The African Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank have expressed a commitment to integrate natural solutions into their investments to strengthen climate adaptation and mitigation.

The two development banks co-hosted a live discussion on the topic on the side-lines of the inaugural Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Climate Week, which was held in Dubai from 28-31 March. The four-day meetings, taking place in a hybrid format, aimed to accelerate collaboration and integrate climate action into the global recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The event addressed both nature-based and derived solutions.

Nature-based solutions harness the power of functioning ecosystems to benefit society and the environment. Nature-derived solutions, including wind, wave and solar energy, help fulfil low-carbon energy needs but are not based on functioning ecosystems.

“The African Development Bank is planning and implementing nature-based solutions to address both biodiversity and climate change issues with the understanding that they are closely interlinked and that actions that conserve biodiversity contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation,” said Abdourahmane Diaw, African Development Bank Officer-in-Charge, Deputy Director-General, for the North Africa Region, during the session. “Climate change risk, if not addressed, can be a direct driver of biodiversity and ecosystem services loss,” he added. 

In the MENA region, the Climate Technology Fund, for which the Bank is implementing agency, has committed $750 million to support the deployment of 1 gigawatt of solar power generation capacity, reducing about 1.7 million tons of CO2 per year from the energy sectors of Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, Diaw said.

Amer Bukvic, Acting Director General for Global Practices and Partnership at the Islamic Development Bank, stressed the importance of the two institutions’ partnership: “We have joint programs with the African Development Bank on climate-smart agriculture, in particular in Sub-Saharan Africa. We recognize that, without partnerships, we have no substantial chance of succeeding in our ambitions.”

Bukvic added that a huge investment was needed. “The estimated requirement is $8.3 trillion to meet the climate change, biodiversity and land degradation targets of the three Rio Conventions by 2050.”

The MENA region is a climate change hot spot. Twelve out of the 17 most water-stressed countries globally are in the region, and climate change is expected to exacerbate arid conditions. The region is also projected to experience the greatest economic losses from climate-related water scarcity, estimated at 6% to 14% of GDP by 2050.

The Bank in October 2021 approved a Strategic Framework on Climate Change and Green Growth for the 2021-2030 period.

Representatives of the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture and UNICEF also participated in the webinar, which featured presentations on approaches and strategies to use nature-based and -derived solutions to drive adaptation and mitigation efforts across various sectors.

The Government of the United Arab Emirates hosted the Middle East and North Africa Climate Week, co-organized by the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat, United Nations Development Program, United Nations Environment Program, the World Bank Group and MENA-based partners.

The African Development Bank hosted four events during the meetings, three of them with the Islamic Development Bank.
Source African Development Bank Group

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