Crucial savings for Jamaica

Monday, June 30, 2014

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MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica — Jamaica has saved itself from paying out as much as 20 per cent of the US$10 million it has accessed under the Adaptation Fund (AF) to multilateral development banks, which traditionally negotiate on behalf on countries seeking development financing.

This is because the Planning Institute of Jamaica is an accredited National Implementing Entity (NIE) under the fund, which means that Jamaica can access financing directly. It is the first Caribbean country to be so declared and among the first four in the world.

"The NIE facilitates direct access to resources under the fund, cutting out the middle man, and that for us could mean in the order of five to maybe 20 per cent in some instances because the multilaterals have an administrative charge for accessing funds on your behalf," explained the PIOJ's Claire Bernard in a presentation last Tuesday.

It means that more resources are available to implement tangible adaptation measures, she continued.

Bernard is the deputy director general of sustainable development and social planning at the PIOJ. She was speaking on "The Adaptation Fund and Implementing Entities: Experiences in Jamaica" at the CIF Partnership Forum at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

The fund is financed by a two per cent levy on carbon credits and is also increasingly supported by contributions from donor countries including Sweden, Spain, Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Finland, France, Belgium, Norway, Austria, Monaco and Japan.

Its purpose is to provide adaptation solutions for vulnerable communities in developing countries where decreased rainfall, rising seas and oceans and increased flooding are already threatening human health and livelihoods.

Bernard explained that Jamaica's project under the Fund targets enhancing the resilience of the agriculture sector and coastal areas with view to not only ensuring environmental protection but securing livelihoods as well.

One of the major works to be completed is the US$5.4-million Negril breakwater project which has been met with opposition from stakeholders in the resort town on the island's west end.

Also speaking were AF secreatariat staff Daouda Ndiaye and Mikko Ollikainen; as well as Indi McLymont of Panos Caribbean and Eleanor Jones of Environmental Solutions Ltd. Panos represented civil society groups, while Jones' company represented the private sector.

According to the AF staff, the fund's direct access financing model "gives developing countries full ownership of adaptation projects, from planning through implementation, while ensuring monitoring and transparency" in the process.

McLymont said she was pleased that Jamaica was the first in the region to be accredited for the direct financing access because projects having to do with climate change adaptation don't get as much attention as those related to climate change mitigation.

For her part, Jones spoke about the importance of private sector involvement in climate change adaptation.

The PIOJ was accredited in September 2010.




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