Washington, D.C. (September 3, 2019) — The Adaptation Fund is convening nearly 20 climate-vulnerable countries primarily from the Asia-Pacific for a training workshop in Bangkok, Thailand aimed at enhancing access to climate finance in the region.
The September 2-3 workshop coincides with the 2019 Asia Pacific Climate Week, which is part of a regional climate week series organized by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and partner organizations targeted at raising climate ambition and action around the Paris Agreement, UN Climate Summit in New York in late September and COP 25 in Chile in December.
The Asia-Pacific region faces a wide range of climate change impacts and risks, from devastating storms to flooded coasts and destructive droughts. Increased action is needed to build the resilience of the region and scale up activities to help meet its tremendous adaptation needs.
The Adaptation Fund’s pioneering Direct Access modality is aimed at empowering countries to build their own capacities to respond to climate change, with capabilities to directly access climate finance and develop adaptation projects through accredited national implementing entities (NIEs) based in the countries themselves. To date, the Fund has accredited 31 NIEs around the world, and nearly half are in small island developing states or least developed countries.
Among the Fund’s accredited national and regional implementing entities when taken together, about a quarter are in the Asia-Pacific, so the workshop is aimed at increasing the number of accredited entities in the region.
The workshop will use a peer-to-peer learning approach and open dialogue to include case studies and interaction with the Fund’s accreditation and climate finance readiness teams.
Training materials will be provided from the Fund’s new e-learning course on accreditation, as well as its report on ‘Bridging the Gaps in Accreditation’ that includes lessons and best practices.
“The Asia-Pacific region has a wide range of climate change challenges and adaptation needs. We hope this workshop will increase participants’ knowledge of the Adaptation Fund’s accreditation processes, with the goal that more accreditations of national implementing entities will result and ultimately increase climate action in this region,” said Adaptation Fund Board Chair Ms. Sylviane Bilgischer.
Direct Access provides a pathway to Adaptation Fund project grants, and often creates additional future opportunities through the capacity-building that occurs through the accreditation and project development processes. These can include enhanced national priorities placed on climate change, scale-up potential of projects, and opportunities through the reciprocal fast-track process the Fund has with the Green Climate Fund – which makes accreditation and reaccreditation more efficient for entities already accredited with one fund.
The Adaptation Fund also has innovated a streamlined, individualized accreditation process for smaller entities such as those in small island developing states, and the Fund has accredited NIEs in Armenia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and just this July, Tuvalu, through this process.
“Learning and sharing is one of the Adaptation Fund’s strategic pillars, so we hope that this workshop will enhance knowledge of participants toward achieving accreditations in the region. Ultimately this is a country-driven Fund that is tailored to the unique adaptation needs that each country and region faces,” said Adaptation Fund Manager Mr. Mikko Ollikainen.
The Fund arrives at the workshop with excellent momentum for its concrete adaptation projects that are making tangible differences in enhancing the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable communities throughout the world. In a landmark decision at COP24 in December 2018, Parties decided the Fund shall serve the Paris Agreement as of this January and the Fund has been in continuous high demand for the last few years as the urgency of climate change has increased. It is nearing 100 concrete adaptation projects on the ground, with 94 approved to date and over US$ 650 million committed to serve more than 6 million direct beneficiaries.
About a third of those projects are in the Asia-Pacific region.
Very often, the Fund’s projects are the first adaptation projects on the ground in many vulnerable places, and in addition to supporting the most vulnerable communities with immediate benefits, they are creating valuable models that can later be scaled up or replicated by other funds. This has occurred several times, with Adaptation Fund projects later being scaled up by the Green Climate Fund in countries such as Pakistan,