It will be critical to ensure loss and damage is an important discussion point at COP27 this year, a workshop in Senegal heard. To do this it is critical to build the necessary skills from the ground up to engage in the needed advocacy. To accomplish this, an information and exchange workshop on key issues surrounding COP27 was held in Dakar, Senegal on 24 October. Organiser’s ENDA Energy welcomed support from the African Climate Foundation, who also provides climate leadership to ENDA Energy in preparation for COP27.
ENDA Energy is a Senegalese NGO working in different areas of development, but better known for its advocacy on grassroot levels. The organisation supports access to energy for local communities through developing clean cooking systems and promoting renewable and alternative sources of energies for households. Apart from its grassroot programs ENDA Energy also engages with government institutions and civil society actors across Senegal and Africa to lobby for more inclusive policies and strategies integrating climate change, especially for vulnerable communities.
During workshop sessions members from different organisations participated in a knowledge sharing session on how climate finance worked, why loss and damages mattered, as well as issues around climate adaptation. Trainers and speakers talked about issues of advocacy, and how to mount a campaign around critical climate change issues. The sessions laid the groundwork for grassroot organisations to improve their dialogue with climate stakeholders on a national and global level.
Critical skills were shared at the workshop that will help mobilise actors, either from governments or civil society, to influence the decision-making process in climate negotiations and politics. The workshops also passed on knowledge on how to gather and build an evidence base on field interventions with communities, as well as the impact of climate change on ecosystems and livelihoods.
ENDA Energy stated at the workshop that the issue of loss and damage could no longer be ignored. “COP27 must be a turning point for ambitious climate action in favour of the most vulnerable countries and communities. This requires accessibility of climate finance for adaptation and mitigation, but also the establishment of a mechanism for financing loss and damage,” said its representative.
The workshop also served as a framework for climate organisations in Senegal to share and exchange knowledge with local authorities on the key challenges and opportunities of COP27, in terms of deploying resources to finance their climate projects.
With only two weeks to go before COP27, the MEL Advisor for the African Climate Foundation, Lamine Cisse, was pleased with the outcome and what’s to come, “this enabled non-state actors in the climate space, including climate champions from eight West African countries (Senegal, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Niger, Burkina, Ghana, Togo and Benin) to prepare for negotiations at COP27 in Egypt, and to build consensus and a common voice on issues relating to climate change,” he said.