Working together for national adaptation in Benin and Senegal

Flooded road in Cotonou, June 2017; photo: © Gratien Cakpo

Flooded road in Cotonou, June 2017; photo: © Gratien Cakpo

Benin and Senegal are pushing their National Adaptation Plan (NAP) processes forward. A launch event in Benin in March followed by one in Senegal in April marked the official starting point for continuous cooperation and exchange between the governments, the scientific community, the civil society and the private sector. The process will be assisted by the project ‘Science-based support for National Adaptation Plan (NAP) processes in francophone Least Developed Countries (LDCs) of sub-Saharan Africa’ (PAS-PNA), funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Environment Ministry.

Since 2013 and 2015 respectively, Benin and Senegal have been working on the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the NAP process, which aims to integrate adaptation into development planning processes and reduce vulnerability to climate change by enhancing the adaptive and resilient capacities of populations and ecosystems. This is required urgently since the consequences of climate change have already become visible.

In Benin, a country bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the south and by the Sahara desert to the north, the major climate risks are flooding, droughts, irregular rainfall patterns, and strong, violent winds. In 2010, flooding destroyed 50,000 houses, leaving 150,000 people homeless. Adaptation is the only option for preserving the population, ecosystems, economical activities and infrastructures, and assuring sustainable development. Through governmental programmes, numerous urgent activities are carried out to adapt to climate change impacts in the short term. With respect to the NAP process, Benin is now expanding a medium and long-term vision to significantly minimise its vulnerability and safeguard its development gains against climate change.

Flooded public toilets; Photo: © Direction Générale de l'Environnement et du Climat

About 90 participants, who represent the different stakeholders involved in the process, participated in the event. They updated a map of actors and their roles in the NAP process. In the same month, the PAS-PNA project also conducted an analysis of the planning and budgeting process in Benin, identifying entry points for the integration of adaptation at the national, sectorial and local levels.

Official launch event of the PAS-PNA project in Benin; Photo: © GIZ

Participant receiving his certificate at the end of NAP Training; Photo: © GIZDuring a subsequent training workshop in April, over thirty key stakeholders from the Beninese government, the scientific community and the civil society were trained on the NAP process, applying modules from the NAP country-level training. Together, the participants developed a roadmap for the next steps of the NAP process in Benin.

In Senegal, the launch workshop of the PAS-PNA Senegal project was held on 11 and 12 April 2017 in Dakar. It brought together about one hundred participants, representing actors from the government, civil society, the private sector, parliament, local communities, research institutions and universities.

The participants discussed the NAP process in Senegal and their experiences with climate change adaptation at national and local levels, focusing on flood management, fisheries management and the National Fisheries Adaptation Plan. They proposed a policy steering and technical coordination framework for climate change adaptation interventions. The steering committee will be in charge of the political and technical coordination of adaptation to climate change.

PAS-PNA Project launch in Senegal; Photo: © GIZ

Particular emphasis was also placed on the role of the private sector, highlighting opportunities but also increasingrisks with regard to climate change, e.g. floods that destroy business facilities, heatwaves that causemachines to overheat or reduce productivity. Science and research were regarded as major contributors in facilitating the NAP process, identifying among others, the direct and indirect impacts of climatic hazards such as floods, heatwaves and sea advance, in Senegal.

The PAS-PNA project is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, in cooperation with Climate Analytics, the Ministry of Living Environment and Sustainable Development (MCVDD) of Benin and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MEDD) of Senegal.