Sun | Oct 24, 2021

Earth Today | Pacific Community gets green light for supported adaptation actions

Published:Thursday | October 14, 2021 | 12:09 AM
Young children cross the walkway to go to the local market to sell food in Samoa, a small island developing state in the Pacific. The walkway was created under the AF-funded project implemented by UNDP to protect against erosion and mudslides caused by sea
Young children cross the walkway to go to the local market to sell food in Samoa, a small island developing state in the Pacific. The walkway was created under the AF-funded project implemented by UNDP to protect against erosion and mudslides caused by sea rise and flooding. (Photo: Adaptation Fund) Adaptation Fund

THE ADAPTATION Fund has enhanced support for climate adaptation and resilience for developing countries in the Pacific region by accrediting the Pacific Community (SPC) as its eighth regional implementing entity.

The decision was made through a virtual intersessional board action recently.

SPC marks the second regional implementing entity to gain accreditation in the Pacific region, following the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme headquartered in Samoa. It also represents the fund’s 56th implementing entity overall.

SPC was accredited through a Fast-Track Accreditation process available to implementing entities that have already been accredited by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to make the process more efficient. SPC received its GCF accreditation in February 2019. This accreditation makes SPC the fourth entity – after the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, UN Industrial Development Organisation, and Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation of Bangladesh – to be accredited through the Adaptation Fund’s Fast-Track Accreditation process.

SPC, which was established by the Agreement Establishing the South Pacific Commission in 1947, serves as the principal scientific and technical organisation supporting development in the Pacific region. Headquartered in Nouméa, New Caledonia, it is owned and governed by 26 members, including all 22 Pacific island countries and territories. SPC includes mostly vulnerable developing countries and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), as well as some developed country territories.

SPC has supported its member countries’ development goals focusing on sustainable economic development, capacity building, and enhanced health and livelihoods. SPC has also developed a track record in financing climate change-related projects in the Pacific region, along with other activities, including capacity-building, project implementation, policy, research, and demonstrative actions.

SPC’s member countries and territories are home to more than 100 million people, and most of them are in SIDS.

VULNERABLE TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Frequent exposure to extreme weather and climate events, sea level rise, small population numbers, and limited resources make SIDS uniquely vulnerable to climate change. The effects of climate change in the region are significant, impacting livelihoods and industries such as agriculture, fishing, and tourism.

The Adaptation Fund supports a substantial portfolio of projects in SIDS worldwide with almost 20 per cent of its projects and programmes in SIDS. Seven of the fund’s National Implementing Entities under its pioneering Direct Access modality that builds country ownership in adaptation are also from SIDS.

Further, about a quarter of the Adaptation Fund’s US$850 million portfolio is invested in projects in the Asia Pacific region. “This new accreditation of the SPC will further strengthen the Adaptation Fund’s support for the most vulnerable countries in the Pacific region, especially SIDS which have limited capacity to respond to and recover from climate change impacts,” said Mikko Ollikainen, head of the Adaptation Fund.

“We look forward to working with the SPC to address the region’s developing countries’ unique adaptation needs, through necessary, regional and country-specific financial and technical support,” he added.

To date, the Adaptation Fund’s 56 total national, regional and multilateral implementing entities are carrying out 123 concrete projects on the ground in more than 100 developing countries – with about half in SIDS or least developed countries.