BENIN

Benin counts 77 Communes and has a population of 11,7 million. LoCAL is engaged in 9 Communes in Benin.

Climate Vulnerability:

A 2008 evaluation of Benin’s national vulnerabilities identified three major climate risks: drought, late or heavy rains and flooding. Areas with the highest exposure to these risks are drainage basins, regions and communities engaged in subsistence agriculture and national water resources. The most climate vulnerable groups are small-scale and subsistence farmers, market gardeners and emerging farmers, as well as fishing communities.

National Response

Benin’s nationally determined contributions (NDCs), initially submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2015, identify LoCAL as a means of bridging the climate finance gap at the community level while building local institutional and technical capacity to address climate risks and challenges. The country looks to extend LoCAL to all 77 of its municipalities as part of its NDC goals. Communes are responsible for environmental protection, as confirmed by the Environmental Governance Charter. A national funding mechanism for local development, the Commune Development Fund (FADeC, Fonds d’appui au développement) supports communes in this task.

The communes in Benin are independent in both financial and management terms, and a national funding mechanism for local development, the Commune Development Fund (FADeC, Fonds d’appui au développement) supports them. Communes are responsible for environmental protection, as confirmed by the Environmental Governance Charter; however, the 2003 National Adaptation Strategy does not specify a role for them in the national effort to plan and implement appropriate adaptation measures.

LoCAL in BENIN

Brief:

Benin was the first country in Africa to implement LoCAL. First piloted in three communes of Atacora-Donga, in Northern Region, additional communes joined with the co-financing from the Government of Benin. The National Fund for Environment and Climate was nominated as Benin’s national implementing entity to pursue accreditation with the Green Climate Fund (GCF), with a view to scaling up LoCAL.

LoCAL in Benin as repeatedly demonstrated its effectiveness in channelling international climate adaptation finance to the most remote areas and the most vulnerable people in the world. The Fonds National pour l’Environnement et le Climat (FNEC) was the first national implementing entity directly engaged in LoCAL accredited by the GCF. Following its accreditation, the FNEC submitted a concept note to the GCF to expand LoCAL to 30 communes over the next five years and is expected to begin work on the full funding proposal in 2021.

9 Communes engaged

24 Adaptation investments

71,000 Beneficiaries

Budget: US$ 1,020,207

A group photo with community members after the construction of a climate proofed bridge in Copargo, Benin

Action on Climate Change:

To date, 24 adaptation measures in nine communes received financing through PBCRGs; of these, 4 are new investments identified in 2019 in Materi, Ouaké, Banikoara, Cobly and Toukountouna and were implemented or are under implementation in 2020. Overall, 71,000 people are reported to have directly benefited (or will benefit) from PBCRG-financed investments; 55 per cent of these are women. These measures mainly focus on the following:

■ Rehabilitation/improvement of community ponds in an effort to revitalize the local aquaculture sector as an alternative livelihood option for local communities as well as water retention infrastructure for supporting agropastoralism

■ Construction/rehabilitation of wells and irrigation facilities to ensure water availability for irrigated fields throughout the year and maintenance of market garden yields, as a key income-generating activity especially for women

■ Capacity-building activities on climate-resilient crop varieties, i.e. climate-resilient rice varieties and cost-efficient agricultural practices in two communes.
■ Water-related infrastructure (e.g. boreholes) to ensure a supply of potable water in rural villages affected by water scarcity.

© UNCDF-LoCAL Photos Joel Bekou

PROGRAMME DETAILS

Objectives

LoCAL in Benin demonstrate and highlights the role communes play in promoting local climate change adaptation and resilience measures, by integrating climate funding in budget transfer mechanisms and planning and allocation of local resources.
To date, LoCAL in Benin has:
- Provided financial, technical and governance capacity building in pilot communes with regard to programme management of climate change adaptation/resilience activities.
- Applied 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.
- Funded Climate change adaptation measures in a transparent and participatory manner, through climate resilience grants (based on commune performance as measured on an annual basis).
- Developed a commune performance evaluation system (including indicators and an evaluation method), tested for subsequent extension to all communes in the country.
- Built awareness among commune councillors and local populations of climate change phenomena and the vulnerabilities arising from them.
- Documented, shared and disseminated Lessons learned from LoCAL-Benin implementation, on a wide scale.

