The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council has approved a US$5.7 million project to boost the capacity of four member states of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) to effectively track and report their progress in tackling climate change, in line with their commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement. The Vital Signs program is one of the Executing Partners in the project that's funded by a $4.2million grant from the GEF and $1.54 million co-finance from partners.
The five-year Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) project will enable The Comoros, Eritrea, Seychelles and Zambia to comply with the Paris Agreement’s enhanced transparency framework (Article 13). The framework specifies how Parties to the Agreement must report on progress in climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, and support provided or received in capacity building, climate finance, and technology.
The project will establish an Eastern and Southern Africa Regional CBIT transparency framework for Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) of climate actions; report on country climate commitments or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs); and knowledge dissemination on transparency-related activities.
The project is managed by non-profit Conservation International, a GEF Implementing Agency, in partnership with COMESA, the Governments of the four COMESA Member states, the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa, the Vital Signs Program, and the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development. Vital Signs will provide support for national and regional capacity building related to data collection, processing, storage and sharing especially within the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector.
“The four project countries are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. This CBIT project will help them transition towards a more climate-resilient and low-carbon pathway through strengthening the country’s institutional and technical capacity to track and report their climate action,” said Ms. Edith Tibahwa, the Climate Change Programme Manager at COMESA.
“This project is vital since it’s the first multi-country CBIT project approved by the GEF Council. A regional approach to capacity building for transparent monitoring and reporting of climate action provides an opportunity for peer learning among countries and contributes to addressing the climate challenge at a lesser cost,” said Michael O’Brien-Onyeka, Senior Vice President, Conservation International, Africa Field Division.
“In the long term, the results of this CBIT project will improve policy and decision-making in the management of natural resources, and promote sustainability of nature-based economic sectors such as agriculture and tourism. It will also strengthen local communities’ resilience to climate change. For instance, availability of accurate GHG data is more likely to lead to formulation of multi-sectoral climate-proof policies as well as measures to reduce GHG emissions and increase carbon sequestration.” he added.
The CBIT project will address the key barriers to climate transparency, such as inadequate data for effective MRV of GHG emissions; inadequate institutional and technical capacity to operationalize MRV, and lack of a regional integrated platform for learning and knowledge management of the Paris Agreement transparency-related activities. It will yield the results below which will improve climate transparency reporting over time:
- Improve technical capacities and institutional frameworks of participating countries to transparently plan, monitor, and report on their NDC targets and climate actions. This will include development of greenhouse gas inventories.
- Strengthen regional institutional framework for COMESA member Countries to transparently plan, monitor, and report on their NDC targets and climate actions.
- Strengthen the capacity of selected national academic institutions to train relevant Government officials to transparently measure, report and verify emissions on agriculture, forestry, and land-use (AFOLU) sector NDC targets.
- Enhance transparency through the establishment of regional platforms for learning, sharing, and knowledge management.
As of April this year, there were 74 CBIT projects supported by GEF through GEF Agencies like Conservation International and others. Conservation International manages CBIT projects for at least 10 African countries, including completed ones in Kenya and Uganda and others at various stages of development or implementation.
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Photo credit:@Olaf Zerbock