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 The PACJA team in Gabon, through its work, has inspired the creation of a national youth movement to champion Reducing Emission from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+).

Earlier this year, PACJA Gabon and the Network of Civil Society Organizations for the Green Economy in Central Africa (ROSCEVAC) organised a training workshop that brought together actors from the Gabonese platforms involved in the fight against climate change, women and youth organisations, as well as indigenous people. The workshop on March 15th and 16th 2019, and which was funded by funded by Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) through World Bank, aimed at building the capacity of members of the Gabonese CSO platforms engaged in the REDD+.

It is the workshop that inspired the Gabonese youth, who quickly formed a National Youth Movement to take action on Climate change.

A PACJA secretariat team visiting Gabon opened the first youth movement workshop hosted at the Ministry of Environment office in Libreville on May 24th, 2019. The theme of the workshop was ‘Youth and Green Jobs’. The visiting team urged the youth to be innovative and create jobs that can provide solutions to the climate crisis.

In his opening remarks at the workshop, Charles Mwangi, the FCPF Project Coordinator, urged the youth to take advantage of the REDD+ mechanism that has been embraced by the government of Gabon to create green jobs.

The youth vowed to do their best and deliver visible results in the fight against effects of the climate crisis in the country.

The Panafrican Climate Justice Alliance has received a boost in its efforts to fight the climate crisis.

In recognition of the incredible work that PACJA Gabon is carrying out, the government has mandated the alliance to control and manage $270,000 intended for community sensitization on Land use planning and REDD+.

At the same time,  PACJA Gabon will be convening a meeting for 120 members of the Gabonese parliament on 27th May 2019 to lobby for laws that support REDD+ implementation of REDD+ in the country. This is towards achieving objective 2 of the FCPF REDD+ project that PACJA is implementing and which is supported by World Bank. This demonstrates incredible convening power of PACJA in Africa.

The Government of Gabon further threw its weight behind the alliance with a pledge to support the FCPF capacity building project for CSOs on REDD+.

The FCPF project has had a great impact in communities, with the government now saying it is pleased with the role PACJA Gabon is playing in raising awareness on REDD+ throughout the country.

PACJA has demonstrated incredible capacity to mobilise CSOs and communities in general and to rally them behind implementation of REDD+ in Gabon.

The Government of Gabon has adopted a unique approach to implementation of REDD+ in the country, where this concept is embedded in the national development planning. Land use planning has been viewed as the main strategy in REDD+ implementation in the country.

Lundovic Ngok Bomak from the REDD+ office in Gabon addressing a delegation from PACJA secretariet. Mr Lundovic announced that the Government of Gabon will fund PACJA Gabon to support implementation of REDD+ since the government has realized the potential and capacity of PACJA Gabon in mobilizing and awareness creation targeting CSOs and communities

Currently, PACJA Gabon is implementing FCPF REDD+ project which aims at development of capacities of Gabon's community stakeholders to participate actively in the implementation of the REDD+ process in Gabon with the following objectives:

Sensitizing communities on the progress of REDD+ in Gabon, history and challenges of REDD+ in Gabon, in-depth analysis of the R-PIN and R-PP Gabon, presentations of the response strategy to the implementation of REDD + in Gabon.

Improving the understanding of members of civil society platforms engaged in REDD mainly, and other participants on topical issues related to environmental protection, REDD +, Climate change, sustainable development, gender and social equity;

To inform, sensitize and share lessons learned during international workshops initiated by PACJA and its partners on the involvement of CSOs, local communities, women and indigenous peoples in the REDD + process.

Lobbying authorities and development partners for the establishment of an inclusive and multi sectoral national REDD + platform as an advisory and follow-up advisory body but also a key partner of the State of Gabon in the preparation and implementation of REDD +;

Developing a plan of strategic and operational actions of civil society for its effective contribution in the PACJA Gabon will be convening a meeting for 120 members of Gabonese parliament on 27th May 2019 to lobby for laws that support REDD+ implementation of REDD+ in the country. This is towards achieving objective 2 of the FCPF REDD+ project that PACJA is implementing and which is supported by World Bank. This demonstrates incredible convening power of PACJA in Africa.implementation and monitoring of the REDD + process in Gabon,

Information and sensitization campaigns for indigenous peoples and forest dwellers potentially targeted by REDD + on land allocation. These are mainly Pygmy communities.

