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Overview

Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) face major difficulties in accessing funding for climate change purposes, either for mitigation or for adaptation. This has been accentuated in recent years, ironically as the impacts of climate change become better-understood and more widely acknowledged, and with consequent increases in financial resources available or pledged to address these impacts. In addition there are wide differences in the resources available to the PICs compared to the Territories. PICs are eligible for international financing as Parties to the UNFCCC, while Territories largely have to rely on resources from their Administrative Authority or private sector/foundation support.

PICTs are widely acknowledged as being among the most vulnerable countries in the world to the impacts of climate change.

Financial resources for climate change purposes are available to the Pacific region through a number of arrangements:
(a) national government spending;
(b) private sector spending;
(c) foreign direct investment;
(d) international loans;
(e) official development assistance; as well as
(f) regional and global financing mechanisms that have more recently come on stream.

The more commonly known environmental financial mechanisms for the Pacific include: (i) The Global Environment Facility; (ii) Multilateral Development Banks like the World Bank Group and the Asian Development Bank (ADB); and (iii) bilateral funds available through national development partner arrangements to the Pacific as a region or bilaterally, such as the EU, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Decisions taking in the International climate change negotiations (under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)) have been instrumental in establishing international climate change funds.

For example, the 2nd Conference of the Parties (COP) established a relationship between the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the UNFCCC , where the GEF became an official financial mechanism for the Convention.

Various COP decisions over the years have provided additional guidance to the GEF, in terms of what type of activities are eligible for funding (we could put examples here) and have also since created additional funds.

For example, COP 9 in 2007 established the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) under the GEF, which was the first to provide funding under the GEF for concrete adaptation projects (http://www.thegef.org/gef/SCCF ). The same COP also established the Least Developed Country fund (LDCF) which also covers the costs of developing and and implementing National Adataptation Plans for Least Developed Countries (LDC's http://www.thegef.org/gef/taxonomy/term/225). The LDC fund has been accessed to date by all 5 of the Pacific LDCs, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Tuvalu.

COP 13 saw Parties also decide upon the institutional arrangements for and additional fund under the UNFCCC process – the Kyoto Protocol Adaptation Fund. More details on this fund are provided below.

Recognition of the impacts of climate change, and acceptance that significant resources need to be mobilised from the north to the south to attempt address these impacts, have resulted in a proliferation of funding sources, complex disbursement criteria, and hence difficulty in accessing climate funding.
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