GEF interventions have achieved limited impact in Pacific Island Countries (PICs) even as both global and linked national environment problems in these countries remain unresolved. Since its inception in 1991, the GEF has provided $86 million in grants for projects in 15 PICs. This sum is significantly less than required to address the global environmental issues faced by these countries and is also low compared with GEF allocations to other regions of the world with similar characteristics. Moreover, 90% of these resources have been provided for Enabling Activities – countries reporting requirements to international conventions – as well as resource assessments and limited capacity building. Progress in completing many of these activities has been slow, with a few countries still to conclude their projects. For more information on these projects, go to gef project funding
To use GEF resources more effectively, PICs needed to overcome a common set of barriers. These include: (i) balancing community-focused actions, country drivenness, regional coordination and delivery of global benefits; (ii) ensuring GEF modalities are more reflective of national and regional circumstances; (iii) adopting an integrated, programmatic rather than focal area and project-based approach; (iv) balancing national and regional projects; (v) emphasizing on the ground action rather than planning and assessments; (vi) ensuring that countries and the region have the absorptive capacity required to undertake activities in an efficient and effective manner; and (vii) recognizing the limited co-financing opportunities for environment-related projects in PICs as well as the importance of sharing expertise and information.
The GEF Pacific Alliance for Sustainability (GEF-PAS) was designed to address these barriers and help the countries achieve their sustainable development goals while contributing to global environment benefits. This is a program of regionally coordinated but mainly nationally executed projects which would be supported by GEF resources $99.8 million and initial co-financing of $84.1 million. A summary by focal area or theme of the projects submitted:
| Climate Change Adaptation
| Climate Change Mitigation
| International Waters
The goal of the Global Environment Facility Pacific Alliance for Sustainability (GEF-PAS) is to contribute to sustainable development in the Pacific Islands Region through improvements in natural resource and environmental management. In this respect the program will facilitate international financing for sustainable development, biodiversity and environmental protection, integrated water resources management and climate change responses in the Pacific.
The principal objective is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of Global Environmental Facility (GEF) support to Pacific Island Countries (PICs), thereby enhancing achievement of both global environmental and national sustainable development goals. The Program will catalyze action to more effectively implement existing regional strategies, strengthen long term cross-focal area and cross-sectoral linkages, provide a framework for more effective stakeholder participation, and maximize the impact of the dollars invested by GEF.
GEF-PAS was supported by SPREP through the position of the GEF Support Adviser.
The 4th Replenishment cycle of the GEF (GEF-4) ended 30 June 2010, and the 5th Replenishment (GEF-5) started 1 July 2010. PICs accessed GEF resources for GEF-4 mainly under the umbrella regional programme, the GEF Pacific Alliance for Sustainability (GEF-PAS). After revisions, the GEF-PAS has 32 projects, with GEF grants totalling US$101,561,873.
The GEF-PAS has 10 biodiversity projects, 9 climate change mitigation projects, 8 climate change adaptation projects, 1 international waters project, and 4 Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) projects. As at May 2011, sixteen were under implementation, two awaiting the GEF CEO endorsement before implementation commence, and the others in various stages of finalising full project documents.
Under GEF-5, PICs have country-specific indicative allocations under the System for the Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR) totalling UN$28 million for climate change mitigation, US$43.81 million for biodiversity, and US$10.08 million for land degradation, for a total STAR of US$81.89 million. Additional resources can be accessed from set asides for international waters, POPs and chemicals, sustainable forest management, and corporate programmes including direct access funds.
Funding for adaptation projects and programmes under GEF are provided mainly through the Special Climate Change Fund and the Least Developed Countries Fund, which are separate from the main trust fund. However, these are resourced through voluntary contributions, and there is some uncertainty as to the levels by which these funds will be replenished. In May 2011, the GEF Council also approved operational arrangements for the new Nagoya Protocol Implementation Fund.
This Adaptation Fund was established by the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol of UNFCCC. It is financed with the revenues generated as a share of the proceeds from 2% of Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) for projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) plus other voluntary sources.