The PanAfrican Climate Justice Alliance held a three-day workshop in Isiolo to educate the county governments and CSOs on Green Climate Fund (GCF). The event, with a hashtag #GreenClimateFundAccessandModalities - Isiolo edition, was intended to sensitize and create awareness on opportunities surrounding the GCF and how to grab them.

The training, jointly done with the National Treasury, encouraged the participants – county government officials and CSOs from Wajir, Mandera, Garissa, Marsabit, Tana River and Isiolo Counties – to identify bankable projects concepts for further development.

Peter Odhengo, a Senior Policy Advisor on Climate Finance/Green Climate Fund NDA at the National Treasury, gave the audience a good overview of GCF. He said the Green Climate Fund was highly dependent on climate-sensitive sectors such as Agriculture, Water and Tourism, with more than 50% of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Mr Odhengo urged participants not to behave as if Kenya was an exception in the climate crisis. Odhengo said research had shown that floods cost 5.5% of GDP every 7 years while drought accounted for 8% every 5 years.

He enlightened participants on opportunities in Climate Finance, such as use of electric cars, solar and wind energy as well as electric trains. The trainees were taken through the evolution of climate finance.

Peninah Karira, from the State of Department of Planning, made it clear that Medium Term Plan (MTP) was in line with the SDG. Aron Wanjohi, from the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) took the participants through the process of accessing Adaptation Fund, which was established under the Kyoto Protocol. Mr Wanjohi also took the participants through the National Implementing Entity (NIE) financial status. He outlined Nema’s key achievements on the matter, including mentoring Malawi and Zimbabwe to access climate fund and how the system works.

The Isiolo participants were also enlightened on Nema and GCF, created by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and accredited on 9th March 2016.

Nema can submit proposals of up to $10 million.

Wanjohi emphasized that Nema was available for technical support in developing proposals for organizations. He shared the steps taken to come up with Concept Notes and full Funding Proposals for the SAP. 

Odhengo told participants that donors were interested to see the policy framework from both National & County government for them to release money. The objective of the funds was said to be key. Some of the uses of the fund are to provide loans, grants and equity for climate change research and innovation and for implementing agencies in business, industry and civil society.

The source of the fund was part of the issues tackled. Participants were told the fund came from levy fees on services rendered from the funds, grants, receipts from climate funds, interests from investment and loans and commercial benefits arising from research products financed by the funds.

Odhengo explained that the green climate bond was money generated from stock exchange and used for environmental benefits.

Areas prioritized for funding were found to be Water, Renewable Energy, Livestock Resilience Building, Food Security, Infrastructure, Natural Resource Restoration, Conflict, Insecurity and Unemployment.

The participants pointed out some risks involved in the process of acquiring the funds. They include lack of political goodwill, technological challenge, corruption and insecurity.

As the way forward, Odhengo said he only gave out the road-map to acquiring the funds. It was agreed that this was just the beginning; as “the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”.

“Even though your proposals may be approved, the bigger task lies in managing the funds,” Odhengo said.

The participants promised to roll up their sleeves and start with the journey.

The PanAfrican Climate Justice Alliance has sent a team from its secretariat in Nairobi to Gabon to follow up on projects started and funded there since last year.

Gabonese PACJA national coordinator Fabrice Ntchango, accompanied by Arnold Ngoueni Lendouba, the ODD focal point, landed in the country on the west coast of Central Africa on Wednesday, and was busy from Thursday reviewing the activities supported by Pacja one year after launching the Gabon Chapter and the Gabonese Platform for Climate, Energy and Sustainable Development (PCED). The projects were launched with the support of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and the Gabonese Office of the United Nations System.

The team from Nairobi comprised of PACJA’s Political and Technical Affairs Committee Chair Augustine B Njamnshi, Salina Sanou, Gracia Mgaria and Charles Mwangi. They met with the Director General of the Environment and Protection of Nature Emmanuel Ngoni Bayani, Serge Nolly Allô'o Allô'o, who is the DGA CNAP, together with René Mbozo and Lunegonde Mouele, both of DCEPN.

Mr Njamnshi thanked the Director of the Environment and Nature Protection for his time and congratulated him for his appointment as Director General, recalling that the two of them had been brothers and the voice of African civil society to be heard in biodiversity’s conservation and protection.

Mr Ntchango commended the creation of the Gabonese chapter of PACJA and highlighted some of the activities the platform carried out for the one year it had been operational.

He presented the achievements made with the team he coordinates, and highlighted some of the short and medium-term prospects.

They include collaboration between the Environment and Nature Protection Department of Gabon and PACJA, following interventions by Mrs Sanou and Mr Mwangi, both who respectively support the idea that African CSOs should engage with and fit in government programs.

