SDG 13

ECOWAS: Implementing a Regional Climate Strategy

REPORT Since 2017, Expertise France has been assisting West African countries with the deployment of a common climate strategy. This support is provided as part of the European project GCCA+ West Africa.

On April 29, 2022, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) set up its first regional climate strategy. With this document, the West African organization is supporting and committing itself alongside its 15 Member States to make the climate a priority for political action in the region.

Through EU-funded GCCA+ West Africa, Expertise France helped ECOWAS design this strategy. The agency continues to be involved alongside regional and West African institutions by intensifying and diversifying its actions against climate change.

The GCCA+ West Africa project assisted ECOWAS in determining its climate strategy.

Starting with a solid assessment

The technical expertise mobilized by Expertise France initially enabled the completion of identification, opportunity, and feasibility studies. The first assessment cast a wide net: analyses of the region’s vulnerabilities, the extent of climate mainstreaming into regional policies, and contributions determined by the Member States at the national level.

A detailed analysis of the ECOWAS mandate was also conducted. The goal was to propose tools and actions to reveal the organization’s climate action potential while respecting its founding principles — e.g., subsidiarity, inclusivity, and cooperation — and capitalizing on existing achievements and ECOWAS’ experience in climate action.

Expertise France facilitated the involvement of all parties in the project.

Consultation, the project’s cornerstone

The international and local assets Expertise France mobilized helped facilitate the consultation process — within the ECOWAS Commission or among the Member States — and share knowledge and assessment takeaways. It also facilitated the involvement of all the project’s parties: The agency especially supported the organizing of consultations, in line with local parties, whose purpose was to present future strategies’ key points and collect the opinions of Member States, civil society organizations, other local groups, as well as technical and financial partners.

Simultaneously, Expertise France assisted the ECOWAS Commission with implementing a pioneering internal steering mechanism dedicated to the regional climate strategy’s design. The objective was to mobilize and involve the whole institution, transversely and at the highest level, through a steering committee composed of the sectoral directors and the Commission’s presidency.

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Achieving SDG 13

The Climate Action sustainable development goal aims to strengthen societies’ resilience and build their capacity in the face of the climate upheaval. To fulfill it, Expertise France supports countries and cities in three domains: climate strategies, sustainable land management, and inclusive climate governance.

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