Central African Republic gears up to mobilize GCF funds for climate adaptation

Following the development of the two project concept notes to be submitted to the Green Climate Fund under the ongoing GCF Readiness program in CAR, stakeholders from the water and climate sectors met in Bangui on March 13th and 14th, 2024. The two workshops organized by the Ministry of Environment, the National Climate Coordination Unit (NDA), and GWP CAR aimed at enriching and adopting the project concept notes before submission to the GCF.

Like most countries in the Central Africa region, the Central African Republic is plagued by the ripple effects of climate change, including long droughts and frequent floods. In support of the government's climate adaptation efforts, the Green Climate Fund awarded the country’s second GCF readiness program in 2021. One of the expected results of the ongoing country program is to increase the number of quality concept notes submitted to the GCF through the development of two project concept notes that consider gender and social inclusion in climate adaptation projects focused on water. To do this, the GWP GCF program team and the National Designated Authority worked with consultants and key stakeholders to identify government priority action areas and propose concept note ideas in synergy with these actions to promote joint action for climate resilience. In 2023, a national stakeholder workshop to select project ideas to be developed into concept notes concluded on two project ideas:

Strengthening resilience by improving water security in the greater Bangui area.

Improving hydro-agricultural resilience in rural areas and strengthening local economies in the Central African Republic

The workshops focused on presenting these preliminary concept notes to stakeholders to allow for discussions on the project’s objectives, expected results, and implementation plan based on GCF’s investment criteria. The exchange with the stakeholders focused on the synergy between the concept notes and national priorities (past and current projects in CAR), delineating the project implementation sites, and identifying additional data and sources required to finalize the concept notes. While delivering the opening speech at the first workshop, Mr. Amine El-Mahamat, representative of the Cabinet Director of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, said, The government is committed to meeting the needs of the population and ensuring its well-being, despite the major challenges facing the country, including climate change. With a 60% access rate to drinking water in Bangui, I urge you to show professionalism and make meaningful contributions to these concept notes, which will go a long way to improving our lives." Speaking at the second workshop, Mr. Sylvain Guebanda,  of the Ministry of Water, said, “The impact of the climatic hazards in the country has increasingly been felt for several years, especially on water resources and agricultural activities. These concept notes present an opportunity for the country to combat climate change.”

 The workshops featured presentations on the country's GCF program implementation status and in-depth presentations of the concept notes. Through a group work format, participants reviewed the activities proposed in the concept notes and reached a consensus on the project site based on GCF criteria.

To the first concept note, "Strengthening resilience by improving water security in the Greater Bangui area," participants advised the program team to ensure complementarity with Bangui City Council's "Energy-Climate" action plan. They also emphasized the need to change mentalities by raising awareness about water security and reaffirmed the project's alignment with national climate and sustainable development priorities.

At the end of group discussions for the second concept note, stakeholders made these recommendations to improve the quality of the document :

  • Explore alternative small-scale irrigation systems (small dams or reservoirs). 
  • Engage field experts to support local community engagement.
  • Explore local solutions for rainwater harvesting.
  • Redefine and mark the transhumance corridors.

The project team and the Nationally Designated Authority will finalize the concept notes and submit them to the Green Climate Fund for validation or approval.