Addressing Barriers to Capacity Development

The CDM Capacity Building Project for sub-Saharan Africa builds on lessons learned from past capacity development activities to improve:

  • Multilateral institutional coordination: The project benefits from the shared involvement and expertise of UNDP and UNEP, working in a co-implementation partnership. Further, the project forms a cornerstone of the multi-agency Nairobi Framework.
  • On-hand professional advice and follow-up activities: The regional nature of the project provides a sufficient critical mass of countries to warrant the development of a pool of specialist technical expertise and service providers who can provide follow-on services. In addition, UNDP's MDG Carbon Facility is on hand to supply project-specific services on a cost-recovery basis.
  • Scoping and targeting of carbon activities:The project directly addresses the common obstacles of lack of data, information and analysis relating to greenhouse gas reduction opportunities in particular economic sectors. Even in countries where political support and infrastructure exists, national actors often lack basic understanding of how and where to look for opportunities to access carbon finance. The project is conducting scoping studies to identify potential project investment and modernization opportunities in the context of carbon finance. The project is identifying sectors and projects that offer the promise of attracting investors under prevailing market conditions (i.e. the limited time-frame for development and implementation, the price of CERs, the availability of technology, etc.).
  • Integration of a sustainable development component: Many capacity development projects emphasize the technical aspects of carbon finance and the CDM at the expense of the sustainable development dimension. Issues such as ownership of CERs, the distribution of proceeds from carbon projects and labor conditions tend to be overlooked or marginalized - despite the fact that promotion of sustainable development is an explicit aim of the CDM under the Kyoto Protocol. The CDM Capacity Building Project for sub-Saharan Africa is embedding sustainable development considerations throughout its range of project activities.
  • "Operationalised" capacity building:The project is providing assistance with establishing national institutions to address CDM issues, and goes beyond simple capacity building. While capacity building contributes to the creation of national institutions, these activities alone cannot necessarily ensure an operational institutional set-up. The project is, therefore, focusing on establishing what can be termed an "operational CDM framework" - the creation of an environment in which functioning public institutions are able to effectively interact with the private sector to jointly develop CDM projects. This will also necessarily require the active engagement of the financial community.
  • Substantial involvement of the private sector:A key focus of the project is to augment CDM foundational knowledge-building and the design of national governance structures with more industry- and project-oriented activities that aim to address industry-specific institutional, legal, financial and capacity barriers to carbon finance. The project contains an integral - learning by doing - approach, in which concrete projects will be utilized to enhance the carbon project development and management skills of local private sector stakeholders.