Government Representatives from Across Asia Pacific Gather in Dhaka for Climate Finance Training and Discussion on New Financing OpportunitiesNov 3, 2017
Dhaka, Bangladesh, 3rd November 2017 – This week, government representatives from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, and Tonga gathered in Dhaka for a Regional Course on Climate Finance. The course was delivered by the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), the International Institute on Environment and Development (IIED), Action on Climate Today (ACT) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the support of United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and the Government of Sweden.
International and national funds to address climate change are increasing throughout Asia and the Pacific – as this occurs, it is becoming increasingly important for governments to better manage international and national climate finance to ensure sustained and optimised benefits for the poor and the vulnerable.
In an effort to support governments with budgeting and management techniques and methodologies, the course was aimed at officials from developing countries who have frequent practical engagement with climate budgeting. This included ministries of finance and planning, as well as representatives of National Designated Authorities for the Green Climate Fund.
“Throughout the four-day professional training, participants have heard from experts on topics ranging from international and national responses to climate change, the applied understanding of the economic impacts of climate change, and the importance of understanding loss and damages for the economic impacts of climate change”, said Ranjit Kumar Chakraborty of the UNDP and Bangladesh Ministry of Finance supported Inclusive Budgeting and Financing for Climate Resiliency Programme.
Other topics covered included the importance of determining adaptation gaps, the role of the private sector in financing adaptation actions, and new opportunities presented by the Green Climate Fund.
“A key part of the training was interactive exercises of mock budgeting practices. For example, participants were asked to take mock programmes (for agriculture, water resource management etc.) and assess their climate benefits,” said Elisabeth Resch, who advises Action on Climate Today on climate finance.
“Working directly with representatives from the ministries of finance and other groups involved in budget formulation is critical for successful climate action. Put simply, the climate policies that exist in Asia Pacific are important, but without budgeting of these policies they remain only intentions – not solid and dependable actions. That’s why this course focuses on budgeting for climate change interventions within action plans,” added Aditya Vansh Bahadur, Regional Programme Development Manager at Action on Climate Today
The course also focused on sustained action with the creation of specific plans and ideas to put climate change action at the heart of national budgets. The closing day was dominated by the finalisation and sharing of concrete steps from participants on how to take forward the climate finance lessons learned through the training.
“The short course is very comprehensive and provides new insight on financing climate change,” said Yonathan Hadi, a participant of the training and the Deputy Director on Budgeting Systems in Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance.
Speaking at the conclusion of the training, Ms. Sushila Bhatta of Nepal’s Ministry of Finance said, “It was a great learning experience particularly in regard to mainstreaming climate finance into planning and budgeting – it also served to clarify our future priorities and options for climate finance which is important for a vulnerable country like Nepal.”