Climate Change Resilience
General News

6 May 2024, Apia, Samoa.  Pacific island communities continue to be at the frontlines of the escalating climate crisis, battling climate change impacts and challenges affecting their livelihoods and wellbeing. 

Accessing Climate Finance continues to be an important challenge for all actors at regional, national and subnational levels but especially for communities to address different adaptation priorities across different sectors including food and water security; and health and well-being. For these local actors, there are very limited sources of climate finance that are specifically aligned with their needs and capacities. 

Participants from across the Pacific converged this week at the Taumeasina Hotel in Apia, Samoa, on 6 May 2024, for a consultation workshop to gain a better understanding of the Enhancing Direct Access (EDA) modality of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as a means of addressing Pacific access to climate finance for locally led adaptation, through accredited entities such as the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

Mr Emanuele Cuccillato from the GCF presented on the EDA Pilot and Locally led climate action with the Fund. He said “the EDA pilot was launched in 2015 and the objection of this initiative was to develop a mechanism strengthening the process of transferring decision-making power and selection and design of projects to countries and local actors”.

The workshop was attended by National Designated Authorities from 14 Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) members, technical practitioners, and Meteorological Service directors. Participants were taken through a series of activities to define what locally led adaptation is from a Pacific perspective and unpack their key challenges and barriers to accessing climate finance for locally led adaptation activities. 

Participants also explored existing structures and mechanisms in each of their countries that could channel financing under a modality such as the EDA to sub-national and community levels. 

Ms Gaylene Tasmania, Deputy Secretary for the Government of Niue put into perspective the importance of the consultation. She said, “this was a breath of fresh air as it was all about locally led adaptation. We took it right back to the beginning where we all started. In the Pacific, we all come from a community, and we live in these communities. So we thought about what directly impacts our communities and how can we provide solutions through the EDA, to our grassroots and our families.”

“Our group focused on health, food and water security, and these are key building blocks that a family needs, and it was an eye-opening exercise to go back to exactly what our Pacific people need. We can have our policies and frameworks, but if the EDA can deliver on our locally led adaptation priorities we just need to be reminded of where we began and where we need to go back to in order to move forward.”

SPREP is currently implementing a portfolio of GCF Readiness grants to support the development of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) in the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru and Tuvalu. The NAPs will establish a strong vulnerability and risk baseline in each country across its priority sectors to inform climate finance investment.
Country NAPs provide an important platform for accessing climate finance, and where that NAP process incorporates the needs of Pacific frontline communities. They present an important opportunity to address the lack of climate finance available for sub-national and community climate change interventions. 

The outcomes of the consultation will determine a coordinated approach by SPREP as an Accredited Entity; to accessing relevant resources from available climate funds, to finance adaptation priorities at the sub-national and local levels in eligible Member countries.
The consultation workshop with SPREP PSIDS Members – Enhancing Direct Access (EDA) multi-country project for Adaptation: Implementing National Adaptation Plans was held on 6-7 May 2024, at the Taumeasina Hotel in Apia, Samoa.

For more information on the consultation workshop, please contact SPREP Project Development and Implementation Officer, Salome Tukuafu at [email protected]