Green Climate Fund Key in Responding to Climate Change

Civil Society Network on Climate Change (CISONECC) says there is growing interest among civil society organizations to access funds from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), a new global fund created to support efforts by developing countries to respond to challenges of climate change.

National Coordinator for CISONECC, Julius Ng’oma said there is need to create awareness on the GCF, its processes and the status for Malawi, saying although there is demand, no single CSO has applied for funding since its inception.

Ng’oma said it is against this background that CISONECC is in the process of increasing partners’ understanding of the goals and modalities of the GCF through the project called ‘Civil Society Organizations Readiness for the Green Climate Fund.’

He was speaking Wednesday on the sidelines of the International Community Based Adaptation (CBA) conference in Lilongwe where the organisation held GCF-CSOs readiness meeting.

“Investing in civil society readiness should be an essential component of broader work targeting national stakeholders,” Ng’oma said.

“The GCF has the ambition to become the most important multilateral financing instrument in climate change efforts. It is essential to scale-up existing CSOs’ capacities to advocate for viable proposals, bring indigenous knowledge to the table and increase accountability of national authorities,” he added.

Chief Environmental Officer in the Environmental Affairs Department, Evance Njewa said understanding the template of the GCF was a major challenge among many applicants such that institutions were not submitting proposals or concepts.

Njewa said increasing understanding and enhancing engagement at all levels to facilitate access to GCF resources remained critical for any CSO to access the fund.

“What is important is to continue trying seeking funds from GCF, and CSOs should not get tired. The board at its 18th meeting in Cairo, October 2017, took a decision to fast-track project proposals that are up to US$10 million (over K7 billion) which can be taken as an opportunity,” he said.

Earlier, several stakeholders from different countries noted that it is not easy to access funds from GCF as the process is too rigorous. However, the claim was trashed by United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) Manager for Adaptation, Dr. Paul Desanker from Bonn, Germany.

Desanker said the claims were not strange since international money transfers require transparency and need to undergo several processes with the aim of delivering equal amount of funding to mitigation and adaptation while being guided by the Convention’s principles and provisions.

GCF is an operating entity of climate change financial mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement. It was established to advance the goal of keeping the global temperature increase to below 2 degrees Celsius.