BY GEORGINA KEKEA
THE recent report on Climate change and disaster risk finance assessment was basically putting together all the information that is already known about climate finance and also to look at areas needing improvement so as to better access climate finance and how to manage it.
Speaking to Island Sun newspaper, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Risk Management and Meteorology (MECDM), Dr Melchior Mataki says in order for us to have access to these funds, we must have very robust public finance and mechanism processes in place.
“In other words, the developing partners or the funding agencies, must have confidence in our systems so that when they give us funds, they are comfortable that the resources can be managed well and we are able to achieve our aims and objectives,” Mr Mataki says.
Mataki says with the report, for Solomon Islands this is just the start as the report also comes with its own set of recommendations and work plan.
“For example we need to address coordination between government to ensure programmes are developed and that they align well with the government’s National Development Strategies (NDS) and also in alignment with the needs of the country, so to speak,” Mataki says.
He said studies done for this report identified lack of coordination as one area that needs improvement. Coupled with that, Solomon Islands is yet to attune to climate finance.
“What is becoming clear to us now is that we can actually use climate finance to leverage development finance and also to see that development work is carried out,” Mataki says.
He said it is important that we position ourselves to benefit, optimise and access and manage these resources so that people who are affected will benefit from these resources.
“Like every other thing, it is not easy to access these sort of big funds. It is not like you have to go down to the market and collect it the next day. You have to satisfy these conditions. Of course it demands our time, but if we are to use somebody else’s money, we have to meet the conditions which they want us to meet,” Mataki says.
For the Green Climate Fund (GCF) only accredited entities can submit funding proposals to the fund at any time.
For Solomon Islands, the National Transport Fund (NTF) is recommended to act as an entity to seek funds from GCF. With that work is currently in progress by MID and an USAID funded project to seek accreditation from GCF.