Sanou and Mwangi have also urged non-State actors and State actors to be much more involved in conservation and protection of biodiversity as is the case in Gabon.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019 00:00

Sida vows to continue working with Pacja

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The Swedish Government has praised a panafrican organization for its transparency and pledged to continue working with it to address the climate crisis in Africa.

Ulla Andren, the Swedish Head of Regional Development Cooperation in Sub-Saharan Africa, yesterday praised Pacja for its ability to manage its more than 1,000 platforms within Africa and handle a huge budget transparently.

The Pacja Executive Director Mithika Mwenda said the network would strive to achieve goals as it had done before, making it to be declared the best climate justice champion in Africa early this year.

“We must stop addressing the climate issue as just climate change, but see the emergency in it by just calling it by name. It’s a Climate Crisis,” he said.

Mr Mwenda, who was in March declared one of the top 100 most influential people on climate justice in the world by the Apolitical, said they also worked with the UN and its agencies, the AU and its agencies as well as regional blocs such as Ecowas, SADC, Comesa, EAC and ECCAS.

“There are countries that are enthusiastic about working with us. But Pacja, despite being present in Francophone Africa, would like to do more in those countries, against cultural, political, language and other challenges. Mali and DRC are already in,” said Mwenda.

The Swedish government, through Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), is funding Pacja’s ‘Deepening African CSOs engagement in post Paris Climate Change Dialogue and Response strategy” project. The three and a half-year project is in its second phase.

The Swedish team, based in Ethiopia, was in Nairobi to follow up on some of the projects it has funded Pacja to do. It is one of Pacja’s main funders.

Ms Ulla urged the network to diversify its funding sources.

Ayele Kebede Gebreyes, the Swedish Programme Manager on Regional Development Cooperation Africa, Environment and Climate in Ethiopia, urged Pacja to form a team to work with labour unions and find a multifaceted approach to addressing the climate crisis.

“Pacja is doing a very good job. I cannot forget about Pacja. We want to partner with you more,” said Ulla.

The network, with its secretariat in Nairobi, says in some countries awareness on climate matters is still low.

Pacja said some teams in other African countries were so committed in the fight against climate crisis, but had weak financial bases, putting the secretariat to work more to achieve goals intended for such. “We are helping them through our outreach, but also preparing them to stand on their own within the shortest time possible,” Mithika said.

The SIDA team urged the Pacja to widen its network to be strongly felt in all parts of Africa as “our future planet heavily relies on our actions today”.

Ms Ulla added: “Pacja has maintained a good reputation on finances use and as such will be able to secure more. Pacja should extend strong presence in 55 African countries for it to increase chances of its success and more funding”.

Ulla also praised Pacja for being transparent enough to be trusted by many organizations, including some in Africa, which include banks.

Pacja is also working with some civil society groups in Sweden to implement projects, but is not getting any funding from them, “as the Swedish Government is already giving us funds,” said Mr Mithika.

“It takes a lot of effort for an organization to achieve the kind of success we have in the last 10 years, but we will not tire. We can only do better,” he added.

 

Calls by a Kenyan Senate Committee on Agriculture to have the controversial Galana-Kulalu irrigation scheme audited are timely.

The Sh5.9 billion project, if completed, will help deal with issues and effects of climate crisis, especially drought. The recent sufferings by a section of Kenyans in Baringo and Turkana was not necessary.

The Senate committee that has demanded an audit amid claims of a controversy over the project must follow the matter to the end.

According to Mithika Mwenda, the Panafrican Climate Justice Alliance (Pacja) Executive Director, the Galana Kulalu, the Kimwarer, Aror and all other such dam projects must be taken seriously to prevent innocent and mostly poor Kenyans from preventable suffering.

He spoke at the Pacja Secretariat offices in Nairobi, saying the fight against effects of the climate crisis must be given a multifaceted approach. “The dispute between the National Irrigation Board and Israeli contract Green Arava must not be protracted, as only the poor Kenyans will suffer,” he said.

Work at the Galana-Kulalu Dam is reportedly only 50 per cent done, according to reports. The dispute arose as the contractor sought to import equipment worth Sh350 million, but for which the irrigation board demands a bill of lading first.

The Green Arava, according to its chairman Yariv Kedar, has since stopped working.

This is a waste of time, and with more time taken to finish the work, more resources are wasted.

