LDC group statement to LDCF/SCCF GEF Council Meeting

Statement by Mr. Pa Ousman Jarju the chair of the LDC Group

13th LDCF/SCCF GEF Council Meeting

15 November 2012, Washington, DC

Madam Chairperson

Council members

Representatives of GEF implementing Agencies

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen

It is a pleasure to deliver this opening statement on behalf of the LDC Group in this November gathering.

First of all, I would like to congratulate Dr. Naoko Ishii, the CEO and Chairperson of the GEF for her appointment to this important role. The LDC Group welcomes with enthusiasm your vision for the future of the GEF.

Also, let me express the LDCs’ sincere gratitude to you Council members, for your efforts in the governance of the LDCF: a fund dedicated to providing financial support to the LDCs for addressing the climate change adaptation challenge.

It is gratifying to note that since the last Council meeting in June, the total number of approved projects has increased from 64 to 84 and, to date, LDCs have accessed approximately USD380 million from the LDCF for the preparation and implementation of their National Adaptation Programmes of Action. LDCs have responded to the increase in available resources, and we have seen rapid growth in project and program approvals over the past 18 months, with 27 projects approved for US$142 million in fiscal year 2012, compared with 11 projects and US$52 million in the year before. As of 31st October, twenty-five countries had submitted at least two projects to address their urgent and immediate adaptation needs, while ten countries had submitted three or more projects.

All of this is a demonstration of the dedication and partnership between the Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG), the GEF, the Implementing Agencies and the LDCs in ensuring that project approval and implementation is expedited.

We are also seeing impressive, tangible results on the ground and these results are beginning to receive much needed attention. Recently, the Bangladesh project “Community-Based Adaptation to Climate change through Coastal Afforestation in Bangladesh” won the 2012 Earth Care Award. This project offers livelihood opportunities such as fish cultivation, irrigation for crops and conversion of barren land into productive land.

We therefore welcome the initiative by the GEF in collaboration with the UNFCCC, The Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre and the International Institute for Environment and Development to organise “Adaptation Practitioners Days”, to be held during COP 18 in Doha to showcase adaptation action in the field in various parts of the world.

Our appreciation goes to the Governments of Germany, Tuvalu and the Gambia for agreeing to sponsor this event and I look forward to meeting all of you in this event.

Madam Chairperson,

Please allow me to highlight two critical issues related to this Council meeting that are of utmost importance to the LDCs:

  • Firstly, we have noted the revision of the operational guidelines for the LDCF. We are eager to know the implications of the proposed changes in relation to COP mandates, as well as the impacts that these changes would have on the ability of LDCs to access funding from the LDCF;
  • Secondly, in May this year, during the session of the subsidiary bodies, we had a meeting with the GEF CEO together with the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, at which the CEO committed USD 2 million to support LDCs on the national adaptation plan (NAP) process. We look forward to when these funds will start being delivered;

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,

The NAPA experience has shown that there is no longer any need to develop stand-alone adaptation plans, but rather to integrate (and ultimately mainstream) adaptation into national planning at all levels (including national, sectoral and local level development plans). Thus the National Adaptation Plan exercise is no longer about developing a “Plan” but about initiating a “planning process” to integrate adaptation within national development plans.

The Least Developed Countries Expert Group has tirelessly worked throughout the year, with a number of partners, including the GEF and agencies, to develop technical guidelines for the formulation and implementation of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), and to identify support needs for the NAPs.

The LDCs acknowledge the progress made and look forward to the global support programme to be launched early next year to lay the groundwork for the NAP process.

Madam Chairperson, Co-financing and predictable financing for NAPA implementation are challenges for us. We look forward to working closely with you in strengthening the partnership between the GEF and the LDCs in the years to come

In conclusion, I would like to express my appreciation to the UNFCCC Secretariat, the LEG, the GEF, and it’s Implementing Agencies, for their proactive engagement in supporting the implementation of NAPAs.

Our appreciation also goes to the Ms Boni Biagini the manager of the LDCF and her team for their support. Boni’s commitment to mobilize resources for the LDCF, has been critical to its success.

Finally, we would like to express our appreciation of the financial contributions and technical support of donors and encourage other Parties and organizations in a position to do so, to contribute to the fund to enable the implementation of all NAPAs in a timely manner.

Thank you.

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