As Phase 2 of Africa Adaptation Initiative approaches, COP 22 promoters are optimistic

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Following the successful implementation of the first phase of the Africa Adaptation Initiative (AAI), its promoters, amid a warm reception that greeted the landmark scheme in Marrakech on Thursday, November 16, 2016, are preparing to kick-off the next phase.

During a plenary session on the AAI, which formed part of the Africa Day at the UN climate change talks (COP22) in Morocco, Ms Yasmine Fouad, Assistant Minister of Environment for Sustainable Development and External Affairs of Egypt, disclosed during a presentation, that “Phase 1 of the AAI, which spanned between 2015 and 2016, has been successfully achieved.”

“A political mandate from African Heads of State and Government, and endorsement from all 54 African countries was given, the AAI was launched at COP21 in Paris, and two technical working group meetings were held,” she said, listing the activities held within the two-year period that the initial phase lasted.

Ms. Fouad added, however, that the second phase of the project would span four years – beginning next year up to 2020.

She said of the Phase 2: “The AAI will facilitate working with partners to scale up and replicating adaptation actions and approaches to address loss and damage. This phase will begin with facilitating support for African countries to development and implement National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) through a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

“Additionally, AAI will develop a yearly report to map ongoing initiatives on adaptation and address loss and damage. It will also and assess progress towards meeting the objectives.”

The Egyptian Minister further noted that, under Phase 3 (2020-2030), “the AAI will continue to work with partners to facilitate the scaling up and replication of adaptation action and approaches to address loss and damage. Additional flagship programmes will be developed and additional resources will be mobilised,” she added.

Launched at COP21 in Paris by Egypt President, Abdelfateh Al-Sissi, the AAI is an African-led initiative rooted in existing African institutions. It aims to provide support to African countries to enhance adaptation action and address loss and damage on the continent. Participants at the session lauded the initiative, saying it would address the gaps and challenges as well as assist African countries enhance adaptation and address loss and damage.

Augustine Njamnshi of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) said: “One thing we are happy about is that, before Paris, the industrialised world used to accuse Africa and least developed countries for demanding money but having no avenues to spend it. But we now have where and how to spend the money, thanks to such great initiatives like AREI and the AAI that have been brought on the table. The time has come and we’ve proven that this is what we want to do.

Seyni Nafo, Chair of the Africa Group of Negotiators (AGN), noted: “The AAI and AREI are all about Africa taking care of Africa, which is very commendable. The two main objectives of the AGN entail the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement, under which the aim is to strengthen the technical and operational foundations. The second is implementation and action.”

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