Editor's note: This story is part of the publication produced for the 25th Anniversary of the Global Environment Facility. The publication is a compilation of contributions from across the GEF partnership; it includes stories and guest articles that have being submitted by countries, partner organizations and dignitaries from around the world.
The West African Development Bank (BOAD) - the common development finance institution for the eight Member States of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol - has taken on board concerns over climate change, the effects of which have slowed development in these countries. Thus the BOAD has undertaken - in accordance with its statutory functions and it’s Vision 2020 - to provide support to its Member States to help strengthen their capacity to reduce their vulnerability to such adverse effect, boost their resilience, and help them to benefit from climate finance to achieve sustainable poverty reduction. It has therefore positioned itself as the regional entity capable of mobilizing additional environmental resources on behalf of the eight countries in the Union through its accreditation by the financial mechanisms dedicated to the environment and to climate issues.
In 2011, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) launched an accreditation process for ten new project implementing agencies. The BOAD seized this opportunity to submit its application for accreditation and the GEF approved accreditation for the BOAD as a new Implementing Agency at its 48th Council Meeting, on June 2 and 3, 2015.
This accreditation offers opportunities for mobilizing resources through cofinancing of environmental projects. The BOAD’s objective is to provide WAEMU countries with most of the resources available to finance the environmental projects they identify as priorities and which belong to one of the GEF's focal areas - climate change, biodiversity, and land degradation.
A BOAD mission was carried out in the WAEMU countries in August 2015 to meet GEF operational focal points to identify projects eligible for GEF financing. In November 2015, tit organized a workshop led by GEF experts to familiarize its senior executives with GEF operational procedures.
Two projects have already been prepared, for which Project Identification Forms have been submitted to the GEF for approval. In June 2016, the first GEF project was approved for the BOAD.