A core message of the AAP was that funding in itself is not a solution for strengthening resilience. Without concentrated efforts to improve the way climate change impacts are identified, analysed and interpreted, and the way information derived from this process is accessed and utilised to inform policy and planning, there can be no assurance that any adaptation strategies invested in will lead to greater levels of protection and resilience.
Yet ensuring that financing options are available to meet adaptation costs was a fundamental component for achieving the AAP’s objective of having countries adjust their national development plans to incorporate climate change risks and opportunities. To this end the AAP worked to help countries identify what funding options are available and to strengthen their capacities to plan for, access, deliver and report on these funds.
The AAP offered countries a host of tools and services to achieve this aim, including:
Guidance to strengthen coordination and decision-making processes around climate change, particularly related to identifying funding priorities, and ensuring that climate change has been effectively integrated into national policy and budgets.
Sharing knowledge on the current climate finance landscape.
Information and advice on how national institutions could become accredited to provide direct access to climate financing, including self-assessments and help with applications.
Facilitating processes for identifying key capacity needs related to climate finance, and the creation of capacity development action plans for innovative finance to address these needs.
In Burkina Faso, for example, key national stakeholders identified the need to have an institution that could deliver direct access to the Adaptation Fund. With AAP support, and drawing on the tools and expertise developed by UNDP’s global policy team, the government developed an action plan with activities that would strengthen the institution’s abilities to meet the accreditation criteria.
Overall, 18 countries took steps during the AAP to identify, establish and access new financing options. For many of these countries, this included a series of regional and national workshops on climate finance readiness, which were held with the support of the global policy team in HQ and AAP Regional Office, with additional inputs by the Gender Team to highlight the links between climate finance and gender. These workshops provided an opportunity for countries to increase their knowledge and understanding of the existing climate finance landscape, the terminology and processes currently ongoing at the global and regional level, and the capacities needed to access and use climate finance effectively.
These workshops also provided an opportunity for collaboration and sharing of experiences between AAP countries. For example, AAP Ghana held a regional workshop on ‘Leveraging Climate Finance for Resilient Development’ in March 2012. This workshop was attended by 30 representatives from 10 AAP countries. It provided countries with a framework for understanding climate finance readiness and the opportunity to share experiences from their countries—both the challenges and the successes—and strategies for addressing the barriers to accessing and using finance effectively.
In addition to defining and addressing capacity needs, almost every AAP country worked to identify funding priorities and costing of these priorities. In many countries, AAP support helped to train specialists to develop funding partnerships and undertake cost analyses of vulnerable sectors. Other countries succeeded in documenting budgetary needs and objectives in national climate change adaptation investment plans, strategies and frameworks. Examples include Nigeria’s National Climate Change Trust Fund and Rwanda’s Environment and Climate Change Fund. As a result of AAP coordination, eight countries integrated adaptation measures in their national budgets and six received funds (totaling more than $30 million) from sources such as the Global Environment Fund and the Adaptation Fund, while others have submissions pending.