Thu | Apr 2, 2020

Earth Today | A good year for the Adaptation Fund

Published:Thursday | January 23, 2020 | 12:07 AM
Participants share a photo during the training workshop convened by the Adaptation Fund for climate-vulnerable countries, primarily from the Asia-Pacific, in Bangkok, Thailand, last September.

THE ADAPTATION Fund, from which Jamaica has benefitted in its climate change resilience-building efforts, enjoyed a successful 2019, which concluded on a positive note with a record 11 contributors raising nearly US$90 million in new pledges for its operations.

“Further, the fund solidified its institutional arrangements to help serve the Paris Agreement smoothly (and) continued to receive record numbers of requests from developing countries throughout the year as the urgency of climate change increases, including US$268 million across 40 proposals in February,” according the fund’s year in review report.

The board also approved a record US$188 million in new projects during the year, further reflecting the increased demand.

“As a response, the fund continues to innovate-growing its pioneering Direct Access modality that fosters country ownership in climate finance and bringing forward new opportunities to vulnerable countries through its medium-term strategy,” the report said.

“These include new learning opportunities, such as e-learning programmes to enhance access to climate finance, and new grants that foster innovative adaptation practices on the ground, as well as scale up of effective projects,” it added.

Meanwhile, the year also saw the fund hosting its first-ever ‘Country Exchange’ to bring together Adaptation Fund Direct Access national implementing entities from around the world to learn and share together from a project first-hand in Chile. The fund also convened the first Community of Practice meeting of Direct Access entities, along with the Green Climate Fund and other partners in South Africa, to further build capacity of organisations to efficiently access and utilise project funding. Those events took place in May and June, respectively.

In October, it reached the milestone of 2,100 concrete adaptation projects on the ground, serving 8.7 million direct beneficiaries. It has projects and programmes in about 90 countries, and oftentimes they are the first adaptation actions in many vulnerable places, helping communities with immediate needs and creating valuable models that have later been scaled up with other resources.

“The fund was also honoured for having been selected to receive portion of the Normandy Liberty prize money donated in April by inspirational youth activist and Time Person of the Year Greta Thunberg. Youth are actively involved in many Fund projects, and were featured in December at the fund’s exhibit during the (25th global climate talks) in Madrid as well as the launch of its new innovation grant programme,” the report noted.

“While ambition will need to be increased and sources of funding expanded in 2020 to meet the tremendous adaptation needs the world is facing, the Adaptation Fund remains poised and ready to continue to effectively deliver to those who are most vulnerable to climate change,” it added.