Ecowas launches regional strategic thinking workshop on climate Action in Lome

A merit welcomed Wednesday in Lome by David Wonou Oladokoun, Minister of the Environment, Sustainable Development and Nature Protection of Togo at the opening of regional reflection on climate.

"Climate change impacts our land and those who live on it, erodes our coasts, reduces our water reserves and threatens our ecosystems and protected areas, and increases the risk of conflict escalation and increased migratory movements. That's why we cannot live up to the challenges of development and security without overlooking climate issues", said Oladokoun.

Traore Sy Alain, director of agriculture and rural development of Ecowas added that "given the transboundary nature of the impacts of climate change on key sectors of development (agriculture, water resources, biodiversity, pastoral livestock, coastal areas, .. .), the regional institutions and in particular Ecowas must show strong political leadership to support the implementation of the commitments made by the member states ".

As a therapy, the commission in motion with Expertise France, set a program called Global Climate Change Alliance Plus project (GCCA) in West Africa.

"We have developed this program in response to our countries' commitment to the Paris agreement. Our countries are committed to many things, and now how are they going to implement these commitments? We have Climate Fund, Green Fund, Adaptation Funds that exist and our countries don't have access to these funds. Less than 2% of our countries have access to these funds for concrete projects to benefit our populations", explained Traore Sy.

For him, the ultimate goal of the regional workshop in Lome, "is to have a regional strategy at the on the climate issue at the level of Ecowas".

"We will talk of everything: energy, agriculture, infrastructure, health, etc.," he said. Financed by the European Union for € 12.1 million  over five years (2018 and 2022), the GCCA + West Africa is implemented by Expertise France, under the leadership of the Commission of Ecowas in collaboration with the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS).

At the end of the project, it is expected among other things that, ECOWAS and its specialized agencies develop operational and institutional capacities that meet the needs of the member countries plus Chad and Mauritania in the areas of GCCA + concentration, in climate negotiations and in the implementation of the Paris Agreement, adaptation pilot projects serving as benchmarks for future replication are being scaled up.

"Our people have appealed, they have a need, we are paid and mandated to meet those needs, so we are here for that, if at appraisal they realize that we have not responded to their needs, we can be sanctioned", Said Traore. The work ends on September 13 in Lome and a high-level panel will also mark the exchanges this day.

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