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Despite COP 26 being postponed by a year due to COVID-19, countries around the world are being urged to “scale up action to respond to the climate emergency” and improve, or ‘enhance’, their pledges of action. SNV is working with the governments of Burkina Faso and Vietnam, supported by the NDC-Partnership, to do just this.

A time for action

Following the Paris Agreement of 2015, 2020 was to be the year for ‘raising ambition’. Each country is due to submit a revised, and ideally ‘enhanced’, set of climate targets before this year’s Conference of the Parties. The updating of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) presents countries with significant opportunities to align their climate and development agendas to promote sustainable growth. But it also presents challenges for them in reinventing policies and operations and mobilizing enough investment to effectively implement these plans.

The NDC-Partnership, of which SNV is an Associate Member, builds in-country capacity and increases knowledge sharing so that climate policies are successfully implemented, have meaningful and enduring impacts, and drive increasing global ambition over time. In 2019 they launched the Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP) to deliver targeted, fast-track support to countries to enhance the quality, increase the ambition, and implement NDCs.

SNV expertise meeting country needs

Countries around the world submitted requests to the CAEP, detailing support they needed from donors, international institutions and NGOs to deliver and enhance their NDCs. In many cases the gaps in country capacity closely resembled some of SNV’s key strengths: building multi-stakeholder partnerships, ensuring gender-sensitive climate action, and private sector engagement. SNV was asked to support in Burkina Faso and Vietnam. In both these countries we have long-standing country offices and deep expertise in both agriculture and energy – two of the critical sectors in all countries’ climate action plans.

In Vietnam, we are developing model approaches and a gender-sensitive framework for mainstreaming NDC targets and actions in provincial socio-economic development plans. Through successful implementation of projects such as EOWE, SNV has become a leader in Vietnam on the linkages between climate and gender issues on the ground. EOWE promotes women’s economic empowerment through policy advocacy interventions and application of climate smart approaches in vulnerable regions to reduce gender inequality in the agriculture sector. Building on this knowledge, experiences, partnerships and local connections, we are developing a gender-sensitive framework for mainstreaming climate goals in provincial planning. Meanwhile, In Lam Dong province, where we are supporting local government to develop and implement green growth strategies through the Café-REDD+ project, we are contributing to the development of a provincial socio-economic development plan through a model process that incorporates enhanced national climate action. These activities strengthen the implementation and effectiveness of the NDC, and through alignment with socio-economic development priorities, builds consensus for enhanced commitments.

In Burkina Faso, we are supporting the government to evaluate NDC implementation over the past five years, ensuring multi-stakeholder input to this evaluation as well as to revising and raising ambition. We are able to create a voice for and represent the needs and views of stakeholders across the country by building on our work in the Voice4Change partnership programme. In this programme we empower Civil Society Organisations to advocate for an improved ‘enabling environment’ in the agriculture and energy sector by collaborating with different levels of government, the private sector, and other stakeholders. We raise their capacity on climate change through our advocacy themes, including adaptation strategies and inclusive policies. In a country like Burkina Faso, where adaptation actions are critical and the private sector has been historically disengaged, our unique strength engaging the private sector on adaptation is expected to bring new opportunities for financing and delivery of climate action.

Building sustainability and resilience

In countries where livelihoods, food security and economic stability are reliant on the agriculture sector, designing and effectively implementing strategies to increase agricultural resilience remains a political priority. This is especially the case during the turbulence and disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. SNV’s work will not just increase climate ambition in 2020, but ensure a locally led, green and inclusive recovery, that leads to sustainable development for decades to come.

William McFarland

Global Technical Expert – Climate and Business