The starting point was very simple: "When it is hot, everyone is concerned, when there are floods, productivity drops, everyone feels it".
The exchanges focused on the the thorny issue of mobilization of innovative resources to enable ECOWAS to better support the States for the implementation of the National Determined Contributions (CDN) and the Paris Agreement.
"The destruction of natural resources, the decline of soil fertility, erosion, the loss of biodiversity, the silting of our rivers, deforestation by agriculture, bush fires, all this must challenge us. To this, we must add the air pollution in the big cities, the pollution of the environment with the waste, the poor access of the populations to the energy. All these constitute challenges", noted Sekou Sangare, Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources of ECOWAS.
So what does the roadmap of Lome say ?
The climate experts have been firm in recommending the ECOWAS commission to make climate commitments robust and realistic.
They advocated for a paradigm shift in the region by encouraging the creation of an enabling environment for investment in climate action; support the needs expressed by the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change; act together in a coordinated way, mobilize additional and innovative financing for transnational initiatives.
Country focal points called out
In response to the inquiries, Mr. Sangare said that this requires taking into account not only "the needs of the population to be both resilient to climate change and respond positively to meet the needs of these same populations in terms of job creation, income by coping with climate change".
He called on the accredited focal points in the countries to assist in the preparation of the projects so that West Africa emerges in terms of mobilization and much more significant implementation of the Paris Agreement.
"Since we are committed to a solidarity framework, we hope that you will agree with us to start the establishment of the solidarity mechanism to build capacity at national and regional level in the preparation of good projects, the mobilization of resources, disbursement of funds, monitoring and evaluation", he wished.
Citizens must also do their part
In addition to the focal points, Mr. Sangare said that if reflection is done at the global level, it is up to every citizen to realize that he has an extremely important role of behavioral change in relation to management and climate improvement.
"When we are asked to change the paradigm, our role is to bring everyone in our region to realize that we have to look at things with great care regardless of the agro-ecological zone in which we live. Whether in the Sahel or in the coastal countries, the problem is the same", insisted the Commissioner in charge of agriculture and environment.
Today, everywhere in the region, there are many local initiatives that are being set up by NGOs, associations that Mr. Sangare calls to multiply.
"We need to ensure that in rural areas, people can have access to clean energy through solar energy so that children can study at night at home, so that health units can keep vaccines for a very long time for both humans and animals, we need to make sure that there are small processing units that work with solar energy", he advocated.
Finally, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources has promised to ensure that the responsibilities entrusted to everyone in the framework of the Global Alliance Against Climate Change project ( AMCC + or GCCA +) West Africa are assumed in accordance with the defined schedule and to follow up in the implementation of the actions.
"When the means are made available, it is important that we ensure that these resources have actually been allocated to both the various operators in the field and that the actions have actually been implemented within the deadline and on that basis plan. RAAF with project coordination will be available to follow up", he insisted.
He really assured that the RAAF will ensure the follow-up and the implementation of the good resolutions taken in Lome.