Synthesis report of the Forum of Local Authorities of Cotonou, Benin
Cotonou, February 27-28, 2020
The second Pre-COP 26 Forum was held in Cotonou, Benin from February 27-28, 2020, with an audience of 200 representatives of cities, local and regional authorities and African non-state actors under the theme, “The contribution of associations of African local authorities in the mobilization of African cities in favor of climate action.”
I – Context and objectives
The climate emergency, announced by the Secretary General of the United Nations in September 2019 at the Climate summit, calls for greater creativity in the mobilization of key players, in particular local communities, and supporting the collective effort to close the gap in the last special report of the IPCC in relation to the adaptation and mitigation goals formulated by the Paris agreement.
With this prospect in mind, the Initiative of the Covenant of Mayors for Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA), launched in November 2015 by the European Union (DEVCO Directorate General), constitutes an appropriate platform to strengthen the bottom-up approach and raise the energy and climate challenges in Africa. An increasing number of local authorities in Africa, who wish to join the CoM SSA initiative, now provides proof that it is appropriate to include local authorities in the process of the implementation of NDCs in Africa.
Within this context and on the eve of COP 26 in Glasgow, the holding of this 2nd forum in Cotonou, Benin, rightly considered as a leading country at the regional level in the commitment to face the challenges of the climate emergency, comes at a timely moment to provide an answer to the following questions: How can associations of local authorities in Africa mobilize cities to meet the challenges of the climate emergency and seize the opportunities that present themselves; and what must be done to achieve such a goal?
The main objective of this forum is to:
II- The course of proceedings and the conclusions reached
With the participation of more than 120 people, including 90 mayors representing the municipalities and cities of the WAEMU area in particular, the opening session was chaired by Mr. Abdoulaye BIO CHANE, Beninese Minister of State in charge of Planning and Development, in the presence of Mr. Alassane SEIDOU, Beninese Minister of Decentralization and Local Governance, Mr. Luc SETONDJI ATROKPO, President of the National Association of Municipalities of Benin (ANCB), Mr. Jean Pierre ELONG MBASSI, Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mrs. Véronique JANSEN, Chargé d’Affaires of the European Union in Benin, and Mr. Bouri SANHOUIDI, Permanent Representative of UNDP in Benin.
During the session, speeches emphasized the leadership of Benin, which is hosting the Forum of Local Authorities on the Climate Agenda for the second time. Speakers underlined the importance of this forum on the eve of the COP 26 and the role of local authorities in the implementation of actions to meet the challenges of climate emergency and seize the opportunities offered to them, particularly in terms of financing.
At the end of the opening session, the President of the ANCB signed the accession on behalf of all the municipalities of Benin to the Covenant of Mayors for Sub-Saharan Africa CoM SSA. To strengthen vertical coordination, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of the Living Environment and Sustainable Development, the ANCB and UCLG Africa on the territorialization of the NDCs and access to climate finance. These two signing ceremonies confirmed Benin’s desire to be at the forefront of the territorialization of the NDCs.
To meet the goals of this forum, sessions were organized around five themes, namely:
The following recommendations resulted from these debates:
Photo Album of the forum of local authorities of Africa, Cotonou here