The Senior Secretary of Economic Relations Division (ERD) of Ministry of Finance as the National Designated Authority (NDA) of Bangladesh to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) organised a daylong workshop titled ‘Accessing Green Climate Fund: Opportunities , Options and Challenges for Private Sector and Civil Society Organizations’ on November 8, 2015 in Dhaka.
The workshop was a part of NDA’s efforts to prepare Bangladesh to get access to the GCF. It aimed to introduce the GCF to Bangladesh private sector and CSOs with a special focus on private sector facility (PSF) window of GCF and facilitate direct access for private sector/CSOs. This workshop also shared and gathered relevant knowledge as well as foster an open dialogue with the private sector and CSOs about their role in combating the impacts of climate change and how they can get engaged in climate change adaptation and mitigation.
In general there are two different ways to access the GCF. One is the 'Indirect Access' which is through the Multilateral Implementing Entity (MIE) that includes multilateral development banks and the United Nations agencies accredited by GCF. The other is the 'Direct Access' which is through National Implementing Entity (NIE) that includes any national institution accredited by the GCF. Accreditation will be done by the CGF board based on stringent eligibility criteria. No organisation can access the GCF without accreditation. For NIE accreditation they will require certification from NDA.
Present as the chief guest at inauguration, finance minister Mr. Abul Maal A. Muhith MP, said, “Bangladesh is one of the worst victims of climate change. So getting access to the GCF is very important and government, private sector and civil society have to work together to achieve this.”
Lack of institutional capacity in climate change finance governance is the greatest challenge in developing countries like Bangladesh to get accreditation of NIE to ensure direct access to GCF. To overcome this challenge, through inclusive consultation, intensive self-assessment process, expert's opinion and a two-daylong consultation workshop (earlier this year), NDA Secretariat, ERD nominated 6 (six) national institutions as the most potential candidates to apply for GCF's accreditation as NIEs. However, that was for public sector only. Based on that experience, NDA aims to engage with Private Sector and Civil Society Organisations sector (CSOs) who have a big role to play in combating climate change challenges. This workshop is the beginning to that direction.
Mr. Amir Hossain Amu MP, Honourable Minister, Ministry of Industries in his speech said, “Our government is not allowing to set up any industries that are harmful to environment and public health. Although the recurring natural disasters are happening due to excessive carbon emission by the developed countries, the victim countries are not getting enough fund promises.”
“Strategies are essential for the private sector and CSOs to combat the challenges of climate change in Bangladesh. In that context this workshop aims to bring awareness amongst private sector and CSOs so that they can explore their role in combating climate change challenges and can access the GCF to engage in adaptation and mitigation actions” said Mr. Abdullah Al Islam Jacob MP, Honourable Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment and Forests in his speech.
The inaugural session was chaired by Mr. Mohammad Mejbahuddin, Senior Secretary of ERD and NDA of Bangladesh to the GCF. It was followed by two technical sessions targeted separately to CSOs and Private sector. The technical sessions oriented the participants about the opportunities and challenges and steps of getting access to the fund. Dr. Essam Yassin Mohammad from Sustainable Markets Group, IIED, UK, Advisor of GIZ’s Finance and Climate Policy Mr. Lars Andersen and Professor of North South University Dr. Mizan R. Khan took the technical session for the private sector. The technical session for CSOs was conducted by professor Emeritus of BRAC University Dr Ainun Nishat, Executive Director of BRAC Dr Muhammad Musa and programme advisor of GEF Small Grants programme, UNDP regional office Mr Tenence Hay-Edie.
Representatives from private sector, business associations, civil society organisations, corporate bodies, environment experts, development organisations of the country joined the workshop.
ERD organised the workshop in partnership with Deutsche Gesell Schaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED), International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), BRAC and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).