New platform launched to protect African communities from climate change – Ownership – The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News

New efforts are in sight to halt the impacts of climate change on the continent, with the launch of a regional office of the Global Adaptation Center (GCA) in Côte d’Ivoire.

Dubbed GCA Africa, the office is hosted by the African Development Bank at its headquarters in Abidjan, the Ivorian capital, and will work with partners across the continent to scale and accelerate adaptation measures that protect African communities. of the impacts of climate change.

GCA Africa will focus on programs and action, knowledge acceleration and capacity building and agenda setting that respond to the acute challenges of climate change facing African countries.

GCA Africa’s programs include improving the food security of one billion people in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 through a program on rural well-being and food security, as well as projects to support communities using water for urban growth and resilience; use nature for more resilient infrastructure; financing of adaptation and strengthening of youth leadership.

Commenting on the launch, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed said: “There is an urgent need to step up support for those affected by climate change in Africa and around the world. I welcome the Global Center for Adaptation in Africa as a critical partner in achieving the high ambition and strengthened action that is needed to make this transition to a resilient future. “

AfDB President Dr Akinwumi Adesina noted that the Bank has pledged to double its climate finance to $ 25 billion by 2025, of which more than 50% is dedicated to climate adaptation. . Africa must not be harmed by global climate finance. We will partner with GCA to mobilize more resources for climate adaptation in Africa. “

Ban Ki-moon, co-chair of the board of the Global Center for Adaptation and 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, said: “This is a historic moment to accelerate adaptation in Africa. Nowhere is the challenge of achieving sustainable development in the face of a changing climate more acute.

“Our new regional office will support regional and national adaptation efforts by emphasizing and disseminating existing best practices on the continent and ensuring their full integration into broader international adaptation efforts.”

According to GCA CEO, Patrick Verkooijen said: “The impacts of climate change are already being felt across Africa and will only increase in magnitude. Adaptation is not a pleasure, it is a necessity. Through our role as a solutions broker, GCA Africa will work closely with partners from all sectors to ensure that the most effective adaptation actions are shared and scaled up across the continent, meeting demand. increasing resilience to the impacts of our climate change.

The launch of GCA Africa comes shortly after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched its South Asian office in Dhaka in September 2020. Its first regional office was launched in Beijing by Prime Minister Li Keqiang in June 2019.

In May 2020, GCA Africa released a GCA Guidance Note, with the African Adaptation Initiative and endorsed by 54 Heads of State and Government, which recommended focusing stimulus investments in Africa on resilient infrastructure and food security to overcome the COVID climate crisis.

The GCA is the lead partner institution of the Climate Adaptation Summit in the Netherlands – the first major gathering of international leaders entirely dedicated to adaptation. The summit takes place on January 25, 2021 and is hosted by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The GCA is also the guiding partner of the Climate Vulnerable Forum and the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Ministers of Finance, a group of 48 developing countries highly vulnerable to climate change.

GCA is an international organization that works as a solutions broker to accelerate action and support for adaptation solutions, from international to local, in partnership with the public and private sectors, to ensure that we learn from each other and work together for a climate. resilient future.

Founded in 2018, the GCA is hosted by the Netherlands. Through a growing network of global and regional SCM offices and teams, including a Global Innovation Center for Climate Adaptation launched by Prime Minister Li Keqiang in Beijing, the organization is engaging in high-level political activities, new contributions to research, communications and technical assistance to governments and the private sector.

African leaders welcomed the opening of a regional office of the Global Adaptation Center on Wednesday, expressing hope that this will boost the continent’s efforts to tackle climate change.

In speeches marking the virtual launch of GCA Africa, leaders said the Center could also provide momentum for a more resilient recovery after COVID-19, which they said exacerbated climate-induced vulnerabilities.

“In the post-COVID period, our goal should not only be to recover and build better, but to do so in a climate-friendly way,” said Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde.

“There is no (more) stark reminder of the need for us to take urgent action than the devastating impact of climate change we are currently witnessing. We have no other choice but to mobilize more than ever to save the planet. Time is not on our side, ”Zewde noted.

Hosted by the African Development Bank at its headquarters in Abidjan, the Ivorian commercial capital, GCA Africa will work with partners across the continent to accelerate adaptation measures that protect African communities from climate change.

Several regional and global leaders attended the high-level launch. Keynote speakers included the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, Co-Chair of the Global Center for Adaptation, President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo; Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group and Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of GCA.

There were also speeches from representatives of the African Union Commission, Dutch businessman and GCA co-chair Feike Sijbesma, United Nations Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed, Gabonese President Ali Bongo , who is also the chairman of the African Adaptation Initiative, Dag -Inge Ulstein, Minister of International Development of Norway, and Peter Eriksson, Minister of International Development Cooperation of Sweden.

Welcoming the openness of GCA Africa, President Akufo-Addo expressed hope that he will strive to extend the “bright spots” of adaptation on the continent, including in Ghana, where development partners launched a project to improve the resilience of national infrastructure. systems against the threats of climate change.

“We look forward to working with GCA and its partners to address the challenges of climate change and ensure that resilience is built into Africa’s economic recovery plans.

President Kenyatta noted that the challenge of climate change is no longer a projected crisis. “This is indeed a reality that we need to urgently control,” he said, citing the impact of floods and droughts triggered by El-Nino in parts of East Africa, which was also affected by a locust invasion.

He praised the partnership between the Bank and the African Adaptation Initiative under the SCM. “I am optimistic that through this partnership, Kenya and other African countries will attract more funding and other resources that we need to implement our various national adaptation plans.

Opening the regional office, Adesina said the opportunity marks a major milestone in the Bank’s drive to build climate resilience for Africa. Adesina, who began his second five-year term as Bank President this month, said one of his top priorities over the next five years is for the Bank to boost investments in green growth. and climate finance for Africa.

“As a Bank, we are committed to helping Africa recover from the COVID-19 crisis better, stronger and with greater health and climate resilience,” he said, adding that the The Climate Bank’s financing had quadrupled from 9% of its total portfolio in 2016 to 36% by 2019. “By the end of 2021, we will meet our target of 40% of the total portfolio.

In addition, the Bank has pledged to provide $ 25 billion in climate finance by 2025, Adesina said.
GCA Africa’s programs include improving the food security of one billion people in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 through a program on rural well-being and food security, as well as projects to support communities using water for urban growth and resilience; use nature for more resilient infrastructure; financing of adaptation and strengthening of youth leadership.

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