GCF and GEF join forces with Lao PDR to advance climate action

The Government of Lao PDR is leading the way to ensure complementarity and coherence in its programming plans for GCF and GEF, two global climate funds and the operating entities of the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC.

  • Article type Press release
  • Publication date 13 Feb 2019

The Government of Lao PDR is leading the way to ensure complementarity and coherence in its programming plans for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), two global climate funds and the operating entities of the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC. It is the first country to host a joint mission of GCF and GEF to support ambitious climate action in Lao PDR. During the joint-mission in Vientiane on 12-14 February, both Funds will support the country in identifying how each can support country aspirations for climate resilient and low emissions sustainable transformational change.

“This ground-breaking collaboration between GCF and GEF shows how we are working together to synergise each other’s financing to maximise impact and benefit for developing countries,” said Jerry Velasquez, Director of GCF's Mitigation and Adaptation Division. “Lao PDR has set an ambitious vision towards climate resilient and sustainable future. We are looking forward to working with the country as well as with the GEF to help turn this ambition into reality," he added.

“GEF’s new four-year investment cycle (GEF-7) puts an emphasis on addressing the underlying drivers of environmental degradation and will result in more climate benefits,” said Gustavo Fonseca, Director of Programs at the GEF. “Collaboration and coordination amongst funding institutions like GEF and GCF will bring greater efficiency and impact to limited but increasingly strategic investments being made to safeguard the global environment. We commend Lao PDR for the initiative to foster such engagement at the national level.”

“We rely on our natural resources for our socio-economic development in sustainable manner and these resources are highly sensitive to the impacts of climate change" said H.E. Sommad Pholsena, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Government of Lao PDR. "We have laid out ambitious plans to address these challenges and are very encouraged by the efforts of GCF and GEF to work collaboratively in synergy to support us.”

During the mission, the Government of Lao PDR will present their advanced programming plans for GCF and GEF. GCF and GEF will engage national institutions and other key stakeholders to explore synergies between proposed programming plans and seek potential areas of collaboration. The meetings will consider financing priority climate actions, including opportunities for scaling up and replication from successful GEF projects, joint GCF-GEF investments, and strategic sequencing of interventions. Lao PDR is currently working on multiple proposals for both institutions, including a proposal on adapting agriculture to climate change impacts in six provinces seeking to scale-up with GCF successful experiences from previous and ongoing GEF LDCF projects.

The government of Lao PDR is committed to a climate resilient and sustainable development, and important progress has been achieved in the areas of floods protection and water management, resilient agriculture, and forest conservation. The country’s Vision 2030, Strategy 2016-2025 and the 2016-2020 Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) have defined the direction and goals of socio-economic development. The plans strengthen the country's commitment to the SDGs and prioritise effective utilisation of natural resources, industrialisation and modernisation.

The cooperation between global climate funds is critical to meet the rapidly growing climate finance demand in developing countries. The GCF-GEF mission in Lao PDR follows the coordinated engagement initiative launched at the GEF Assembly in June 2018. The initiative seeks to build greater national strategic coherence by strengthening country engagement through country-level coordination and communications between focal points and entities, including ways to improve coherence in communicating with GCF National Designated Authorities, GEF Operational Focal Points, and accredited entities and Agencies.