By Danica Marie Supnet
Last Tuesday, we launched the South-South Knowledge Exchange on the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Climate Finance with three international organizations. It was completely overwhelming as over sixty participants from eight Asian countries shared their experiences and challenges in setting up their finance departments and institutions for accreditation and access to the GCF.
Yesterday, on the other hand, delved deeper into how to figure in climate finance into a country’s development systems and leverage the bankability of projects. One of my takeaways from yesterday’s discussions was the need to strengthen national and local ownership over how climate finance is managed and deployed. This can be done if international institutions such as the Green Climate Fund support the recipient countries’ priorities, and if national and local agencies are empowered and capacitated to implement adaptation and mitigation programs.
Moreover, while it is important to act now and take advantage of opportunities to mobilize agencies and stakeholders, we also have to determine our country’s readiness for climate funding. The Philippines has a lot to learn from the speakers’ and participants’ insights, especially on the technical processes of accreditation, if it wants to ensure that our adaptation initiatives in particular can be supported by the GCF.
While the Climate Change Commission (CCC) serves as the National Designated Authority, or focal point for the GCF, the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) are prospective National Implementing Entities, which means they will be able to mobilize and manage money from the GCF if they are accredited by the Fund’s Board.
Land Bank has already submitted its accreditation requirements to the GCF. According to their representatives in the South-South Knowledge Exchange, they are very much ready to implement projects and programs once they are granted accreditation. In addition, Land Bank follows an institutionalized stringent fiduciary standard which they would also apply for the disbursement of GCF funds. The CCC, on the other hand, will be the lead agency to prioritize plans and projects to be funded.
It was gratifying to witness the participants from both the Land Bank and CCC asking questions from other potential and already-accredited authorities and entities in Asia over the last two days. In fact, it was the willingness of all the participants to learn from each other that led them to agree on the Asia Regional Climate Finance Declaration. With their support, this forum would just become one of the many activities that the Philippines and ICSC will be leading to fast-track access and delivery of climate finance.