Adaptation Fund Helping Countries Build Adaptation Capacity through Direct Access and Flexible Finance
SB44 Bonn Climate Conference Events Highlight Fund’s Key Programs
Bonn, Germany (May 25, 2016) – As part of the international effort to accelerate implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and propel the discussion forward, the Adaptation Fund held two key events during the ongoing SB44 Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany this week.
Swedish Climate Change Ambassador Anna Lindstedt was among the featured speakers at the Fund’s Contributor Dialogue May 25, and noted the growing importance of adaptation globally, and evolution of adaptation goals in countries’ intended nationally determined contributions. She also acknowledged the Adaptation Fund as becoming one of the most efficiently working Funds and is impressed with its work and experience in advancing the international adaptation effort – particularly with its growing number of accredited National Implementing Entities which allow developing countries the opportunity to build their own capabilities to adapt to climate change.
Sweden, which is one of the largest supporters of the Fund, continues to help set the bar for further developed country donations as well as private and individual donations. It is also represented on the Adaptation Fund Board and was instrumental in promoting the Fund’s recently approved gender policy and action plan that streamlines equal access to programs among women and men. The gender initiative “will improve climate adaptation,” Lindstedt said.
“Sweden has been one of the most consistent supporters of the Adaptation Fund, and through its example encouraged other developed countries to contribute to the Fund,” said Naresh Sharma, Chair of the Adaptation Fund Board. “Additionally Sweden often has taken on other leading roles for the Fund, including serving on the Accreditation Panel and the Ethics and Finance Committee, so we were delighted to have Ambassador Lindstedt with us today.”
Earlier in the week the Fund hosted a Side Event on May 23 entitled, “Adaptation Fund: Helping Countries Adapt to Climate Change through the Range of Flexible Finance Modalities,” which included speakers from two of the Fund’s accredited National Implementing Entities (NIEs) and one Regional Implementing Entity that delivered presentations on addressing country and regional climate challenges, as well as their experiences, successes and lessons learned with the accreditation and project development processes.
Lia Nicholson, of the NIE, Department of the Environment for Antigua and Barbuda, and Meryem Andaloussi of the NIE for Morocco, the Agency for the Development of Agriculture, presented from the perspectives of the Fund’s pioneering Direct Access program – which provides climate-vulnerable developing countries the opportunity to directly access financing and build their own local and national adaptation capacity through accredited NIEs.
“Direct Access is transformational,” Nicholson said. “It’s easier to build capacity within the NIE than outsourcing it.”
The Adaptation Fund has accredited 23 NIEs throughout the world. Of those, 40% are in Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States. To date, the Adaptation Fund has 18 approved NIE projects in 13 countries that are expected to benefit more than 510,000 people. The Fund also established an alternative streamlined, individualized process for smaller entities in 2015, which has already led to a new smaller entity joining the Fund from Micronesia.
The Fund has further stayed ahead of the international curve in implementing environmental, social risk and gender policies into its projects – practices which its implementing entities incorporate within their institutions.
“Direct Access is an opportunity to anchor good practices within the entity’s policies and procedures,” added Andaloussi.
The Adaptation Fund’s US$9.97 million project in the drought-plagued Oasis zone of Morocco, which seeks to improve the adaptive capacities of the population in the water sector, diversify incomes, improve living conditions and ecosystem resilience, is a good example as it also has a special focus on youth and women.
The Side Event featured speakers from some of the Fund’s other programs, as well, since it also implements projects through 6 Regional Implementing Entities and 12 Multilateral Implementing Entities. Espen Ronneberg, of the RIE, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program, spoke of building regional climate adaptation capacity in the Pacific, while Sönke Kreft of the Adaptation Fund NGO Network discussed the role of civil society in raising stakeholder awareness around the importance of adaptation and to strengthen project involvement from the beginning.
Speakers from the Adaptation Fund also spoke of the Fund’s range of flexible finance modalities and projects that have been proven by independent evaluations to be effective, efficient and relevant. The Fund has additionally demonstrated its value as an innovator and learning institution by pioneering Direct Access, and continually developing projects and programs that are urgently needed and both scalable and replicable. A third evaluation is also planned as the Fund seeks to continually stay on the cutting edge and adapt to country needs. “We were pleased to hear from a diverse cross-section of the Fund’s implementing entities who are facing and confronting head-on a range of coastal, agricultural and water management climate adaptation challenges in the countries and regions they operate in, as well as their experiences and best practices with becoming accredited and developing effective projects,” added Sharma. “The role of civil society in raising awareness for the importance and urgency for climate adaptation and also stakeholder involvement in projects is pivotal, as well, so we were equally grateful to have the participation of the AF NGO Network.”
The SB44 conference, which brought together UNFCCC parties and observer organizations to share knowledge, network and explore actions for meeting the growing climate challenge, was another step towards implementing the Paris Agreement since it was adopted last December. The Agreement included adaptation as a key component of the global climate response, and also specifically recognized that the Adaptation Fund may serve the Agreement – subject to a process that has already started.
“Moving forward, the process for the Fund to serve the Paris Agreement will contribute to speed up the operationalization of the Agreement, including its provisions on adaptation, finance, capacity building, and sustainable development,” said Adaptation Fund Manager Marcia Levaggi. “In order to better serve the Agreement, the Fund also needs to ensure its financial sustainability and predictability.”
“It’s hard to see how to achieve the goal and ambition of the Paris Agreement without the Adaptation Fund,” Nicholson added.
ABOUT the ADAPTATION FUND
Since 2010, the Adaptation Fund has committed US$338 million to support 52 concrete, localized climate adaptation and resilience projects in 46 countries, with 3.57 million direct beneficiaries.
Communications: Matthew Pueschel, firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 202 473 6743
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