AOSIS calls for a special window for SIDS within the Adaptation Fund2006-05-16 Tuvalu on behalf of AOSIS
Tuvalu on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) would like to present AOSIS initial view on specific policies, programme priorities and eligibility criteria for the operation of the Adaptation Fund, for consideration by the Subsidiary Body for Implementation at its twenty-fourth session (May 2006). AOSIS welcomes the decision of COP/MOP 1 providing initial guidance to an entity entrusted with the operation of the financial mechanism of the Convention for the operation of the Adaptation Fund. The third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted that “Adaptation is necessary at all scales to complement climate change mitigation”. It is well-established that AOSIS countries are the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change, and that adaptation is now necessary in all AOSIS states. For many Small Island Developing States (SIDS) the costs of adaptation are very often prohibitive. Thus the Adaptation Fund will be crucial for many SIDS for the provision of critical resources to aid their battle for survival with the changing climate. Resources for the Adaptation Fund are to come from a share of the proceeds from certified project activities under the Clean Development Mechanism, as well as other sources of funding. AOSIS is of the view that the Adaptation Fund should finance concrete adaptation activities as well as stage 2 and stage 3 adaptation activities. The Adaptation Fund should not be used for initial assessments or vulnerability studies. For many small island states action is what is required not the endless cycle of repetitive case studies. Moreover, AOSIS has consistently promoted the consensus view that stage 1 adaptation activities should be financed and implemented through the process of preparing national communications to the COP and other studies, and that these activities should continue to be funded in this manner. AOSIS notes that the country driven approach is of paramount importance and that this principle must serve as one of the basic policies for the Adaptation Fund. The fund should also address issues related to sustainability through adaptation, as well as responding to critical needs of countries. The fund should also take into account capacity and technology-related activities which are of necessity incorporated into concrete adaptation activities, particularly in SIDS. Decision 10/CP.7 established the Adaptation Fund, while decision 5/CP.7, paragraph 8 identifies some of the activities that should be funded through the Adaptation Fund. AOSIS is of the view that the Adaptation Fund should address sectors which are of critical importance to human survival, and economic sustainability. Activities which should be given priority should relate to coastal zone management and protection, water resources, watershed management, disaster planning and mitigation, human health and agriculture. In this respect, AOSIS is open to discussion on exploring the augmentation of insurance schemes for particularly vulnerable sectors such as subsistence agriculture. It has already been established by the IPCC and accepted by the global community that small island and low lying coastal states are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. AOSIS member states are the only countries that could literally disappear as a result of changing climate. AOSIS is thus of the view that priority should be given under the Adaptation Fund to projects from SIDS. A special window for SIDS within the Adaptation Fund essential and necessary. Projects should be country driven, and should avoid maladaptation, by paying close attention to the staged approach to adaptation. Projects should be examined with regards to their effectiveness in addressing specific problems, local capacity building, technology transfer and the promotion of indigenous technological applications where appropriate.With regards to the arrangements and management of the fund, AOSIS is open to a comprehensive discussion on the issue. However, while we understand that the fund will not be covered under the rules of the GEF’s new Resource Allocation Framework, AOSIS has noted its concern with the GEF and the GEF’s its new Resource Allocation Framework, which effectively limits access by SIDS to resources that are already limited under the GEF Trust Fund. AOSIS countries already have difficulties in accessing GEF funds. Under the RAF there will continue to be a distinct emphasis towards projects from larger countries, rather than an evaluation of all proposed projects on their merits. In this regard, AOSIS notes the outputs of the Third Overall Performance Study of the GEF, which highlighted the following in connection with the GEF Trust Fund: (i) SIDS have received only 4% of GEF single country project funding. (ii) There has been an emphasis on enabling activities in SIDS (over 80%, and over 88% for Pacific SIDS), compared to other countries receiving GEF funding, and most of these activities have not fostered tangible environmental results. (iii) LDCs, SIDS, and less developed CEITs do not have adequate capacity to meet the co-financing requirements of larger GEF projects. Specifically, they do not have the in-country resources or the knowledge about other international donors and how to gain access to external funding options. (iv) Focal points and country governments in SIDS and LDCs are not well informed about the GEF (how it works, how it gains access to it). (v) GEF communication and outreach strategy is not adequate for reaching out to focal points, NGOs and other stakeholders in LDCs and SIDS. Given the outputs form the GEF OPS3, and the upcoming implementation of the RAF it is understandable why AOSIS countries are greatly concerned about the way in which the management of the Adaptation Fund will be carried out if the GEF is responsible. AOSIS would like to explore the operation of the multilateral funding mechanism of the Montreal Protocol of the Vienna Convention on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and how a similar approach might be applied to the Adaptation Fund. AOSIS is of the view that developing countries should play the central role in governance of the Adaptation Fund, given the nature and purpose of the Adaptation Fund, and that the GEF model for decision-making is inappropriate in the context of the Adaptation Fund. Procedures for the Adaptation Fund should be simple, clear, avoid co-financing requirements, conditionalities and lengthy project preparation procedures. In particular the concept of incremental costs should not be considered in the context of adaptation projects. Regional organizations should also play a critical role with regard to projects supported by the Adaptation Fund so that countries can access funding through regional organizations that have a better understanding of local conditions rather than large multilateral organizations. It is also important that lessons learned from adaptation projects be adequate documented and disseminated, particularly to other SIDS.
Sub Topic: Finance