The Adaptation Fund is convening a large Climate Finance Readiness Workshop in Mumbai, India for the Asia-Pacific Region that is expected to draw 65 participants from some 35 countries to share best practices and knowledge. The aim is to increase the number of the Fund’s accredited National Implementing Entities (NIEs) on the ground to reach more climate-vulnerable communities in the region with effective adaptation solutions.
The workshop will take place August 23-25 and will be co-hosted with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development of India (NABARD, the Adaptation Fund’s accredited NIE for India), as well as the UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, and Climate Action South Asia. It marks the Adaptation Fund’s third readiness seminar held for the Asia-Pacific region, and will focus on the Fund’s accreditation and project development processes while providing guidance and a shared learning environment for both current NIEs and those seeking accreditation. It is also the first time the Fund will have several workshop participants from Eastern European developing countries.
The workshop will feature success stories and experiences from the Fund’s already accredited NIEs in the region from the Cook Islands, India, Indonesia and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). While the Adaptation Fund funds several projects in the region through its accredited multilateral implementing entities, such as in Cambodia, Cook Islands, Maldives, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Georgia, it is seeking to expand its pool of NIEs to give more Asia-Pacific countries the opportunity to build their climate resilience and adaptive capacity directly through its pioneering Direct Access modality.
In all, the Fund currently has 24 accredited NIEs – with 42% in Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States. Nearly 511,000 people are expected to directly benefit from 18 approved NIE projects to date in 13 countries with US$ 118.53 million in committed Fund monies.
“We are grateful to have so many countries gathering together from a region that has been hit hard by climate change in recent years to discuss and share experiences and solutions to grow their capacity to adapt and become climate-resilient, while hopefully reaching more vulnerable communities in need of urgent action,” said Naresh Sharma, Chair of the Adaptation Fund Board.
NIE, government and civil society representatives, research organizations, USAID Adapt-Asia Pacific, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program based in Samoa (a regional implementing entity for the Fund), and Japan’s Global Environmental Bureau at the Ministry of Environment are among those expected to attend.
“We are excited about the prospect of having so many climate-vulnerable Asia-Pacific countries in one place, and the opportunity for an open exchange of knowledge to help advance climate change adaptation in the region and the momentum gained from last year’s Paris Agreement,” added Adaptation Fund Board Secretariat Manager Marcia Levaggi.
The workshop will cover the Fund’s accreditation and project submission procedures, its alternative streamlined accreditation process for smaller entities (which has benefited the Cook Islands and FSM), the Fund’s Readiness program which offers workshops and small technical assistance and south-to-south cooperation grants to NIEs, applying the Fund’s Gender, Environmental and Social Policies in adaptation projects to ensure equal access to resources for women and men while promoting human rights and biodiversity, areas of collaboration with other climate funds, and a case study presented byNABARD on designing a mangrove restoration project in the face of rising seas.
NABARD currently has five approved projects in India through the Adaptation Fund totaling USD $7.3 million that reflect the Fund’s range of adaptation sectors and flexibility to help countries address multi-variable climate issues. The projects include the mangrove restoration, coastal resources conservation, management and capacity building project on the coast of Andhra Pradesh to address sea rise; building adaptive capacities of small inland fishers in Madhya Pradesh; promoting climate-smart agricultural practices for hill communities in the northwestern Himalayas; climate-resilient farming, livelihood diversification, soil and water management, and improved weather advisories in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu; and increasing the climate resilience of small farmers in Purulia and Bankura of West Bengal.
“Climate change is pervasive all over the world. India is particularly affected. The population is dependent on agriculture and agriculture is dependent on the vagaries of monsoons or rains,” said Jaideep Srivastava, general manager for NABARD in a recent video interview. “This cooperation will not be limited to only India or only one country. It will be a regional cooperation, it will be a multilateral cooperation, and people will benefit from the experience of one country, the best practices of one country, which can be brought to the other country. We all have to help each other.”
The workshop is also an important step on the way to COP22 in Morocco this November to continue the international momentum gained from the historic COP21 Climate Change Agreement in Paris last December. The Agreement elevated the importance of adaptation and its accompanying languageincluded the Adaptation Fund as a Fund that may serve the Agreement – subject to a process that is already underway and will continue in Morocco.
The Paris Agreement further established a Sustainable Development Mechanism to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions while supplying a share of proceeds to assist developing countries in meeting their adaptation needs. The Adaptation Fund has proven experience in monetizing carbon reduction credits for funding adaptation through the 2% share it has received from the proceeds of the UN Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol, and has raised US$ 196 million through that mechanism since 2009.
The workshop will help raise attention of the increasing and record demand for Adaptation Fund projects, the importance of its role in the global climate finance architecture, and its vast portfolio of concrete small-scale, effective, practical community adaptation projects that are replicable and scalable.