Benin was the first country in Africa to join LoCAL-UNCDF. It was first piloted in three communes of Atacora-Donga. An additional three communes from Alibori are already joining with the co-financing from the Government of Benin, opening the door to many more.
The example of the Toucountouna bridge illustrates well what LoCAL is about: channeling effectively international climate adaptation finance to the most remote areas and the most vulnerable people in the world.
The evaluation of national vulnerability carried out as part of the development of the 2008 Programme d’Action National d’Adaptation aux changements climatiques (National Action Programme for Climate Change Adaptation, PANA) identified three major climate risks: drought; late, heavy rains; and flooding. The resources with the highest exposure to these risks are drainage basins, subsistence agriculture and water resources. The most exposed social groups are small farmers, market gardeners and emerging farmers, and fishers. Similarly, the vulnerability and adaptation to climate change studies carried out in connection with the Second National Paper on Climate Change identify four vulnerable sectors: the coast, water resources, forestry and agriculture.
Benin has commune authorities that are independent in both financial and management terms, and a national funding mechanism for local development, the Fonds d’Appui au Développement des Communes [Local Development Support Fund, FADeC]. Commune authorities in Benin are responsible for environmental protection, as confirmed by the Environmental Governance Charter. Despite the part commune authorities should play in the national effort to plan and implement appropriate adaptation measures, the 2003 National Adaptation Strategy did not specify any particular role for them.
Objectives, Results and Activities
The aim of LoCAL‐Benin is to demonstrate and highlight the role that commune authorities could play in promoting local climate change adaptation/resilience measures, through integrating climate funding in budget transfer mechanisms and planning/allocation of local resources.
More specifically, it aims to:
- strengthen technical and institutional capacities in commune authorities to ensure better local governance of adaptation to climate change;
- fund infrastructure and local services that are resilient to climate change;
- promote increased awareness among commune authorities and local communities about the impact of climate change phenomena and the relevance and necessity of local adaptation/resilience measures.
The results expected are as follows:
- Capacity building (in financial, technical and governance terms) in pilot communes with regard to programme management of climate change adaptation/resilience activities
- Methods and procedures to integrate adaptation/resilience to climate change in planning processes and allocation of commune resources designed and tested for subsequent extension to all communes in the country
- Climate change adaptation measures funded in a transparent and participatory manner, thanks to climate resilience grants (based on commune performance as measured on an annual basis)
- A commune performance evaluation system (indicators and evaluation method) developed and tested for subsequent extension to all communes in the country
- Greater awareness among commune councillors and local populations of climate change phenomena and the vulnerabilities arising from them
- Lessons learned from LoCAL-Benin implementation documented, shared and disseminated on a wide scale.
The performance-based climate resilience grant (PBCRG) mechanism has been developed and includes minimum conditions for access, performance criteria and an indicative investment list to inform the process of integrating adaptation into local planning and budgeting. The Memorandum of Understanding to put grants into practice was signed in November 2013.
- The LoCAL-Benin Technical Committee has been set up under the Ministry of the Environment to guide and support the initiative.
- LoCAL-Benin has been implemented in communes in northern Benin, specifically Boukoumbé, Copargo and Toukountouna (population: 195,068). These were selected as pilots on the basis of their being the most vulnerable agro-ecological areas according to studies carried out in relation to the PANA, and because of the municipality’s institutional capacity to handle concerns related to climate change.
- An evaluation of the commune performance is carried out at the end of the first cycle of LoCAL investments
The second phase starts with new communes through the co-financing of UNCDF and FNEC. These are the communes of Banikoara, Karimama and Malanville in the department of Alibori in the north of Benin.
- In 2017, the FNEC is supporting the communes of Cobly, Mater and Ouaké in the Atacora and Donga Departments with $ 200,000 to plan and budget climate change adaptation activities.
- The communes of Boukombé, Copargo and Toucountouna have identified and initiated the implementation of a second cycle of adaptation measures based on their Local Climate Change Adaptation Plan (LCCAP).
- LoCAL Benin trained stakeholders at the commune level on issues related to climate change issues.
- LoCAL-Benin is working to support municipalities in integrating adaptation to climate change into the Community Development Plans (CDPs).
Adaptation Measures and Investments
Following the first round of planning and budgeting for LoCAL PBCRGs, the following adaptation measures are planned and provisional approvals are planned by the end of December 2017:
Communes - Planned activities
- Copargo: Hydro-agricultural development project of the Tchandégou market garden for agropastoralism
- Toucountouna: Mobilization and distribution of water to Tampègre bottomland women farmers
- Boukombé: Development of an irrigated perimeter for market gardening and off-season crops in the village of Kuchatié
- Banikoara: Rehabilitation of the reservoir of Gbassa / Construction of a crossing structure at Gougarè
- Karimama: Stocking of the two ponds with purchase of feedstocks / Purchase of short-cycle seeds in -Monsey and Kompa / Construction of three submersible rafts for routine maintenance of the Karimama-Kofounou runway / Dredging work at Sabongari (Monsey) of water reservoirs (Monsey, kompa)
- Malanville: Provide 1000 producers with short-cycle variety seeds (IR 841) / Set up irrigation system for rice plots using wells equipped with solar devices / Develop protection perimeters of water catchments / Dredging work of two motorized dams
- Cobly: Rehabilitation of the Nouagou dam and development of a market garden perimeter
- Matéri: Development of a multi-purpose drilling at Tchouga (Doga) in the Gouandé district
- Ouaké: Mobilization and distribution of water for agricultural activities in Ouaké
- By providing funding in addition to regular transfers, LoCAL helps make public funding systems more robust and transparent. LoCAL PBCRGs in Benin support and supplement the regular funding transfers communes already receive from the state through FADeC. Grants for the first year represent an additional amount of around 8.5% of the non-allocated portion of FADeC for the targeted communes.
- Special care needs to be taken with the design of the mechanism and, in particular, with the choice of minimum access conditions and performance criteria. In Benin, minimum conditions include, among other things, the establishment of an agreement between the commune and the central ministry; the operation of the local committee responsible for environmental issues; the existence of an up-to-date, local adaptation plan; audit results; implementation rate and reporting. Performance criteria in Benin relate to climate information; local adaptation plans; integrating adaptation into local development plans, investment plans and budgets; citizen participation; implementation of adaptation measures; and reporting.
- The communes will receive the climate change resilience investment projects funded by LoCAL and then evaluate the performance of the grant.
- Climate data and vulnerability and adaptation analyses will inform the planning, selection and integration of new adaptation measures in commune development and investment plans and budgets.
- Based on the lessons learned, the LoCAL mechanism will be refined to prepare for expanding it to more communes.
Government of Benin: