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East and Southern and African nations to step up their access to climate change financing

By The Global Mechanism of the UNCCD

A workshop in Nairobi, Kenya, from 23 to 27 July 2012, aims to boost the capacity of 11 African countries to access and mobilize financial resources associated with climate change, which can enhance the implementation of sustainable land management (SLM) and climate change adaptation and mitigation. The organizers are the East and Southern African Regional Economic Communities (RECs); namely the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Eastern African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) together with the Global Mechanism (GM) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The five-day meeting will highlight potential climate change-related domestic and international funding sources – from areas such as agriculture, energy, mining, natural resources, tourism, water, telecommunications, the private sector, bilateral and multilateral sources.

The second in a series of three – following one held in Lusaka, Zambia, in June 2012 that brought together six countries, the workshop will focus on the opportunities and new directions presented by climate change financing mechanisms from domestic, innovative and multilateral funds such as the Adaptation Fund, Climate Investment Funds, Green Climate Fund, Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) Financing Mechanisms, Renewal Energy Funds and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). Additionally, the workshop will explore strategic options and engagement with the business sector.

Financing mechanisms and instruments emanating from climate change can promote SLM practises such as climate-smart agriculture, reforestation, sustainable forest management, improved water management, agroforestry and improved rangeland management. The blending of various types of financing – national, bilateral and multilateral and innovative – builds a solid foundation for countering the negative impacts of land degradation and climate change.

“Global requirements for reductions in greenhouse gases have led to expanding carbon markets, which could be used to support more sustainable land use. Addressing climate change in conjunction with land degradation and land management is crucial to promoting synergies with a view to halting these serious challenges to development, particularly in Africa where the effects of climate change may be the most severe,” COMESA Secretary-General Sindiso Ngwenya said.

Climate change has reached alarming intensity in East and Southern Africa. In 2011, several countries in the Horn of Africa experienced some of the worst drought in 60 years. The resulting loss of vegetative cover and livestock, soil nutrient depletion and drought-induced migration led to heightened food insecurity, conflicts and other livelihood challenges. Deemed 'one of the greatest challenges of our time' by the Rio+20 summit, climate change influences land productivity (e.g. increasing temperatures reduce soil moisture) and, conversely, land-use changes and land degradation contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, influencing climatic conditions. “Because of this intrinsic link, efforts towards climate change adaptation and mitigation must promote synergies with sustainable land management,” said Elisabeth Barsk-Rundquist, Director of Programmes of the Global Mechanism.

COMESA, EAC and SADC, representing about 600 million people (about 51% of the African population) in 26 countries, launched a joint climate change programme to 'unlock resources for promoting strategic interventions to sustain productivity and livelihood improvements for millions of climate-vulnerable people' in December 2011 at a high-level side event on the margins of UNFCC/COP 17, held in Durban, South Africa. The programme seeks to support the mobilization of new and innovative financing associated with climate change. Alongside the Global Mechanism, a body of the UNCCD specialized in financing strategies for SLM, the three RECs will hold a third workshop for the remaining nine countries in Burundi in August or September 2012.

Workshop: Strengthening National Capacities to Increase Finance and Investments into Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation: Opportunities from Climate Change Financing Mechanisms

Organizers: Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA);

Eastern African Community (EAC);
Southern African Development Community (SADC); and

Global Mechanism (GM) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

Participants: Government representatives from 11 countries: Botswana, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan and Uganda;

private sector leaders; develop agency workers; and civil society representatives

When: 23 - 27 July 2012
Where: Kenya School of Monetary Studies, Nairobi, Kenya

COMESA-EAC-SADC Climate Change Programme
Dr Maclay Kanyangarara, Advisor, COMESA Secretariat

Tel: +260 211 229725/32
Global Mechanism of the UNCCD
Ms Elsie G. Attafuah, Programme Officer for East and Southern Africa

Tel: +39 06 54592577
Follow the workshop on Twitter: #KenyaCC

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