Stepping up climate action in the Cook Islands

  • Article type Press release
  • Publication date 13 Jun 2016

Government, community, civil society and private sector representatives from the Cook Islands have come up with initial project ideas for what might populate their country programme to tackle climate change—supported by the Green Climate Fund.

Representatives from the country’s 15 islands met on the island of Rarotonga on 26 May to identify where climate mitigation and adaptation efforts should focus and where potential support from the Fund could be channeled.

Project ideas were largely clustered along infrastructure, water, and agriculture, with the underlying emphasis to enhance the islands’ resilience to climate change, reduce dependency on fossil fuels, and build on climate action efforts already underway including projects from the Adaptation Fund and the Global Environment Facility.

The workshop also provided participants with a detailed overview of the GCF. A session on the Fund’s readiness programme highlighted the important role of the National Designated Authority (NDA) as the core interface between a country and the Fund. It also outlined the support available to help countries prepare to access GCF resources, such as pursuing accreditation and building a pipeline of projects that is aligned to the country’s national climate plans and the Fund’s investment priorities.

The Cook Islands’ National Designated Authority to the GCF, the Climate Change Cooks Islands Division, in the Prime Minister’s Office, used the workshop to foster a better understanding of the Fund, and to highlight its role as NDA and how participants can engage through it to explore opportunities with GCF.

“Everyone now better understands the key concepts of GCF. We realize that GCF is our Fund to address Cook Islands’ climate change issues”.

Ana Tiraa, Director of Climate Change Cook Islands and GCF National Designated Authority

To take forward the island’s partnership with GCF, participants agreed on the importance of refining project ideas, building on existing efforts, and working with the NDA to identify entities to work with them to take these forward. They supported the NDA to explore assisting some entities from the public and private sector to get accredited to the Fund to help implement the country’s climate actions.