African Development Bank, Adaptation Fund, Green Climate Fund convene first Direct Access to climate finance meeting
Over 30 Implementing Entities to Meet in Durban to Build Strategy, Action Plan
To accelerate and enhance Direct Access to climate finance for developing countries that are vulnerable to climate change, the Adaptation Fund (AF), Green Climate Fund (GCF), African Development Bank and South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) are joining forces to facilitate a meeting of more than 30 accredited implementing entities in Durban, South Africa.
The meeting which will run from 5-7 June, is aimed at furthering a common Community of Practice for Direct Access Entities (CPDAE) through the adoption of a governance framework and development of a roadmap of activities to build additional capacity of the community’s members to efficiently access, receive and utilize Direct Access project funding from AF and GCF.
The milestone meeting will be funded by AF, GCF and the Bank’s Africa Climate Change Fund (ACCF). It will be hosted by SANBI, an accredited Direct Access entity of both AF and GCF. The meeting will include interactive plenaries and group discussions, as well as a visit to an AF-funded Direct Access project implemented by SANBI that is helping small-scale farmers adapt to climate change in the uMngeni catchment through early warning systems and climate-smart techniques.
“As an accredited entity of both the Adaptation Fund and Green Climate Fund, the South African National Biodiversity Institute feels privileged to host this ground-breaking Community of Practice meeting in Durban, South Africa,” said Dr. Mandy Barnett, SANBI’s Director. “This initiative promises to unlock opportunities for Direct Access entities to work closely together and establish robust mechanisms to share project design and implementation learnings.”.”
Direct Access builds country ownership in addressing climate change challenges by empowering developing countries to access climate finance as well as identify and implement tailored projects directly through accredited national institutions that are based in the countries themselves rather than outside multilateral organizations.
AF pioneered Direct Access in practice and has accredited 29 national implementing entities (NIEs) to date, while GCF has accredited 48 direct access entities (35 national and 13 regional). The Adaptation Fund has 14 NIEs that are also accredited to the GCF and all six of its regional implementing entities (RIEs) have GCF accreditation, as well.
Organizations are nominated to become Direct Access entities directly by designated country government authorities, and then go through an accreditation process separately within each fund to ensure capacity to effectively develop climate projects and foster environmental and social protections.
The accreditation and project development processes for Direct Access entities can be complex and often require a level of capacity building in country to take place prior to accessing funds. As such, both AF and GCF have climate finance readiness programmes that provide technical assistance, both institutional and project specific, and direct support to guide entities through the processes and further strengthen their organizational capacities.
“This is an amazing opportunity for countries that are most vulnerable to climate change to come together and develop a strategy and action plan that will further enhance Direct Access to climate finance, and urgently needed adaptation solutions on the ground,” said Adaptation Fund Board Chair Ms. Sylviane Bilgischer. “This also directly ties into the Adaptation Fund’s medium-term strategy, which fosters learning and sharing in adaptation and complementarity between climate funds.”
Though unable attend the event in person, the Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund, Yannick Glemarec, shared his support stating, “Country ownership is key to the success of the Paris Agreement and to GCF, so the launch of this community of practice to facilitate Direct Access Entity collaboration is excellent… This initiative further ensures they will remain in the driving seat of climate finance.”
Earlier meetings of the CPDAE established its Committee, whose membership, term of office and other operational attributes will be discussed in the Durban meeting. Actions to further facilitate Direct Access will also be identified, such as the development of an online platform for experience sharing, a train-the-trainers programme on relevant themes, structured workshops and bilateral cooperation between entities. These ideas will be officially discussed and agreed on in Durban, and some of them are already underway and will be further refined at the meeting.
The CPDAE also complements other activities that are occurring between funds.
Both AF and GCF also have processes in place to ‘fast-track’ each other’s implementing entities to help make the accreditation processes as smooth as possible.
Since 2010, AF has committed US$ 564 million for climate change adaptation and resilience, including 84 concrete localized adaptation projects in vulnerable communities of developing countries serving over 6 million direct beneficiaries. It also pioneered Direct Access, empowering countries to access funding and develop projects directly through accredited national implementing entities.
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GCF was established to support low-emissions and climate-resilient development in developing countries. It is part of the financial mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and serves the Paris Agreement.
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The ACCF is a trust fund hosted by the African Development Bank, which supports activities to advance access to climate finance in African countries. Current donors are Germany, Italy and Flanders.