Like other low-lying coastal
nations, Belize is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
Its geographical location leaves the country exposed to the risk of rising sea
levels and increasing frequency and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes
that have traditionally hit the area with catastrophic consequences.
Additionally, its economic dependence on natural resources heightens its
vulnerability to rising temperatures and the resulting impacts on a variety of socio-economic
sectors and on the environment of coastal areas and forests.
Research indicates that climate
change impacts could cost the twenty-four island nations of the Caribbean a total
$11 billion by 2025, but these
figures are likely to be an underestimate. The costs
of inaction cannot be ignored. And while preparing for such impacts and a low
carbon pathway are critical, they are costly. The Green Climate Fund (known as
the GCF), offers an attractive source of funding to achieve these goals. The
GCF is currently capitalised at USD 10.3 Billion and is the largest climate
change fund in the world.
To date, GFC has funded two
projects involving Belize, including a multi-country project on energy
efficiency and renewable energy implemented through the European Investment
Bank (EIB), approved in April 2017; and a national project promoting climate-smart
agricultural production implemented through the International Fund for
Agriculture and Development (IFAD), approved more recently, in February 2019.
Belize has also received support
through grant funding from the GCF to boost the capacities of the country to
access international finance for investments in climate change projects. Since
February 2018, the Belize’s Ministry of
Economic Development and Petroleum (MEDP) in collaboration with the Caribbean
Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) has been running a project, “Capacity
Building of National Designated Authority (NDA) and Preparation of Country
Strategic Framework”, to strengthen the capacities of the MEDP and to prepare a
Country Strategic Framework to guide Belize’s engagement with the GCF.
The project is approximately 14
months in duration, expected to end in April 2019, and is being delivered with
the support of Acclimatise, a UK-based climate change adaptation and climate
finance consultancy, together with a national consultant.
The MEDP plays an important role
in facilitating access to the GCF in Belize and is responsible for acting as
the focal point for communications with the GCF and national organisations,
identifying national funding priorities, giving no-objection to project proposals,
and nominating national organisations for accreditation.
Since the project inception, a
broad consultative process has been set up, involving all relevant public
sector agencies, businesses and business associations as well as academia and
civil society organisations in Belize. Through three workshops and a large
number of one-to-one meetings with key stakeholders and donors, conducted
between April and November 2018, the MEDP and the project team have built a
Country Programme containing a pipeline of potential projects to be funded by
GCF and key steps for their implementation. This pipeline not only provides
funding priorities for climate change but also aligns with the country’s
sustainable development priorities and key sectors.
A final meeting will
be hosted by MEDP on 27th March 2019 from 8:30 to 4:30 pm at
the Radisson Hotel in Belize City.
The meeting aims to present key
aspects of the draft Country Programme and the priority projects proposed for
GCF funding and receive feedback from participants. All relevant stakeholders
in Belize have been invited to provide comments on the draft document and to participate
to the consultative process to inform and validate the Country Programme. By
project completion, Belize will have significantly increased its capacity on
accessing GCF finance.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
About Ministry of Economic Development and
The Ministry of Economic
Development and Petroleum in Belize formulates and recommends national
development policies, strategies and programmes to promote macroeconomic
stability, sustainable socioeconomic development and the reduction of poverty.
About the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre
The Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) coordinates the region’s response to climate change.
Officially opened in August 2005, the Centre is the key node for
information on climate change issues and the region’s response to mitigating
and adapting to climate change. CCCCC sought accreditation to the GCF in 2015
to undertake and scale up both mitigation and adaptation projects across the
region in order to drive a paradigm shift in the region’s development patterns.
About the Green Climate Fund
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a global fund
created to support the efforts of developing countries to respond to the
challenge of climate change. GCF helps developing countries limit or reduce
their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to climate change. It seeks to
promote a paradigm shift to low-emission and climate-resilient development,
taking into account the needs of nations that are particularly vulnerable to
climate change impacts.
It was set up by the 194 countries who are parties
to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010,
as part of the Convention’s financial mechanism. It aims to deliver equal amounts
of funding to mitigation and adaptation, while being guided by the Convention’s
principles and provisions.
Ms. Yvonne Hyde, of the Ministry of Economic
Development and Petroleum: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cover photo from Wikimedia Commons