23 January 2018

Namibia: GCF Taps From Libanda's Wisdom On Climate Adaptation Finance

Windhoek — The Green Climate Fund (GCF), a financial mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which helps fund climate finance investment, has chosen CEO of the Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) Benedict Libanda to be part of a team of experts to contribute to the GCF's efforts of developing good approaches and scope for support to climate adaptation finance.

Libanda has been invited by the GFC to be part of the fund's two-day technical experts workshop on climate adaptation, whose objectives are to explore current status of climate adaptation finance and activities, and to identify best practices in climate adaptation projects programme.

This gathering, to be held in Songodo, South Korea March 5 to 6, is part of the GCF's drive to gather inputs to be used in developing a proposal for fund's approach and scope for support to adaption activities, which will take into account best practices from other multilateral funds and other approaches.

In a concept note for the workshop, the GCF Secretariat said the board of the GFC is required to make sure that there is a balance in the allocation of resources between adaptation and mitigation activities. However, attracting high quality adaptation proposals has been a challenge for the GCF.

"Proposals are now clearly demonstrating the link to climate change and there is a lack of shared understanding in the board about which adaptation projects the GCF should support and which costs to cover," said the GCF.

It was against this background that the 17th GCF Board meeting held in Cairo in October requested the fund's secretariat to develop the abovementioned proposal and the GFC will use different methods in gathering inputs from various sources. The workshop to which Libanda has been invited, will collect expert views on climate adaptation practices and approaches to adaptation finance.

It is expected that the workshop will provide practical examples of well-designed climate adaptation activities, including lessons from implementation as well as ways in which GFC could work with its partners and utilise relevant supporting tools to attract high quality proposals across its public and private sector funding.

EIF is Namibia's GCF accredited entity and has so far secured some funding from the GCF to be used in climate adaptation activities in the country. Libanda told New Era that he is very happy to be part of this process, as it will shape policies that will help the world adapt to the negative impacts of climate change.

He said this is a very important assignment for him as it will address climate change challenges for the benefit of billions of people.

"Climate change is the greatest threat to humankind and I am humbled to be part of this process," said Libanda.

He explained that unlike climate change mitigation which has matured in academic, theory and practice, there are still different opinions amongst scholars and the sector at large on what constitutes climate change adaptation.

"This is because adaptation is site specific and what works in one location does not necessarily mean is scalable and applicable to another country. Moreover there is also a challenge of delineating climate change adaptation from normal development, whereas other practitioners challenge that notion and argue that climate change adaptation should not be delinked from development," he said.

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