The announcement further improves opportunities for cooperation between the Pacific region and the GCF. Late last year Fiji’s Urban Water Supply and Wastewater Management Project was one of the first eight from around the world to be approved for funding, and earlier this week Cook Islands became the first Pacific country and Small Island Developing State to receive a readiness support grant from the GCF.
“We have vulnerable countries in the Pacific who require direct and simplified access to the GCF. As a region we can help each other through sharing our expertise and experience in accessing climate change finance. The Forum Secretariat and the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific partners will continue to provide support to assist member countries in strengthening their national systems and readiness efforts to plan and apply for appropriate funding,” said Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor.
The GCF Board met for the twelfth time this week in the Republic of Korea. It comprises 24 member countries drawn equally from both developing and developed countries. Samoa and Australia are the two Forum countries who sit on the board. Australia is the current co-chair and Samoa represents the Small Island Developing States.
49 international entities, 191 civil society organisations and 44 private sector organisations from across the globe are currently registered as observers to the GCF.
“This decision provides a lot of opportunities for ongoing regional efforts to improve access to climate change finance and to build synergy and cooperation with the GCF, particularly with readiness support and the GCF outreach across the Pacific. It will also enable PIFS to provide a direct linkage between the decisions of Forum Leaders and Economic Ministers and their desire to engage with the Fund. The Forum Secretariat’s convening power and relations with eight other GCF Board members as Post-Forum Dialogue partners, will complement efforts by accredited regional and multilateral implementing entities like the Secretariat of the Pacific Environment Programme working in the region,” said Dame Meg.
The GCF board has said it will invest up to US$2.5 billion to climate change projects in 2016.
The Forum Secretariat’s work with the GCF is not new, having already successfully partnered with the GCF to organise a regional meeting in July 2015, however the formal linkages that come with being observer will enhance the voice of the Pacific