March 2017 – August 2019
Ministry of Quality of Life and Sustainable Development
In collaboration with
Centre for Partnership and Sustainable Development Expertise
– Social sciences and qualitative studies expert
– Agriculture and climate change expert
About PAS-PNA in Benin
Climate change is a reality and there is nowadays a worldwide consensus on the effects of climate change on various sectors, where Africa is often pictured as one of the most vulnerable regions. Since 2010, the Parties have agreed on the process of the National Adaptation Plans (NAP) for Least Developed Countries (LDC) to identify their adaptation needs in the middle and long-term and define their strategies and programmes addressing these needs. Benin, in accordance with the progress of the international climate change negotiations, launched its NAP in 2013. The NAP allows to reduce climate change vulnerability and integrates adaptation in strategic development planning and processes.
The Support Project for Science-based National Adaptation Planning (PAS-PNA) was initiated in this context through the cooperation between Benin and the Federal Republic of Germany to strengthen the implementation capacities of the NAP process. The project was officially launched in March 2017, funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), and implemented by the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), in cooperation with Climate Analytics, under the tutelage of the Ministry of Quality of Life and Sustainable Development (MCVDD) and in collaboration with the Centre for Partnership and expertise for Sustainable Development (CePED) from 2017 to 2019. The four main components of the PAS-PNA project are: (i) strengthen the governance framework and integrate adaptation in the development planning processes, (ii) provide scientific support for the formulation of process of National Adaptation Plans, (iii) increase access to international funding for NAP priority areas and (iv) facilitate regional exchanges on NAP processes for francophone Sub-Saharan Africans LDCs.
International climate financing mechanisms require scientific proof and evaluation of vulnerability in the face of climate change and the development of adaptation strategies that explicitly address impacts caused by climate change and variability. It is therefore necessary to ‘prove’ the climate vulnerability of the country’s development sectors and identify concrete science-based adaptation measures.
The component 2 of the PAS-PNA project addresses this challenge through scientific capacity building of the various actors for the adequate planning of the adaptation measures. More specifically, the project accompanies national research groups in the realisation of vulnerability studies in three priority sectors for the country: agriculture, water resources and health.
Stocktaking of the institutional and political context
An evaluation of the policies and national strategies has been undertaken to define to which extent scientific data and information relevant to climate change are taken into account. This study is based on the systematic review of documents on policies and development strategies (national and sectoral) and interviews with political actors. The study highlights that even if the issue of climate change remains a concern for the development of the country, the aspects of climate change are not always reflected in the policy documents. To fill in this gap, the PAS-PNA project works upstream and downstream with technical directions intervening in three strategic sectors, that were determined by the actors involved in the vulnerability studies to directly use the results in the strategic plans.
Approach for scientific capacity building
The methodological approaches of the vulnerability studies have been developed with national scientists and technical actors who play a role in the three priority sectors. This co-built approach with national actors aims to contribute to scientific capacity building and serve as a basis for long-term adaptation planning. Therefore, it has been agreed with the actors to form three thematic research groups (one group for each sector) with researchers from Benin with varied and complementary expertise, in charge of the conduction of the studies. Several meetings organized with the scientific actors have allowed to identify the study areas, the timeframe, the methodology for the three vulnerability studies and the functioning of the thematic groups. The thematic groups are facilitated by a researcher, also named coordinator, and are accompanied during the vulnerability studies by a monitoring committee taking on the role of supervisor in addition to the scientific support of Climate Analytics throughout the studies.
Stocktaking of science-based knowledge
The stocktaking of science-based knowledge allows on one hand to get a broad picture of the existing scientific knowledge on impacts, vulnerability, adaptation options and strategies available in Benin for the three priority sectors. On the other hand, it allows to identify the gaps regarding the availability and reliability of the scientific information in each of these sectors. The scientific information available on impacts, vulnerability, adaptation options and strategies have been collected. There have been meetings organised between the scientists and the research institutes to discuss the results and the limits and difficulties encountered. The intermediary results have highlighted that there was an uncertainty in the attribution of impacts differentiating the share of climate and non-climate shocks. Frequently, the impact chains are unclear and limited to the analysis of only one sector. In addition, socio-economic considerations are only partially taken into account in future projections, which reduces the reliability of the forecasts. The study specifically highlighted that in the health sector, the evaluation of the potential effects of climate change do not always take quantitative projections into account. PAS-PNA is aware of this gap and based on this stocktaking, it is possible to determine what additional scientific information the sectoral vulnerability studies will provide.
In-depth vulnerability studies
The study focuses on the analysis of current (and past) as well as future vulnerability to climate change in various agro-ecological areas of Benin for the priority sectors (agriculture, water resources and health), in order to: (i) identify the risks/hazards and the degrees of exposition to elements of the system; (ii) identify relevant identification options; (iii) use the results to inform the NAP process in Benin; (iv) integrate adaptation in the development plans of the country.
The vulnerability studies are led by three thematic research groups during six months. Half-way through, policy-briefs will be elaborated to communicate the results to the key actors; the ministries working on a national level and the relevant decentralized structures. Once the vulnerabilities have been identified, it will be possible to identify the adaptation options for each sector. A final workshop on the vulnerability studies will be organized to present and validate the results of the studies and the identified adaptation options to the various actors. Finally, a session to discuss about the follow-up of the scientific calendar will be discussed to support the NAP process.
The scientific results of the vulnerability studies will be communicated to the political actors and integrated throughout the NAP process through various workshops and reports. Moreover, the lessons learnt and the different approaches developed together with the national scientific community will be transcribed in a document summarizing the operational recommendations, which will form the institutional record of the procedures, the methodologies, the key indicators and the results of the vulnerability studies. This will allow national scientific actors to replicate this type of approach for other vulnerability studies and to monitor the evolution of vulnerability, to regularly update and increasingly develop scientific knowledge which can be used for adaptation planning in the long-term by actors from Benin.
Where we are now…
After over a year of project implementation, the following activities were conducted:
- Formation of three thematic research groups, identification of the coordinator of each group and five professors who guide and advise the research groups
- Development of the methodology of the vulnerability studies”:/blog/2018/co-designing-vulnerability-assessment-methodology-with-local-actors-in-benin.html
- Identification of the study areas:
- For the agriculture sector: the Pôle de Développement Agricole 4, from Southern Borgou to Djidja (in the Zou)
- For the water sector: the Ouémé basin
- For the health sector: the sanitary areas ABD (Adjohoun, Bonou, Dangbo)
- Official launch of the vulnerability studies: March 15th, 2018
- Publication of the report on the stocktaking of the institutional and political context: March 2018
…and where we are headed
In the months ahead, we look forward to:
- April 2018: Publication of the report on the stocktaking of science-based knowledge
- June 2018: Intermediate results workshop of the vulnerability studies and identification of adaptation options
- September 2018: Final results workshop of the vulnerability studies
- October 2018: Final reports of the vulnerability studies and the adaptation options for each sector