To help respond to the challenges that climate change inflicts upon the country, in October 2018, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) was successful in becoming the first national Pacific Island organization to be accredited to the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
This status allows MFEM to apply directly for funds from the GCF to combat the effects of climate change. As part of MFEMs accreditation, the organisation has strengthened its policies and financial systems to oversee, supervise, manage and monitor potential GCF-approved projects and programmes. “Despite our accreditation status this does not automatically come with funding.
The Cook Islands still has to submit good project proposals to be successful in securing funds”, said Mr. Mani Mate, Director of Development Coordination Division (DCD) within MFEM. “It is not an easy process, a lot of work and resources are required to secure funding from the GCF. They require that projects and programmes must be climate change focused. This means that the problem that the project is addressing is a result of climate change. Likewise, appropriate solutions need to be identified to tackle the climate change problem”, says Mate.
The MFEM in close partnership with Climate Change Cook Islands (CCCI), Office of the Prime Minister have recently secured funding support from the GCF to help engage with the fund.
This has come in the form of Readiness Support Grants. Since 2015, close to two million US dollars has been secured from Readiness Support Grants. Most of this has been to strengthen national systems to facilitate direct access to the Green Climate Fund. “We are now moving towards developing full proposals under our fourth Readiness Support Grant”, said Mr. Wayne King who is at the helm of CCCI, which is also the GCF National Designated Authority (NDA).
The two government agencies are working closely together to develop GCF project proposals under MFEMs accreditation. A team of nationals and international experts have been recruited to help develop concept notes and project preparation funding applications to support the development of fully fledged proposals. King further elaborated, while the road to securing full GCF grants has been long, the journey we are undertaking has been educational. We have learned that we need to be persistent and not to lose sight of why we are doing this.
The Development Coordination Division and Climate Change Cook Islands look forward to progressing the GCF in the Cook Islands.