West African representatives from the ministries of planning and finance, the environment and other stakeholders gathered in Abidjan on 5-6 May 2022 for a capacity building workshop on tackling land degradation and ecosystem restoration.
The workshop was a prelude to the United Nations conference on Combating Desertification, held in Abidjan from 9 to 20 May. The two-day session focused on financing opportunities that have the potential to deliver transformative projects and programs to scale up the Great Green Wall initiative in West Africa.
The African Development Bank’s Africa Climate Change Fund contributed to the workshop, which was developed by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, in collaboration with several technical and funding partners.
Stopping and reversing land degradation can turn land from a source of greenhouse gas emissions into a sink by increasing carbon stocks in soil and vegetation. Land degradation neutrality aims to balance anticipated losses in land-based natural capital and associated ecosystem functions and services with measures that avoid and reduce land degradation and generate alternative benefits through land restoration and sustainable land management approaches.
In his opening remarks, Laoali Garba, Manager for Agricultural, Production and Sustainability Research at the African Development Bank said: “The Bank supports African countries in finding solutions for sustainable natural resource management to increase population resilience to adverse impacts. climate change and variability.”
Since the launch of the Feed Africa Bank strategy in 2015, more than 74 million people have benefited from access to improved agricultural technologies and sustainable land management. The Technology for the Transformation of African Agriculture (TAAT) program has provided 11 million farmers in 29 African countries with proven agricultural technology, Garba said.
“As a champion of resource mobilization to accelerate the implementation of the Great Green Wall Initiative Priority Investment Plan (2021-2030), the African Development Bank welcomes this partnership with the Global Mechanism for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification,” he said.
Cathrine Mutambirwa, Program Coordinator for Neutrality Land Degradation and Land Restoration at Global Mechanisms, said: “We are working with partners to increase capacity to design transformative land-based interventions to build resilience and improve rural livelihoods. With the African Development Bank and other partners, we complement each other well to move projects quickly.”
Land-based transformative projects and programs can target multiple sources of funding, combining public, private, and mixed financial resources, including the Global Environment Facility, the Green Climate Fund, the Adaptation Fund, and other financing mechanisms from multilateral and bilateral banks, such as Land Degradation Neutrality. Funds.
Rita Effah, Senior Climate Finance Officer and Coordinator of the African Climate Change Fund, outlines how to access African Development Bank finance: “The African Climate Change Fund supports regional member states to directly access climate finance by preparing viable projects to access climate finance. and also by supporting the implementation of small-scale adaptation projects, including land restoration, to increase community resilience.”
The African Development Bank, as the implementing agency and accredited entity for the Global Environment Facility, Green Climate Fund, and Climate Investment Fund, finances joint projects that contribute to addressing land degradation in Africa.
Moussa Nakoulima, Investment Officer, Global Partners, at the European Investment Bank said that the European Investment Bank had invested more than €10 billion in Africa by 2021.
Yasmina Oodally, Environment Specialist at the World Bank, explains how the World Bank is supporting the Great Green Wall, with future land restoration projects targeting policy and institutional reforms designed to empower local communities, especially women. The World Bank committed $5.6 billion through ongoing and new projects in Great Green Wall countries.
Sarah Toumi, Program Management Officer of the Great Green Wall initiative, said: “The Pan-African Great Green Wall Initiative is a nature-based solution to the complex challenges facing humanity and a compelling symbol of what is possible if we work together to protect and restore our planet. . This is one piece of the puzzle in providing genuine alternatives for people who are increasingly working together to stop the causes of land degradation and improve the rehabilitation of degraded lands.”
Distributed by the APO Group on behalf of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB).
About the African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group is Africa’s premier development financial institution. It consists of three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigerian Trust Fund (NTF). In 41 African countries with external offices in Japan, the Bank contributes to the economic development and social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information: www.AfDB.org
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West Africa braces for COP15 desertification
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