North Macedonia sets the stage for country climate action. The country launches first call for GCF project ideas

30 October, 2019, Skopje - The National Council for Sustainable Development of North Macedonia met in Skopje today to call on enhanced climate action through strategic engagement with the Green Climate Fund (GCF). It was convened by FAO and the cabinet of the Deputy President of the Government of North Macedonia in charge of economic affairs, in its role as National Designated Authority (NDA) for the GCF. Over 100 representatives of relevant institutions, government agencies, local-self-governments, civil society, private sector, academia, and the international community attended.

The GCF is a new partner for financing North Macedonia’s investments in low-emission and climate-resilient development. Within the country’s first project from the GCF readiness and preparatory support programme, the results of which were presented today, FAO supported the government to set up the national mechanism, institutional framework, and procedures needed to effectively access and deploy resources from the Fund.

At today’s event “Enhancing climate action in North Macedonia,” members of the National Council, including ministers and representatives of the academia and business community, came together to validate the key outputs of the project – a proposed national coordination mechanism for decision-making on GCF matters, criteria for prioritizing project proposals developed in North Macedonia for GCF funding, and the so-called “no objection” procedure that ensures consistency of GCF funding proposals with the country’s national priorities, strategies, and plans.

In his introductory address, Deputy President of the Government of North Macedonia in charge of economic affairs and Chairman of the National Council for Sustainable Development,  Kocho Angjushev, emphasized that concrete and decisive actions are needed to tackle climate change, and that all stakeholders need to join efforts, including government institutions, local self-governments, but also the private sector and civil society. "Cooperation with the Green Climate Fund is of particular importance in complementing the country's efforts to reach the scenarios under which it has signed and ratified the Paris Climate Agreement, but also to achieve more ambitious scenarios, as well as respond to EU demands. The ultimate goal of our efforts is, of course, to find appropriate, innovative solutions in response to climate change”, added Deputy President of the Government, Angjushev.

One of the main roles of the NDA is to link the efforts conducted at country level and the opportunities for accessing climate finance through the Fund, and to ensure that activities are in harmony with national climate action priorities and fulfill GCF investment criteria.

The government marked the beginning of the GCF country work programme’s development with an open call for project ideas. All interested stakeholders, including academic institutions, national/local authorities, public and private companies, civil society organization, and other legal entities are invited to submit project ideas that propose climate change adaptation or mitigation actions in at least one of the priority sectors, including energy, transport, water resources, agriculture, waste, biodiversity, health, forestry, and cultural heritage.

Project ideas can be submitted using the online application , which explains the steps and criteria for developing a GCF project idea, as well as other applicant guidelines. The website will serve as key communication tool for knowledge and information sharing on the GCF activities in North Macedonia.

“As a GCF accredited entity with diverse knowledge and experience worldwide, FAO is pleased to have supported North Macedonia to jointly implement this GCF readiness project, the first of its kind of the country,” said Tania Santinavez, delivery manager of the FAO regional initiative on sustainable natural resource management. ”This will lay the groundwork for the country’s climate-resilient adaptation initiatives through future projects funded by the Green Climate Fund.”

She added that “having access to the GCF funding would allow institutions, municipalities, civil society, academia, and the private sector in North Macedonia to engage in adaptation and mitigation activities, scale-up projects, boost innovation potential, reduce vulnerabilities, and harness untapped opportunities for the country’s green development.”

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