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CILSS Day @COP25

The UN Climate Summit (COP25) was held from 2-13 December 2019 in Madrid, bringing together some 29 000 representatives from nearly 200 nations. Many leaders expressed their disappointment with the meeting’s outcome. “The international community lost an important opportunity to show increased ambition on mitigation, adaptation & finance to tackle the climate crisis,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres declared. Key decisions on global carbon markets were deferred until next year’s COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. CILSS/AGRHYMET presented information about the climate challenges facing the Sahel and West Africa at the CILSS Day on 12 December 2019.  The presentations underscored the key role that regional organisations such as ECOWAS, UEMOA and CILSS play, since they attempt to develop synergies and help member countries better plan climate actions. For example, successful assisted natural regeneration (ANR) activities could be scaled up at the regional level. “Investments in natural resources management are vital. That’s why our efforts focus on scaling up agro-ecological best practices with the goal of making our ecosystems more productive in a sustainable way, which is one way to guarantee that communities in the Sahel and West Africa will be more resilient in the face of climate change”, declared Souleymane Ouédraogo, CILSS/AGRHYMET’s director-general. Regional organisations could also play a stronger role in mobilising funding for climate initiatives and co-ordinating national programmes. Many West African countries currently are revising their nationally determined contributions (NDC), which were first presented at the COP21 in Paris. However, their measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) systems of greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation are at the early conception phase at best and the NDC revision process will require additional resources. CILSS and its partners plan to launch a regional discussion on the role of regional institutions in the NDC implementation process with the goal of developing a joint regional action plan. Strong regional leadership could help to harmonise national climate efforts and support better co-ordination between countries and partners, while capitalising on best practices and developing regional solidarity.