The Panafrican Climate Justice Alliance (Pacja) has changed focus to the grassroots to achieve faster mitigation and adaptation to effects of climate change.
Climate change has greatly affected rain patterns and caused high temperatures, flooding, livestock diseases, water shortage, all which affect the human populations economically, on matters nutrition and their general health.

Effects of Climate change are evidenced in Embu County as currently felt through unpredictable and unreliable Rainfall (both annual and seasonal), steadily increased temperatures and emerging pests and diseases.
The climate crisis has a gender dimension to it, especially when it comes to getting potable water.
Women and children tend to be the ones tasked with that job, and sometimes have to walk several miles to access water. On their ways to the scanty water points they risk being attacked or abused sexually as has been reported in the media previously.

The same lot gets overworked, as it is still tasked with house chores and looking after their livestock where there are.

They are, therefore, an important focus in the Pacja work.

The negative effects of climate change also include reduced agricultural production, reduced food security, increased cases of drought, widespread disease epidemics, and increased risk of conflict over scarce land and water resources.

A few people have adapted to the changes, but many are those who suffer diseases or inflation.
Last week Pacja conducted a training of Local Government officials who are mostly in touch with local communities in an attempt to empower them and impart more knowledge and the latest ideas on climate change.
We met community members and chiefs from Kamarandi, Kamwangi, and Iriatune Locations within Embu County.

The residents of Embu county had started to cope through various adaptation strategies which include agricultural production diversification, planting of drought tolerant crops, water harvesting, soil fertility manipulation, soil conservation, conservation agriculture and climate information use.

Despite the commitment of the farmers to the aforementioned efforts, little achievement has been made considering the little knowledge, inadequate capacity, finances and technical knowhow coupled with little or no commitment from the county and national governments in supporting effective and sustainable adaptation.

This caused the need to build capacity of the local leaders and the community, who will later become the champions of climate change adaptation at the community level.

There were at least 40 participants in the two-day training comprising of NRM Group leaders, religious leaders, opinion leaders, locals and OSA-ISHIARA parish project staff.

The training was conducted to ensure the capacity of representatives of the local community of Evurore ward of Embu County was adequate on natural resource management and climate change adaptation while focusing on socio economic activities that are adversely affecting the state of the natural resource management within the ward and county as well as contributing to climate change. The focus was on:

  1. Deforestation, which is mainly caused by the local population in the quest for getting fuel wood and charcoal
  2. Sand harvesting especially in Mbeere North and Mbeere South sub-counties. The county’s decision makers were found to be at peace with the economic activity as it was a good income generator
  3. Water resource pollution resulting from various human activities attributed to agricultural development and other minor industrial work.
  4. General land degradation attributed to high levels of soil erosion due to overgrazing and other forms of over exploitation of the land resources.
  5. The facilitator should also attribute various topics to the different agro ecological zones within the county.

The training was held at Mountain Breeze Hotel in Embu between May 16 and May 17, 2019.

The participants were happy with the training and they called for more sessions.

The participants learnt about the causes of land degradation, climate change, and climate change policies and how they could prevent the land degradation and also adapt to climate change.

Participants requested to be climate change champions in their various groups that they lead and be the trainers of trainers on matters climate change.

Pacja has attended the above forum in Nairobi for the second day now. Here is what was discussed:

Global Forest Goals and Targets of the UN strategic Plan for Forests 2030 include increasing the forest cover by 3% worldwide. To enhance forest-based economic, social and environmental benefits, including by improving the livelihoods of forest dependent people, the strategic plan targets to end extreme poverty for all forest-dependent people, increasing the access of small-scale forest enterprises, especially in developing countries and to financial services, including the affordable credit and their integration into value chains and markets

The plan is also to increase the contribution of forests and tress to food security.

It also hopes to ensure contribution of all types of forests to biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation and adaptation is enhanced, taking into account the mandates and ongoing work of relevant conventions and instruments.

To mobilize significant resources for implementation of sustainable forest management, there is need to provide adequate incentives to developing countries to advance forest management, including conservation and reforestation.

Finally, there is need to increase forest-related financing, from all levels from public and private sources; and increasing the number of countries that have developed and implemented forest financing strategies.

Key Discussions

A Panafrican Climate Justice Alliance meeting with partners and its networks has deliberated on the relationship between National Designated Authorities (NDAs) and women on Green Climate Finance (GCF) access across the continent.

Yesterday, during a webinar discussion between interest groups and representatives from around Africa, it emerged that Kenya is the only country in Africa that has fully integrated gender in readiness for its climate change program by allocating resources for hiring of a gender expert. Kenya has also included gender in its project objectives and activities.

