Africa News Benin scales up preparations for climate change, advancing its...

Benin scales up preparations for climate change, advancing its national adaptation plan

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With funding from the global Green Climate Fund and support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Benin has embarked on an 18-month US$1.5 million initiative to further plan for climate change adaptation. The project will support the formulation of a National Adaptation Plan, in coordination with the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ), and build longer-term capacities to integrate climate change adaptation into development planning and budgeting. Expected to be completed early 2020, the plan will address the impacts of climate change on the country’s most vulnerable sectors: agriculture, water resources, energy, forestry, infrastructure, tourism and health.

“With the onset of global climate change, we are facing a range of growing impacts: rising temperatures, sea-level rise and shifting rainfall. These all have serious implications for people, the economy and environment and we must be prepared,” said Martin-Pépin Aïna, Director General for Environment and Climate Change at the Ministry of Environment and National Designated Authority to the Green Climate Fund. “Put simply, a National Adaptation Plan will provide a dynamic blueprint for action, identifying what we need to do and how.”

Recognizing the challenges, Benin has shown strong commitment to climate action. In 2018, the government was among the world’s first to pass national legislation regulating climate change. The government has long-standing experience in adaptation, including through its National Adaptation Programme of Action (2008) and the projects which stemmed from it. These included three initiatives supported by UNDP and addressing the effects of climate change on agriculture and food security and on energy, and strengthening early warning systems.    

Since 2016, the country has also strived to enhance its abilities to access Green Climate Fund funding and climate finance in general through the GCF Readiness Programme implemented by UNDP, UN Environment and the World Resources Institute and funded by the German Ministry of Environment (BMU).The new project under the Green Climate Fund Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme, managed by UNDP, will consolidate achievements and scale-up efforts, in particular in regard to strengthening the country’s financing framework for adaptation.  

The project builds upon the outcomes and learnings of other projects and offers complementarities, including with the German-funded GCF Readiness Programme, and the GIZ-managed project PAS-PNA Science-based support of national adaptation plan(s) in Sub-Saharan Africa of which Benin is a beneficiary. It also bases the priority sectors on Benin’s Nationally Determined Contribution under the global Paris Agreement.

It focuses on conducting economic and climate assessments; supporting the prioritization of options for effective adaptation planning and budgeting; the integration of adaptation into budget processes; and strengthening of the country’s existing National Environment Climate Fund.

The launch workshop was attended by representatives from sectoral ministries and government agencies, research institutes, the media and development partners. Representatives of microfinancing banks were also engaged, given the importance of a strong partnership with the private sector for Benin´s economic development model.

“Action on climate change is inextricably linked to Benin’s goals for inclusive and sustainable development, economic dynamism and social progress,” said Adama Bocar Soko, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Benin. “This project is a really critical piece of the puzzle, preparing Benin for the future.”

According to Georgette BADA, representative of the National Association of Benin’s Municipalities (ANCB), the “NAP should clarify localization of the Sustainable Development Goals through a stronger involvement of municipalities in its formulation and implementation.”

The National Adaptation Plan is expected to be submitted by early 2020 and will contribute to the Global Stocktake. The project will then support the Government of Benin in implementing the plan, especially by strengthening the capacities to conduct economic modelling of climate change impacts and integrating priority climate change adaptation actions into medium- and long-term development plans and budgets.

Benin – National Adaptation Plan Country Brief (available in English and French)

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