Environment

Jamaica makes second go at Adaptation Fund

Jamaica hopeful for board approval

BY PETRE WILLIAMS-RAYNOR Environment editor williamsp@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, June 27, 2012    

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JAMAICA’S proposal for a programme that targets communities and sectors deemed to be most susceptible to climate change impacts is among those to come up for review at this week’s meeting of the Adaptation Fund Board in Bonn, Germany.

The board will determine whether to release the US$9.995 million applied for to implement the programme under the fund, which was set up to finance projects to help developing countries shore-up their ability to adapt to climate change.

The disclosure was made by Jeffrey Spooner, chair of the board’s Projects and Programmes Committee, in an interview with the Jamaica Observer last week, ahead of his leaving for Bonn.

“We have something in the order of three concepts and 15 fully developed proposals to review for this meeting. The proposal for Jamaica is included in there,” said Spooner, who is also the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean representative on the 32-member Adaptation Fund Board and one of Jamaica’s senior climate negotiators.

The concept for the development of the Jamaican project — titled “Enhancing the Resilience of the Agriculture Sector and Coastal Areas to Protect Livelihoods and Improve Food Security — won the endorsement of the board in June last year.

As a result, Jamaica received financing to the tune of US$30,000 to develop the proposal for the programme whose objectives include:

• increasing the climate resilience of the Negril coastline;

• enhancing the climate resilience of the agriculture sector by improving water and land management in select communities; and

• improving institutional and local level capacity for sustainable management of the natural resources in disaster risk reduction in the targeted vulnerable areas.

Hopeton Peterson, manager for sustainable development and regional planning with the Planning Institute of Jamaica, was optimistic yesterday that the project would be approved.

“We are extremely hopeful because we think that a lot of work went into it and good quality work as well; we think our project can stand up to that sort of rigorous international scrutiny,” he told Environment Watch.

“We followed the guidelines that were handed down to us so there is good alignment with the Adaptation Fund’s objectives. The other thing is that when we submitted initially, they had some concerns and we linked up with them by e-mail and telephone and we discussed the concerns and made the adjustments and amendments that were suggested,” Peterson added.

The PIOJ is the national implementing entity for the programme.

Spooner, meanwhile, could not confirm Jamaica’s chances of receiving the board’s stamp of approval.

“As chair of the review committee, I cannot say. As a matter of fact, I have a conflict of interest with respect to the proposal from Jamaica and that will have to be declared,” he said, adding that he will likely leave the room when the Jamaican programme is being voted on.

According to Spooner, the review can go any of three ways: it can be “rejected”, “not approved” or “approved”.

“If it is ‘rejected’, we cannot resubmit. If it is ‘not approved’, then there is the opportunity to revise. We [the board] make recommendations where improvements can be made to the proponents so it can be revised and resubmitted,” Spooner said.

Other fully developed project submissions being looked at come from Argentina, Cambodia, Colombia, Djibouti, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, Ghana, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania (from them), Seychelles, and Sri Lanka.

Project concepts are coming from Argentina, Paraguay and Peru.

Other business to be looked at by the board is covered under the work of its Ethics and Finance Committee, Spooner said.

“The Ethics and Finance Committee will be looking at the financial issues of the adaptation fund and fund board; things like the work programme and the budget for 2013, options for fund-raising and campaign strategies and so on,” he said.

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