Togolese local governments are committed to building climate-resilient futures with CoM SSA

Published: 5 Jun 2023
Togolese local governments are committed to building climate-resilient futures with CoM SSA

With almost 80 signatories, Togo is the country with the most signatories to the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA). Over the past few years, CoM SSA has continued to deepen its support to these signatories by providing practical support to accelerate their Sustainable Energy Access and Climate Action Plan (SEACAP) journeys. 

Like most regions in sub-Saharan Africa, Togo is amongst the most vulnerable to climate change impacts. Agriculture represents about 40% of the country’s GDP and is the sector most vulnerable due to floods and droughts. For most CoM SSA signatories in Togo, the agricultural sector is strong and a key contributor to the economy. The capital city Lomé is on the coast and is particularly exposed to sea-level rise and coastal floods. Sea levels are expected to rise by more than 76 cm around the world by the end of this century, but they are expected to rise faster than the global average in West Africa. 

Last year, CoM SSA partner, Expertise France conducted training sessions for signatories in Togo. These sessions focused on the development of SEACAPs, community consultation, and access to climate finance.  As a result of these sessions, more than 50 project concept notes were developed. 

Earlier this year, the mayors of the Kloto region in Togo, with support from CoM SSA partner, Expertise France, officially launched their joint SEACAP to chart a path to building cities that are "climate resilient, with a low carbon footprint, for a harmonious and sustainable development, and community prosperity". The SEACAP is a key document that sets the strategies, plans and actions for a sustainable and low-emission development pathway, while including adaptation actions and ensuring access to secure, affordable and sustainable energy, in response to the current and future impacts of climate change in the region.

Now more signatories in Togo are actively seeking support to move forward in their SEACAP journey. To meet this demand, the CoM SSA Technical Helpdesk and partners, including Expertise France, NGO PADIE and NGO Moi Jeu Tri, hosted workshops with technical officials from 18 Togolese municipalities.

The workshop contextualised climate change in Togo, provided an overview of the SEACAP process and then dove into the necessary steps for the SEACAP adaptation pillar which include: 
  • conducting a Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (RVA) which provides an overview of recent and expected climate change and associated climate hazards,
  • using this baseline information to set appropriate targets,
  • and develop adaptation actions to achieve these targets. 
Local governments can rise to the challenge of coping with more frequent and extreme climate hazards by developing and implementing well-informed SEACAPs or mainstreaming components of a SECAP into existing plans and policies. 

In the workshop participants were encouraged to consider all the stakeholders who should be involved in the SEACAP development process to ensure that there is buy-in from necessary decision-makers. Each stakeholder also brings a different perspective to the table which is needed to develop a well-rounded, robust plan. 

Through this workshop participants were able to gain a better understanding of the science behind climate change, the climate data in Togo as well as the national government’s climate planning efforts and how municipalities can contribute to this using the SEACAP methodology, specifically for adaptation to climate change.

CoM SSA places great importance on city-to-city exchanges as cities have so much to learn from one another. Therefore, during the workshop technical city officials were able to share experiences, and common challenges and suggested solutions to one another. A technical official from Kloto 1 participated in this workshop to share lessons learned from their recently launched SEACAP.

Now, participants are tasked with laying the groundwork in their respective municipalities to start the data collection for their Risk and Vulnerability Assessment, with support from CoM SSA. 

This support is made possible through funding from the European Union,  the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).  

While the Technical Helpdesk cannot provide direct financial support to signatories, through the deep dive support, it can offer services like tailored training workshops, tools and templates for SEACAP development, data quality assessments, and support on project concept development. Please contact the Technical Helpdesk at technicalhelpdesk@comssa.org

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