National Climate Funds an Opportunity for Countries to Manage Climate Finance

Apr 5, 2017

Nadi, Fiji - Accessing and utilizing global climate financing from sources such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and other multilateral and bilateral funds, provides the opportunity for governments to scale up national climate change adaptation and mitigation activities. 

However, for countries to receive these funds, robust finance and governance structures need to be in place to support the effective efficient and accountable implementation of activities that are funded by these global climate financing mechanisms. Through the National Climate Funds (NCFs), countries now have an opportunity to set up a system that can mobilise climate finance at the national level.  

Government representatives from Fiji, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Tonga and Tuvalu as well as development partners from the Pacific region recently met in Nadi, Fiji for a south-south learning programme to share lessons learnt and best practices on how certain countries have progressed in the establishment of their NCF’s. The GCF was also invited to present its potential links in terms of the direct access modality and NCF.

“The NCF is a tool for countries to manage climate finance; it helps countries to collect climate finance from a variety of sources, coordinate them, blend them together and account for them,” said the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Climate Change Policy Advisor, Cassie Flynn. 

“A country can build on existing systems and frameworks to design an NCF that directs resources towards activities that deliver results on the ground effectively. Some countries in the Pacific have already established NCFs.

“Countries like Tuvalu, Tonga and PNG are leading the way for designing and establishing these important tools for managing climate finance,” said Flynn. 

In his opening speech, Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Forests and Fisheries, Samuela Lagataki encouraged participants to learn and share as much experiences as they can from each other. 

“Financing remains a critical and a core integral component in implementation,” said Lagataki. 

“Tackling the impacts of climate change requires strong, genuine and an integrated partnership of all stakeholders from the community level, private sector, non-government organisations, civil society organisations as well as regional and international development partners,” he added. 

In terms of feedback on the learning opportunities the south-south exchange platform has provided, the Government of Tuvalu’s Director for Climate Change and Disaster Coordinator under the Prime Minister’s Office, Pepetua Latasi, found the different sessions to be very effective. 

“Finance should be made easily accessible to most vulnerable countries and support should be provided to these countries to access finance. This learning platform was very informative and useful because we were able to hear practical examples and case studies from countries,” said Latasi. 

“The opportunity to ask questions to government officials working directly on NCFs is a great bonus,” she added 

Echoing these sentiments, the Government of Tonga’s Principal Climate Finance Analyst and Head of the Climate Finance Division, Sione Fulivai said, “Climate finance is a maze as there are so many funding sources available. The platform was effective in sharing experiences, insights and views on NCFs, learning from the experiences from existing national funds throughout the Pacific region, enriched with contributions from government officials and development partners.” 

He added, “Taking lessons learnt from this platform, we will look at opportunities for the private sector to be a part of the NCF process.” 

Moving forward, the countries with established NCFs have pledged to collectively raise the awareness and build the profile of these financing mechanisms with their Pacific counterparts and with those globally at various events. 

“Climate finance has the potential to strengthen resilient development in the region”, said Project Manager for the Institutional Strengthening in Pacific Island Countries to Adapt to Climate Change (ISACC) Project with the Pacific Community (SPC), Vuki Buadromo. 

“NCF provides an entry point for facilitating direct access to the most vulnerable communities. However, robust results based management frameworks need to be established to support sustainable financing and learning,” said Buadromo. 

The south-south learning platform was organised by the Fiji Green Climate Fund Readiness Programme, in partnership with the Climate Policy Lab of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji and the Ministry of Economy, with support from the German Government’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). The meeting took place from the 30th to the 31st of March 2017.

Development partners present at the platform included the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, SPC, Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF), and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ).

The Green Climate Fund Readiness Programme builds countries' capacity to access the Green Climate Fund, through preparing countries to plan for, manage, disburse and monitor climate financing.   

Contact information

Jone Tuiipelehaki Raqauqau, PRRP Communications Associate, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji. E: jone.raqauqau@undp.org P: (679) 3227 552 M: (679) 9936 744