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On 28 and 29 March 2012, the African Development Bank (AfDB), organized a workshop to inform staff on the final design of the Climate Safeguards System (CSS) and raise awareness on the benefit and application of the CSS for AfDB investments in climate-sensitive sectors: agriculture, infrastructure (roads), energy and water.
The CSS delivers on a key objective of the Bank’s Climate Risk Management and Adaptation (CRMA) strategy to mainstream climate screening and adaptation in Bank projects. It enables the Bank to address climate change risks in key climate-sensitive sectors at an early stage in the project cycle. This is a far more cost-effective approach than redesigning at the project appraisal stage or retrofitting a project after implementation.
The meeting brought together many operations experts from across the Bank and advanced discussions on next steps for CSS, including additional training for regional member countries and AfDB field offices, links with other internal systems such as the Bank’s new Integrated Safeguard System (ISS), and opportunities for enhanced partnership with sister organizations, including multilateral development banks (MDB) to harmonize climate mainstreaming approaches.
Al Hamdou Dorsouma, AFDB Principal Climate Change Specialist, echoed praise heard at COP17 regarding the CSS: “The Bank is taking the lead among MDBs in developing a Climate Safeguards System. This constitutes an important breakthrough towards addressing climate change vulnerability in Africa.”
The CSS has four modules: climate screening to assess for vulnerability; adaptation review and evaluation procedures to identify adaptation measures for a project; country adaptation factsheets with climate projections and country indicators, and an information base giving access to information sources on adaptation. While the CSS is currently limited to agriculture, infrastructure, water and energy sectors, the need for additional sectors is recognized. The CSS expects to be fully operational before the end of the year.
The meeting was organized by the Bank’s Compliance and Safeguards Division (ORQR.3) and is a follow up of the training workshop held in October 2011.