GWP Participates in Africa’s Preparations for COP 18

The second annual Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA-II) is a key activity of the Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) Programme which is organised jointly by the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB). It provides a forum for dialogue and engagement with various stakeholders involved in climate and development in Africa. 

The CCDA-II was organised in response to the African Heads of States general assembly (Assembly/AU/Dec.448 (XIX)), July 15-16, 2012 decision on "Africa’s preparation for the UNFCCC CoP18/CMP8" requests UNECA, the AfDB and other partners to step up their efforts in terms of providing the necessary facilitation and coordination support towards an effective Africa’s preparation for the COP18/CMP8.

UNECA-ACPC, which is also the technical arm and the secretariat of ClimDev-Africa hosted the second CCDA-II conference on October 19 and 20, 2012 at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The theme for the conference this year was Advancing Knowledge, Policy and Practice on Climate Change and Development. The CCDA-II conference was aimed at emphasising and advocating for the urgency and the need to pursue climate resilient and climate-proof development in the continent through better-informed policies and practices.

The conference was opened by H.E Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. He highlighted the importance of building climate resilient economies and gave an example of the Ethiopian Climate Resilient Green Economy Facility as a mechanism driving the implementation of a climate resilient green economy.

The conference was divided in 3 sub-themes demonstrate best practices in the areas of Climate Services Delivery for Development, Sustainable Energy Access for All Africans by 2030 and Outstanding Issues in Climate Negotiations: Relevance for Africa. The Global Water Partnership was represented at the meeting by the GWP West Africa Chair, Wes t Africa Regional Coordinator and the WACDEP Africa Senior Programme Officer.

The GWP West Africa Chair Mr Hama Arba Diallo participated in a round table on Climate Science and Service Delivery which set the scene for the discussions in the first sub-theme. Mr Andrew Takawira, the WACDEP Africa Senior Programme Officer participated in the sub-theme on Outstanding Issues in Climate Negotiations: Relevance for Africa and made a presentation on Linking regional to global actions: Water in the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP). The presentation highlighted the work being done on Water in the NWP – the publication on Climate Change and Freshwater Resources which was developed by in collaboration with GWP, the Decision 6/CP.17 which called for a technical meeting to be organised to discuss the impact of climate change on water and Integrated Water Resources Management under the NWP. A roundtable for experts was organised by GWP in March 2012 and the technical meeting was held in July organised by the National Water Commission in Mexico. The technical meeting noted that water should be proposed as a potential thematic work area under the NWP.

Mr Takawira also highlighted how the linkages of Africa and the NWP with regards to water resources, giving the Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP) as an example of an Action Pledge from the continent. The WACDEP supports the integration of water security and climate resilience into development planning and decision making processes. This programme is being implemented by GWP in 8 countries in Africa as pilots and will see the development of no/low regret investment strategies that will build water security and climate resilience.

As a way forward it was recommended that African negotiators should build a coherent approach in taking forward issues like water and agriculture as this would build a more comprehensive argument and story within the UNFCCC negotiations.