Sun | Nov 29, 2020

Earth Today | Saint Kitts & Nevis launches new civil society initiative

Published:Thursday | October 29, 2020 | 12:17 AM
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Kitts and Nevis

SAINT KITTS and Nevis’ Department of Economic Affairs and Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) and the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) have announced the launch of the project, ‘Enhancing Caribbean civil society’s access and readiness for climate finance’.

The announcement was made on October 22 at the Innovation Hub, National ICT Centre in Saint Kitts.

The project aims to build the capacity of civil society organisations, including national non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations and resource user groups such as farmer and fisherfolk associations and cooperatives, to access and deliver climate finance and build climate resilience in the Caribbean.

“It will enhance CSOs’ knowledge, skills and organisational structures, and strengthen institutional mechanisms to enhance civil society voice and participation in climate change decision-making nationally and regionally,” said CANARI, who is implementing the project together with the national designated authorities across Caribbean Community (CARICOM) from February 2020 to August 2022.

The project’s scope includes the CARICOM region, with targeted activities in Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, as well as Saint Lucia and Suriname.

The project is funded by a US$1.29-million grant from the Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme of the Green Climate Fund, which is a global funding mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that supports climate change adaptation and mitigation in developing countries.

Senior project analyst at the Department of Economic Affairs and PSIP, Auren Manners, said that the Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis is committed to inclusion and partnership in the advancement of its development agenda, and that the importance of CSOs in national development cannot be overstated.

In particular, he welcomed the fund’s support and noted that “the Saint Kitts and Nevis national designated authority pledges its full support to the successful implementation of this initiative to ensure that our national and regional CSOs emerge better prepared to engage in national development agenda planning, implementation and monitoring; accessing climate finance; developing climate change interventions; and training new CSOs to build knowledge and capacity to further scale up the interactions with the GCF and other climate finance mechanisms”.

He also thanked CANARI for their ongoing support in implementing this first readiness initiative in Saint Kitts and Nevis to improve access to the GCF.

“As we celebrate the International Day of Climate Action this week, it is important to recognise the need for civil society leadership. CSOs in Saint Kitts and Nevis and the wider region are well positioned to lead bottom-up approaches that achieve impact on the ground for vulnerable communities and their livelihoods, but their efforts are often small-scale and piecemeal as they lack the necessary funding and technical assistance,” said CANARI senior technical officer and project manager, Dr Ainka Granderson.

“Mobilising funds from GCF and other climate funds to better support CSOs and channel resources to the most vulnerable is key in building local resilience,” Granderson added.