By Elias Ngalame
Their cry on the challenges involved is loud and clear, necessitating some training on how best to attract climate financing.
It is against this back drop that the African Forest Forum, AFF has been organizing a series of workshop geared at imparting relevant knowledge and skills to stakeholders in African forestry to be able to mobilize adequate resources and especially obtain funding for their projects.
To that effect, a training workshop has been orgainsed at Relaxe Palace Hotel, Ebang in Yaounde Cameroon, February 20-22, 2023 by the African Forest Forum, AFF in collaboration with Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network – GFFFN).
According to Professor Louis Defo of the University of Dschang and lead facilitator of the workshop, the objective of the training was to enable stakeholders “mobilize resources by developing bankable projects whose implementation could improve the climate change resilience and livelihoods of forest-dependent communities”
Based on existing and likely funding opportunities, participants are expected during the training to build on the work drafted during the regional training on climate finance held in Douala in March 2022, as well as on their previous experiences and initiatives, to develop two concept notes that will be finalized with the support of trainers for submission to a donor.
“AFF is hoping this will result to better understanding of climate change and the associated problems in the forest sector as well as climate finance,” Professor Defo said.
Experts say Climate change presents a US$3 trillion investment opportunity up for grabs in Africa by 2030 with the private sector expected to lead in driving green investment and development.
According to Barbara Buchner, the Executive Director for Climate Finance Program at Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) who lent her voice to those of other experts at the Finance day event organize by the African Development Bank during COP24 in Poland, ” Africa has to seize the available opportunities to obtain financing of their projects”
Even though opportunities exist to finance climate change projects, African countries still find it hard accessing climate funding experts say.
One of the key reasons according to experts is that stakeholders in the forest sector don’t fully master what funding opportunities exist, and how to draft bankable projects to attract such funding.
“African Forest stakeholders have to be abreast with the different skills on drafting bankable project,” says Takam Michel of Action for Equitable, Integrated and Sustainable Development, known by its French acronym ADEID.
Takam who is one of the training facilitators presented a paper under the theme, “Theorie du Changement”
AFF in a document notes that among the constraints that impede efficient and adequate climate finance mobilization by most African countries are insufficient domestic capacity at technical, institutional and financial levels to the development of quality project proposals that respond to investment criteria of climate funds, the laying down of sound implementation mechanisms as well as the establishment of a functional reporting systems.
It is against this backdrop that AFF in collaboration with experts is training forest stakeholders on available funding openings and the techniques of drafting bankable projects.
These challenges were also highlighted by Lucie Tengoua, lecturer in the University of Dschang who also presented a paper on “ Financing Climate Change”
“There is need to work in synergy and master the different avenues or pathways to climate financing to be able to succeed,” she cautions.
The participants at the Yaounde workshop are, drawn from governmental / forest administration and non-governmental organizations.
The papers presented by the different resource persons all highlighted globally the multiple climate funding opportunities and institutions as well as the potential project proposals need to address to be able to attract funding.
Funding institutions among others included the World Bank,UN-REDD, LCDF( Fund for less developed countries, Multilateral Development Banks like AfDB, West African Bank, Green Climate Fund, GEF, Forest Carbon Partnership, European Union, USAID, GIZ etc.
The African Forest Forum (AFF) is a pan-African non-governmental organization with its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. It is an association of individuals who share the quest for and commitment to the sustainable management, use and conservation of the forest and tree resources of Africa for the socio- economic wellbeing of its people and for the stability and improvement of its environment. The purpose of AFF is to provide a platform and create an enabling environment for independent and objective analysis, advocacy and advice on relevant policy and technical issues pertaining to achieving sustainable management, use and conservation of Africa’s forest and tree resources as part of efforts to reduce poverty, promote gender equality, economic and social development and protect the environment.