Catalysing the CDM in Africa

The lengthy project-cycle associated with the CDM inevitably incurs CDM-related transaction costs and significant capacity requirements for entities associated with a project.

Project developers need the skills to effectively prepare and implement a project. DNAs – and other relevant public institutions – need to have the capacity to review and approve projects. Service providers, such as technical consultants and banks, are often called upon to assist with project preparation, implementation and financing.

The aim of UNDP’s CDM capacity building efforts is to assist this diverse group of stakeholders in addressing the obstacles, bottlenecks and capacity constraints encountered in the CDM context. The ultimate goal is to assist participating countries to create an operational CDM framework – an environment in which public institutions are able to effectively interact with the private sector to jointly develop carbon projects.

The UNDP-UNEP CDM capacity building project for sub-Saharan Africa consists of 2 strands:

1. Capacity building measures for CDM stakeholders – awareness raising, workshops, personalised tutorials and resource development.

UNDP and UNEP are working to address significant capacity gaps in sub-Saharan Africa, which continue to limit the participation of the region in the fast-expanding carbon market. Examples include:

  • Raising awareness among policy-makers about the carbon market and potential integration of the CDM in overall sustainable development policies.
  • Mapping of economic sectors to assess mitigation potential.
  • Increasing institutional capacity and technical resources (e.g. local consultants and experts) to be able to develop good-quality CDM projects in a cost-effective manner
  • Raising awareness of the CDM in the local financial sector and limited access to financial resources by project developers
  • Fostering understanding of the rules & modalities of the CDM, and the methodologies that have been approved for project use
  • Increasing capacity in relatively new areas (such as programmatic CDM) and in areas that may become eligible for carbon trading after 2012 (such as avoided deforestation).

Activities include training for the project developer and financial sector communities in each country; assistance for DNAs (for example, design of sustainable development screening criteria and establishment of official websites); and the creation of public goods, such as ‘how to’ guides for project developers, national scoping studies and investment guides for overseas carbon buyers.

For further information about specific capacity development activities, please visit the relevant country page:

2. Establishment of actual CDM carbon projects – supporting project developers to undertake viable, credible CDM projects with strong sustainable development benefits.