March 2018 - Marking the first fully fledged gathering of the West African Alliance since its operationalization in November 2017, the member meeting and workshop held in Saly, Senegal from the 29th to the 31st of January 2018, brought together focal points of 9 member countries as well as key stakeholders and partners including the NDC Partnership, the UNFCCC, BOAD, ECOWAS, GIZ and the AfDB, amongst others. The meeting provided the opportunity for open dialogue and in depth discussions on the operational set-up of the Alliance and the practical implications of the emerging guidance related to international cooperation under Article 6.
Participants confirmed the relevance of activities targeted by the Alliance such as peer to peer knowledge exchange, increased active participation in negotiations and international events, and the regional harmonization of policies on carbon markets. Considering these activities, the current level of participation and the needs expressed by Alliance members, the necessity for further resources and collaboration with partners became apparent during the meeting - especially as the Alliance looks to work beyond regional interests and also towards achieving global climate goals.
The workshop correspondingly led to fruitful discussions on the interrelationship between the role of market mechanisms and the implementation of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) in West African countries that continued far after the session came to a close. The workshop raised awareness of the level of readiness of West African countries for carbon markets and Article 6, and members acknowledged the needs and gaps that remain to be addressed in order for countries to become fully prepared.
The gathering in Senegal ultimately served as the starting point for the Alliance to kick its planned activities into gear and showcased its readiness to do so. The Alliance will contribute to the upcoming African Carbon Forum in Nairobi, the SB48 negotiations in Bonn and the Innovate4Climate in Frankfurt. The next member workshop is planned to take place in July 2018 in Lomé/Togo.