Press Release: USAID Forum to Help Asian-Pacific Nations Access Climate Change Adaptation Funds

BANGKOK, THAILAND (March 12, 2012) – Government officials from 27 Asian and Pacific nations will meet with managers of six major climate adaptation funding organizations here today to discuss how governments can compete more effectively for international climate change adaptation funds.  This is the first time that these nations and fund managers will have met as a group.

The meeting will take place at the first annual ADAPT Asia-Pacific Forum, organized by the U.S. Agency for International Development Agency’s (USAID) new ADAPT Asia-Pacific project.  The Forum is designed to help the 27 governments understand the technical and scientific demands required to apply for some $20 billion in existing climate adaptation funds, as well as the $100 billion a year that was pledged in the Copenhagen Accord of 2009.

Gaining access to these funds poses difficulties for many governments in the region, as they lack the expertise and trained personnel to prepare the sophisticated technical proposals adaptation fund managers from the donor community require.

The Forum features three keynote speakers: Dr. Katharine Batten, USAID Global Climate Change Coordinator; Dr. Bindu N. Lohani, Vice President for the Asian Development Bank; and Elisea Gillera Gozun, Presidential Advisor on climate change in the Republic of the Philippines.

Dr. Batten, USAID’s Global Climate Change Coordinator, is expected to draw attention to USAID’s new Climate Change and Development Strategy, which “recognizes climate change as one of the greatest economic, social and environmental challenges of our time, and USAID’s important role of working to help countries accelerate their transition to climate resilient, low emission development, advancing the global green economy.”

“The Forum will address one of the key challenges in addressing global climate change – funding,” said Winston Bowman, Director of the Regional Environment Office at USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia. “It also gives us the chance to introduce the ADAPT Asia-Pacific program and USAID’s support for climate adaptation strategies to our partners in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Government officials attending the Forum will be drawn from various finance, planning, environment and line ministries and represent the countries of Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam, as well as the Pacific Island nations of the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Fund managers from the Adaptation Fund, the Least Developed Country Fund, the Special Climate Change Fund, the Climate Investment Funds, and the Global Climate Change Alliance are expected to attend the Forum.  Representatives from Japan’s International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Australia’s AusAID will also participate to highlight funding opportunities in their nations.

About USAID

The United States Agency for International Development has been the principal U.S. government agency extending foreign assistance since 1961.  In Asia, USAID programs address many problems that cross national boundaries, such as human and wildlife trafficking, HIV/AIDS and infectious diseases, global climate change, natural resources conservation, food security, and trade.  For more information, visit www.usaid.gov.

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