Participants who attended the Green Climate Fund Structured Dialogue with the Caribbean are returning home with better understanding of GCF and a sense of optimism of how to implement their climate action priorities.
The four-day gathering, held this week in Placencia, Belize, saw Caribbean countries come together to lay out their agendas to address climate change in partnership with GCF. Participants learned from the Fund and from each other, and explored areas for collaboration. Each country took concrete steps to move their climate priorities forward through intensive interactions with GCF, the Fund’s Accredited Entities and other partners.
A catchphrase of the Dialogue was “country ownership” with most participants expressing the importance of countries being in the driver’s seat. They reiterated the need for country leadership in the development of adaptation and mitigation projects that speak to the Caribbean context, including the specific needs of small island developing States. This was reiterated by GCF Board Member Diann Black-Layne of Antigua and Barbuda who reemphasized that “country ownership is key to the success of projects”.
For Belize’s Minister of State for Sustainable Development and Climate Change, Omar Figueroa, the Dialogue was a success because of its convening power. “The fact that we had ministers in attendance from the Caribbean highlights the importance of climate change for this region. Countries have clearly put forward the issues that are priorities for the Caribbean and how GCF can help in realizing our goals.”
Echoing Minister Figueroa, GCF’s Clifford Polycarp said he was impressed by the high level of political commitment that the Structured Dialogue brought about. “Having the ministers from Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, and St Vincent and the Grenadines in attendance undoubtedly elevated the region’s ambition with GCF,” noted the Fund’s acting Director of Country Programming.
Also commenting on the Dialogue’s outcome, GCF Board Member Zaheer Fakir of South Africa said the “Structured Dialogue has laid the foundation for greater regional cooperation and programmes to address the challenges of climate change in the Caribbean”.
Nearly 90 participants attended the Structured Dialogue. This included delegates from 14 countries, representatives from 14 GCF Accredited Entities as well as several observer institutions.
The Structured Dialogue was organised in partnership with the Government of Belize and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC).