This week, government representatives from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vanuatu and Fiji gathered in Dhaka for the Third International Short Course on Climate Finance.
Over a four-day period, twenty-five representatives, from national government agencies across a range of climate relevant ministries, participated in the training aimed at improving their capacity to effectively manage the budgeting and financing of activities that support climate change related projects.
Delivered for the third consecutive year, this course builds on existing national capacities through practical learning, experience sharing and collaborative training activities. This year’s training will integrate sessions on gender responsive climate budgets, and accountability and transparency in the governance of climate finance.
During the training, international experts discussed a range of topics including mainstreaming climate finance into national and sub-national public budgeting systems and processes. The training also deepened participants’ knowledge on innovative tools to track and monitor financial expenditure and sharing of practical experiences on how developing nations can access funds from the Green Climate Fund.
The course is a partnership initiative 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 (DFID) and the Government of Sweden (SIDA).
“This highly engaging short course will help countries create sustainable resources at scale for dealing with the impacts of climate change. The trainers draw on models that have worked across the Asia-Pacific region to deliver course content that is rigorous, empirically tested and proven to work in a variety of governance contexts”, remarked Cristina Rumbaitis del Rio, Regional Programme Manager, ACT
“UNDP’s core work to address climate change and advance SDG implementation includes helping developing countries access and manage significant financial resources to reduce the impacts of a changing climate. UNDP will continue working with its country partners in the region to turn the ambition of climate change policy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into reality.”, said Thomas Beloe, UNDP’s Climate Change Finance and Development Effectiveness Advisor.
Participants taking the course welcomed similar collaborative learning initiatives where countries are able to push for more articulated planning and resource allocation to address climate challenges.
‘South-South peer to peer learning is extremely useful to better understand climate finance and build the capacity of the government in managing it,” said Dr Saleemul Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change & Development (ICCCAD).
Alluding to the importance of integrating gender in domestic budgets, Ms Åsa Hedén, Sweden’s Head of Regional development cooperation in Asia-Pacific said: “Gender equality is at the heart of Swedish international development cooperation and it will remain in focus of all our efforts. Climate change budgets need to include the mentioned gendered differences so that climate change finance will be instrumental in promoting gender equality.”
“I am delighted that DFID has been able to provide support to this important and highly relevant course. I am sure that this course will make an important contribution to building the knowledge and skills that governments will need, to mobilise both domestic and international financing to meet the urgent challenge of climate change.” said Shan Mitra, DFID Senior Climate & Environment Adviser.
This training comes at a time where there is an increased demand for countries to take further action and reinforce its public financial systems to tackling climate change.