Green Climate Fund Country Programming – Tonga Stakeholders Workshop
28th September, 2020 The Department of Climate Change MEIDECC held a one-day workshop on September 24th at the LDS (Teufaiva) Chapel in Longolongo with national stakeholders from across line ministries, non-government and private sector organizations on the world’s largest dedicated financial mechanism to helping developing countries address the inter-relating issues of climate change – the Green Climate Fund.
The event opened with a prayer led by Reverend Dr. ‘Ungatea Kata, giving thanks for God’s creation which has been entrusted to our care, followed with welcoming remarks from the Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications. Mr. Paula Ma’u stated, that in order for Tonga to implement its national plans, there must be considerable access to financing, technology transfer as well as capacity building. MEIDECC is the National Designated Authority for communicating the country’s priorities for financing low-emission and climate-resilient development.
Mr. Fe’ao Vakata of the Secretariat for Tonga’s Joint National Action Plan on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, also highlighted the privilege of engaging with the largest international fund’s opportunities towards achieving the JNAP’s goals and targets for ‘a Resilient Tonga by 2035’.
To date, Tonga has secured over USD$32 million in total GCF financing, USD$3 million of which were approved for enhancing the capacities of national institutions to efficiently engage with the Fund, including the development of strategic frameworks and undertaking adaptation planning across all levels of governance.
Ms. Elizabeth ‘Akau’ola, the National Coordinator for Tonga’s GCF Readiness Unit within the Department of Climate Change, then presented on the GCF’s investment areas, which focus on achieving results within the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation responses to climate change impacts.
A panel discussion was facilitated with focal points for line ministries and non-government organizations who have either accessed or currently developing proposals to GCF resources, including to enhance food security within the Ministries of Agriculture and Fisheries, and strengthening the capacities of the Civil Society Forum of Tonga and Disabled People Organizations to respond to climate-related risks. The Ministry of Finance, the country’s primary Delivery Partner of Readiness Support from the GCF, and Tonga’s Development Bank, also shared the status of their activities for completing the GCF’s accreditation process, to directly access and manage funds received for approved projects and programmes. The purpose of the workshop was to equally encourage the development of proposals from other vulnerable sectors who are yet to tap into climate financing by increasing the knowledge of relevant stakeholders on the GCF’s funding windows to either scale up best practices or implement paradigm-shifting activities towards achieving national climate-response priorities.
The workshop, which was conducted as part of the Climate Change Department’s Annual National Awareness activities, ended with closing remarks from the Director, Ms. Luisa T. Malolo, emphasizing the week’s theme: “Building a Resilient Tonga (Takanga ‘etau fohe ki ha Tonga tu’uloa)”, calling on all sector leaders to fully engage and partner up in the development of funding proposals so to verify that climate projects both meet the criteria of the Green Climate Fund and secures access for all stakeholders to climate finance and resources.
Issued by the: Department of Climate Change (MEIDECC)