The Adaptation Fund was deliberately designed so that countries can have direct access through accredited National Implementing Entities, unlike the GEF. As at June 2010, however, fiduciary criteria and adaptation programming capacity required of National Implementing Entities has resulted in only three national entities globally being accredited. The decision establishing the Adaptation Fund allowed for UNDP, World Bank, UNEP and others to be pre-approved as Multilateral Implementing Entities, to allow less-resourced countries to utilize their assistance in accessing the fund. This may have been a tactical error on the part of the advocates for direct country access, as accreditation criteria have become very onerous.
As of June 2011 the Adaptation Fund Board has approved a project for Solomon Islands
, has endorsed a project from Cook Islands, and has project proposals under review from Fiji
and Papua New Guinea
. It is estimated that the AF will have available resources of US$250 – US$350 million by 2012.
SPREP has applied for accreditation as an Multilateral Implementing Entity of the Adaptation Fund to be better placed to provide support as necessary to PICs, and this application has been endorsed by some PICs, as the Adaptation Fund Secretariat required at least two PICs to do so. A decision of the Adaptation Fund Board on the SPREP application is awaited following the meeting of the Accreditation Panel 8 August and the Board meeting on 15 September 2011.
The Cancun Green Climate Fund (GCF) was agreed to by the UNFCCC COP last year in Cancun, Mexico. It is proposed to be responsible for delivering funds to help protect vulnerable countries from weather-related climate impacts, protect tropical forests, and develop low-carbon energy systems for developing nations. Developed nations pledged that the GCF will have resources annually of US$100 billion by 2020.
The first meeting of the Transitional Committee (TC) tasked with designing the fund was held in Mexico City in late April, 2011. Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are represented on the TC by Samoa's Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, supported by SPREP and PIFS. The Caribbean SIDS are represented by Barbados.
The first TC meeting agreed on four work streams to address the following fund elements: (i) Scope and guiding principles; (ii) Governance and institutional arrangements; (iii) Operational modalities; and (iv) Monitoring and evaluation.
The TC's work schedule includes meetings in July, mid September, and late October when its report will be finalised for submission to the UNFCCC COP 17 in Durban, South Africa. It also has scheduled two technical workshops.
Upon the request of member countries, SPREP became accredited as a Regional Implementing Entity (RIE) of the Kyoto Protocol Adaptation Fund
SPREP is currently the only RIE in the Pacific.
SPREP’s RIE status allows SPREP to work together with those 14 member counties who are eligible to access the Adaption Fund to help develop project proposals, and to provide on going technical support and project management oversight, to ensure the successful delivery of adaptation projects around the region.
To this end, SPREP has been working alongside a wide range of partners (including the Adaptation Fund, Asia Pacific Adaption Network (APAN), Secretariat of the Pacific Community (through its EU funded Global Climate Change Alliance Small Island States project); and the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat) to provide capacity building to Pacific Island countries to develop adaptation proposals.
For more information visit the Adaptation Fund website: https://www.adaptation-fund.org/
The Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) is a targeted program under the Climate Investment Fund’s (CIF) Strategic Climate Fund (SCF). (www.climateinvestmentfunds.org
). The PPCR aims to pilot and demonstrate ways in which climate risk and resilience may be integrated into core development planning and implementation by providing incentives for scaled-up action and initiating transformational change. Building on existing efforts, the PPCR also offers additional funding to pilot innovative public and private sector solutions to pressing climate-related risks
Currently the largest adaptation fund in the world, the PPCR focuses on a smaller number of countries and transactions to maximize impact and possibility for replication. It is active in 9 pilot countries and 2 regional programs (Pacific and Caribbean)
In the Pacific region, the CIF works through the Multilateral Development Banks (ADB for PNG and Tonga) and WBG for Samoa for the PPCR national track work. ADB and WBG crop work with SPREP and SPC in relation to the regional track work.
For more information about the ADB Project visit: http://www.adb.org/themes/environment/climate-change/projects-climate-resilience
Information on the regional track work coming soon.