Tue | Jan 22, 2019

Earth Today| National adaptation project gets spotlight at UN climate talks event

Published:Thursday | December 13, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Guests arrive at the ‘Spodek’ multipurpose arena complex for the COP24 summit in Katowice , Poland, on Wednesday, December 5.
From left: Mr Déthie Soumare Ndiaye, Centre de Suivi Ecologique, AF national implementing entity, Senegal; Mr Victor Vinas, Dominican Republic, chair, Adaptation Fund Board; Mr Jean-Paul Gaudechoux, senior programme manager, World Meteorological Organization; and Mr Mikko Ollikainen, manager, Adaptation Fund Board Secretariat.
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JAMAICA'S ADAPTATION Fund project was one of three country projects highlighted at a contributor event put on by the fund at the United Nations (UN) Climate Talks in Poland yesterday.

"The programme has been contributing to the implementation of the Vision 2030 Jamaica - National Development Plan as the country's long-term sustainable development plan, and sector-level plans and policies," said Le-Anne Roper of Jamaica's Climate Change Division, about the US$10 million project.

"As an example, it has been a key contributor to the ongoing import-substitution initiative of the government, particularly for selected crops, such as potatoes and onions," she added in her presentation on the six-year project at the Katowice event.

According to Rope, the benefits had also extended to the Jamaican economy by enhancing its food security, with farmers reaping 750 tonnes of Irish potatoes and 174 tonnes of onions under the initiative.

"It has also been contributing to our implementation of international agreements, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals," she added.

Roper spoke, too, of the tangible benefits the project had provided at the community and sector levels, noting that some 2,500 farmers in 100 communities had benefited.

The Adaptation Fund initially approved Jamaica's project in 2012, making it the first Caribbean island to access direct financing from the fund. The project focused on boosting the adaptive capacity of the agriculture and coastal resources sector. It directly benefited seven parishes, but has impacted the entire island.

The Adaptation Fund side event was, meanwhile, geared at highlighting the work of the fund globally while also seeking to underscore the need for continued funding for climate financing through the fund and otherwise.

"Adaptation is key. Jamaica, as a small island developing state, knows this from experience, backed by science, including the recently released report of the IPCC on warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures," said Roper.

She was joined by speakers from Rwanda and South Africa, who also highlighted the impact of the Adaptation Fund projects in their countries.

 

Financial pledges come in for Adaptation Fund

 

Meanwhile, several countries have announced financial pledges at the Adaptation Fund contributor dialogue. They include Sweden, which has pledged US$5 million and Belgium, which has pledged €4 million.

 

Others include:

 

- European Union - €10 million

- Germany - €70 million

- France - €15 million

- New Zealand - US$3 million; and

- Italy - €7 million

"It is important to remember that this fund is not only about money, but also about the people. The fund has surpassed the 80 million new commitments for 2017 - it is now at 95.5 million," said United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, in her opening remarks at the Adaptation side event.

"The funds got requests for $235 million for 35 projects - 5.8 million people in developing countries have benefited so far," she added.

At the same time, she called on other countries to "step up and do more" in the area of adaptation financing. She explained that if the UN climate talks and subsequent actions did not achieve the goals of 1.5 or even two degrees, then countries would be seeing "more of the devastating impact of climate change".

Similar sentiments were expressed by the president of Fiji and former chair of last year's UN Climate Change Talks, Jioji Konrote, who said that there was a great need for funding for projects like the ones executed under the Adaptation Fund.

"I would like to add Fiji's voice to the call, re access to greater financing - the fund has been successful in innovative climate financing. I hope you can see a clear move in the direction here at COP24 - we need more ambition to make more climate finance available to meet the Paris Goal, as we also need more to make the 1.5 degree target. The world must free up the finance needed to make it possible," he said.

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