Partners not Beneficiaries – Empowering Local Communities as Climate Finance Actors


Day 5 (12 March 2021): 7th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum
Stream: Communities & Local Resilience
Enabler: Finance and Investment
Lead organizer: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Session Title: Partners not Beneficiaries – Empowering Local Communities as Climate Finance Actors

This session will focus on the way forward for local-level adaptation financing in the Asia-Pacific region, bringing together perspectives from the local-level to multilateral climate finance agencies. It will contribute to shifting the paradigm on local communities’ role in adaptation financing from beneficiaries to partners. It will also highlight best practices and lessons learned in communities’ engagement with adaptation finance and capacity barriers to further participation. More broadly, the session will facilitate thought-provoking discussions on how climate financing can be designed to meet local-level needs. This session is in line with the Global Commission on Adaptation’s Locally Led Action Track.

Key messages:
• Communities, indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities, local civil society organisations, local businesses and other local institutions and actors must be actively involved as partners in adaptation finance from project planning to implementation. In addition to access to adaptation finance, communities and local actors need to have the capacity to absorb finance and meet fiduciary requirements, indicating a role for training and capacity building to improve readiness.
• Climate finance must be lengthened and more flexible to meet communities’ and local actors’ needs, with greater efforts to finance small-scale projects directly.
• Local communities must be treated as leaders and partners rather than beneficiaries, and national governments will play an active role in scaling up successes and lessons learned.

Yusuke Taishi – Regional Technical Advisor, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Terence Hay-Edie – Programme Advisor, UNDP-implemented GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP)

Grace Balawag – Deputy Program Coordinator, Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education)
Tamara Greenstone-Alefaio – Conservation Program Manager, Micronesia Conservation Trust
Farayi Onias Madziwa – Team Leader, Readiness Program for Climate Finance, Adaptation Fund
Joy Amor Bailey – Urban Climate Change Resilience Specialist, Asian Development Bank (ADB) – Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund (UCCRTF)
Donald Kerslake – Community representative, Saoluafata Village Mangrove and Marine Protected Area


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