The six East African Community (EAC) member states have signed the Paris Agreement and that they are all at different stages of ratification processes.
They are Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.
The Climate Change Adaptation Specialist at East African Community Secretariat here, Mr Dismas Mwikila, said her that the EAC member states were now review climate change policy documents.
Mr Mwikila noted that the review would enable accommodation of outcomes of the ongoing 22nd Session of the Conference of Parties (COP22) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) taking place in Bab Ighli in Marrakech, Morocco.
The Climate Change Adaptation Specialist, who was making a presentation on EAC Road Map for Implementation of the key Resolution of the Paris Agreement (PA) at a side event organised by the EAC and Partners, said there was need to make adequate preparations for effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.
He disclosed that the EAC Secretariat had developed the road map to implement key resolution of the Paris Agreement and that the road map had several elements that include; showing how to approach the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) implementation; and translation of the Paris Agreement into concrete steps for the Partner States; and how to take the work forward.
It was also revealed that the implementation of the road map would involve several interventions, including, among others, identification of the resolutions of the Paris Agreement, which are more relevant to the EAC Partner States.
The road map will assist policy makers in Partner States dealing with climate change in internalising the Paris Agreement to come up with country specific implementation framework. It also entails identification of common actions across NDCs and develops NDCs Implementation Plans; review of the EAC’s existing Regional Climate Change Policy (2011), Climate Change Strategy (2011/12-2015/16) and Climate Change Master Plan (2013-2033) to mainstream the Paris Agreement.
The specialist underscored the importance to recapitalise the EAC Climate Change Funds through pioneering the accreditation as Regional Implementing Entity (RIE) under the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Adaptation Fund (AF); and support Partner States to develop capacities for accreditation of their NIE; as well as support Partner States to develop credible projects that may attract funds from AF and GCF.
Other interventions include promoting the continental climate resilient and low carbon development initiatives such as the Climate Smart Agriculture; and promoting the African Adaptation and Loss and Damage Initiative.
They also include promotion of renewable energy and other sustainable development initiatives to attain global goal of reducing Green House Gas Emissions (GHGEs).
The EAC Climate Change Adaptation Specialist affirmed that implementation of the Paris Agreement must be guided by the principles and objectives of the Convention and that Developed countries should provide adequate, direct and predictable funding to enable Least Developed and Developing Countries to implement their NDCs.
There is also the need for Partner States to ensure most stakeholders are involved in the implementation of Paris Agreement.
At the same side-event, the Programme Manager, Ecosystem based Adaptation (EbA) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Mr Ali Raza Rizvi, highlighted key issues on Ecosystem management.
He affirmed that IUCN promotes the use of diversity and ecosystem services as part of an overall climate adaptation strategy both at the policy and practice level.
He said ecosystem-based adaptation involves a wide range of ecosystem management activities to increase resilience and reduce the vulnerability of people and the environment to climate change.
Presenting a paper on climate change impact on water in the EAC region, the Environment and Natural Resources Officer at the Lake Victoria Basin Commission, Mr Fredrick Mngube, outlined some of the water climate change adaptation initiatives that have been put in place in the region.
They include water catchments management, water allocation plans, wastewater management, sanitation and hygiene management.
Mr Mngube mentioned key challenges the region was facing in addressing adaptation to climate change as limited resources and technical support; population increase of people, wildlife and livestock.
In another side-event organised by the EAC and Partners on Tuesday, themed ‘Climate Smart Agriculture, Disaster Risk Management and Mitigation Actions in the EAC Region’, the EAC Showcased Climate Change initiatives.
On her part, EAC Deputy Secretary General in-charge of Finance and Administration, Ms Jesca Eriyo, highlighted the region’s Disaster Risk Reduction Management, while the EAC Agricultural Specialist, Mr David Wafula, discussed the Climate Smart Agriculture in the context of Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Progranmme (CAADP) Agenda.