Pacific Island Countries (PICs) are experiencing the negative impacts of climate change, such as rising sea level, increasing frequency and intensity of drought and storm events, ocean acidification, and damage to coral reefs and fisheries. Recognizing and responding to these impacts, AECOM has developed a multi-faceted approach to support governments of 12 partner PICs. Through the USAID Ready project, AECOM works to support partner governments and stakeholders to: draft and implement policies to achieve national adaptation goals; access and manage international sources of financing for resilience projects; and, improve capacity and systems to better manage and monitor resilience projects.

Selected Outcomes

  • Four national institutions have an improved capacity to address climate change risks as a result of trainings/workshops provided by the project.
  • Six programs, projects, and activities with facilitated access to international climate financing.
  • 332 persons, including 151 women, trained in global climate change adaptation.
  • Four tools and systems developed or improved to strengthen project management, monitoring and reporting.
  • US$81 million mobilized for climate resilience.
  • US$4 million in assets built/rehabilitated according to climate resilience codes.

Project Highlight: Boosting the Capacity of the Republic of the Marshall Islands to Access Climate Finance

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is working to obtain climate financing for projects that will help strengthen their resilience to climate change. Photo credit: USAID Ready.

 

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), located in the northern Pacific Ocean, is part of the Micronesia archipelago consisting of 34 low-lying coral atolls, which in turn are made up of over 100 individual islands and islets. A little over 70,000 people inhabit the scattered atolls and remote islands, relying on the surrounding diverse marine ecosystems for both food and income. These areas are under threat due to adverse environmental effects and prolonged droughts. To combat these threats to livelihoods, the local government must mobilize climate financing in order to implement projects that strengthen the country’s resilience to the impacts of climate variability and natural disasters.

Unfortunately, RMI currently faces challenges in mobilizing climate finance, as direct access to funds requires considerable amounts of resources to successfully complete the accreditation process and no organization in RMI is accredited. Since countries can only access funds through an accredited entity, the islands currently rely on development partners and financial intermediaries to acquire funds via the Adaptation Fund and the Green Climate Fund. This reliance hinders national organizations’ capacity to develop, manage and implement projects and also limits their input of project objectives. With direct access, the country would receive funding directly through national entities, which would enhance country ownership of climate finance and allow for better alignment and integration with national plans and priorities, bolstering institutional and project development capacities.

Our USAID Ready project is supporting the Office of Environmental Planning and Policy Coordination in assessing potential candidates for Green Climate Fund accreditation in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Photo credit: USAID Ready.

Our USAID Ready project has partnered with RMI’s National Designated Authority, the Office of Environmental Planning and Policy Coordination (OEPPC), to undertake a rapid assessment of identifying organizations for potential Green Climate Fund accreditation. In mid-February, USAID Ready provided technical support to the OEPPC to assess three local organizations—Ministry of Finance, Marshall Islands Development Bank and Marshall Islands Marine Resource Authority—to determine how they align with Green Climate Fund’s accreditation standards. The assessment involved key staff, board members and relevant stakeholders and gauged the three organizations on accreditation requirements, such as gender policies, ethics, anti-corruption, environment and social safeguards, and procurement procedures. With the assessment complete, USAID Ready is compiling the data and will provide the OEPPC with the necessary information to determine which of these proposed organizations should seek accreditation status. The OEPPC is hopeful that this assessment will increase the chances of one of these organizations becoming accredited in 2019, which would then allow them opportunities to directly pursue funds through the Green Climate Fund.

USAID Ready will continue working with a wide range of partners to boost the capacity of other RMI institutions to access climate finance and strengthen the country’s resilience to climate change.

For more information, contact kelly.ryan@aecom.com or lindsey.roberts@aecom.com.

This story/publication is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The content is the responsibility of AECOM and does not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.