Like most of other African countries, the WAEMU countries are increasingly facing the adverse effects of climate change (floods, prolonged droughts, strong winds, coastal erosion, etc.). These phenomena have, over the last years, exacerbated vulnerability of both populations and natural ecosystems useful to life.
As common development finance institution of the eight (8) member countries of the Union, all parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, BOAD shares concerns raised by climate change. Thus, it finances climate-related projects, a true lever for economic and social development of WAEMU member countries. Thus, it mapped out an environmental and climate strategy for the 2015-2019 period, whose aim is “making environment a new growth area for the Bank”.
To achieve this goal, BOAD’s action will be structured around three specific directions or strategic areas, namely:
- strengthening the capacities of operational units in the area of environmental assessments;
- developing effective tools and mechanisms for financing and resource mobilization in order to support environmental management and combat climate change;
- strengthening the Bank’s leadership in the sub-region on environmental and climate issues.
In conformity with its statutory missions and as part of the implementation of directions included in the 2015-2019 strategic plan, BOAD has committed itself to providing support to member countries in order to make them resilient to climate shocks and help them achieve sustainable and inclusive growth. In this regard, the Bank promotes climate change mitigation and adaptation projects in various sectors: agriculture, fisheries, handicraft, energy, natural resource rehabilitation and preservation, agroforestry. At last, it promotes resource mobilization by forging ad hoc partnerships with financial institutions such as KfW, AFD, EIB, etc., as well as with the UNFCCC financing mechanisms. It seeks to raise, at international level, funds dedicated to environment and climate:
- Climate Change Adaptation Fund: BOAD accredited in 2011 as the first regional project implementing entity in West Africa;
- Global Environmental Facility: accreditation of BOAD in June 2015;
- Green Climate Fund: accreditation of BOAD in October 2016.
Since 2009, the Bank sits as an observer to the UNFCCC and actively participates in discussions relating to the establishment of an international architecture for climate finance. In 2011, the Bank was accredited as the first regional implementing entity of the Adaptation Fund. Moreso, since January 2013, it has hosted the first Regional Collaboration Centre on Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), whose aim is to provide direct support to governments, NGOs and the private sector to identifying and developing CDM projects. This centre has already provided direct support to projects under execution in areas like energy, improved cook stoves, efficient power lighting, solar water heating, etc. In addition, the RCC has built capacities for its staffs in the areas such as “standardized baselines” and “carbon finance” applied to improved cook stoves.
Since January 2015, BOAD has set up at internal level a new department in charge of environment and climate finance to closely look at climate finance aspect in projects that involve environment. In addition to the environmental component, this new department aims to prepare and finance adaptation and climate change mitigation projects, as well as carbon finance.
As part of operationalizing its accreditation to the UNFCCC financing mechanisms, BOAD has, in conjunction with designated national authorities (DNAs), developed a portfolio of climate projects in the areas of power efficiency, renewable energies, agricultural resilience, livestock and pastoralism, sustainable water resource management, soil preservation, rehabilitation of degraded land, irrigation and forestry. These various projects are being prepared with a view to mobilizing grant resources.