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Earth Today | Adaptation Fund, Green Climate Fund convene first Community of Practice meeting on direct access financing

Published:Thursday | June 6, 2019 | 12:00 AM

IN AN effort to accelerate and enhance direct access to climate finance for developing countries vulnerable to climate change, the Adaptation Fund (AF) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) are staging a meeting of more than 30 accredited implementing entities in Durban, South Africa.

The meeting, which will run until tomorrow, is jointly supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).

The goal is to further a common community of practice for Direct Access Entities through the adoption of a governance framework and development of a road map of activities to build additional capacity of the community’s members to efficiently access, receive and use Direct Access project funding from the AF and GCF.

The milestone meeting is funded by AF, GCF and AfDB’s Africa Climate Change Fund, and hosted by SANBI, which is an accredited Direct Access entity of both AF and GCF. It will be further organised and led by a committee of the CPDAE, comprising of representatives of six Direct Access Entities.

The meeting will include interactive plenaries and group discussions, as well as a visit to an AF-funded Direct Access project implemented by SANBI that is helping small-scale farmers adapt to climate change in the uMngeni catchment through early warning systems and climate-smart techniques.

“As an accredited entity of both the Adaptation Fund and Green Climate Fund, the South African National Biodiversity Institute feels privileged to host this ground-breaking Community of Practice meeting in Durban, South Africa,” said Dr Mandy Barnett, SANBI’s director, in a release from the AF.

“This initiative promises to unlock opportunities for Direct Access entities to work closely together and establish robust mechanisms to share project design and implementation learnings. As part of the meeting programme, SANBI looks forward to showcasing the benefits and effectiveness of Direct Access together with representatives of other developing countries, and exploring ways to enhance lessons and best practice,” she added.

29 Accredited

Direct Access builds country ownership in addressing climate change challenges by empowering developing countries to access climate finance, as well as identify and implement tailored projects directly through accredited national institutions (including regional institutions in the case of GCF) that are based in the countries themselves rather than outside multilateral organisations.

The AF pioneered Direct Access in practice and has accredited 29 national implementing entities (NIEs) to date, while GCF has accredited 48 Direct Access entities (35 national and 13 regional). The Adaptation Fund has 14 NIEs that are also accredited to the GCF, and all six of its regional implementing entities have GCF accreditation as well.

Organisations are nominated to become Direct Access entities directly by designated country government authorities, and then go through an accreditation process separately within each fund to ensure capacity to effectively develop climate projects and foster environmental and social protections.

The accreditation and project development processes for Direct Access entities can be complex and often require a level of capacity building in country to take place prior to accessing funds. As such, both the AF and GCF have climate finance readiness programmes that provide technical assistance, both institutional and project-specific, and direct support to guide entities through the processes and further strengthen their organisational capacities.