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Pre-regional Youth and Women-led Dialogues on Climate Adaptation in Benin Republic.

Climate change is happening. Beyond anything we can do to reduce emissions and slow the rate of global warming, we must adapt to the effects of these changes, to protect ourselves and our people. The impact varies depending on where you live. Given the magnitude of climate change and the fact that it will affect many aspects of life, adaptation must also take place on a larger scale. Our economies and our societies as a whole must ensure that they can better withstand the effects of climate change. This is going to require large-scale efforts, many of which will be orchestrated by governments. All of this may sound expensive, but the bottom line is that we already know a lot about adaptation options. Moreover, it is far better to bet on adaptation than to wait and then try to compensate later, as many countries have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Protecting people now saves more lives and reduces risk in the future. It also makes financial sense, because the longer we wait, the more the costs will increase. The case for adaptation is clear, but some of the people most vulnerable to climate change are the least able to adapt because they are poor and/or in developing countries that are already struggling. to find sufficient resources for essential services such as health care and education. Adaptation costs in developing countries could reach $300 billion a year by 2030, according to estimates, of allocating $100 billion a year in international financing to combat climate change. They should ensure that at least half of these funds are dedicated to adaptation. It would be an important symbol of global solidarity in the face of a challenge that can only be met if all the inhabitants of the planet work together.

It is in this logic that the Sustainable Development NGO, with the support of PACJA “Pan African Climate Justice Alliance” and ASCEA “African Coalition for Sustainable Energy and Access” organized a series of consultations and dialogue on the climate adaptation in Benin. To mark the effective start of activities related to this initiative, an online

pre-meeting in the Twitter Space format was organized on the YAF movement’s Twitter account on July 28, 2023, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. GMT. This meeting saw the direct participation of 90 young people and women from various backgrounds. The moderation of said virtual session was provided by Salem AYENAN, Head of Project and Strategic Partnerships of Sustainable Development NGO. A total of five (5) panellists contributed to enrich the discussions on the theme “Pre-regional Youth and Women-led Dialogues on Climate Adaptation in Benin Republic”.

These include in particular:

  • Ben Rachad SANOUSSI, ICT specialist and Environmental activist;
  • Maimouna ADAMOU, Director of Regional Youth Climate Camp;
  • Geneviève Ombouke, North Point Focal of ReAgro NGO;
  • René FADONOUGBO, Climate Activist and
  • Stanislas OUSSOUKPEVI, Director of ReAgro NGO.
Screenshot of the statistics from the YAF Twitter account, by Salem AYENAN

Goals

From a global view, the main objective of this initiative is to create favourable conditions

for the implementation of better advocacy related to the financing of climate adaptation in favour of Africa.

This vision can be broken down into several other objectives, in particular:

  • the justification of the need for equitable financing of adaptation in Africa through the popularization of the impacts linked to climate change;
  • the promotion of a search for financing for climate adaptation that is truly beneficial to Africa and
  • promoting the active participation of African countries in all phases of the implementation of climate adaptation projects.

Targets

This Pre-regional Youth and Women-led Dialogues on Climate Adaptation in Benin Republic mainly targeted young people and women in order to dialogue to better understand what their roles are, to discuss more fully the challenges and solutions, and to strengthen them at s Engage in advocacy for equitable funding for adaptation in Africa and Benin.

Our secondary target is political decision-makers, civil society organizations, international financial institutions and the general public, without whom this fight will not bear fruit.

A course of the session

Starting at 7 p.m. GMT, the virtual meeting began with the words of welcome of the moderator Salem AYENAN as well as a brief presentation of the course of the activities in French and English languages.

●      Presentation of YAF by Afanyu Yembe, Head of Communication and Advocacy – ACSEA, Coordinator of YAF

A brief introduction was made to present the initiative for equitable financing of adaptation in Africa “YAF in Africa Initiative”, focused on the engagement of young people, is an essential step towards building a future resilient to climate change for the continent.  Afanyu Yembe explained that in the face of the challenges of our generation, an equitable adaptation finance mechanism for Africa is crucial to enable the continent to adapt to the impacts of climate change and to build the resilience of its societies and of its savings. This initiative aims to raise awareness, advocate for increased funding, promote participation and ensure transparency and accountability in the funding mechanism. According to him, it is only by mobilizing the potential of Africa’s young population that this initiative can stimulate innovative activism and therefore can foster a new generation of leaders determined to meet the challenges posed by climate change in the world. continent. He invited all participants to join this movement and to get their friends, colleagues,

collaborators and other young people to join, aware that we do not have to wait for the worst to happen, but that we must act now.

