Capacity gaps to climate finance

CLIMATE changes pose threats to most vulnerable regions such as the Pacific, which has led governments and the international community to establish several funds to support adaptation measures.

This in addition to existing capacity building, technical assistance and financial support programs.

And with global climate financiers already channeling financial resources to countries across the Pacific, there are still large capacity gaps in terms of linking adaptation strategies to projects, as well as in rigorous project design.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the University of the South Pacific is holding a five-day training course aimed at addressing some of these gaps and develop the skills of government and non-government stakeholders.

Hosted by the USP’s Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD), the Understanding and Accessing Climate Finance workshop was opened in Suva yesterday by the US ambassador Judith Cefkin.

Ms Cefkin stressed that resilient development required all sectors of the economy work together to adapt existing infrastructure and social systems.

“As I have often said, Pacific Island countries are at the forefront of the increasing climate variabilities and disaster risks that we all face,” she said.

“They are also on the frontlines advocating for sustainable development that effectively addresses these challenges.

“This is crucial for us to be ready to successfully manage the challenges ahead. The US Government is pleased to work with Pacific governments and the private sector to address your most pressing development needs.”

“A key objective of both USAID Ready and USAID Adapt is to increase Pacific Island countries’ access to international sources of financing, such as the Green Climate Fund.”

Attended by a good mix of government and NGO representatives, the workshop will guide participants through the process of identifying and designing a bankable adaptation project.

It will utilise a series of activities to help participants develop an existing project idea into a project concept, and will help the participants develop a roadmap for completing project design and submitting the project to a financier.

Ms Cefkin added that over the next few months, USAID will also initiate a course for participants to obtain a certification in project management.

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