Sun | Sep 24, 2017

NGOs, small businesses get funding for climate change adaptation

Published:Thursday | February 9, 2017 | 2:00 AM
Marvin Hardware (seated right) signs the grant agreement for Parry Town Citizens' Association for an aquaponics and water management project with EFJ Chairman Professor Dale Webber. Standing are Anaitee Mills, project manager for Climate Change and Sustainability at the Inter-American Development Bank; and Lt Col Oral Khan, chief technical director in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.
From left: Dean Gibbs, project officer; Ingrid Pottinger, administrative accountant; and Ruth Jankee, executive director, all of the Rose Town Foundation for the Built Environment, at last Monday's signing ceremony.
Special Climate Change Adaptation Fund administrators from the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica and beneficiaries show off the cheque representing the most recent awards at the signing ceremony last Monday.
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WITH A changing climate that threatens to wash away entire communities and derail livelihoods, local civil society organisations and small businesses are being empowered to respond - with capital.

This is thanks to financing made available through the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR).

There exist two financing mechanisms, according to Dr Winsome Townsend, project manager for the Adaptation Programme and Financing Mechanism under the PPCR.

One is the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCAF) that is being administered by the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica.

The SCCAF, according to project documents, is "to finance adaptation and disaster risk-reduction projects and cover associated programme management costs".

"Grants from this trust fund will be accessed by community-based organisations, other civil-society groups and selected public-sector agencies, for clearly defined high-priority activities, particularly related to building the resilience of the natural environment and contributing to livelihoods protection and poverty reduction," the documents revealed.

Last Monday, the first 18 beneficiary organisations were awarded sums to the tune of $84.9 million to undertake projects designed to enhance resilience at the community level.

"There was a call for proposals in October last year and out of that, about 80 proposals were received and about half that amount were shortlisted. They were further assessed and out of that, an initial 18 were approved," said Townsend.

"Twelve were pending approval. Those 12 have now been approved. So out of that first call, approximately 30 have been approved," she added.

 

PROJECTS TO BE PURSUED

 

Projects to be pursued include water harvesting and greenhouses, aquaponics systems and food processing, as well as various ecosystem restoration initiatives.

Townsend said another call will be issued later this month or early March.

The second mechanism is a line of credit, intended "to provide loan financing to support adaptation measures of farmers and other businesses in the agricultural sector, and small hoteliers and other businesses in the tourism sector".

Five projects have been approved to the tune of some $25 million, Townsend said. However, the overall level of interest in the line of credit - administered by JN Small Business Loan - is not immediately clear.

"Because it has started soft, we don't know yet. We can't at this time make any determination as to the level of enthusiasm," Townsend said.

Still, she is hopeful for its success, given what is at stake.

"It is not just the Government who needs to put in measures in terms of climate change adaptation, but everybody, including citizens. Of particular interest is the private sector because businesses are under threat from climate change, and so the private sector needs to respond to these threats," she said.

"The micro, small and medium-size businesses are at greater risk because of their capacity to respond. They are not as resilient as the more established or bigger enterprises," Townsend noted.

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