The Global Environment Facility Approves US$5.7 Million, First Multi-Country Effort of its kind to Support Monitoring and Reporting of Climate Actions in COMESA countries

June 16, 2021

The Comoros, Eritrea, Seychelles, and Zambia to benefit under the Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency


Lusaka, Zambia (June 16, 2021)The Global Environment Facility Council (GEF) has approved a US$5.7 million project to boost the capacity of four member states of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) to effectively track and report their progress in tackling climate change, in line with their commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement. The project includes a $4.2million grant from the GEF and $1.54 million co-financing from partners.

The five-year Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) project will enable The Comoros, Eritrea, Seychelles and Zambia to comply with the Paris Agreement’s enhanced transparency framework (Article 13). The framework specifies how Parties to the Agreement must report on progress in climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, and support provided or received in capacity building, climate finance, and technology.

The project will establish an Eastern and Southern Africa Regional CBIT transparency framework for Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) of climate actions; report on country climate commitments or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs); and knowledge dissemination on transparency-related activities.

The project is managed by non-profit Conservation International, a GEF Implementing Agency, in partnership with COMESA, the Governments of the four COMESA Member states, the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa, and the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development.

COMESA Secretary General Chileshe Kapwepwe commended the four Member States for responding to the call and thanked GEF for the grant.

"We are pleased to receive this good news from GEF. This is an excellent development which will help us implement activities under the climate change programme,” said Kapwepwe.

“The four project countries are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. This CBIT project will help them transition towards a more climate-resilient and low-carbon pathway through strengthening the country’s institutional and technical capacity to track and report their climate action,” said Ms. Edith Tibahwa, the Climate Change Programme Manager at COMESA.

 “This project is vital since it’s the first multi-country CBIT project approved by the GEF Council. A regional approach to capacity building for transparent monitoring and reporting of climate action provides an opportunity for peer learning among countries and contributes to addressing the climate challenge at a lesser cost,” said Michael O’Brien-Onyeka, Senior Vice President, Conservation International, Africa Field Division. 

 “In the long term, the results of this CBIT project will improve policy and decision-making in the management of natural resources and promote sustainability of nature-based economic sectors such as agriculture and tourism. It will also strengthen local communities’ resilience to climate change. For instance, availability of accurate greenhouse gas (GHG) data is more likely to lead to formulation of multi-sectoral climate-proof policies as well as measures to reduce GHG emissions and increase carbon sequestration.” he added.

 The CBIT project will address the key barriers to climate transparency, such as inadequate data for effective MRV of GHG emissions; inadequate institutional and technical capacity to operationalize MRV, and lack of a regional integrated platform for learning and knowledge management of the Paris Agreement transparency-related activities. It will yield the results below which will improve climate transparency reporting over time:

  • Improve technical capacities and institutional frameworks of participating countries to transparently plan, monitor, and report on their NDC targets and climate actions. This will include development of greenhouse gas inventories.
  • Strengthen regional institutional framework for COMESA member Countries to transparently plan, monitor, and report on their NDC targets and climate actions.
  • Strengthen the capacity of selected national academic institutions to train relevant Government officials to transparently measure, report and verify emissions on agriculture, forestry, and land-use (AFOLU) sector NDC targets.
  • Enhance transparency through the establishment of regional platforms for learning, sharing, and knowledge management.

As of April this year, there were 74 CBIT projects supported by GEF through GEF Agencies like Conservation International and others. Conservation International manages CBIT projects for at least 10 African countries, including completed ones in Kenya and Uganda and others at various stages of development or implementation.


About Conservation International
Conservation International works to protect the critical benefits that nature provides to people. Through science, partnerships, and fieldwork, Conservation International is driving innovation and investments in nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, supporting protections for critical habitats, and fostering economic development that is grounded in the conservation of nature. Conservation International works in 30 countries around the world, empowering societies at all levels to create a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable planet. Follow Conservation International's work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.\

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is a regional economic community established in 1994 and brings together 21 African countries into a cooperative framework for sustainable economic growth and prosperity through regional integration. With funding from the European Union Commission and other partners, COMESA, through its Climate Change Programme , has supported various climate change interventions including: participation of Member States in the negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change for a sustainable global solution to the climate change menace; domestication of Multilateral Environmental Agreements including the Paris Agreement and implementation of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs); piloting flagship practical ecosystem-based adaptation and mitigation actions with a focus on climate-smart agriculture in Member States; and enhanced access by Member States to climate finance to implement their NDCs and sustainable development goals (SDG) priorities.

About Global Environment Facility 
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established 30 years ago on the eve of the Rio Earth Summit to tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, it has provided more than $21.5 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $117 billion in co-financing for more than 5,000 projects and programs. The GEF is the largest multilateral trust fund focused on enabling developing countries to invest in nature, and supports the implementation of major international environmental conventions including on biodiversity, climate change, chemicals, and desertification. It brings together 184 member governments in addition to civil society, international organization, and private sector partners. Through its Small Grants Programme, the GEF has provided support to more than 25,000 civil society and community initiatives in 135 countries.