Following the piloting of the Climate Change Initiative, the RECs agreed to address the threatening challenge of climate change in Eastern and Southern Africa together. To this effect, they have jointly developed a five year programme on climate change adaptation and mitigation in the COMESA-EAC-SADC region. The overall objective of the programme is to address the impact of climate change through successful adaptation and mitigation actions aimed at building socio-economic resilience of communities through climate-smart agriculture.
The scale and gravity of the impact of climate change at the global level and particularly in developing countries is a serious challenge to sustainable development in the 21st Century. Climate change is increasingly affecting socioeconomic development in the region, which is heavily dependent on rain-fed agriculture for food security.
The programme was officially launched in Durban, South Africa on 05 December 2011 at the margins of the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It is intended to increase investments in climate resilient and carbon efficient agricultural practices and strengthen linkages between agriculture, forestry, and other land uses (AFOLU) and renewable energy practices among the Member and Partner States. It is funded through a multi-donor financial commitment equivalent to US $90 million from the Government of Norway; the European Union Commission; and the Government of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland over a five-year period.
The signing of the Tripartite Agreement after the Rio+20 Summit held under the auspices of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable development(UNCSD), held from 20- 22 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, demonstrates the regional economic blocs’ collective efforts to address climate change within the framework for follow up action agreed by the Rio+20 Summit. The Summit acknowledged climate change as a cross-cutting and persistent crisis and resolved to increase sustainable agricultural production. The signing of the agreement also provides an opportunity for the inclusion of climate change as one of the areas of co-operation under the Tripartite framework.