Tuvalu asks for easier access to climate change funding

Tuvalu has called for an expedited process of funding when it comes to accessing funds for climate change activities. At the UN Climate Convention in Lima, the atoll island nation strongly encourages the Global Environment Facility to revise its procedures, allowing for direct access to the Least Developed Countries Fund.
Tuvalu also believes that co-financing should not be a condition of funding.

“It doesn’t matter whether there is hundreds of billions of dollars available for Climate change adaptation programs,” presented the Hon. Taukelina Finikaso, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour for Tuvalu.

He was a featured presenter at the “Engaging the Participation of Green Economy in the Climate Action Incubation Mechanism” side event at the UN Climate Convention.

“If small vulnerable island states cannot access these funds then we have failed in our attempts to save the most vulnerable front line island states from the effects of climate change.”

Tuvalu is a small coral atoll nation consisting of nine inhabited islands with the highest point above sea level for the entire nation being four metres. It is one of the Coalition of Atoll Nations on Climate Change (CANCC) on the frontlines of climate change.

Having completed its first National Adaptation Programmes of Action, which include the most urgent and immediate adaptation needs, in 2007 the island atoll was able to address some of their priority issues identified through consultation.

These were the shortage of potable water and saltwater intrusion into agricultural areas however costal protection still remains a priority.

“Finding appropriate adaptation responses to these issues is a significant challenge for Tuvalu. Protecting coastal areas with the right protection measure on a coral atoll is not an easy task,” explained Minister Finikaso.
“Atolls are dynamic systems and they expand and contract on a regular basis. The tides are such that, once you block off a certain areas it will affect another part of the island.”

Tuvalu is also working towards mitigating climate change having developed an Energy Sector Policy that pledges to ensure 100% green energy for Tuvalu by 2020. Already underway are programmes that include solar power systems and biogas activities.

Having worked through these activities, Tuvalu experienced institutional challenges with accessing funding from the Least Developed Countries Fund under the GEF, which is specifically tasked with financing the preparation and implementation of the National Adaptation Programs of Action.

“We were strong supporters of the development of this fund and continue to be strong supporters of it but there needs to be reforms. We need to change the modalities of the operation of the fund so that we can get direct access to the GEF rather than having to deal with an implementing agency,” presented the Minister.

“Tuvalu hope that these considerations are taken into account. We are about to start implementation of our 2nd National Adaptation Programme of Actions’ project and it would ensure a smooth implementation of projects if we could have a more expedited process of funding.”

The Minister of Tuvalu was a featured presenter at the “Engaging the Participation of Green Economy in the Climate Action Incubation Mechanism” at the 20th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima, Peru from 1 – 12 December.

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