News / Africa

World Bank Works to Promote Environmentally-Sensitive Development Projects

Reuben Kyama

Development experts are urging African policymakers to increase the number of projects that reduce carbon emissions, which in turn cause pollution and climate change. The World Bank is working with African countries to help attract such so-called green investments in renewable energy, forestry and other areas.

A manager of the institution’s BioCarbon Fund, Ellysar Baroudy, says the Bank is taking part in a series of projects around the region aimed at helping impoverished communities enjoy environmental and financial benefits from carbon finance.

Funding the projects are some of the world’s biggest polluters, including industrialized countries like the United States, China and the European Union.

In Niger, a project producing Arabic gum, helps absorb carbon dioxide. In Madagascar, Baroudy says a reforestation effort links two national parks: “It’s got 122 tree species, done to try to mimic nature and extend the range of park because of the value of tourism in Madagascar.”

The U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol was designed to fight global warming. Industrialized nations are expected to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels with most reductions coming domestically. Under the protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), companies and other investors in developed countries can earn carbon credits, or Certified Emission Reductions (CDRs), whose value is linked to the price of carbon dioxide.

Western companies can invest up to 15 percent of their CDRS in projects that reduce carbon emissions in Africa and the developing world.

UN official John Kilani says “The credits are based on real measurable and additional reductions that would not have occurred in the absence of the project [so, they contribute to mitigation efforts].”

The United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) says Africa has more than 120 carbon market projects up and running -- or in the pipeline -- in areas ranging from wind power to forestry. But compared with the rest of the world, the continent is still lagging, and its potential for clean and green energy is still largely untapped.

There are several reasons why.

Senior Communications Officer of the World Bank’s Carbon Finance Unit, Isabel Hagbrink, says they include a lack of financing and involvement by the private sector, and a failure by some African governments to back the projects or to take the lead. Many investors are more likely to invest in carbon reduction projects in regions with high rates of greenhouse gas emissions. In comparison, Africa’s are relatively low. Some African countries also lack technical support with many trained staff leaving for better paying jobs in industrialized countries.

John Kilani is with the secretariat of the UNFCCC. He says the groundwork has been laid for Africa to boost its participation in the carbon market which is growing as an important commodities market worldwide: “Africa has not fared very well so far…but we are optimistic that the situation hopefully will change in a few months ahead.”

The World Bank report, called “State and Trends of the Carbon Market 2009,” says in the past two years a number of countries have entered the CDM pipeline, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa.

Development experts note that there are currently about 120 projects now in Africa, with most of them in the larger countries like South Africa. According to the UN Environmental Program, efforts planned in Kenya and Uganda have jumped from about two in each country in 2007, to nearly 15.

The UN Environment Program (UNEP) says they include a number of initiatives to improve the economy and the environment. For example, they can develop fuel for electricity generation with methane gas from landfills or hydropower from rivers and dams. Also popular are efforts to regenerate forests, absorb carbon dioxide from the air and also replenish nutrients in the soil. They help prevent flooding. In one example in Kenya, the Bank is working with the Green Belt Movement, founded by Nobel Peace laureate Wangari Maathai. Its goal is to plant trees using a community-based approach by a local group called Women for a Better Environment.

The UN agency says there could well be over 240 such projects in Africa within the next two years.

But Baroudy warns that it will be difficult for African countries to enjoy the full potential of carbon finance without a concerted effort to promote land use and forestry projects. They must also work to overcome the challenges that remain -- such as project finance and capacity building.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid