High-level Dialogue to strengthen Pacific’s engagement with Green Climate Fund (GCF), 18 July, Faónelua Convention Centre, Nukuálofa, Tonga.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) Structured Dialogue was officially opened yesterday by the Deputy Prime Minister Honourable Siaosi Sovaleni at Fa’onelua Convention Centre. In his opening remark Hon Sovaleni welcomed the GCF Executive Secretary Howard Bamsey, GCF Co-Chair Mr. Ewen McDonald and Board members and expressed his deepest gratitude to the GCF and the Australian Government for partnering with the Tongan Government in co-sponsoring this Pacific Regional Dialogue here in Tonga.
Hon. Sovaleni addressed the meeting with concern towards the increasing vulnerability of Pacific Island countries to climate change and the need to build up their resilience and capacities especially in engaging the Green Climate Fund. “Within the context of this High-Level Segment, we must not only look at strengthening capacities in accessing, and effectively and efficiently mobilizing climate finance, but also to look to complementarity with other related sources”. He also emphasized that in order to best utilize climate finance at the national, and regional level, it was vital to strengthen the national and regional capacities and financial institutions of Pacific Island countries to ensure effective delivery of funds to its target recipients. Tonga’s launching of its Climate Finance and Risk Governance Assessment in June 2016 complete with 48 recommendations designed to measure the nation’s capacity to access, mobilize and deliver climate finance to the most vulnerable informs capacity building at national level.
According to Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni this Dialogue is a very important platform for our Pacific leaders and high-calibre participants to sit down and collaboratively discuss a ‘way forward’ to further develop and strengthen the Pacific Islands Regional Roadmap that will help transform each country’s GCF Proposals into tangible realities. He further implored the GCF Executive to strengthen its regional presence through increased staffing provisions to the Pacific Region and a potential Regional GCF Office to service the needs of the region whereby Tonga will assist in ensuring a greater drive for the region.
GCF Executive Secretary Howard Bamsey joined Honourable Siaosi Sovaleni in acknowledging the success of Pacific countries and their partners in achieving GCF endorsement of project proposals such as Tuvalu’s $36M Coastal Resilience Project and Vanuatu’s $23M Climate Information Services Project including countries whom have accessed GCF Readiness and further encouraging countries with proposals in process phase.
Following the opening ceremony, the High-Level segment addressed ‘’GCF Pacific achievements and lessons learnt” where leaders and ministers shared their climate change priorities and how they’re addressing them with GCF to date including opportunities and lessons for further interventions.
The Dialogue will continue for the next three days at the Tanoa International Hotel focusing on roles of Pacific Island countries and different stakeholders in engaging with and understanding the GCF process.
Guest of Honor, Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni in his opening remarks
(Source: Issued by the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications 19 July 2017)