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    Global Environment Facility CEO, Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, urged every Least Developed Country to fully access its 20 million USD made available by the Least Developed Countries Fund for high-impact climate change solutions. The Global Environment Facility and Ministry of Planning and Development organized a four-day Climate Change Adaptation Sub-regional Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) Programing and Strategy Workshop opened in Addis Ababa today. The workshop has attracted over 150 participants from 18 African countries.

    The focus of this workshop series is on bringing together experts who are directly involved in adaptation project planning, decision making, and implementing adaptation action. Invited participants include the GEF’s Council members and alternate Council members from the region, as well as representatives from GEF agencies, the GEF’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel, the Green Climate Fund, and the LDC Group within the UNFCCC.

    The objective of this regional workshop is to create awareness and develop enhanced skills and knowledge to prepare and supervise the implementation of priority adaptation needs. In particular, it aims to strengthen the capacity and skills of workshop participants by providing them with the information and tools to assist them in translating their priority adaptation needs to seek funding through the GEF’s two specialist adaptation funds, the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF).

    The workshop is based on the GEF’s ongoing implementation of its programming strategy on adaptation for the LDCF and SCCF for the 2022-2026 period.

    The Global Environment Facility has 46 LDC member countries which are expected to present national projects with high-impact solution for climate change challenges to get the allocated 20 million USD fund under its LDCF.

    Virtually Speaking During the opening of the workshop, Global Environment Facility CEO, Carlos Manuel Rodriguez said Least Developed Countries need easier access to finance to combat the extreme effects of climate change based on their priority.

    “The Global Environment Facility is trying to do its part by increasing the funding available through the LDCF. In the Global Environment Facility 8 period, we are doubling support to Least Developed Countries through the fund and we want every LCD to fully access its 20 million USD from the fund between now and 2026.”

    He added “you need easier access to multilateral climate funds and we fully agree with that. We will continue to simplify the review process for all Global Environment Facility funding, including the Least Developed Countries Fund.”

    Planning and Development State Minister, SandokanDebebe on his part said Africa and other LDCs are at the forefront of experiencing the adverse effects of climate change and biodiversity losses.

    “We (are) committed to address these challenges through national strategies and initiatives.”

    Africa is facing consecutive climate change induced events, including drought, flood and locust infestation, endangering lives and livelihood, hindering development and impeding progress towards development goals, he noted.

    “While developed countries’ commitment to provide financial and other means of implementation to developing nations has fall in short, we acknowledge and appreciate the effort of organizations like Global Environment Facility and other multilateral mechanisms in tackling these challenges with the limited resources.”

    Regardless of external support, the state minister said “we Africans must initiate our own homegrown environmental actions, tailored to our unique challenges.”

    He pointed out “Ethiopia is dedicated to combating global environmental degradation as evidenced by our constitution, various policies and strategies. Our ten years development plan places a strong emphasis on building climate-resilient and growing economy. We have also launched Ethiopia’s Long-term Low Emission and Climate-resilient Development Strategies to address environmental challenges while creating green jobs.”

    One exemplary initiative in this regard is the Green Legacy Initiative, launched in 2019 by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed aimed to plant billions of seedlings in cities and rural areas contributing to Ethiopia’s and Africa’s prosperity, he pointed out.

    “We encourage development partners and other fellow Africans to join us in scaling up these best practices,” the state minister urged.

    “Today’s workshop holds great significance in creating awareness and developing enhanced skills and knowledge for preparing and supporting the implementation of projects and programs to address priority adaptation needs,” Sandokan said.

    Global Environment Facility is a family of funds dedicated to confronting biodiversity loss, climate change, pollution, and strains on land and ocean health.

    Its grants, blended financing, and policy support help developing countries address their biggest environmental priorities and adhere international environmental conventions.

    The Global Environment Facility provides funding to assist developing countries in meeting the objectives of international environmental conventions.

    The facility serves as a “financial mechanism” to five conventions namely Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and Minamata Convention on Mercury.

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