As part of an ongoing effort to prepare Africa's negotiating position at the December UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP17) in Durban, South Africa, the African Development Bank (AfDB) sent a delegation led by its Quality Assurance and Results Department and Climate Change Coordinating Committee to the UN Climate Change Conference in Panama City, Panama from 1 to 7 October 2011. This was the last formal negotiating session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) before COP17. The AfDB followed up with African negotiators on outstanding issues, including the Africa Green Fund, and hosted two side events on critical areas in Africa’s fight against climate change: understanding Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) and managing water resources.
The AfDB’s 2 October workshop on NAMAs attracted more than 50 UNFCCC delegates from its regional member countries to gain more clarity on the role of NAMAs, an evolving concept designed to provide a vehicle for recognizing African countries’ mitigation efforts. In addition, the workshop sought to create a platform to support NAMAs, identify concrete options for implementation, and further define a harmonized approach to NAMAs taking into account the specific context of Africa. Participants brainstormed on current and future mitigation initiatives in their countries and focused on legal issues, the relationship between NAMAs and the Clean Development Mechanism, and the AfDB’s future technical and financial support for NAMA implementation, including its new development program for NAMAs in Africa.
On 5 October, the AfDB hosted a second side event, “Climate Change & Water Resources in Africa: The Role of the African Development Bank” comprising two sessions. The first, “Projected Regional Climate Change Impacts on Water,” examined the state of knowledge concerning climate change on African water resources post IPCC-AR4 (Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007). Presenters pulled from a scientific study commissioned by the AfDB which provides a new analysis of the IPCC-AR4 data-set of climate model projections. The second session focused on the AfDB’s policy, programs, and project activities addressing water-related concerns in Africa. The AfDB highlighted its role in financing and strengthening research networks, regional monitoring and capacity building for water management in Africa. Presenters also described the policy interventions required to reduce vulnerability and enhance adaptation.