Climate change is an increasingly pressing issue around the world, and Pacific island countries are at the frontlines experiencing impacts and challenges affecting Pacific people’s livelihoods and wellbeing.
Climate finance is one important mechanism in place that assists countries, organisations and communities in combating climate change, through the funding of projects which focus on national adaptation, disaster readiness and preparation programmes, and mitigation.
Participants from around the Pacific are in Apia this week to gain better knowledge of climate finance and strengthen partnerships with climate finance organisations such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and regional accredited entities such as the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Organisation (SPREP).
The ‘SPREP National Designated Authority Workshop’ opened in Apia on Monday 18 March at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel and is partnership between GCF and SPREP, with more than 40 regional and international participants in attendance.
Providing assistance to Pacific NDAs in accessing climate finance through the development of quality concept notes and proposals, was one of the key objectives outlined by Samoa’s National Designated Authority (NDA) and CEO of the Ministry of Finance, Leasiosiofaasisina Oscar Malielegaoi in his address at the opening of the workshop.
“This workshop is a timely and welcomed initiative, which provides an important opportunity for all of us to come together and collectively combat climate change through public investment and private climate finance,” said Mr Malielegaoi.
The three day workshop is an important opportunity for Pacific NDAs to collaborate with the various regional and international organisation partners who provide climate finance and assistance to accessing that finance, who have also travelled to Apia to provide their support and expertise.
These partners include the Pacific Community (SPC), Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), USAID Climate Ready Project, Conservation International (CI), United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Samoa.
“We have a few Direct Access Entities – regionally, we have SPREP, MCT (Micronesia Conservation Trust), and newly accredited SPC, to name a few. Through these partners, Pacific island countries will be able to channel viable investment projects, and benefit from the international organisations already here to support Pacific countries in their areas of expertise including other larger projects,” said Ms Anupa Lamichhane, Entity Relations Specialist of GCF in her opening remarks.
“Climate change is an important issue that requires our best collaboration. No individual organisation among us or in the region has all the expertise and experience that could possibly meet this critical regional challenge,” said Mr Roger Cornforth, Deputy Director General of SPREP. “Which is why the opportunity we have at this workshop is so important – accessing climate finance.”
Mr Cornforth further emphasised the greater access to GCF resources from the international, regional and national Direct Access Entities of the Pacific has created a high level of expectation to be able to provide the finance, programmes and projects that will meet all national climate change priorities. He welcomed the workshop as an opportunity therefore address to those expectations, and to utilise this important week with sharing, collaboration and coming together to focus on Pacific national priorities.
The SPREP National Designated Authority workshop will be on from 18 to 20 March. For more information on the workshop, the Green Climate Fund, or SPREP, please email Ms Vitolina Samu at [email protected].