By Sharon Atieno
With African countries being among the most vulnerable to climate change, which disproportionately impacts communities especially the poor, the African Development Bank has appointed a group of well-known experts to the board of a continental initiative to mobilize financing for resilience to the negative impacts of climate change.
The Adaptation Benefits Mechanism (ABM) Board consists of eight mostly African senior climate change experts with additional expertise in various relevant areas and working experience with key stakeholder groups for ABM: science, private sector, governmental, non-governmental and international organizations, and financial institutions.
The board members include: Evelyne Batamuliza, a climate change finance and gender expert from Rwanda; Louise Helen Brown, a Namibian who formerly worked for the African Development Bank; and Luc Gnacadja, who served as Benin’s Minister of the Environment, Housing, and Urban Planning from June 1999 to February 2005 and former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
Swiss climate policy expert Dr. Axel Michaelowa; Senegal’s Daouda Ben Oumar Ndiaye, lead climate adaptation specialist at the Islamic Development Bank; Doreen Mnyulwa from Zimbabwe, director of the Regional Agriculture and Environmental Innovation Network for Africa; Fatima-Zahra Taibi from Morocco, senior advisor at the United Nations Environment /Technical University of Denmark (DTU) Partnership; and Assefa Tofu, director of the Ethiopia Dry Lands Development Program of World Vision Ethiopia are also part of the board.
The Bank had earlier on established an interim board which was being assisted by an interim secretariat placed in the Bank’s Climate Change and Green Growth department headed by the director, Dr. Anthony Nyong.
“We have on board some of the brightest minds in the climate change world, with tons of experience in different areas and with different stakeholder groups for ABM. They have the noble and pioneering task of convincing the world that adaptation action, just like mitigation action, has value and should be rewarded,” Nyong said.
“I am proud of the excellent composition of the ABM board, its regional distribution and full gender equality.”
The ABM aims to mobilize public and private sector finance for enhanced climate change resilience and adaptation by creating a new asset – certified adaptation benefits.
The verified certificates of the benefits of specific adaptation activities issued by a reputable international organization and based on sound methodological and technical work, in consultations with stakeholders and with the approval of the host country government will guarantee the credibility of the adaptation activities and increase their attractiveness to potential investors or lenders.
mechanism will assist developing countries with meeting climate change needs
and priorities for adaptation set out in their Nationally Determined
Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, in particular those requiring
During the pilot phase, the African Development Bank and partners will seek funding from various sources to realize multiple small-scale resilience projects to test the mechanism on the ground. The demonstration projects will be used to develop methodologies for delivery of adaptation benefits, verify the outcomes and prove the effectiveness of ABM for mobilizing new adaptation finance for replication.
The concept of the ABM was developed by the African Development Bank with the support of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), in collaboration with the governments of Uganda and Cote d’Ivoire and various stakeholders. The ABM is potentially applicable in all countries.