By Victor Esendi
The Paris Agreement on climate change is based on an enhanced transparency framework for tracking and reporting the progress of existing and future country commitments to addressing the phenomenon, with built-in flexibility included for non-Annex 1 countries that are deemed most vulnerable to climate change impacts.
The Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) was created at the request of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to help strengthen the institutional and technical capacities of non-Annex I countries to meet the enhanced transparency requirements defined in Article 13 of the Paris Agreement.
Rwanda recognizes the importance of the Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) systems and robust Green House Gas Inventory (GHGI) for supporting the implementation of its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for transparency and accountability of the Paris Climate Agreement reporting. Despite this recognition, as most countries capacity to report on this is limited.
Conservational International (CI) as an Implementing Agency of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is working with the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) to access funding from GEF to implement the “Strengthening the Capacity of Institutions in Rwanda to implement the Transparency Requirements of the Paris Agreement”. CI’s Vital Signs program is overseeing the project in Rwanda.
The goals of this project are to:
1. Strengthen the National GHG Inventory system
Currently, all Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) sectors reporting is mainly based on Tier 1, or data based on estimates. This has led to insufficient and in some cases absence of statistical data to meet reporting requirements. In addition, there are no formal cooperation arrangements between REMA and NDC sector institutions to collect and share GHG data for transparency reporting.
Through this project, the quality and quantity of Green House Gas (GHG) data will be improved through the development of sector specific emission factors. The project will also support the formalization of institutional arrangements for data collection and sharing between REMA and the sector institutions. The result of this intervention will be a robust centralized national Inventory system for managing all NDC information and GHG data at REMA.
2. Build capacity of key stakeholders to collect, process and feed data into the GHG emissions inventory system.
Rwanda is currently experiencing limited capacity to collect and process GHG emissions data, this will affect the ability meet the GHG transparency and accountability. Emerging evidence reveals that none of the NDC sector-based institutions are equipped with standardized protocols, and state-of- the art equipment and tools for MRV.
Through this component, the capacity of stakeholders will be strengthened on data collection and processing protocols; and state-of-the art equipment and tools will be procured to enable the NDC sectors collect, process and feed data into the GHG inventory system.
3. Develop an integrated platform for data sharing and policy/decision making.
This will allow for data sharing, support policy and decision-making processes by developing a data sharing and integration digital platform.
To achieve the above, CI’s Vital Signs program and REMA developed a Project Identification Form which resulted in a Project Preparation Grant by GEF and a consultant engaged to lead the process of preparation of the full package of the Proposal Document (ProDoc) for the Rwanda CBIT project “Strengthening the Capacity of Institutions in Rwanda to implement the Transparency Requirements of the Paris Agreement”.
The development of the ProDoc rests upon wide stakeholder consultation to ensure that country priorities and realities are taken into consideration. CI and REMA organized two stakeholder consultations.
The first Rwanda CBIT Project Inception and Stakeholder Consultative workshop on the MRV system was held at the Gorillas Golf Hotel on 14th September 2018 jointly organized by REMA and CI’s Vital Signs.
The workshop was used to generate feedback on the approach, design and potential stakeholder institutions (state and non-state) to be consulted and relevant to the implementation of the Paris Agreement transparency framework.
The consultative process was intended to avoid duplication and assure wider stakeholder involvement and participation in the planning and subsequent delivery of the project intervention. The workshop was attended by public sector representatives across the NDC sectors of energy, Industrial Processes and Product Use (IPPU), Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Uses (AFOLU), and Waste as well as the REMA and Rwanda's Green Fund (FONERWA) institutions.
A follow-on and second stakeholder workshop took place on the 19th October 2018 at the Umubano Hotel. The purpose of the 2nd workshop was to validate the findings in the process of ProDoc preparation and seek further clarity on the institutional and technical capacity needs for building the NDC transparency system and their costing, MRV governance and sustainability strategy, quality control and assurance mechanisms as well as developing a strategy for finalization of the GEF CEO package.
The strategy for the CEO package is forward-looking and aims to engage further the project executing agencies (REMA and Vital Signs) in ensuring that the intended project outcomes go beyond input into the ProDoc to include building ownership and increasing readiness for inclusive implementation.
The findings from these stakeholder consultations reveal the need to engage stakeholders in the design and implementation of capacity building initiatives such as CBIT. Rwanda consultative process enriched the CBIT ProDoc development by tapping into wealth of knowledge at sector level and appreciation that each sector has varying needs in terms of capacity development.