Bank Group Rolls Out Climate Risk Management and Adaptation Strategy

30/04/2009
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Tunis, 29 April 2009 - African Development Bank has joined the global call for efficient management of the threats posed by climate change, by producing a strategy to address risks to sustained economic growth in Africa, and promote political stability in the world. The Bank Group’s Boards of Directors approved the Climate Risk Management and Adaptation Strategy (CRMA), on Wednesday in Tunis, paving the way for its implementation.

The strategy is informed by the underlying notion that the African continent is most vulnerable to climate change and climate variability, a situation compounded by low adaptive capacity. It was also based on expert projection that all sub-regions of Africa will experience a temperature rise likely larger than the global mean annual warming, that most parts are expected to experience reduced average annual rainfall and increased aridity and droughts, resulting in a net drying and increased aridity for a greater proportion of the continent.

Through the African Union and several sectoral Ministerial Conferences, African leaders increasingly recognize the development challenges posed by climate change and consider it a priority to address the adverse impacts of climate change on the continent. For instance, the Eighth Ordinary Session of the African Union in January 2007 urged AfDB regional member states and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in collaboration with the private sector, civil society and development partners, to integrate climate change into development strategies and programmes at national and regional levels.

Through regional stakeholder consultation forums and recommendations of the President’s Working Group on Climate Change, CRMA seeks to ensure progress towards the eradication of poverty and contribute to sustainable improvement in people’s livelihoods. The specific objectives are: (i) To reduce vulnerability within the Bank’s Regional Member Countries (RMCs) to climate variability and promote climate resilience in past and future Bank-financed investments making them more effective; (ii) To build capacity and knowledge within the RMCs to address the challenges of climate change and ensure sustainability through policy and regulatory reforms.

Committed to support its member countries in mitigating the effects of climate change, the Strategy has outlined key areas of intervention germane to managing the risks of climate change and to enhancing RMCs’ capacity to meet their national development targets as well as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The strategy will support three main areas of intervention:

  • “Climate Proofing” Investments--actions taken to ensure that development efforts are protected from negative impacts of climate change, climate variability, and extreme weather events and that climate-friendly development strategies are pursued to delay and reduce damages caused by climate change.
  • Policy, Legal and Regulatory Reforms: The Bank Group will support the development of policies related risks as well as strengthen legal and regulatory reforms to create an enabling environment for the implementation of climate risk management and adaptation.
  • Knowledge Generation and Capacity Building: The absence of climate relevant information and the limited capacity within the continent to mainstream climate change is a key constraint to managing climate risks. The Bank intends to use its own investment windows as well as available global financial resources, to address the specific CRMA related activities in its operations, as appropriate. The Bank will develop methods, tools and training for use at sub-regional, country, sector, programme and project levels.

The strategy, implemented by the institution’s Gender, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Unit (OSUS), will be mainstreamed in all Bank operations and reflected in its Country Strategy Papers (CSPs) and regional strategy frameworks that set the Bank’s operational priorities in individual RMCs and sub-regions.