The COMESA Climate Change Programme held its inaugural Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded Capacity Building Initiative for enhanced Transparency (COMESA-CBIT) Project that is supporting 4 COMESA Member States (Eritrea, Comoros, Seychelles and Zambia) capacity for enhanced transparency in climate change Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) as defined in the Paris Agreement.
The PSC meeting was chaired by COMESA Assistant Secretary General in charge of Programmes, Ambassador Dr. Mohammed Kadah who thanked the 4 Member States for their commitment to implementing the Project. Dr. Kadah also thanked the GEF for the financial support provided and Conservation International (CI) and the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) for their technical support.
This inaugural meeting was held on 5th September 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya on the margins of the Africa Climate Summit and Africa Climate Week, and brought together a diverse group of stakeholders and experts who play pivotal roles in shaping the direction and success of the COMESA-CBIT Project. Prior to the inaugural PSC meeting, Dr. Kadah paid a courtesy call to the Director General of RCMRD, Dr. Emmanuel Nkurunziza.
During the courtesy call, Dr. Kadah and his counterpart discussed potential collaborative projects between COMESA and RCMRD, given the critical role of geospatial mapping to ascertain the resource endowments of COMESA Member States and promote sustainable utilization of natural resources and achievement of sustainable development. They identified key thematic areas of collaboration including climate change, ecosystem monitoring and biodiversity, food security and common challenges faced by Member States.
With government representatives from the Union of Comoros, the Republic of Seychelles and the Republic of Zambia, CI and RCMRD, the meeting provided an opportunity to establish a collaborative framework and a shared vision for the project.
The meeting discussed the project’s overarching objectives while emphasizing the key priorities and goals. The preliminary timelines with key milestones were also outlined to guide the project’s progress and ensure timely delivery. In addition, discussions on resource allocation and budget planning were held to ensure adequate support for the project’s various components.
The Project Steering Committee (PSC) shall facilitate collaboration among the stakeholders, monitor project progress, review key deliverables and ensure that the delivery of the project goals and the broader objectives are in line with the Paris Agreement and development goals of Member States.
The meeting also emphasized the need to leverage the current COMESA-CBIT project to mobilize additional financial resources from GEF and other potential funders, given the fact that a majority of COMESA Member States face financial stress because of debt burdens and budget deficits.
Dr. Kadah expressed enthusiasm about the collaborative spirit and commitment demonstrated during the meeting. “The success of our inaugural Steering Committee Meeting reinforces our dedication to delivering exceptional results with the COMESA-CBIT project. We are confident that the collective expertise and experience of our committee members will propel us toward achieving our project goals.” He also emphasized that the primary objectives of the PSC are to provide strategic guidance, oversight and decision-making for the successful implementation of the project.
In his closing remarks, COMESA Assistant Secretary General for Programmes emphasized COMESA’s commitment to maintain transparency and provide regular updates on the progress of the COMESA-CBIT project. As the project unfolds, stakeholders and the public can expect to hear more about COMESA’s efforts to build the technical and human capital of Member States to meet the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) requirements which are critical, as Parties to the UNFCCC and Signatories to the Paris Agreement are required to report under the new ETF regime on their Green-House Gases (GHG) data inventories.
The representatives of Member States thanked COMESA for the fruitful deliberations and pledged to support the implementation of the project, while RCMRD who hosted the meeting pledged its continued technical support to the project. The CI representative reiterated their commitment and support to the project and promised further collaborative resource mobilization efforts through upcoming funding windows such as GEF 8 and GEF 9.
The PSC meeting will be held bi-annually to review project progress and provide overall guidance and strategic direction for the project. The next PSC meeting is scheduled for January 2024.