18 December 2017, Skopje - More than 100 experts, practitioners and decision-makers from the country and the region, working in the fields of climate change, environment and sustainable development, meet in Skopje today to learn about the national and regional cooperation opportunities with the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
The two-day National capacity- building and awareness-raising workshop for utilizing funds from the Green Climate Fund is organized jointly by the Cabinet of the Deputy President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia in charge of Economic Affairs, as National Designated Authority (NDA) to the Green Climate Fund, in collaboration with FAO and the UN Environment.
The workshop is part of FAO’s initiative to support the national readiness for engagement with the Green Climate Fund, through capacity-building and preparatory support of the state institutions for utilizing the opportunities of the Fund towards low-emission and climate-resilient development. Deputy President for Economic Affairs Dr. Kocho Angjushev in his introductory address stressed that the Green Climate Fund is becoming a key international financial mechanism for providing funds for supporting mitigation and adaptation activities in the developing countries and that the Republic of North Macedonia should take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Fund.
He emphasized that the health and quality of life of the citizens are top priorities of the Government and that is why, in its program of work, particular attention is paid to the development and protection of the environment. "The development of a green and sustainable economy is of particular importance and that is why a series of reform measures, programs and strategies will be directed towards building energy efficient buildings and reconstruction and construction of transport energy efficient infrastructure. “We will work on the construction of new, sustainable energy capacities, proper use of drinking water and sustainable management of water resources in the country, protection of forest resources and national parks, as well as natural resources. The focus will be on improving the treatment of waste and wastewater, as well as improving the quality of ambient air ", underlined Deputy President Angjushev.
In his address, Minister of Agriculture, Nikolovski noted that while the agriculture sector is highly climate sensitive, the sector is also the fourth largest source of greenhouse emissions in the country. He stressed out that the Green Climate Fund offers significant opportunities for investing in low-emission, climate-resilient agriculture in the country, while involving the local communities and the private sector in the process. Some of the innovative adaptation projects that could access GCF funding, include diversifying crop and seed varieties, combating deforestation, extending the scale and efficiency of irrigation, harvesting rainwater, and diversifying water sources – he added.
Adressing the global challenges of climate change requires collective action from all countries, and at the same time entails solutions that need to be coordinated at the international level. Advanced economies have recognized the need for international cooperation to help developing countries move toward a resilient and low-carbon economy. Among these efforts, advanced economies have agreed to jointly mobilize significant financial resources and establish the Green Climate Fund to contribute to the united global response to climate change.
The UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Louisa Vinton noted that an urgent action plan is needed to properly address the climate change we face. The Green Climate Fund has been given a key role in stimulating a paradigm shift to low-emission and climate resilient development by financing projects that promote mitigation (through reduction of CO2 emissions) and adaptation (by preparing countries for the impact of climate change). GCF will be an instrument for the signatory parties to the Paris
Agreement to fulfill the promise to provide 100 billion US dollars to finance climate change projects annually by 2020, "said Vinton. “For FAO we consider it of high importance to support our member states in optimizing their engagement with the GCF, to ensure their priority climate change concerns are addressed. This workshop is the first step in this process” said Aleksandar Mentov, national programme manager in FAO Serbia. Mentov also pointed out that FAO is ready to support its Member States, including the Republic of North Macedonia, to develop and implement country-led projects in areas of agriculture, forests, fisheries and related landscape and ecosystem management interventions, on disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and mitigation -which are core mandates of FAO where it possesses over 70 years of institutional knowledge.
The GCF was established by 194 governments at the 16th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2010, as part of the Convention’s financial mechanism. It supports the efforts of developing countries to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. At the workshop, experts from the GCF Secretariat will present the Green Climate Fund, including investment criteria, strategic impact areas and accession to the GCF funding through the accredited entity model. As part of the readiness preparatory support at country and entity levels, national stakeholders will learn about developing project proposals for the GCF, the application process, accrediting direct access entities and best practices. Experiences from accredited entities to the GCF, including FAO, UN Environment, UNDP and other international organizations will also be presented.
The Cabinet of the Deputy President in charge of Economic Affairs will implement the First project for strengthening the capacities of the Macedonian institutions for cooperation with the Green Climate Fund, for which 300 thousand US dollars are allocated, which are available to the countries on an yearly basis.