Fiji Ministry of Economy hosts GCF Pacific Accredited Entities Roundtable

On 20th April 2021, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) supported the Fiji Ministry of Economy to host a Pacific GCF Accredited Entities Roundtable which had a hybrid in-person and virtual format with two panels consisting of ten speakers from around the Pacific as well as dedicated time for questions and answers. The Fiji Ministry of Economy invited GCF-accredited organizations based in the Pacific and Pacific Island government ministries and organizations which are already accredited, are in the process of or are interested in becoming accredited to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to participate in this knowledge exchange event.

Since 2015 the GCF has been the largest multilateral contributor of finance for climate change projects to Small Island Developing States. According to the Climate Funds Update, USD 255 million was approved for climate finance projects in SIDS in 2018 with 76% of this funding coming from the GCF. The GCF works through a wide range of institutions to finance projects and programmes. To access funding, these institutions must go through a process of “accreditation,” designed to assess whether they are capable of strong financial management and of safeguarding funded projects and programmes. Once accredited, entities develop funding proposals to be considered and approved by the GCF. The Fiji Ministry of Economy is itself in the process of seeking accreditation to the GCF.

The panelists from the event shared their GCF accreditation experiences and lessons learnt from the accreditation process and recommended solutions on how to address challenges and bottlenecks that may arise and also gave advice for development of project proposals and project pipelines. The 2-hour session was entirely dedicated to exchange and open discussions.

The panelists at the event were:

  • Rouna A (GCF Accreditation Associate Professional) shared the latest updates on the GCF accreditation process, including GCF work on streamlining the accreditation process and development of a new online platform to support entities in the process of accreditation.
  • Tessa Vaetoru (GCF Coordinator from MFEM Cook Islands) shared some of the challenges faced and the co-benefits to institutional strengthening for the MFEM gained through GCF accreditation. She further mentioned that the accreditation panel consists of experts who are very supportive throughout the process.
  • William Kostka (Director of the Micronesia Conservation Trust) discussed on the methods of promoting action at the local level as an NGO as part of the GCF project implementation and shared some of the ways they adjusted their processes, policies and procedures to meet GCF requirements.
  • Setaita Tamanikaiyaroi (Manager, Green Banking at the Fiji Development Bank) shared how the accreditation has increased the capacity of the organization to implement best practice in climate change projects. She highlighted the importance of timely training and of the role of the GCF staff as experts to provide a better understanding.
  • Dorothy Erickson (Director of Finance and Treasury) Ministry of Finance, Vanuatu discussed about the processes they used to engage with other ministries as well as their own staff and departments in the accreditation process
  • Melanie King (Manager Project Coordination Unit) SPREP shared about the common country needs across the region relating to project development and how the new E-learning platform of the Pacific Climate Change Centre can help.
  • Dirk Snyman (Climate Finance Adviser) SPC discussed about the biggest bottlenecks that accredited Entities (AEs) are faced from getting from a project pipeline to turning the pipeline into actual projects.
  • Wayne King (Director of Climate Change Office of the Prime Minister, Cook Islands) shared about how the NDA and the MFEM have designed their projects and how delivery partners for projects are chosen.
  • Hanna Uusimaa (Asian Development bank) explained on how IAEs can support Direct Access Entities through existing joint activities, capacity building and human resource development and supporting better data and information availability, including data gathering and analysis.

“Despite being one of the most climate vulnerable regions in the world, the Pacific has significant potential to demonstrate trailblazing adaptation and decarbonization initiatives to address the challenges of climate change – but we need to translate our climate centric development needs into investable solutions. This Roundtable event has provided much needed collaborative discussions on mobilizing climate finance at speed and scale that Pacific Small Island Developing States require. Fiji hopes to convene similar regional meetings on a constant basis in collaboration with development and multilateral partners, with keen interest already being shown by the GCF”, said Mr. Vineil Narayan who is the Acting Head of Climate Change and International Cooperation at Fiji’s Ministry of Economy.

The contributions by the panelists as well as the discussions during the question and answer session roundtable event provided greater awareness amongst the participants of the GCF accreditation processes and support available to entities from GCF along the way, of good practices and policies that will allow for access to GCF funds, of the practicalities and human resource commitments needed for concept and proposal development and of the importance of implementation of policies such as environmental and social safeguards (ESS) and gender as part and parcel of any GCF project. The importance of engagement with GCF and the NDA at an early stage was also highlighted, as well as ensuring alignment to national climate priorities and showing that the project being submitted has a strong climate rationale behind it. Finally, project developers and executing agencies implementing the projects must work closely with grassroot organizations such as NGOs and CSOs to ensure that there is sufficient stakeholder engagement and implementing partners with grassroot networks to ensure sustainability in the long-term.

The report of the event is available here.