Eswatini officially joins ICAT as project begins in Mbabane
The two-day inception workshop held on 9 – 10 September 2021 was attended by 60 participants from across various government departments, NGOs, the private sector, research institutes, international funding agencies and ICAT.
The aim of the workshop was to raise awareness of and launch the ICAT project and to start engaging with stakeholders on the various activities planned.
The first day was used to introduce ICAT and to gain an understanding of ongoing climate activities in Eswatini. On the second day, breakout groups were set up to go into more depth, including discussions on adaptation in the health and water sectors, renewable energy policy, institutional arrangements for the agriculture sector, improvements of the land use change inventory and future emission projections.
The workshop was opened by the Director of Meteorological Services at the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Ms. Duduzile Nhlengethwa-Masina. She described Eswatini as being in an exciting moment with numerous large climate change projects currently underway and stressed that it was a good time to ensure synergies between the projects. She described the ICAT project to “be invaluable in addressing gaps in Eswatini’s climate change reporting process.”
Over the next 10 months, the ICAT project will focus on both adaptation and mitigation components and will, among other things, develop a framework for adaptation tracking in the health and water sectors, complete a gap analysis and a roadmap for institutional arrangements in the energy and agriculture sectors and complete a renewable energy policy assessment. These outputs will assist Eswatini to meet its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets, strengthen capacities, and contribute to ongoing efforts in building a national transparency framework that meets international standards that is tailored to domestic needs.
Ms. Khetsiwe Khumalo, who is the main focal point for the ICAT project at the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, presented the links between the ICAT project and other internationally funded activities that are currently going on in Eswatini, demonstrating how the ICAT project was building on existing work and how it was going to feed into future projects.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Henning Wuester, Director of ICAT, acknowledged the work that had already taken place to get this project started, and discussed what ICAT can offer Eswatini as the country continues to implement its climate action plans.
“The ICAT project will support Eswatini in ongoing efforts to build a national transparency framework that meets international standards but is tailored for domestic needs and in conducting assessments of its climate policies and actions,” said Dr. Wuester. “By enhancing Eswatini’s capacity to analyze and assess greenhouse gas emission reductions and selected sustainable development impacts of renewable energy policies, the ICAT project plans to assist Eswatini in implementing its NDC targets.”
He further highlighted the importance of continued stakeholder collaboration, and in closing said: “ICAT stands ready to support you and showcase the results. The engagement of all of you present here today will be the key to the success of this project.”
The workshop offered an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss project activities, timelines, data sources, stakeholders and capacity requirements, and together, developed a way forward for the project.