UN CC:Learn in Benin
Strengthening Human Resources and Skills to Address Climate Change
Climate change is a major development concern for Benin due to its impacts on human health, food security, economic development, physical infrastructure and water resources. In order to strengthen individual skills and institutional capacities to foster green and climate resilient development, the country is implementing a national UN CC:Learn Project. Through the Project the country is taking a strategic and results-oriented approach to climate change learning with involvement of key sectors and stakeholders.
The UN CC:Learn Project in Benin was initiated in November 2011 and is being implemented over a period of 24 months. The Project aims to foster a systematic and country-driven process to strengthen human resources and skills to advance green, low emission and climate resilient development. It is implemented under the guidance of a multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder National Coordinating Mechanism. The National Coordinator is hosted by the Ministry of Environment, Housing and Urbanism (MEHU). A first important milestone in the Project was the development of a National Strategy to Strengthen Human Resources and Skills to Advance Green, Low Emission and Climate Resilient Development.
The UN CC:Learn Project in Benin is coordinated through a multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral National Steering Committee (“Comité de Pilotage”) which is linked to the National Climate Change Committee (CNCC). Technical advice is provided by a “Comité Scientifique et Technique”. The National Project Coordinator is hosted by the Ministry of Climate Change Management, Reforestation and Protection of Natural and Forest Resources of Benin (formerly Ministry of Environment, Housing and Urbanism - MEHU).
The National Climate Change Learning Strategy
Benin has developed a national climate change learning strategy through a process that involved multiple stakeholders inside and outside government. The final draft of the strategy was validated at a workshop in December 2012 in Cotonou. The event brought together over 50 participants from different Government sectors (environment, economy, education, development, finance, forestry, fishery, agriculture, energy, water, coastal protection), education and training institutions, civil society, and development partners. Participants agreed on an implementation framework for the Strategy and developed a road map for the finalization and launch of the document.
The strategy is expected to be formally adopted by the Council of Ministers in early 2015.
Several UN agencies are supporting climate change related activities
- The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is supporting agricultural communities to better adapt to climate change in four particularly vulnerable areas in Benin. The project is part of the implementation of Benin’s National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA).
- UNDP is also collaborating with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to support the integration of climate change issues in secondary education under the CC DARE project.
- The World Bank is supporting a number of projects in the energy sector to reduce the use of coal and promote climate-friendly energy sources.
- The World Food Programme (WFP) in Benin is active in the area of climate change and food security.
- The United Nations University (UNU) is promoting climate change research in the region through the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL). The University of Abomey-Calavi in Cotonou is part of the programme.
In order to set the stage for project implementation, Benin produced a Background Report on National Climate Change Priorities and Objectives and Relevant Capacity Development Initiatives. The Report seeks to ensure that the National Strategy is linked to existing initiatives and priorities. The Report also includes initial ideas for actions to strengthen climate change education and training and identifies key organizations which should contribute to the development and implementation of the National Strategy.