There are, however, several strategies that women advocates can apply in readiness for gender responsiveness to Green Climate Finance.

Those outlined in the meeting included involvement, from the onset, of gender-based organizations in concept development, proposal writing and beyond.

Women’s groups were found capable of making their interests in GCF known to NDAs, NIEs and IEs.  The same women can identify opportunities for gender mainstreaming and offer gender expertise to inform the readiness process.

Competency was found to be necessary as criteria for selecting proposals. The gender expertise and competence should also be included in the NDA technical committees.

There was also a proposal for the setting up and inclusion of women in the technical committee to the NDA as well as encouraging articulation of gender action plan and budget for the readiness proposal.

Several challenges have, however, been identified so far. They include limited access to information, restricted participation in the GCF activities, lack of capacity and collaborations among the Civil society organizations.

This calls for supporting CSO engagement in the critical early stages of GCF implementation.

But how do we do this?

To mitigate the above stated challenges, national level engagements through national stakeholder workshops were found to be necessary.

Regional level engagements through online webinars, participation in GCF board meetings, GCF discussions and debates, interactions with key players and other CSOs were also recommended.

International engagements and capacity support in the GCF discussions and policy decisions was also found to be a possible way up to helping women access GCF.

Action points for further Engagements

  • Information sharing and communications
  • Meaningful participation and inclusion
  • Capacity building
  • Interactions with other key GCF players
  • Policy coherence
  • Partnerships and collaborations

(May 16th, 2019 to May 17th, 2019)

Concept Note

Background  

Order of St. Augustine – OSA (Ishiara parish), in partnership with Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and with financial support from United Kingdom Aid Match grant through the Department For International development (DFID), is implementing a Community resilience and climate change adaptation project in drought ravaged Arid and Semi-Arid (Marginal mixed farmers agro-ecological zone) areas of Embu County.

In order to support communities in Embu County to cope and mitigate the effects of climate change, the project collaborates with PACJA in capacity building and creating awareness on the effects and impacts of climate change. The trainings basically focus on the climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies that will see the community members cope with the adverse environmental conditions. OSA-Ishiara in partnership with PACJA has organised a two-day workshop for the Community and local leaders on natural resource management and climate change adaptation.

 Climate change and climate variability pose major threats to the environment, to economic growth and to sustainable development. Africa is the continent least responsible for climate change but it is the most vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change. The negative effects include reduced agricultural production, reduced food security, increased incidences of flooding and droughts, widespread disease epidemics, and increased risk of conflict over scarce land and water resources.

Effects of Climate change are evidenced in Embu County as currently felt through unpredictable and unreliable rainfall (both annual and seasonal), steadily increased temperatures and emerging pests and diseases. The residents of Embu County have started to cope through various adaptation strategies, which include, but are not limited to agricultural production diversification, planting of drought tolerant crops, water harvesting, soil fertility manipulation, soil conservation, conservation agriculture and climate information use. Though the farmers are committed to the aforementioned efforts, little achievements have been made. This has been blamed on little knowledge, inadequate capacity, insufficient finances and little technical knowhow coupled with little or no commitment from the county and national governments in supporting citizens to adapt effectively and in a sustainable manner. In order to curb the many challenges, a need to build capacity has been felt. This will target local leaders, who later become the champions of climate change adaptation at the community level. This will be the core focus of the two-day workshop

 Purpose of Service Provision

 The central focus of OSA-ISHIARA parish is the improvement of livelihood for all categories of marginal mixed farmers in the county, while influencing Government institutions to provide an enabling environment for local communities to strive. The focal point of this workshop is to ensure the capacity of representatives of the local community of Evurore ward of Embu County is adequately built on natural resource management and climate change adaptation, while focusing on socio economic activities that are adversely affecting the state of the natural resource management within the ward and county as well as contributing to climate change. The activities are inclusive and not limited to:

  1. Deforestation that is mainly caused by the local population in their quest for fuel. This includes firewood and charcoal.
  2. Sand harvesting, which is mainly affecting the Mbeere North and Mbeere south sub-counties and in rare cases do the county decision makers want to hear the issue being addressed owing to the fact that it generates a greater percentage of the county revenue.
  3. Water resource pollution resulting from various human activities attributed to agricultural development and other minor industrial work.
  4. General land degradation attributed to high levels of soil erosion due to overgrazing and other forms of over exploitation of the land resources.

 

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