county government officials and CSOs from Wajir, Mandera, Garissa, Marsabit, Tana River and Isiolo Counties – to identify bankable projects concepts for further development.

Peter Odhengo, a Senior Policy Advisor on Climate Finance/Green Climate Fund NDA at the National Treasury, gave the audience a good overview of GCF. He said the Green Climate Fund was highly dependent on climate-sensitive sectors such as Agriculture, Water and Tourism, with more than 50% of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Mr Odhengo urged participants not to behave as if Kenya was an exception in the climate crisis. Odhengo said research had shown that floods cost 5.5% of GDP every 7 years while drought accounted for 8% every 5 years.

He enlightened participants on opportunities in Climate Finance, such as use of electric cars, solar and wind energy as well as electric trains. The trainees were taken through the evolution of climate finance.

Peninah Karira, from the State of Department of Planning, made it clear that Medium Term Plan (MTP) was in line with the SDG. Aron Wanjohi, from the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) took the participants through the process of accessing Adaptation Fund, which was established under the Kyoto Protocol. Mr Wanjohi also took the participants through the National Implementing Entity (NIE) financial status. He outlined Nema’s key achievements on the matter, including mentoring Malawi and Zimbabwe to access climate fund and how the system works.

The Isiolo participants were also enlightened on Nema and GCF, created by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and accredited on 9th March 2016.

Nema can submit proposals of up to $10 million.

Wanjohi emphasized that Nema was available for technical support in developing proposals for organizations. He shared the steps taken to come up with Concept Notes and full Funding Proposals for the SAP. 

Odhengo told participants that donors were interested to see the policy framework from both National & County government for them to release money. The objective of the funds was said to be key. Some of the uses of the fund are to provide loans, grants and equity for climate change research and innovation and for implementing agencies in business, industry and civil society.

The source of the fund was part of the issues tackled. Participants were told the fund came from levy fees on services rendered from the funds, grants, receipts from climate funds, interests from investment and loans and commercial benefits arising from research products financed by the funds.

Odhengo explained that the green climate bond was money generated from stock exchange and used for environmental benefits.

Areas prioritized for funding were found to be Water, Renewable Energy, Livestock Resilience Building, Food Security, Infrastructure, Natural Resource Restoration, Conflict, Insecurity and Unemployment.

The participants pointed out some risks involved in the process of acquiring the funds. They include lack of political goodwill, technological challenge, corruption and insecurity.

As the way forward, Odhengo said he only gave out the road-map to acquiring the funds. It was agreed that this was just the beginning; as “the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”.

“Even though your proposals may be approved, the bigger task lies in managing the funds,” Odhengo said.

The participants promised to roll up their sleeves and start with the journey.

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PACJA Secretariat follows up on its Gabon platform projects

The PanAfrican Climate Justice Alliance has sent a team from its secretariat in Nairobi to Gabon to follow up on projects started and funded there since last year.

Gabonese PACJA national coordinator Fabrice Ntchango, accompanied by Arnold Ngoueni Lendouba, the ODD focal point, landed in the country on the west coast of Central Africa on Wednesday, and was busy from Thursday reviewing the activities supported by Pacja one year after launching the Gabon Chapter and the Gabonese Platform for Climate, Energy and Sustainable Development (PCED). The projects were launched with the support of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and the Gabonese Office of the United Nations System.

The team from Nairobi comprised of PACJA’s Political and Technical Affairs Committee Chair Augustine B Njamnshi, Salina Sanou, Gracia Mgaria and Charles Mwangi. They met with the Director General of the Environment and Protection of Nature Emmanuel Ngoni Bayani, Serge Nolly Allô'o Allô'o, who is the DGA CNAP, together with René Mbozo and Lunegonde Mouele, both of DCEPN.

Mr Njamnshi thanked the Director of the Environment and Nature Protection for his time and congratulated him for his appointment as Director General, recalling that the two of them had been brothers and the voice of African civil society to be heard in biodiversity’s conservation and protection.

Mr Ntchango commended the creation of the Gabonese chapter of PACJA and highlighted some of the activities the platform carried out for the one year it had been operational.

He presented the achievements made with the team he coordinates, and highlighted some of the short and medium-term prospects.

They include collaboration between the Environment and Nature Protection Department of Gabon and PACJA, following interventions by Mrs Sanou and Mr Mwangi, both who respectively support the idea that African CSOs should engage with and fit in government programs.

Sanou and Mwangi have also urged non-State actors and State actors to be much more involved in conservation and protection of biodiversity as is the case in Gabon.

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