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African forestry sector stakeholders trained on how to attract climate finance

African forestry sector experts are undergoing training on how best to attract climate financing.

AFF workshop
Participants at the AFF workshop in Douala, Cameroon

The training workshop taking place in Douala, Cameroon from March 14 to 18, 2022, is being organised by the African Forest Forum (AFF) in collaboration with Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network (GFFFN).

Climate change presents a $3 trillion investment opportunity up for grabs in Africa by 2030 with the private sector expected to lead in driving green investment and development, says Barbara Buchner, the Executive Director for Climate Finance Programme at Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), who lent her voice to those of other experts at the Finance Day event organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) during COP24 in Poland.

Even though opportunities exist to finance climate change projects, African countries still find it hard accessing climate funding.

One of the key reasons, according to experts, is that stakeholders in the forest sector don’t fully master what funding opportunities exist, and how to draft bankable projects to attract such funding.

“African forest stakeholders have to be abreast with the different funding opportunities and also be empowered with skills on drafting bankable project,” says Peter Gondo of the UNFF Secretariat.

AFF, in a document, notes that among the constraints that impede efficient and adequate climate finance mobilisation by most African countries are insufficient domestic capacity at technical, institutional and financial levels to the development of quality project proposals that respond to investment criteria of climate funds, the laying down of sound implementation mechanisms as well as the establishment of a functional reporting systems.

It is against this backdrop that AFF is training forest stakeholders on available funding openings and the techniques of drafting bankable projects, Gondo says at the opening session of the workshop in Douala on Monday, March 14.

These challenges were also highlighted by Dr Marie Louise Avana-Tientcheu of AFF and lecturer at the University of Dschang, Cameroon who presented a message from the Executive Secretary of the AFF, Professor Godwin Kowero.

“The need to provide consistent support to African countries in building their capacity to fully deploy mechanisms to mobilise climate finance, has become imperative,’ she said.

The participants, drawn from governmental/forest administration and non-governmental organisations (and this includes the private sector), have come from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar and Togo.

The papers presented by the different resource persons, Peter Gondo, Larwanou Mahamane and Kouassigan Tovivo, all highlighted globally the multiple climate funding opportunities and institutions as well as the elements potential project proposals need to address to be able to attract funding.

Funding institutions among others included the World Bank, UN-REDD, LCDF (fund for less developed countries), Multilateral Development Banks like AfDB, West African Bank, Green Climate Fund (GEF), Forest Carbon Partnership, European Union, USAID, GIZ, etc.

The AFF is a pan-African non-governmental organisation with its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. It is an association of individuals who share the quest for and commitment to the sustainable management, use and conservation of the forest and tree resources of Africa for the socio- economic wellbeing of its people and for the stability and improvement of its environment.

The purpose of AFF is to provide a platform and create an enabling environment for independent and objective analysis, advocacy and advice on relevant policy and technical issues pertaining to achieving sustainable management, use and conservation of Africa’s forest and tree resources as part of efforts to reduce poverty, promote gender equality, economic and social development and protect the environment.

By Elias Ngalame

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