Jamaica’s US$10 million climate change adaptation project was one of three country projects (Rwanda and South Africa) highlighted at a contributor event put on by the Adaptation Fund at the UN Climate Talks in Poland on Wednesday.
“The programme has been contributing to the implementation of Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan as the country’s long-term sustainable development plan; and sector level plans and policies. As an example, it has been a key contributor to the ongoing import substitution initiative of the government, particularly for selected crops such as potatoes and onions,” said Le-Anne Roper, from Jamaica’s Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, while presenting on the six year project to a full room at the event in Katowice.
Roper explained that the Project’s benefits had also extended to the Jamaican economy by enhancing its food security. Under the project, the farmers reaped 750 tonnes of Irish potatoes and 174 tonnes of onions.
“It has also been contributing to our implementation of international agreements including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said Roper. In a 7 minute presentation she spoke of the tangible benefits the project had provided at the community and sector levels. These benefits include reaching 2500 farmers in 100 communities.
The Adaptation Fund initially approved Jamaica’s project in 2012 – making Jamaica the first Caribbean island to access direct Funding from the Fund. The project focused on boosting the adaptive capacity of the agriculture and coastal resources sector. It directly benefitted seven parishes but has impacted the entire island.
The Adaptation Fund side event was geared at highlighting the work of the Fund globally while also seeking to underscore the need for continued funding for climate financing through the fund and otherwise.
“Adaptation is key! Jamaica as a small island developing state knows this from experience, backed by science, including the recently released report of the IPCC on warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial temperatures,’ said Roper. She was joined by speakers from Rwanda and South Africa who also highlighted the impact of the Adaptation Fund Projects in their countries.
Several other countries also announced their financial pledges at the Adaptation Fund contributor dialogue including:
1) Sweden – US$5 million
2) Belgium – 4 million Euros
3) European Union – $10 million Euros
4) Germany – $70 million Euros
5) France – $15 million Euros
6) New Zealand -US$3 million
7) Italy – $7 million Euros
“It is important to remember that this Fund is not only about money but also about the people – the Fund has surpassed the 80 million new commitments for 2017 – it is now at 95.5 million,” said United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, in her opening remarks at the Adaptation Side event. “The funds got requests for $235 mill for 35 projects – 5.8 million people in developing countries have benefited so far.”
She called on other countries to ‘step up and do more’ in the area of adaptation financing. She explained that if the UN Climate talks and subsequent actions did not achieve the goals of 1.5 or even 2 degrees then countries would be seeing ‘more of the devastating impact of climate change.’
Similar sentiments were expressed by the President of Fiji and former Chair of last year’s UN Climate Change Talks, Jioji Konrote, who said that there was a great need for funding for projects like the ones executed under the Adaptation Fund.
“I would like to add Fijis voice to the call re access to greater financing – the Fund has been successful in innovative climate financing. I hope you can see a clear move in the direction here at COP 24 – we need more ambition to make more climate finance available to meet the Paris Goal as we also need more to make the 1.5 degree target. The world must free up the finance needed to make it possible,” he said.