UNFCCC Expands Efforts to Increase Regional Distribution of Clean Development Mechanism Projects

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Charlotte Agume Asiimwe and
Vera Nshemeire
February 15, 2013

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat and the East African Development Bank (EADB) have signed a partnership agreement to establish a regional collaboration centre in Kampala, Uganda in an effort to increase participation in clean development mechanism (CDM) projects.

The partnership agreement was signed by the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres, and the Director General of EADB, Vivienne Yeda.

UNFCCC boss Christiana Figueres speaks during the function for awarding awards to winners of the UNFCCC/CDM African Radio Contest 2012 at Qatar Convention Center. By Fredrick Mugira
UNFCCC boss Christiana Figueres speaks during the function for awarding awards to winners of the UNFCCC/CDM African Radio Contest 2012 at Qatar Convention Center. By Fredrick Mugira

This is the second regional collaboration centre established by the UNFCCC and a regional development bank in Africa with the aim to bring the benefits of the CDM to currently under-represented regions. The first centre, which was established a few months ago in Lomé, Togo in collaboration with the Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement (BOAD), provides assistance in the development of CDM projects in Francophone Africa.

“The two regional collaboration centres in Lomé and Kampala are designed to help Africa increase its attractiveness and potential for CDM. Our goal is to build capacity, reduce the risk for investors in such projects and help make the continent an increasingly attractive destination for CDM projects,” said UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres.

The office in Kampala will be operational as of 1 May 2013. Besides hosting the office, the EADB is also expected to provide personnel, as well as administrative and logistical support. Commenting on the collaboration, EADB Director General Vivienne Yeda lauded the partnership between the two organizations, saying it will help bring sustainable development in the region.

“This partnership with UNFCCC is key for us at EADB as we invest in sustainable development and seek to ensure sustainability in all our operations. We hope that the new office will help increase the regional distribution of CDM projects in East Africa where there is an acute need for sustainable development,” said Ms Yeda.

The new office in Kampala is expected to enhance capacity-building and provide hands-on support to governments, non-governmental organizations and businesses interested in developing CDM projects in more than 20 countries in the region. Among the countries that can seek support from the new office are Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Libya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Members of the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change holding a press conference in Doha. By Fredrick Mugira
Members of the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change holding a press conference in Doha. By Fredrick Mugira

“There is a great deal of untapped potential for CDM in Africa. The regional collaboration centres aim to tap the potential of carbon offset projects on the continent,” said Peer Stiansen, Chair of the CDM Executive Board.

Uganda, where the new office will be established, is one of the Least Developed Countries that is leading by example as it has already reaped sustainable development and other benefits from the CDM. There are currently 12 projects and four programmes of activities (PoAs) registered under the CDM in the country.

The regional collaboration centres are intended to support the identification of CDM projects, provide assistance for the design of such projects, address issues identified by validators, and offer opportunities to reduce transaction costs.

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation
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