NEWS: Workshop focusses on accessing climate finance through the Adaptation Fund in Africa
A recent workshop in Nairobi explored challenges and opportunities faced by African countries trying to access climate finance through the UNFCCC’s Adaptation Fund
Established under the Kyoto Protocol, the UNFCCC Adaptation Fund has supported the implementation stage for a number of adaptation projects in many developing countries. Developing countries are only able to access the Adaptation Fund via accredited implementing entities – multilateral, regional or national (National Implementing Entities, NIEs). Implementing entities are accredited via a thorough process undertaken at the Board level, in this case by the Adaptation Fund and the Global Environmental Facility.
NIEs are seminal in allowing Governments to access climate finance, affording them the opportunity to implement adaptation projects that facilitate climate compatible development. While NIE initiatives are beginning to kick off all over the world, the capacity for their development is limited at present. It is essential that governments in Africa be capacitated to facilitate this process.
CDKN is supporting a research project that will leverage the Climate Governance in Africa programme of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung (HBS). As a component of this project, a first-of-its-kind workshop convened accredited implementing entities of the Adaptation Fund in Africa. The workshop also saw the input of selected domestic climate finance facilities to discuss common obstacles that African implementing entities (both accredited and aspiring) are facing during the execution of projects, as well as the opportunities, strategies and insights for effective utilisation of funds disbursed from the Adaptation Fund and other direct access modalities.
During the workshop, participants expressed the need to learn from projects that are already being implemented as well as those projects currently emerging. Also discussed was the relationship between the NIE route, the Adaptation Fund and the role of the Green Climate Fund.
The Adaptation Fund involvement in Africa currently includes 10 projects under implementation, four projects with endorsed concepts, two projects with concepts not yet endorsed and one project which was withdrawn. 18 out of 54 countries in Africa have not yet assigned a Designated National Authority and as such have no engagement with the Adaptation Fund. The first NIE worldwide is in Senegal – the African continent is a pioneer of direct access and investment, an achievement that is something to be proud of.
Some of the challenges raised during the workshop included how to ensure continuity of institutions in the financing process and ensuring countries are not made to repeat the same institutional capacity building to access international sources. Other discussions centred on how to facilitate the transition from institutional strengthening in terms of NIEs to project development.
Peer-to-peer learning was emphasised, particularly south-south learning. There is a lot of capacity in the region which needs to be capitalised on. Participants also discussed the process of creating linkages between northern-based private sectors that are funding development work and private sectors in African countries, with the possibility of north-south links in the private sector. Readiness support was seen to be of paramount importance.
As a way forward, participants discussed the idea of developing a database of experts to assist countries that are starting their accreditation process. The establishment of domestic funds as well as post-accreditation support for project management and the need for communication – even if through informal channels – to enable countries to have access to information. Guidelines were raised as important considerations.
Preliminary research findings indicate that direct access to funding is taking place in Africa more than other parts of the world and accredited NIE are receiving funds. While there is a lot of support towards accrediting institutions, there are still challenges being experienced including the transition from institutional strengthening to project proposal development and implementation. Some countries have been accredited and yet have been unsuccessful to get projects funded. There needs to be more cohesion between institutional strengthening and project development.
Participants felt that, overall, it was a successful endeavour, with the outcomes of the research project and workshop expected to feed into the African Group of Negotiator’s Climate Finance (AGN) working group – also supported by CDKN.
For more information visit the Adaptation Fund NIEs in Africa: Independent insight project page
Image: flooding in Senegal