●      Actively involve young people and women

The first intervention is that of Mr. Stanislas OUSSOUKPEVI who first made a conceptual clarification on the notion of climate adaptation before presenting to the participants what opportunities we can exploit to obtain better funding for adaptation in Africa. From his speech, we can learn that our continent has a dynamic and committed youth who are committed to climate action, but who are not very often supported. It is therefore important to invest in this youth and to define a framework conducive to frank collaboration.

●      Include the National Adaptation Plan in Development policies

He also placed particular emphasis on the National Adaptation Plan of Benin, which is a tool with which all young people and women, through Civil Society Organizations, must marry to effectively guide their actions.

●      Explore Funds that Finance Adaptation in Africa

There are also a few Funds that finance adaptation projects, which is an opportunity for young people and women with concrete projects. He clearly added that a mechanism must be put in place for the insertion of the National Adaptation Plan in the Development policies so that it is budgeted.

●      Using our endogenous knowledge: the case of Nature-Based Solutions

He added that Africa has endogenous knowledge when we take for example the case of Nature-based-Solutions, which we can indeed exploit to adapt effectively. Mr Ben Rachad SANOUSSI reinforced these remarks by placing particular emphasis on the fact that adaptation remains today one of the best solutions to enable Africa to cope with the adverse effects of climate change.

●      Reducing Barriers to Adaptation Finance in Africa

Mr René FADONOUGBO, in turn, developed with the participants what are the main obstacles to increasing equitable financing of adaptation for Africa. We can retain as obstacles the mismanagement of funds intended for climate adaptation, the lack of skills and expertise in the management of adaptation projects, the individual struggle led by Civil Society Organizations, in scattered ranks, corruption and many more. But what can we do about these obstacles?

●      Tips for increasing adaptation finance in Africa

What needs to change for the flow of adaptation finance to Africa to increase adequately, substantially and predictably? This is the question answered by Mr Ben Rachad SANOUSSI. We can remember that the good management of resources is a key point that must not be lost sight of, in order to retain the Technical and Financial Partners who hope with each financing of positive impacts within the communities which benefit from the projects. It is also necessary to focus on fundraising to finance adequate adaptation projects. It is also necessary to strengthen partnerships with the government, bilateral and multilateral

partners and all the other actors in the chain who bring added value to issues of climate adaptation financing in Africa. To finish his speech, he took the case of Benin and demonstrated that with a good strategy and a good organization, we can find solutions for the financing of adaptation.

●      Role of women and youth in climate adaptation

The issue of climate adaptation challenges all layers of society, and that is why we received Mrs. Geneviève Ombouke, who presented who are the main stakeholders in the field of adaptation financing and what their role is. She also addressed the issue of the role of women and young people in climate adaptation in Benin. Women are at the forefront and they have the right to be consulted in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of climate adaptation projects.

The floor was then given to the participants in order to ask questions to the panellists and to make contributions and comments. Numerous testimonies from young people and women participating in this regional pre-dialogue of women and young people on climate adaptation have shown that we have practically the same project management concerns on the continent and that mechanisms must be found to resolve this. issue. Answers were given to the various questions.

Conclusion

The Pre-regional Youth and Women-led Dialogues on Climate Adaptation in Benin Republic was a real opportunity that allowed several women and young people to better understand what climate adaptation is, to know what their roles are in relation to the issue of adaptation finance and be able to engage with us in YAF. From the many interventions, whether panellists or participants, we can read this thirst for learning, and for participating in debates on the financing of climate adaptation. Many of the participants requested that other sessions be organized in order to be able to share their experiences and find suitable solutions together. Salem AYENAN, Moderator of the session closed the session with words of thanks to PACJA, ACSEA, the YAF movement, and all the actors who contributed to the success of this activity. He took the opportunity to recall the activity of Saturday, July 29 on the Regional Youth and Women-led Dialogues on Climate Adaptation in Benin Republic, and sensitized all the participants on the need to join the YAF movement, because it is the movement that is needed today for African youth to boost adaptation finance issues on the continent.

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