Achievements

■ Benin was the first African country to deploy LoCAL in 2013.

■ LoCAL-Benin has initially been implemented in the northern communes of Boukoumbé, Copargo and Toukountouna (total population: 195,068), which are located in Benin’s most vulnerable agro-ecological areas and have the institutional capacity to handle climate change– related concerns. In the first PBCRG cycle, LoCAL supplemented the regular funding transfers the communes were receiving through the FADeC by approximately 7 and 8 per cent.

■ The positive pilot experience secured the backing of the National Fund for Environment
and Climate (FNEC, Fonds National pour l’Environnement et le Climat) in 2017, when three additional communes – Cobly, Matéri and Ouaké in the Atacora and Donga Departments – received $200,000 to plan and budget climate change adaptation activities with LoCAL support. The communes of Banikoara, Karimana and Malanville initiated implementation of a cycle of adaptation measures in 2017. In 2019, FNEC co-financed PBCRGs in the communes of Matéri and Ouaké; the $120,000 provided was obtained in part from ecotax revenues.

■ The LoCAL/PBCRG system has been cited as a key measure to support achievement of NDC goals at the subnational level – clear evidence of the institutionalization and ownership of the PBCRG system in Benin. Ownership is also confirmed, as government officials participated
in several workshops and seminars to share experience and lessons learned through LoCAL implementation, including at the 2019 Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Madrid.

■ FNEC, with UNCDF/LoCAL support, has been accredited as Benin’s national implementing entity with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) with a view to scaling up LoCAL. FNEC submitted a GCF concept note for LoCAL scale-up to 30 communes, and a LoCAL Phase II framework has been designed.

■ The Adaptation Climate Change Fund of the African Development Bank approved a grant envelop to support LoCAL-Benin in (i) development of high-quality, bankable projects aligned with the NDCs; (ii) identification and strengthening of national institutions and stakeholders to access the GCF; and (iii) small-scale adaptation initiatives targeting vulnerable communities via the PBCRG system.

Way Forward:

■ Bridging activities for Phase II will continue throughout 2021 with government and African Development Bank co-financing; nine local governments will be involved and will implement another PBCRG cycle during the year.
■ LoCAL will continue to support FNEC in developing and submitting a full proposal to the GCF to scale up LoCAL in 30 communes.
■ As part of the Phase II agenda, LoCAL will provide technical assistance and capacity development support to the Permanent Secretariat of National Commission on Local Finance and to the Training Center for Local Government (Centre de Formation pour l’Administration Locale – CeFAL).

More Info

Climate change adaptation falls within the core mandate of community councils, along with land use planning, natural resource management and infrastructure development. Climate change adaptation requires effective coordination of various stakeholders. As a gateway for development facilitation at the local level as well as custodians of all development, community councils are strategically positioned to play this coordination role. However, community councils seldom have sufficient resources to execute these functions.

The overall outcome of LoCAL-Lesotho is to improve the climate change resilience of the communities in the selected councils as a result of climate change adaptation activities funded through the performance-based climate resilience grant (PBCRG) and capacity development support. By promoting climate change–resilient communities and economies via increasing financing for and investment in climate change adaptation at the local level, LoCAL-Lesotho will directly contribute to one of the country’s development plan pillars – reversing environmental degradation and adapting to climate change.

The objectives for LoCAL-Lesotho are as follows:

• Increased transfer of climate finance to local governments through national institutions and systems for building verifiable climate change adaptation and resilience

• A standard and recognized country-based mechanism which supports direct access to international climate finance

Four outputs are envisaged:

(i) inclusive and accountable climate change adaptation is mainstreamed into local council planning;

(ii) government, local authority and population awareness of and capacities in adaptation and resilience planning are improved;

(iii) an effective country PBCRG finance mechanism is established and operational, providing additional funding to targeted community councils; and

(iv) experience and lessons learned are consolidated and shared.waiting results of annual performance assessment (APA). Lessons are being drawn from the LoCAL pilot to expand the LoCAL and its PBCRG mechanism to additional community councils in Lesotho and to attract additional finance to be channelled through the LoCAL mechanism to finance locally led adaptation and increase resilience of communities and local economies. This intends to prepare for a fully integrated mechanism into the country systems and a scaling-up country-wide.

Objectives

Achievements

Way Forward/h3

Stories from the Field

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