Botswana is Ready to Receive the Green Climate Fund! Are You?
Ms Keineetse Lepekoane, the Director for Development Programmes in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development officially opened a two-day workshop from 11-12 February 2020 at Masa Square in Gaborone, Botswana. The Getting Botswana Ready for the Green Climate Fund workshop aimed at familiarising experts from line ministries, academia, civil society organisations and cooperating partners with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) policies and access modalities, coordination mechanism, no-objection procedure, and theNational Designated Authorities(NDAs) structure and responsibilities. She mentioned how Botswana has continued to experience extreme weather events and that the climate has continued to change. This is coupled with government declared droughts and severe droughts which have left devastating effects on the citizens and Livestock which is Botswana’s largest economic cornerstone.
She also added that Botswana is fully committed to combat climate change as evidenced by its quick response to ratify the Paris Agreement on November 11, 2016, and that it is a signatory to the UNFCCC Tokyo protocol since 2003. Botswana’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) targets are intended to achieve 15% emissions reduction by 2030 taking 2010 as a base year.
She was, however, excited to state that Botswana is implementing its first GCF Readiness Project aiming at strengthening the National Designated Authority in setting up the required procedures and mechanisms in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH / SADC Adaptation to Climate Change in Rural Areas in Southern Africa (ACCRA) programme.
Ms Lepekoane stressed that the programme had already established institutional and technical needs of the National Designated Authority (NDA), the governance and coordination mechanisms, and assessed climate finance tracking capacities. So far, a no-objection procedure had been drafted (based on previous work of South South-North) and the expert composition of NDA and coordination mechanism was proposed.
Ms Lepekooane urged the participants to learn and understand the process of accessing the GCF fund. She also thanked the GIZ for facilitating the process.
The GCF is a relatively new and the world’s largest dedicated fund set up to help developing countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and enhance their ability to respond to climate change. It was set up by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC) in 2010. GCF has a crucial role in serving the Paris Agreement, supporting the goal of keeping average global temperature rise below 2 degrees C. It does this by channelling climate finance to developing countries, which have joined other nations in committing to climate action. The GCF activities are aligned with the priorities of developing countries through the principle of country ownership. It launched its initial resource mobilisation in 2014, and rapidly gathered pledges totalling USD10.3 billion mainly from developed countries and also developing countries. Its procedures and requirements have not yet been settled down fully and entities seeking cooperation and financing are facing a fluid environment with significant changes and improvements each year.
The main difference between GCF and older established funds is its focus on country ownership. It gives each country, including Botswana, a great opportunity to define its own country programme and needs. It is also expected that each country will be ready to ensure a significant part of the overall GCF related management and programming at the national level through an established country coordination and country programming mechanism.
What is interesting about this fund is that it pays particular attention to the needs of societies that are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, in particular, least developed countries, entailing that the SADC region is inclusive.
Ms Hanna Sabass, the GIZ /ACCRA Programme Manager, intimated that she was optimistic that once processes and a GCF Country Programme are in place, Botswana will embark of a journey of utilizing the GCF funds to reduce emissions and build resilience more effectively together with its so-called Accredited Entities (agencies that are accredited to the GCF to receive and manage funds). She was also hopeful that other organisations besides the government such as Botswana-based academia, private sector and other stakeholders would become important delivery partners in combating the effects of climate change in Botswana as well as at the regional level.
The SADC / German Adaptation to Climate change in Rural Areas in Southern Africa (ACCRA) has since June 2019 been implementing the Green Climate Fund Readiness (GCF) project “Getting Botswana GCF Ready” in partnership with Botswana’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. The main purpose of the project is to strengthen the NDA and development of a strategic framework for engagement with the Fund.
For more information about the GCF, Readiness Programme contact Ms Sepo Sitali the GCF Advisor +267 7517283 or firstname.lastname@example.org