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Mainstreaming climate change adaptation into sectoral planning: Learning from Benin's environmental cells

Case Summary: 

While sub-Saharan least developed countries (LDCs) are
highly exposed to climate change, they often lack the know-how that is
necessary to adequately address climate risks. One reason for this is that most
climate-related information for these countries is fragmented or only available
in English. To address this knowledge gap and establish a scientific basis for
the National Adaptation Plan (NAP), Benin (with financial support from the
German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear
Safety (BMU) as part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI)) has
launched the Support Project for Science-based National Adaptation Planning (PAS-PNA,
for its French acronym). The PAS-PNA project supports government and scientific
actors in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the
NAP, and collaborates with actors from civil society and the private sector to
that end.

The cross-sectoral implementation of a scientific and
participatory approach to national adaptation planning in Benin relies to an
important degree on so-called environmental cells (EC). Established in Benin in
2001, the cells play an important role in the participatory process of NAP
preparation in Benin. They have been established as focal points for
environmental issues including issues relating to climate change in Benin´s
different ministries (such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries
or the Ministry of Health) and allow for institutionalised horizontal
coordination and discussion of relevant issues. As such, they help to integrate
environmental and climate change adaptation dimensions into strategic and
planning documents as well as projects and programmes of different sectors.

As part of the PAS-PNA project, the environmental cells
inter alia provide support in the development of vulnerability studies, conduct
environmental assessments, facilitate capacity building of key sectoral actors
and strengthen sector planning instruments.

The environmental cells constitute a good practice as they
foster strong inter-sectoral coordination, adopt an innovative and
science-based approach, and engage various stakeholders in the context of the
PAS-PNA project.

Country 
Benin
Action Area 
Adaptation
Planning and Implementation Activity 
Governance and Stakeholder Engagement
Barriers overcome 
Institutional
Source 
Global Good Practice Analysis (GIZ UNDP)
Language 
English