Caribbean GCF stakeholders gather in Belize for first regional workshop
The Green Climate Fund’s latest readiness workshop is under way in Belize, providing the Fund’s stakeholders in the Caribbean region with first-hand support and guidance on working with GCF.
The three-day workshop being held in Belize City from 6 to 8 October will help increase understanding of GCF processes among the National Designated Authorities (NDAs) and focal points in the Caribbean, and create a platform for the exchange of best practices between stakeholder groups.
An additional and key activity of the workshop is a focus on developing readiness requests that will enable countries to apply for financial support from the Fund. As part of the Fund’s Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme, an initial USD 15 million has been allocated to support countries in such efforts. To date, USD 4.6 million has been approved to serve 17 countries, including two from the Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda and the Dominican Republic.
In an opening video address to the 52 workshop participants, GCF’s Executive Director Ms. Héla Cheikhrouhou highlighted the particular challenges faced by Caribbean small island developing states (SIDS)—from extreme weather events, such as Hurricane Joaquin, to land degradation—that threaten to set back development gains.
The Fund, she noted, is “an important partner poised to provide sustainable financing to support your efforts to tackle climate change,” citing that at least 50 per cent of adaption funds will go to vulnerable countries, including SIDS among others—a commitment stipulated in the Fund’s resource allocation framework.
As host of the workshop, the government of Belize used its intervention at the recent United Nations General Assembly to underscore the urgency of climate action. “Our world community must be prepared to deploy whatever resources that may be required, without counting the cost,” said Belize’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Wilfred Elrington in New York.
To date, eight Caribbean SIDS have submitted their intended national climate action plans ahead of the UN Climate Change Summit, indicating their commitment to climate action.
The next GCF regional workshop is scheduled to take place early next year and will target NDAs and focal points in South America. Following the conclusion of that workshop, the Fund will have organized six readiness workshops since 2015, covering Africa and the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and the Pacific.