The training of forest stakeholders in Francophone Africa on accessing climate financing is taking place in Douala-Cameroon March 14-18. Organized by African Forest Forum (AFF) with support from Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network (GFFFN) is geared at empowering these actors with not only the skills of drafting bankable projects to attract climate funding but also get abreast with available opportunities and the intricacies involved. On the second day of the training, Africa Climate Reports’ Elias Ntungwe Ngalame caught up with AFF Senior Programme Officer, Dr Marie-Louise Avana Tientcheu for a chat. She says the one good thing about climate finance is that it compels stakeholders to work together.
ACR: This is day two of the training workshop, what is your assessment of the deliberations so far?
Dr Tientcheu: I think deliberations have been going on very well. I have congratulated both the experts and participants, who have shown commitment and interest to learn, staying on till 9 pm that we completed the day one programme.
The same enthusiasm has been seen in the second day of the workshop the deals with the funding opportunities, the adaptation fund etc. Participants now have knowledge of the available funding institutions like 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 and the types of projects they are interested in.
The third day will focus more on the practical aspect with group work so that participants are edified on not only on what goes into the content of a project but also how they can structure it to stand the chance of attracting funding.
ACR: Climate Finance seem to be a challenging aspect to comprehend, do you think one week is enough to understand all what is involved?
Dr Tientcheu: Even one month may not be enough. What we are trying to do is give some basic knowledge. The information gathered here will only help them improve on what they already know and permit them carry out more research , gather more knowledge. They have to team up with other experts to improve on the quality of their project, A lot of expertise is needed when it comes to drafting projects. As the resource persons of these workshop have explain, stakeholders have to work in synergy with experts of the different sector.
As African Forest Forum have always advised, stakeholders from different sectors( water, energy, urban development, forestry ,livestock etc have to work in synergy, harmonize their different sector actions to stand the chance to succeed in getting funding. The good think with climate finance is that it helps to promote sector networking as partners are compelled to work with one another. Secondly we want to make sure the different stakeholders here seek to work one another even after they leave from here.
ACR: Apart from such training are there other ways AFF assist forest stakeholders to facilitate their task to access funding?
Dr Tientcheu: AFF approach is about capacity building, providing the right tool for stakeholders to better manage forest. 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.
ACR: There is much talk about available carbon markets, how can African forest stakeholders benefit from this?
Dr Tientcheu: There are opportunities for African countries to participate in global carbon markets through forest conservation, through ,the agriculture sector etc. I think if African countries update their mastering of such fund mobilization together with effective carbon monitoring within forest and agriculture sector they will benefit a lot. But first they have to be trained so that they understand what the carbon market is all about and what opportunities are the available for them to benefit from.