Climate change experts discuss funding for green development
|Source||The Newtimes of the 23 July2015|
|Contributor||Lewis Mary Ndayisaba|
More than fifty experts gathered in Kigali yesterday to discuss different funding alternatives for projects initiated to mitigate effects of climate change caused by human activities.
Drawn from across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the experts are meeting for three days for the South-South learning exchange on financing countries’ climate compatible development.
Organised by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), an international group fighting climate change, in collaboration with Rwanda’s Environment Management Authority (REMA), the workshop brought together participants from Bangladesh, Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, Peru and Rwanda.
Four main themes will be discussed at the forum, namely; key ingredients for resource mobilisation for climate compatible development (CCD); sources of funding for CCD such as domestic and international funds as well as the private sector; national funding mechanisms such as national climate funds and other alternative means, and the future actions to be taken such as plans that participants want to undertake based on the learning and knowledge sharing from the workshop.
Carl Wisselink, CDKN’s regional director for Africa, urged participants to use the opportunity and reflect on how best to promote climate-friendly development.
“We are often busy in our offices and we do not get enough time to rethink and re-engage. This is the opportunity for that. It’s an opportunity to have honest reflections,” he said.
The Minister for Natural Resources, Dr Vincent Biruta, said the forum is highly valued because it offers a unique opportunity to discuss and share experiences on how national governments can mobilise, manage and use resources in the field of environment and climate change.
“The scale of the climate change and the devastating impacts mean there is an increasingly urgent need for action. However, reconciling the tension between tackling climate change, achieving economic development and addressing global development issues is a complex assignment for us who often face significant financial constraints,” Biruta said.
The minister also said the workshop is an occasion for participants to network and use the knowledge acquired to improve environmental governance in their respective countries.
At the forum, Rwandans will get a chance to share their experience in establishing the National Fund for the Environment and Climate Change (FONERWA), the largest such national fund in Africa, according to officials.
With currently about Rwf50 billion in its coffers, FONERWA has so far invested over Rwf22 billion in projects to fight climate change and environmental degradation.
Whereas Biruta said the Rwandan government allocates Rwf500 million to the fund every year, he also explained that it hopes for more to fight climate change.
“The money is not enough because we keep receiving applications for funds and we need to keep looking for sources of financing,” he told journalists in an interview at the sideline of the conference.
But Rwanda is upbeat with her prospects to get money to fund climate change projects after Green Climate Fund, a global fund to fight climate change, this month, granted accreditation status to the Ministry of Natural Resources (MINIRENA).
The accreditation makes Rwanda eligible to apply for $50 million (about Rwf36 billion) for national green economy projects up from the $10.2-billion it could get previously.
“The accreditation to the global Green Climate Fund will further enable Rwanda to address current and future climate change impacts and accelerate sustainable national development,” Biruta said.
He also said the ongoing workshop offers Rwanda a chance to learn from other countries how they can do better to fight climate change.
Experts say climate change-related financing is critical for developing countries, and adequate finance is considered the main element required to best respond to climate change.
They also say that levels of finance are directly linked to the action developing countries can undertake as part of the global effort to deal with climate change through adaptation and mitigation.
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