“Project Preparation for Transformative Climate Resilient Green Climate Fund Water Projects in Africa” was the title of a three-day workshop held recently in Johannesburg, South Africa by the African Development Bank in partnership with the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and other international development institutions.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF), the African Water Facility (AWF), the Africa Climate Change Fund (ACCF), the Climate Resilience Infrastructure Development Facility (CRIDF) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) were the other contributing institutions to the capacity development sessions, held on September 19-21, 2018 at the headquarters of the DBSA.
The courses on accessing GCF financing were attended by over 100 participants from across Africa. They included representatives from current and potential GCF Direct Accredited Entities (DAEs), water ministries, water resources planners, GWP Africa programme managers and regional coordinators and technical advisors from universities and Think Tanks. They received instructions on the work and essence of the GCF, its mandate and investment criteria, and its operational modalities and procedures for delivering climate finance through different windows. Case studies illustrating successful applications to the GCF from African states were also showcased.
The GCF is intended to be the operating entity responsible for raising climate finance under the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). As a financial mechanism, it assists developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change
Limited understanding of GCF funding proposal requirements and modalities continues to be a barrier for countries in need of GCF resources. To access support from the GCF for climate resilience-building water projects, countries will need to present well-designed projects that achieve impact – reflected through prioritized project ideas, compelling concept notes, and comprehensive funding proposals. The Johannesburg workshop was organized in response to these issues. It also specifically addressed the capacity strengthening and development requests of National Designated Authorities, Direct Access Entities, and water ministries on accessing green climate fund financing.
The workshop also provided participants an opportunity to discuss GCF financing instruments, along with fit-for-purpose examples of climate rationale, project design, and financing instruments selection in the African context. The methodologies for articulating incremental costs of climate-proofing projects, concept notes preparation and project management toolkit for water ministries and water-related sectors preparing GCF-compliant projects were also discussed.
One key outcome from the workshop is the need for ongoing technical assistance for developing countries. This would better prepare them for designing climate resilience-building water projects with the potential to attract funding from the GCF. Towards this objective, interested international institutions are expected to explore the possibility of establishing a support mechanism, to be called the “Climate Resilience Partnership for Preparation of Water projects”.