Regional CDM capacity building project for sub-Saharan Africa

What is the programme about


The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and other carbon market instruments can play a significant role in promoting sustainable development and addressing poverty-environment issues. The rapidly expanding market for carbon also offers considerable potential to augment the flow of finances and sustainable technologies to the developing world. In the past, these resources have largely been provided through official development assistance (ODA). Building the capacity of non-Annex 1 countries to access the CDM and other market instruments could significantly boost resource and technology flows in the coming years.

 Capacity building measures are urgently needed in sub-Saharan Africa, a region that the carbon market has largely overlooked to date. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for just 2 percent of confirmed CDM projects and 3 percent of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) through to 2012. Moreover, there are considerable disparities within Africa. Registered CDM projects are present in only four sub-Saharan countries: South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda.

 The importance of building the capacity of sub-Saharan Africa to better engage with the global carbon market has been recognised by the international community, notably through the Nairobi Framework.The principal goal of the Nairobi Framework is to help developing countries, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa, to improve their level of participation in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). UNFCCC plays the coordinating role of the Framework, while the other partners are responsible for designing and/or implementing programmes of work.

 The Nairobi Framework has five broad objectives:

  • To build and enhance the capacity of Designated National Authorities (DNAs) to become fully operational
  • To build capacity in developing CDM project activities
  • To promote investment opportunities for CDM projects
  • To improve information sharing and outreach on activities, education and training

The objective of the project is to enhance public and private sector capacity to access carbon finance, and to overcome barriers impeding the take-off of a carbon project market in sub-Saharan Africa. The project will review existing institutional and regulatory frameworks, and identify capacity gaps in the public and private sectors that need to be filled in order to put in place a ‘carbon-enabling’ infrastructure that can attract commercial carbon finance under the CDM or voluntary carbon markets.


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