Experts Want ECOWAS Members to Work with GCF

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CLIMATE change experts and senior officials charged with the subject matter across the region have urged ECOWAS member states to take advantage of the expertise of the regional advisers so as to make desirable progress with the Green Climate Fund, GCF.

The suggestion was made at the end of a three-day regional training workshop for accessing the GCF which took place at the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja from September 7 to 9, 2016. Besides, the officials also made far reaching recommendations on accessing the GCF among others.

In a 10-page report, the delegates of national and regional institutions as well as experts from the GCF Board recommended among others, that henceforth, capacity building on climate change should involve other developmental sectors such as Agriculture, Energy and Industry.

They also urged the ECOWAS Commission to promote and enhance knowledge exchange between the member states through activities such as bilateral country missions and group networking.

In addition, it was agreed that the ECOWAS should encourage countries to balance their pipeline of projects to include both adaptation and mitigation projects in order to create a healthier environment for the citizens of West Africa.

Delegates further noted that Member States should not wait only to then carry out the activities outlined and presented at the workshop while deadline which should be flexible to complete the readiness process are to be established.

The delegates encouraged member states to fast track the signing of immunities and privileges clause, make themselves available for a planned webinar on the immunities and privileges agreement for more understanding of the legal process.

The need was also stressed, for developing countries to have more targeted resources addressed through the negotiators providing enough information to the private sector.

Presentations made during the Workshop include those on the state of play of the GCF, facilitating access to the readiness support, including experiences and lessons of ECOWAS Member States on climate finance direct access and readiness under the GCF. There were also project proposals.

 Bringing the workshop to a close, Kaloga Oumar Alpha, representative of the GCF restated the commitment of the GCF to the region stressing that the recommendations put forward will be communicated to the right quarters. On his part, Bougonou Djeri Alassani, head of environmental Policies and Regulations Division of the ECOWAS Commission, thanked the GCF for its continuous support to the region.

The representative of the Nigerian minister of Environment thanked participants profusely while stressing that the GCF and other finance mechanism are very important in ensuring a healthier environment while urging the GCF to come up with better innovative approaches to assist the region.

The GCF was established in 2010 with a mandate to limit greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries.

The Abuja workshop was put together to sensitize participants on the readiness process for direct access to the GCF funds while engaging them with practical tools to accelerate the readiness process with regard to the GCF in their respective countries and share experiences, lessons as well as facilitate peer-to-peer learning among the member state representatives.

Participants were drawn from the ministries and agencies of environment of Togo, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Benin, Gambia, Liberia, Nigeria, Cape Verde as well as representatives of relevant organizations which included GCF, the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, ECREEE, ARAA and Africa Finance Corporation.

—  Sep 14, 2016 @ 16:25 GMT

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