Friday, 13 September, 2019 - 16:30

At the initiative of the ECOWAS Commission and under the invitation of the Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF), was held from the 11th  to the 13th of September 2019 in Lomé, Republic of Togo, the regional strategic workshop for climate action and the official launch of the Global Alliance Climate Change plus (GCCA +) project in West Africa.

The objective was to initiate a process on a climate regional strategy anchored at ECOWAS and to officially launch the "Global Climate Change Alliance plus (GCCA+) in West Africa". The general objective is to help increase the resilience of ECOWAS countries and communities to climate change challenges and to participate in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) of the United Nations, particularly the objective 13 "Take urgent measures for the fight against climate change and its impacts" in order to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development.

Work was placed under the co-chairmanship of the Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources of ECOWAS, Mr. Sekou Sangare, and the Minister of Environment, Sustainable Development and Protection of Nature of Togo, Prof. David WONOU.

Took part in the work the stakeholders of climate action in the Region, as followed :

  • Representatives of the 15 Member States of ECOWAS;
  • The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources (DAERN) of ECOWAS;
  • The Permanent Interstate Committee for the Fight against Drought for the Sahel (CILSS): Executive Secretariat and AGRHYMET Regional Center (CRA);
  • WAEMU;
  • The African Union (AU);
  • The ICRISAT/CCAFS;
  • The West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF / WECARD);
  • The African Center of Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD);
  • The Meteorology Committee of Directors of the ECOWAS member countries;
  • The Sahel Climate Commission;
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN);
  • The sub-regional representation of the Green Climate Fund (GCF);
  • The Regional Collaboration Center (RCC) of Lomé between UNFCCC and BOAD;
  • The West African Alliance on Carbon Markets and Climate Finance (WACC);
  • Enda Energie;
  • The Agricultural and Rural Cooperation Technical Center (CTA);
  • The Climate Analytics;
  • The West African Development Bank (BOAD);
  • The ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID);
  • The African Development Bank (AfDB);
  • The Delegation of the European Union in Togo;
  • Expertise France : the french technical cooperation agency;
  • The Network of West Africa Peasant and Agricultural Professional Organizations (ROPPA);
  • The Rural Hub;
  • The WABICC;
  • Adapt'Action facility of the French Development Agency (AFD).

The full list of participants is attached in Annex.

The participants reaffirmed the urgency of a strong commitment to the fight against climate change given the very worrying level of vulnerability of the countries, their potential of mitigation and their high technical and financial needs.

In continuation of the Niamey Declaration of April 28th, 2015, of ECOWAS and CILSS Ministers of environment, participants reiterated the importance of collective and concerted action to support the effective NDC implementation and the Paris Agreement.

Given the common priorities identified by countries in their NDCs, their commitment to regional integration and cross-border nature of the impacts of climate change, participants underlined the relevance and the need for enhanced regional approach for more coordination and solidarity in climate action in West Africa, especially through project preparation, access to finance, capacity building and monitoring and evaluation.

Considering the founding principles of subsidiarity, solidarity, complementarity and cooperation, the participants recognize that ECOWAS can and must play a stronger political leadership to accelerate climate policies in the ECOWAS Member States.

In order to do so, participants recommended that ECOWAS works to i) Make the climate commitments robust and credible, ii) Promote a shift of paradigm within the region iii) Encourage the establishment of an enabling environment for climate action investment iv) Meet he needs expressed by the most vulnerable groups from the climate change impacts v) Act together through a coordinated approach vi) Mobilize additional and innovative resources for transnational initiatives.

The participants call ECOWAS, as well as WAEMU, to translate their recommendations into priority axes for a regional climate strategy.

The participants welcomed and called the technical and financial partners to support the development of this regional climate strategy and to direct their funding for climate within the region in consistence with this strategy.

In response to the call from the participants, a roadmap (attached in Annex) was adopted, which will lead to the development and adoption by ECOWAS of a regional climate strategy in 2020.