THE intra-Global Climate Alliance Plus (GCCA+) Programme on supporting climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives in the East African Community (EAC) has been launched.
The project, which was launched by the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the European Union (EU), will support EAC member states to address different climate change challenges.
There will also be reviewing and updating of their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) for the effective implementation and developing community-based climate change initiatives that will have tangible impacts on local communities.
The EU has provided €1.6m for the four-year project that commenced in July this year and runs up to June 2023.
In his opening remarks, the chairperson of the meeting, Mr John Kizito, on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Rwanda, thanked the EU for such support.
He said it was pertinent to enhance the capacity of the EAC region on climate change, strengthen the implementation of climate change mitigation actions, the Paris Agreement and regional capacity to access climate change funds.
Mr Kizito cited some of the challenges posed by climate change in the region and reiterated a need to take workable measures that would strengthen resilience while adopting low carbon and sustainable development pathways.
The EAC Deputy Secretary General (Productive and Social Sectors) Christophe Bazivamo, who represented Secretary-General, Liberat Mfumukeko reiterated the EAC's commitment to mitigate climate change impact, adding that the bloc had developed a EAC Climate Change Master Plan (2011-2031) that was due for review.
Mr Massimo Bonannini, the Programme Manager at the EU Delegation Office in Dar es Salaam, expressed concern that financial resources allocated to climate change actions were not enough and the NDCs, which are the core of the Paris Agreement, altogether did not meet expected targets.
Mr Bonannini said the EU would lay more emphasis on climate change, adding that in the period 2021-2027, 25 per cent of the budget would be linked to climate change actions.
He said the EU was ready to increase its future engagement to support developing countries in their actions to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change.
He noted that the EU considered technical and political dialogues at national and regional levels as crucial to pursue relevant adaptation and mitigation strategies.
He explained that the GCCA+ was one of the instruments the EU was implementing to help climate change mitigation in developing countries.
"Since 2008, GCCA+ has supported 80 projects with a total allocation of more than €800m."