The ECOWAS commission along with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) recently put together a 3day workshop in Abuja.

Supported by the Swedish Fund, the aim of the workshop was to examine ways of harnessing the range of opportunities offered by the GCF, work out modalities to enhance the engagement of different countries of the region with GCF and to create an opportunity to advance the cause of an earlier workshop held in this regard in September 2015.

Ecowas Green Climate Fund Regional Workshop Delegates and OrganizersThe workshop which was attended by representatives of National Designated Authorities (NDAs) of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in ECOWAS Member States and delegates like other national and regional institutions and experts from the GCF board was tailored toward building capacity for climate finance in West Africa.

The GCF board, represented by its Regional Advisor, Africa Mr. Alpha Oumar Kaloga disclosed that the African continent is especially targeted by the Fund so that its environment can perpetually stay free of emissions.

He noted that the purpose of the meeting is to create a ‘target engagement’ through bilateral meeting with each country in the region while the self-assessment tool is a key instrument for each country to take stock of the situation as well as a baseline to track the progress to be made towards an effective engagement with the GCF.

In his remarks, Head of Environmental Policies and Regulations Division of the ECOWAS Commission Bougonou Djeri Alassani stressed that the problems of climate change calls for joint action at the international level.

He stated that sub-Saharan Africa contributes less than 4 percent of emissions yet it is the most exposed to the effects. Stressing that Member States are seriously affected by the Climate Change phenomenon, he said the countries must have the inherent capacities to help themselves by leveraging on the opportunities now created by the GCF.

The representative of the Minister of Environment of Nigeria Mrs Abiola Awe maintained that the workshop could not have come at a better time considering the increment in the vulnerability of the number of countries affected by climate change.

She assured that the Nigerian ministry of Environment is pushing its readiness plan with the GCF which seeks to improve the overall wellbeing of the people.

The three-Day workshop featured a roundtable presentation by experts and participants, an overview of the GCF state of play, the state of affairs regarding the facilitation of access to readiness support as well as a practical exercise designed to create a better understanding of the different templates.

Also, ECOWAS member states shared experiences of direct access to climate finance and readiness under GCF.

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