LDC Chair’s statement at 46th GEF/LDCF Council Meeting

46th Global Environment Facility/Least Developed Countries Fund Council Meeting

Statement by the Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group 

25-27 May 2014, Cancún, Mexico

Madam Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer,
Council members,
Representatives of GEF Implementing Agencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Least Developed Countries Group (LDC Group) representing 48 countries that are the most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

I would like to begin by thanking the CEO and Council members of GEF for their continued dedication to the functioning of the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF). As the fund is dedicated to addressing the special needs of the LDCs under the UN Climate Change Convention, the Fund’s smooth operation is of particular importance to the LDCs.

Madam Chairperson, in November 2013, the LDC Group congratulated Equatorial Guinea on submission of its National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA). Equatorial Guinea’s submission concludes the NAPA preparation process for all LDC Parties except South Sudan, the newest addition to the LDC category. The LDCs are greatly encouraged by the progress of its members in identifying the urgent and immediate adaptation needs of our vulnerable communities. We now look to GEF to support the full implementation of our NAPAs through the LDCF.

In this regard, the LDC Group is encouraged by the growth reported in the GEF’s most recent LDCF Progress Report. The report indicates that from May to October 2013, pledges to the LDCF increased by 175 million USD, reaching nearly 780 million USD in cumulative pledges. Of the total resources pledged, Parties have contributed 654 million USD or 84 per cent of their pledges to the LDCF.

Furthermore, of the LDCs that had completed their NAPAs prior to October 2013, 46 nations have accessed a total of 628 million USD. These funds have contributed to the implementation of 120 projects aimed at addressing our urgent and immediate adaptation needs. In addition to providing the much needed funds for implementing urgent and immediate adaptation projects, the NAPA formulation process has also contributed to the building of capacity and the institutional base of the LDCs to embark on more comprehensive adaptation planning. The LDCs plan to build on this experience to address medium- and long-term adaptation needs through the formulation of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs).

We are also encouraged by the information in the LDCF Progress Report regarding the NAP process. The report cites the GEF CEO’s approval of a 2 million USD project that supports the preparation of NAPs in the LDCs. We are happy to see the Warsaw decision to establish the NAP Global Support Programme for the LDCs move forward. We are also pleased to note that many of our members are already participating in this programme. However, how NAPs will be financed fully is still a major question that the LDCs have. Once implementation strategies for adaptation are prepared under the current NAP Guidelines, or other activities are identified as key needs for NAP process, they will need to be implemented.

Madam Chairperson, although the LDCF has grown considerably over recent years, additional contributions are needed if the LDCF is to meet the full cost of addressing the urgent and immediate adaptation needs of the LDCs as identified in our NAPAs. The estimated cost of full NAPA implementation ranges from 2 billion USD without co-financing to 5 billion USD with co-financing. Even when one considers the lower estimate, the cumulative LDCF contributions do not even amount to half the amount required. Thus, securing predictable financing for NAPA implementation remains a principal challenge for us. The LDC Group looks forward to working closely with you on this issue, and in so doing further strengthening the partnership between the GEF and the LDCs in the years to come.

While appreciating the past contributions to the LDCF by the developed countries, I would like to take this opportunity to urge them for more enhanced support to the Fund which has proved immensely useful in supporting the adaptation actions of the LDCs.

Finally, I would like to express sincere appreciation to GEF and its Implementing Agencies, the UNFCCC Secretariat and the LDC Expert Group for their positive engagement in supporting the LDCs. Your support has ensured the successful completion of our NAPA preparations, and is fundamental to their full implementation. As we move forward, the LDCs look to your continued support so that our urgent, medium- and long-term adaptation needs are addressed.

Thank you.

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