Gov’t and private sector co-host sub-regional climate change workshop
The Government of Vanuatu, through the Ministry of Climate Change Adaptation (MoCCA) and the Vanuatu Business Resilience Council (VBRC) co-hosted the Melanesia Sub-regional Private Sector Workshop on Climate Finance in Port Vila this week, with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Fiji.
This is the first collaboration of its kind between the Government and Vanuatu’s private sector in terms of climate financing.
The meeting aims at providing a platform for businesses and the Green Climate Fund National Designated Authorities (NDA) of the five countries Melanesian (Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu) to increase their awareness and access to climate finance and options for Public Private Partnership (PPP) and investment.
In his opening remarks, the Minister of Climate Change Adaptation, Bruno Leingkone, outlined three points that were expected to be achieved through the workshop.
These include providing a platform for key stakeholders to come together and update each other on pertinent issues related to the current pandemic and climate change and how we can work together to address the challenges and achieve better outcomes; learning from each other’s expertise and skills; and to strategize by identifying the different roles of the public and the private sectors, and most importantly the key issues to elevate at the sub-regional level and approaches that will ensure that the objective of the sub-regional workshop are met.
The Minister encouraged frank and genuine interactions among all workshop participants.
He continued that the first Melanesia workshop in PNG highlighted the need for the private sector to share their valuable contributions that require support from national government; have more capacity building for project proposal writing for small to medium enterprises; increased awareness on roles of NDAs and accredited entities for a targeted approach, and leverage funding capacity of private sector and be engaged at the beginning of the project development cycle.
Minister Leingkone revealed that the MoCCA supported VBRC to access readiness support funding from the Green Climate Fund.
VBRC is an accredited Green Climate Fund observer, and it is an observer in the National Advisory Board on climate change, Climate Finance Working Group and Climate Diplomacy Taskforce.
It has requested funding support for technical assistance to build the private sector capacity in terms of project proposal writing and identifying private sector opportunities to access climate financing.
A Public Private Partnership Policy is currently being developed to guide all PPPs in the climate change sector.
The Director General (DG) of the MoCCA, Esline Garaebiti Bule, was present at the workshop, including directors and senior staff of the Ministry, together with the VBRC members and other members of the private sector.
Chairman of the VBRC, Mr. Glen Craig also co-chaired sessions of the meeting.
Other opening remarks delivered included Dr. Filimon Manoni, Deputy DG of the Pacific Islands Forum and Mr George Hoa’au, Acting DG of the Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat.
Deputy DG Manoni said while the private sector plays a key role in building the resilience of communities in the Pacific, they continue to remain peripheral, in the context of climate change finance.
“This is not necessarily unique to Melanesia, but does highlight that there is room for significant improvement,” Dr. Manoni said.
“At the global level, the private sector is seen as key to unlocking private investments towards cleaner and greener economies, including building back better post COVID-19.
“But this needs enabling conditions which requires government support and leadership. The private sector has the innovation, the tools and the financing to support our development aspirations as individual nations and together as a region.
“They are also a source of employment, so contribute to the social stability of any country. They can also be an agent of change for possible cutting-edge solutions.
“Our presence here is our commitment to exploring these opportunities together in ways and means that do unlock those possibilities.”
This is the second meeting for Melanesia’s sub-regional private sector workshop on accessing climate finance after the first meeting was convened in Port Moresby, PNG, in 2018.