Senegal – Second Francophone Forum on the NAP process

During the field visit, NAP Forum participants learned more about a project to protect the coast from erosion in the Saly region of Senegal; Photo: GIZ/Sönke Marahrens

During the field visit, NAP Forum participants learned more about a project to protect the coast from erosion in the Saly region of Senegal; Photo: GIZ/Sönke Marahrens

Following up on the success of the first Francophone Forum on the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process in Benin in August 2018, the second Forum was held in Dakar, Senegal, from 30 July to 2 August, 2019. The Forum offers experts from francophone African countries the opportunity to exchange experiences on current topics of the NAP process. This closes the gap between the high demand for information and exchange on adaptation planning experiences in francophone African countries and the mainly English-language event formats on the topic to date. This second francophone Forum was organised by the Senegalese Ministry of the Environment (MEDD) and the IKI project, “Science-based support for national adaptation plan (NAP) processes in francophone least developed countries (LDCs) of sub-Saharan Africa”, supported by the NAP Global Network.

The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in francophone Africa are among those that are already severely affected by the consequences of climate change. They are experiencing extreme weather events such as droughts, heat waves, storms and floods at ever-shorter intervals. At the same time, the LDC’s lack the capacities to adapt to changing circumstances. The financial resources available to them for adapting to climate change are often insufficient – and information that is important for effective adaptation planning, especially of a scientific nature, is usually not available or has only been published in English. International exchange formats between experts and policy makers are mostly in English. Due to the prevalent lack of English language skills, the participation of experts and policy makers from the francophone countries of sub-Saharan Africa in these events is minimal. However, an active participation  of representatives of francophone countries in these exchanges is important, in order to benefit from positive examples and to learn from the challenges other countries are facing.

After the opening of the Forum, the German Ambassador Stephan Röken and the representative of the Senegalese Ministry of the Environment Gogo Banel Ndiaye visited the booths of the various delegations, each of which reported on its progress in the NAP proc

The four-day forum was opened by representatives of the Senegalese Ministry of the Environment, the private sector and local authorities as well as the German Ambassador. Participants from nine countries then exchanged views on topics such as the integration of the private sector and gender aspects into national adaptation planning processes, as well as direct access to international climate financing for the countries in question. They also presented examples from their own countries.

The private sector is an important driver of national development and as such, it must be involved in the planning of adaptation processes. It should continue to develop its own adaptation strategies, but it also has a decisive role to play in national adaptation measures. During the planning and implementation of these measures, the most vulnerable groups of society in particular must also be involved. Yet another important aspect is the inclusion of gender perspectives in the early planning stages of adaptation strategies. These aspects also play a central role in the countries’ direct access to international climate funding projects for the implementation of adaptation measures, such as the Adaptation Fund and the Green Climate Fund.

At the end of each day, the delegations of the different countries determined their next steps in relation to the day’s topic. Photo: GIZ/Sönke Marahrens

The exchange of views was strengthened by the fact that representatives from various ministries, national funds, the private sector and national Focal Points for Adaptation as well as for Gender & Climate Change from seven sub-Saharan African LDCs (Benin, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali and Senegal) took part, as well as delegations from Haiti and Morocco. This also enabled experiences from other regions to be incorporated into the event.

At the end of the Forum, the participants visited a project intended to protect the coast of Senegal from erosion in the Saly region. The private sector plays an important role in such measures, as Saly has a coastal strip mainly used for tourism and hotels and markets are close to the water. The participants exchanged views on the opportunities and risks of the adaptation measures with representatives of the planning authorities, participating companies and the local population.