Presentation given by Marc DUBERNET, Regional Director Indian Ocean, French Development Agency (AFD) – Reunion, during the AIVP Indian Ocean Days (Le Port, Reunion island, November 2018).

Over the last five years, the state-run French Development Agency (AFD) has supported various transport projects in the Indian Ocean zone. However, the AFD’s experience of port-city interfaces means it is also able to identify the most important issues for these interface areas. The Agency’s approach is fully in line with the Paris Climate Agreements and the need for a wider strategy aimed at both anticipating and adapting to the effects of climate change.

My presentation will have three sections: what are the amounts financed by the AFD in the transport sector? What types of projects in our Indian Ocean zone? What contributions based on our feedback and our strategy form the basis of our future collaborations?

AFD in the transport sector

In the transport sector, the AFD group sets up actions to finance infrastructures (for example, construction of wharfs or container terminals), but also equipment dedicated to security, telecommunications or information boards. We also supply strategies for integrating ports and transport systems via hubs for Information systems, making possible management of multimodal transport. Finally we also contribute to applying reforms, action plan and road maps, economic and financial models, training, as well as social and environmental responsibility policies.

Funding for the transport sector represents around 1.2 billion Euros each month: 10% of our total annual commitments.

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The maritime transport branch represents around one 10th of the annual financing aimed at the transport sector, with a clear bias in favour of Africa.

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In the South Western Indian Ocean (therefore excluding funding for ports on the east and south coasts of Africa) €100 million have been committed by the AFD group during the past five years. Mauritius and Reunion represent a clear majority of this funding, 10% of which is devoted to the climate objectives of the AFD group, which is developing a meticulous accounting methodology.

© Agence Française de Développement

A few examples of projects

In 2014, the Port of Reunion trusted the AFD to contribute investment funds, part of which were devoted to mitigation, with renewable after the public lighting system of the port infrastructures, aimed at reducing energy costs.

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In Port-Louis in 2012 and 2104, the AFD agreed to give a loan to the PMA and the CHCL to support an action by the EU, notably aimed at mitigating the environmental impacts of extension work to the container terminal.

© Agence Française de Développement

Has just agreed to a loan for the SPA in partnership with the EIB and the EU. The actions include a “Climate Change resilience” stage, which prefigures actions that we should like to support in the future. I will come back to that later.

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At Cape Town, we took action in 2009 to encourage important investments for capacity development.

© Agence Française de Développement

Finally, in Kenya, we are in the process of supporting the “Mombasa Port Resilient Infrastructure” project, notably by supporting mitigation of the effect of Climate Change through the installation of PV panels on 30,000 m2 of constructions and participating in a programme of society actions around the topic of gender and consideration of vulnerable groups (handicap). In addition, preventive programme focusing on AIDS is part of this remarkable project, through its integration aspect (investments + social aspects).

City-Port interfaces–AFD experience feedback

We are very interested in the City/Port approach the Association AIVP has been promoting. Our approach is still too compartmentalised (ports on one side and towns on the other). AFD, a funding body, has an institutional approach. Our interlocutors are mainly port authorities and town councils.

The City/Port issue is often treated as a dichotomy: port feasibility studies that stop at the “gates”; urban planning studies based on an incorrect analysis of the challenges of access to ports and having to manage transit flows.
That’s important challenges for port and public authorities:
– for the private sector massively investing in port infrastructures, access to the hinterland must be efficient;
– towns that have to manage their development need to anticipate transfer of port activities (land) and shifts in centres of employment (mobility, housing).

We must improve our approach to the multi-faceted aspect of issues and to the need, notably, to have a holistic vision of the challenges.
This is, of course, true when it comes to taking into consideration the effects of Climate Change and decision-making to adapt the coastal facades that are the most exposed to rising sea levels.

Thus, to enable the funding structures working in the field of development, such as the AFD, to act as effectively as possible in the face of adaption to Climate Change, we need co-ordination between the City authorities and the Port authorities acting as interlocutors.

The new AFD strategic plan defines several major axes for its action: becoming a funding body that is “100% Paris Agreement” – December 2015 on the subject of climate, making sure that the project finance are beneficial and contribute to fighting against the effects of Climate Change, either through mitigation or adaptation measures. Placing social links at the centre of the actions of the AFD, committed to being a “100% social links” funding body by contributing to the reduction of inequalities of gender, of course income, but also physical handicaps and social (electricity, unemployment, access to health, education, crime).

Regarding this respectful meeting, these two markers reflect the strategy of your Association, with whom we have many common objectives.

We should like to suggest you working with us on a basis of shared values and objectives. It is not simply a question of opposing the powerful logic of business to the imperatives of the fight against Climate Change or taking into consideration of the social/society dimension in your actions, but of finding the connections which will enable us to construct an ecological and Society transition which both our northern and southern populations have requested. It is rather a question of working together to construct a new economic and social model that will create jobs, encourage involvement in the society and hopes for a better future. Because port cities are at the primary investors in your countries, your action plays a major role in boosting changes.

By giving support to the transition towards a low carbon emission economy, by working on the socio-economic links between the activities of the port platforms and those of the city, including culture and the arts, which forge an identity of the land and territory, the proud feeling of belonging to a space where people can identify and where they love to work and live.
Obviously, adapting to rising sea levels is one of preoccupations, notably because your activity is directly impacted and because tomorrow most of humanity will be living in coastal urban territories that are highly vulnerable.

For the AFD, acting against the effects of Climate Change involves giving support to public policies, for example through:

– accompanying, defining and/or implementing public policies (PrPP, AT for institutional reinforcement) encouraging low carbon development in the maritime/port sector and/or favouring low carbon transport (Railway, River) rather than by road in the hinterland;
– supporting port authorities in their “green and responsible port” policies;
– taking action through port taxes, which may vary in the amount depending on the environmental performance of vessels, taxes on carbon fuels may be applied and/or reductions for “clean” engines may be agreed to.

The technical measures that the AFD wishes to support or those having a potentially structuring effect (important reduction of greenhouse gases or more modest measures but with a high potential of replication on the large-scale) such as:
electricity supply for ships at the dock (shore to ship);
solar panels to produce energy for self-sufficiency of the harbourmaster’s headquarters;
environmental clauses in concession contracts on the subject of energy efficiency of handling equipment;
– measures enabling reduction of emissions linked to reducing the time spent docking for ships;
– measures to reinforce river and rail freight rather than road in the hinterland or limiting the emissions of a competing port.

Thank you for your attention and for any interest that you may show to mobilize your best development partner, AFD, to share your further projects as soon as you go back home and hoping that we can contribute to financing them in the respect of the values that we share and around which we can communicate together.