African Civil Society Organizations Strategize for Green Climate Fund

Communities are increasingly experiencing water scarcity as a result of climate change, a phenomenon that affects the livelihoods. Photo by Mary Mwendwa

Water Journalists Africa

One of the key outcomes of the COP22 in Marrakech was the establishment of a new transparency fund with the injection of some USD50 million by some developed countries, to encourage transparency efforts in the fight against climate change.

African civil society organizations under the aegis of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) to that effect organized an African regional Post COPP22 sensitization workshop in Kampala, Uganda, 19-21 April, 2017 to examine the readiness of African countries and improve on the momentum towards the fund project.

It is also geared at seeking to expand participation, broadening efforts to build partnership with government and other stakeholders, breaking from the past to build stronger and global resilience.

According to Sam Ogallah of PACJA, the sensitization on the cardinality of the Green Climate Fund -GCF was imperative to measure the readiness and highlight the role of civil society organizations in the funding project.

“Civil society organizations have to be accorded the opportunity to be abreast with the operational modalities of the Green Climate Fund to permit them fully participate in the entire project process and also push their governments to make proposals adapted to the realities of their different countries,” Ogallah said.

Participants during one of the sessions examined the goal, objectives, activities and implementation strategies of the Green Climate Fund, the climate finance process at national and international level within the UNFCCC.

Also examined was the outcome and decisions of the just ended 16th Board Meeting of the GCF and the way forward especially for civil society organizations.

According to participants, the GCF was in line with the Paris agreement in COP21. The Paris Agreement implementation they said should go hand in glove with the 2030 Agenda as well as the AU Agenda 2063, “a process which should take the bottom-up approach, be inclusive and transparent.”

It was also noted that the involvement of all stakeholders including government, civil society, development partners, the private sector, youths and women was not only necessary but imperative to drive the agenda to a success.

“It is a partnership of many facets in development in every country,” says Rebecca Muna civil society representative. The participation of the different stakeholders, she says signals the willingness of countries to understand and undertake climate actions that go beyond adaptation and victory for African countries.

Meanwhile the Green Climate Fund (GCF) on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 launched a new web-based guide that provides Partners with detailed information on how to access its resources.

Tagged “GCF 101”, the guide aims to help GCF stakeholders better navigate the many elements of engaging with the Fund. It provides four distinct chapters addressing the different opportunities the Fund provides to help developing countries respond to climate change: These include, Empowering countries; Getting Accredited; Funding projects; and Implementing projects,” the organization stated in its press release.

According to the GCF, each chapter provides a short overview, a simple step-by-step guide explaining how to apply or access the Fund; and a series of frequently asked questions that tease out more information. Through this approach, the guide increases clarity on the Fund’s main processes as well as transparency.

It adds: “GCF 101 uses non-technical language to make GCF processes easy to understand for non-expert audiences. This approach accords with the GCF mandate to support country ownership of climate finance and recognises the personnel capacity challenges facing many of the targets of GCF support – such as Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and African States.

The body notes that, “like the GCF itself, the ‘101’ is a work in progress,” stressing that the guide will be updated and modified as processes evolve.

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