The Green Climate Fund’s first workshop for Eastern Europe and Central Asian countries has strengthened regional approaches on adapting to climate change, according to one of the participants.
"Countries in the Balkans have been experiencing a series of natural disaster relating to climate change, including serious floods, during the past few years," said Andrej Lakic, with Montenegro’s Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism Department for International Relations
"This has reinforced the need to take adaptive measures,” he said. “Since the countries of Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Albania face similar needs, it would be useful to work more closely together."
Mr Lakic, who is Montenegro’s focal point with GCF, said the three-day workshop, which concluded on 2 May, provided a great opportunity to stimulate thinking on how Eastern European and Central Asian countries can rectify current gaps in climate adaptation.
“While Montenegro has adopted numerous mitigation projects during the past few years, including the introduction of offset measures in tourism and transport, now is the time to begin funding adaptation action,” he said.
Mr Lakic stressed the importance of the private sector in driving investment in adaptation, adding GCF can play an important role in laying the foundation for enhanced business engagement.
Early GCF support would be useful as the private sector in this part of the world is not accustomed to many of the requirements to access GCF funding, especially those around gender and environmental safeguards, he added.
Many of the workshop participants were interested in hearing how GCF can provide support for countries planning to submit funding proposals to the Fund.
During the workshop, Ekaterine Grigalava, Georgia’s Deputy Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Protection, noted Eastern European and Central Asian countries have not been as active as other regions in accessing GCF assistance.
The workshop has helped fill knowledge gaps and strengthened ties between GCF and the region’s National Designated Authorities and focal points, as well as organizations now exploring avenues of climate finance assistance.
Some 70 participants took part in the regional workshop. This included delegates from 13 countries, representatives from eight GCF Accredited Entities, 10 National Designated Entities of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) as well as several observer institutions from civil society and the private sector.