Climate change mainstreaming group
The Sahel region is one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, not only because of its biophysical features but also because of its environmental degradation, poverty, food insecurity, rapid population growth, gender inequality, political instability and conflict. Climate change is likely to compound these existing vulnerabilities.
According to the ND-GAIN Index which summarizes a country’s vulnerability to climate change and other global challenges in combination with its readiness to improve resilience, all the Sahel countries rank among the 20% most vulnerable and least ready to climate change, and three (Niger, Chad, Mali) are among the most vulnerable and least ready 10%.
All five of the G5 Sahel countries have signed and ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change and have submitted their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Common priority sectors for climate adaptation and mitigation identified in both the countries’ respective economic development plans and NDC include climate-smart agriculture, sustainable land management, water management and increasing access to energy.
Despite the existence of a wide range of national climate change commitments across the G5 Sahel countries, integration of climate change into sectoral policies, ministries, and local development plans is limited, although varies by country. Technical and financial capacity to implement climate change policies, plans, and programming is also limited at both the national and local government levels. At the same time, relatively strong regional institutions, transboundary approaches and locally-led action provide capacity for action.
Acknowledging the importance of climate as a cross-cutting issue that needs to be taken into account, the AS formally established a climate working group in July 2019. The main objective of the transversal Climate Group is to promote climate change mainstreaming into sectoral interventions of the Alliance Sahel, with the aim to help ensure vulnerabilities are not exacerbated, to climate-proof their respective efforts and to make sure that their strategies, programs and projects also contribute to the national priorities and commitments to address climate change.
The Climate Mainstreaming Group of the Sahel Alliance is co-chaired by the African Development Bank and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and attended by approximately 18 representatives of bilateral and multilateral members. A joint workplan has been developed. This group already offers a platform for knowledge sharing and outreach and has engaged in a dialogue with the UNFCCC focal points of the relevant countries concerned and the development partners to identify the possibilities for enhancing the implementation of the NDCs while unlocking new opportunity for green growth and stronger resilience.