The EAC Climate Change Adaptation Specialist, Mr. Dismas Mwikila has said that all the EAC Partner States have signed the Paris Agreement and that they were at different stages in the ratification processes. He said what was needed now was to review climate change policy documents to accommodate the outcomes of the 22nd Session of the Conference of Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Bab Ighli in Marrakech, Morocco.
The Climate Change Adaptation Specialist, who was making a presentation on EAC Road Map for Implementation of the key Resolution of the Paris Agreement (PA) at a side event organized by the EAC and Partners at the Climate Change Conference, said there was need to make adequate preparations for effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Mr. Mwikila disclosed that the EAC Secretariat had developed a road map to implement key resolution of the Paris Agreement and that the road map had several elements that include; showing how to approach the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) implementation; and translation of the Paris Agreement into concrete steps for the Partner States; and how to take the work forward.
He said the implementation of the road map would involve several interventions, including, among others, identification of the resolutions of the Paris Agreement which are more relevant to the EAC Partner States; assisting policy makers in Partner States dealing with climate change in internalizing the Paris Agreement to come up with country specific implementation framework; identification of common actions across NDCs and develop NDCs Implementation Plans; review of the EAC’s existing Regional Climate Change Policy (2011), Climate Change Strategy (2011/12-2015/16) and Climate Change Master Plan (2013-2033) to mainstream the Paris Agreement.
He noted that there will be need to support the capitalization of the EAC Climate Change Funds through pioneering the accreditation as Regional Implementing Entity (RIE) under the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Adaptation Fund (AF); and support Partner States to develop capacities for accreditation of their NIE; as well as support Partner States to develop credible projects that may attract funds from AF and GCF.
Other interventions include; promoting the continental climate resilient and low carbon development initiatives such as the Climate Smart Agriculture; promoting the African Adaptation and Loss and Damage Initiative; and lastly; promoting renewable energy and other sustainable development initiatives in a bid to attain global goal of reducing Green House Gas Emissions (GHGEs).
The EAC Climate Change Adaptation Specialist affirmed that implementation of the Paris Agreement must be guided by the principles and objectives of the Convention and that Developed countries should provide adequate, direct and predictable funding to enable Least Developed and Developing Countries to implement their NDCs. There is also the need for Partner States to ensure adequate stakeholders involvement in the implementation of Paris Agreement.
At the same side-event, the Programme Manager, Ecosystem based Adaptation (EbA) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Mr. Ali Raza Rizvi highlighted key issues on Ecosystem management and affirmed that IUCN promotes the use of diversity and ecosystem services as part of an overall climate adaptation strategy both at the policy and practice level. He said ecosystem-based adaptation involves a wide range of ecosystem management activities to increase resilience and reduce the vulnerability of people and the environment to climate change.
Addressing climate change impact on water in the EAC region, the Environment and Natural Resources Officer at the Lake Victoria Basin Commission, Mr. Fredrick Mngube outlined some of the water climate change adaptation initiatives that have been put in place in the region. They include water catchments management, water allocation plans, wastewater management, sanitation and hygiene management.
Mr. Mngube reiterated that limited resources and technical support; and population increase by human, wildlife, and livestock were the key challenges the region was facing in addressing adaptation to climate change.
In another side-event organized by the EAC and Partners on Tuesday, 15 November 2016, themed: ‘Climate Smart Agriculture, Disaster Risk Management and Mitigation Actions in the EAC Region’, the East African Community showcased Climate Change Initiatives sharing with participants, achievements and lessons learnt from Climate Smart Agriculture, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, and Climate Change Mitigation Initiatives.
At the side-event, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Finance and Administration, Hon. Jesca Eriyo highlighted the region’s Disaster Risk Reduction Management, while the EAC Agricultural Specialist, Mr. David Wafula, discussed the Climate Smart Agriculture in the context of Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Progranmme (CAADP) Agenda. Ms Ritah Rukundo, the Technical Officer at the Regional Collaboration Centre of the GiZ, UNFCCC and EADB based in Kampala, Uganda, addressed the Green House Gas Emissions and the EAC.
Signed in December 2015 and entered into force on November 4, 2016, the Paris Agreement brings all nations into a common cause to undertake take ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so.
Its central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.