Regional training workshop on climate finance and writing bankable projects for Anglophone and Lusophone African forestry stakeholders
The African Forest Forum (AFF) implements seven programmes namely (i) better management of forests and trees outside forests, (ii) forests and trees in economic development and poverty eradication, (iii) contribution of forests and trees to environmental health, (iv) contribution of forests and trees to food and nutrition security, (v) policies and governance, (vi) capacity building and skills development and (vii) information
management and impact assessment.
Within the framework of these programmatic areas, AFF, with funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) is implementing a project titled “Strengthening management and use of forest ecosystems for sustainable development in Africa”. The overall goal of
this project is “to generate and share knowledge and information through partnerships in ways that provide inputs into policy and decision-making options and capacity building, for improved forest management that better addresses poverty eradication and environmental protection in Africa”.
The project’s specific objectives include: (1) to identify and promote opportunities for protecting and sustainably managing the forest resource base to enhance supply of ecosystem goods; (2) to improve knowledge and capacities of African stakeholders in responding to adverse effects of climate change through better management and use of forests; (3) to examine the potential for production and use of liquid biofuels in Africa as a means towards developing green and circular national economies; and (4) to enhance national forest governance by strengthening African capacity to effectively participate in multilateral environmental processes and mainstream and implement decisions from them into their national policies, plans and activities.
Another ongoing project at AFF, is the one funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) titled “African forests, people and climate change”. The overall objective of the project is to enhance the role of African forests in assisting people adapt to the effects of climate
change in various landscapes in ways that will improve livelihoods, sustain biodiversity, and secure the quality of the environment, as well as to strengthen the capacity of Africa’s forests to adapt to climate change and to contribute to mitigation efforts. The project’s specific objectives include: (i) strengthening the capacity of African forestry stakeholders in adopting best practices that integrate both adaptation and mitigation options in response to the impacts of climate change and variability to biophysical and social systems in different landscapes; (ii) enhancing national forest governance by strengthening the capacity of African stakeholders to respond to the Paris Agreement and related global climate change policies and initiatives related to forestry; (iii) promoting entrepreneurship opportunities and technologically efficient means for value addition in African forestry, including those related to climate change that enhance livelihoods, national incomes and employment.
The two projects aim to equip African forestry stakeholder with capacities to contribute to the attainment of the global climate goals. Particularly, one of the outcomes under the Sida funded project aims to have African stakeholders capacitated to access global funding opportunities that come with the multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). This concept note is anchored on this outcome with the expected key outputs being (i) Stakeholders in African forestry are knowledgeable on the funding opportunities that are related to MEAs and (ii) Stakeholders in African forestry capacitated to access global forestry related funding sources.
Although setting up / strengthening enabling policy and institutional frameworks and gathering sufficient technical knowledge and capacities are part of the key requirements to achieving global climate goals, assessments of the first Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) revealed that lack of financial resources constrained implementation of many planned interventions in African countries. Climate finance mobilization, therefore, represents a crucial step to implement climate action and to achieving the goals. For developing countries in general, and for Africa in particular, tapping into global financial resources dedicated to climate action represents one of the key challenges. Africa falls behind other regions in mobilizing resources for climate change initiatives. Among the constraints that impede efficient and adequate climate finance mobilization by most African countries are insufficient domestic capacity at technical, institutional and financial levels to (i) develop quality project proposals that respond to investment criteria of climate funds, (ii) lay down sound implementation mechanisms and (iii) establish functional reporting systems. Accessing finance from the available global and regional climate funding sources requires countries to satisfy a set of criteria including, the need for the proposals to demonstrate a strong climate rationale, an elaborated paradigm shift, ownership by the country, among other requirements. Also, weak cross-sectoral coordination greatly weakens the ability of African countries to prepare coherent, well-articulated projects and tap into funding opportunities that could enable the continent to address the risks advanced by climate change.
The need to provide consistent support to African countries in building their capacity to fully deploy mechanisms to mobilize climate finance successfully and sustainably is ever growing, especially in this context where countries have revised their NDCs to set new and more ambitious targets, updating and implementing their National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) in the short, medium and long term. Of particular interest to actors in the forestry sector, the Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network (GFFFN), known as the financing arm of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), was established to help unlock and facilitate access to existing and emerging financial mechanisms with the aim to contribute to the achievement of the global forest goals and targets. Since its inception, GFFFN has supported many countries globally to access resources. In Africa, they have supported Cameroon, Guinea, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, among others. This support has also facilitated training of hundreds of forestry stakeholders on resource mobilization approaches.
It is in this context that, AFF in its annual work plan for 2022, plans to organize a regional training workshop on “climate finance and writing bankable projects”, for Anglophone and Lusophone African forestry stakeholders from governmental and non-governmental organizations. The training is being organized in collaboration with GFFFN, considering their available training materials and experiences. Moreover, this collaboration with GFFFN is expected to create opportunities for synergies and collaboration with their on-going initiatives at continental level including with some regional economic Communities (RECs).
This training follows a similar one conducted from 14 to 18 March 2022 in Doula, Cameroun, for Francophone African forestry stakeholders.
3. OBJECTIVES OF THE TRAINING WORKSHOP
The overall objective of the training workshop is to strengthen the capacity of a critical mass of African forestry stakeholders from selected Anglophone and Lusophone countries on climate finance and on writing bankable projects. More specifically, the training workshop will focus on:
(i) knowledge of available climate funding mechanisms at regional and international levels, addressing aspects of investment / funding criteria, processes, project’s cycles, proposals’ requirements, etc.;
(ii) how best to mobilize funds for climate actions at the country / national level (domestic funds) and,
(iii) how to write bankable projects on forest and tree-based climate actions.
4. EXPECTED OUTPUTS
Participants have good knowledge on the following aspects:
(i) available climate funding mechanisms/sources at regional and international levels; investment /funding criteria, processes, project’s cycles, proposals’ requirements, etc.;
(ii) existing domestic finance that can be mobilized to implement climate actions in the forestry sector;
(iii) principles and practices for the development of bankable projects for climate finance.
5. WORKSHOP APPROACH AND DURATION
The workshop will be conducted physically in Mombasa, Kenya over a duration of 5 days from the 28th November to the 02nd December 2022.
The event is expected to convene about 40 invited participants, from the following twelve Anglophone and Lusophone countries: Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. For each country, participants will be selected from governmental / forest administration and non-governmental organizations (and this includes the private sector).
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