Readiness and preparatory support to operationalize the Climate Smart Resilient Island (CSRI) Initiative across Small Island Developing States

Document cover for Readiness and preparatory support to operationalize the Climate Smart Resilient Island (CSRI) Initiative across Small Island Developing States
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Readiness and preparatory support to operationalize the Climate Smart Resilient Island (CSRI) Initiative across Small Island Developing States

This Readiness request is submitted to operationalize the Climate Smart Resilient Island (CSRI) initiative which has so far not received any financial support of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) or any other donor.

Though small island developing states (SIDS) are not a homogenous group, island state nations across the world face similar development challenges caused and intensified by climate change. To counter this reality, SIDS strive to steer their development towards alignment with and supporting the implementation of their ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). There is huge potential for mutual learning of the different island states on an inter-regional scale, but to date there is no formalized and coordinated exchange between SIDS in this regard.

The large potential of an inter-regional partnership for cross-regional learning has been recognized by H.E. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, President of the Republic of Maldives, who launched the CSRI Initiative together with 27 SIDS1 and 14 partnering agencies2 at the Climate Action Summit in 2019.

The CSRI Initiative was included in the SIDS Package – a set of SIDS-focused and SIDS-defined climate change initiatives aimed at safeguarding small island societies in the face of climate change. The SIDS Package was presented by the Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) to the UN-Secretary-General to be included as part of the Summit’s outcome in 2019.

While each of the activities to be undertaken through this Readiness as part of the CSRI Initiative are fundamental in supporting the implementation of the Maldives national mitigation and adaptation priorities, the CSRI will mainly assist the 27 partner countries to access climate finance in comparably larger projects addressing similar climate change impacts and supporting similar mitigation interventions across several SIDS in the Pacific, Caribbean, and Indian Ocean, learning from inter-regional experience. Therefore, this proposal has a few Maldives-specific activities to support their leadership in establishing and implementing the Initiative, most activities are in support of multi-country activities for the 27 partner countries. This ultimately supports the objective of the CSRI Initiative: to provide replicable, scalable, and holistic approaches to addressing climate change in the context of sustainable development and the multi-faceted challenges that SIDS face. The CSRI Initiative proposes to tackle these challenges through eleven action areas outlined in Section 2 below.

The CSRI Initiative was launched as high-level political priority at the head of state and government (HoSG) level at the Summit in 2019, yet it is still at an early stage and will be supported in its operationalization through this readiness proposal. The activities of this Readiness address the following gaps:

  • The CSRI has not yet commenced its activities since its inclusion in the SIDS Package, which has been due to a lacking governance structure and workplan and limited national capacity in the Maldives NDA to lead the development of this Initiative.
  • SIDS face limited access to national or regional Direct Access Entities (DAEs), with many relatively new DAEs suffering from limited capacity to be able to adequately develop GCF Funding Proposals especially as some regional DAEs are responsible for over fifteen countries within their respective regions.
  • Lacking knowledge on SIDS-suitable technologies for adaptation and mitigation across sectors that are suitable for cost-effective implementation at scale. Though many SIDS have conducted Technology Needs Assessments (TNAs) and updated their NDCs, implementation of NDCs began in 2020 and the process of moving forward to actual implementation and investment in specific measures has only recently begun and is yet not visible.
  • Many barriers still hinder the private sector to engage and invest in climate resilience projects in SIDS and limited financial and business literacy on the public-sector side pose another obstacle. Economies of scale and inherent challenges of SIDS, including remote nature, cost of technology, and limited or no access to international financial markets continue to be structural challenges SIDS face in implementing climate action at scale.
  • There is a lack of SIDS-driven regional or multi-country project pipelines with only one multi-country SIDS-specific approved funding proposal led by a national or regional DAE.
  • SIDS have limited networks, knowledge and capacity development programme (CDP) to scale up climate solutions. Knowledge sharing within regions and across regions on SIDS-suitable solutions has been limited to date.

The aim of this Readiness proposal is to initiate the operationalization of the CSRI Initiative with the Maldives NDA in lead as the initial and lead proponent of the Initiative in 2019. This Readiness proposal is a single-country proposal with Maldives as proponent. In consultation with the Initiative’s 27 partner countries, Maldives will lead the implementation of the first steps of operationalising the Initiative, specifically in establishing the draft governance structures and an Initiative workplan, through Outcome 1.1. The remainder of the activities, while under this single-country Readiness are intended to be implemented in partnership with the partner countries of the Initiative and will benefit all the partner countries in the three geographical regions of SIDS. To support the overarching objective of the CSRI Initiative, this Readiness proposal includes a workplan that reflects the needs and priorities as outlined by the 27 partner countries in the Initiative submitted to the UN SecretaryGeneral. In detail, the Readiness support fosters the following objectives:

  • Operationalizing the CSRI Initiative with a clear and transparent governance structure and Standard Operating Procedure.
  • Assessing capacities and gaps of existing regional DAEs and identifying possible next steps to enhance SIDS’ access to GCF through either establishing a new entity or strengthening an existing DAEs.
  • Building partner countries’ capacities to convert TNA and NDC priorities into viable and scalable projects, with the engagement of the private sector.
  • Providing CSRI Initiative partner countries’ NDAs access to a user-friendly website serving as a communication and knowledge platform for peer-topeer exchange and sharing lessons learned on developing climate solutions and projects in areas prioritized by their national and sectoral climate goals.

Successful implementation of this GCF Readiness support will advance NDC implementation through the strengthening of the CSRI Initiative across the participating SIDS. The direct beneficiaries of this Readiness proposal are the NDA of the Maldives and the CSRI partner country institutions. The indirect beneficiaries include the impacted people and communities of the Maldives and of the other CSRI partner countries.

Cover date 01 January 2024
Document type Approved readiness proposal
Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH