Belize and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) have signed letters of agreement to approve readiness funding for the Caribbean island.
The letters were signed by Omar Figueroa, Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change, and Ousseynou Nakoulima, GCF Country Programming Director. The funding will support the capacity building of Belize to enable it to access project funds from GCF in the future.
Speaking at the signing, Minister Figueroa stated that “access to climate finance is one of the critical issues for Belize, so we are extremely grateful to get this readiness programme underway. By strengthening our National Designated Authority, and by building the strategic frameworks we need, we will be able to move forwards in a way that will be effective and efficient to meet the needs of our country.”
Also present for the signing was Colin Young, GCF Board member and Chief Executive of the Belize Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change. The two Belize Ambassadors to the United Nations, Lois Young and Janine Felson, who have been strong advocates of the Green Climate Fund, were also present at the signing, as well as Dr Mark Bynoe, Assistant Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (5Cs). 5Cs will be the delivery partner to Belize in the implementation of the readiness project.
Colin Young explained that “this is a very significant development, not just for Belize but for the region. Belize will be hosting a GCF Structured Dialogue next year, and these developments build momentum for other countries that are not yet at this stage. They show that GCF is operational, that it is open for business, and that it is meeting the needs of the countries.”
The GCF Structured Dialogue in Belize will take place in early 2017. The gathering will bring together representatives from Small Island States in the Caribbean, together with Accredited Entities (AEs) and other organisations, including delivery partners with GCF’s readiness and preparatory support programme.
The Caribbean Structured Dialogue will be the second GCF dialogue, following the Structured Dialogue with Africa which took place in October 2016 in Cape Town, and brought together more than 200 GCF Partners.
The organisation of Structured Dialogues is a priority for GCF, as articulated in the Fund’s Strategic Plan that the Board adopted in March 2016.