The Horn of Africa, the world’s fourth largest peninsula composed of different East African countries, is confronted by various socioeconomic and political challenges. Aside from widespread poverty, rapid urbanization, and weak governance, violent clashes happen due to regional, protracted conflicts that cross state borders.
Climate change is an additional stress factor with strong implications for peace and security in an already vulnerable region with a fast-growing population that is projected to reach almost 440 million by 2050. A range of climate risks, including droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events, threaten the political and economic stability and can have transboundary effects, affecting multiple countries and exacerbating existing tensions and conflicts.
Their livelihood sources, which are mainly agriculture and pastoralism, are at risk with the changing climate, potentially leading to forced migration and displacement. Rising temperatures, unpredictable anomalous rainfall, and high vulnerability to extreme natural hazards will continue to exacerbate human conflict and harm local and regional human, economic, and environmental security. To combat this, significant investments must be made for climate mitigation, adaptation, and security efforts.
The Global Center for Adaptation, or GCA, has estimated that better water management, infrastructure, land restoration, and climate information services across Africa would cost only US$15 billion annually. However, financing climate mitigation and adaptation is a major challenge for developing countries such as the ones in the Horn of Africa: Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, and South Sudan. Historically, developing countries have struggled to access the Green Climate Fund (GCF), one of the main sources of climate financing.
AGNES, or the African Group of Negotiators Experts Support, is a non-profit African think tank providing scientific expertise and evidence-based information to support a unified common African position in the international climate change negotiations and in informing regional and national climate policies and climate action. Through the collaborative work between AGNES and CGIAR’s Climate Resilience Initiative (ClimBeR), at least US$30 million in climate finance will be unbolted to particularly assist marginalized groups in the climate-sensitive sectors of agriculture and food security, water resources, disaster risk reduction, renewable energy, gender equality and inclusiveness, and built environment. A specific emphasis will be made towards helping women, youth, and smallholder farmers.
“The NDC Delivery Lab is an innovative multi-stakeholder approach that leverages on latest science and local solutions to catalyze implementation of national policies and priorities set out in the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and national adaptation plans (NAPs) to scale.” – Telvin Denje, Research Associate, AGNES
CGIAR, as an accredited entity of GCF, will help highly-vulnerable African countries toward building and enhancing climate adaptation and resilience. Climate financing is crucial to support innovations that transform food systems at the national level and increase farmers’ access to finance at the local level.
Through ClimBeR, countries will be able to access a variety of tools such as climate-smart agriculture investment plans, hazard mapping, planning methodologies, and impact modeling. With these tools, countries can identify potential investments in their NDCs and create strong, evidence-based climate financing proposals. The CGIAR-AGNES partnership will work with countries in the Horn of Africa to conduct situational analyses assessing regional climate risks, the policy and enabling environments, their NDCs, and regional development agreements.
The partnership has also resulted in the NDC (Nationally Determined Contributions) Delivery Lab, which taps into local, national, and regional stakeholders, increasing ownership of climate finance projects which are the key to contextualized solutions. The NDC Delivery Lab aims to translate NDCs into high-impact investments, delivery plans, and concrete climate action through scalable, innovative solutions that enhance local climate resilience and adaptation. It will also provide a place for national, regional, and community stakeholders to provide input and consult.
The NDC Delivery Lab has launched and is currently reviewing proposal submissions from young men and women from Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Uganda that can be deployed at scale and contribute to enhancing climate adaptation and resilience in the region.