Government officials from 21 countries across the Asia-Pacific region, along with development partners, met at the USAID Adapt Asia-Pacific Third Annual Forum on September 15-16, 2014 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, to promote regional cooperation and knowledge exchange on Strengthening Country Systems to Access and Manage Climate Change Adaptation Finance in Asia and the Pacific. During the two-day Forum, country delegates identified specific national and regional priorities to strengthen their country systems – including the need to improve country capacities to develop stronger, more robust project proposals – to better access and manage climate change adaptation finance.
The Forum, organized in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), provided a space for delegates to engage in country-led roundtable discussions where participants exchanged on-theground experiences that have helped strengthen different aspects of a country systems to attract, access, manage, and report on climate finance from multiple channels through multiple modalities. These experiences included: climate-sensitive policy development in Bhutan; economic appraisal of adaptation projects in Thailand; climate finance budget tracking in Nepal; monitoring of climate resilience investments in Samoa; and others.
Importantly, the Forum built upon the outcomes of the USAID Adapt Asia-Pacific Second Annual Meeting held on June 3-4, 2013 in Nadi, Fiji, which focused on exchanging climate financing best practices, better understanding climate fund access requirements and associated capacity needs, and providing an innovative marketplace for countries to present their priority climate change adaptation financing-related requirements. At that meeting, country delegates and development partners agreed that nations must continue to develop their capacities for better financial management, including raising fiduciary standards and improving accountability. In addition, they concluded that development partners should also consider the use of country systems to attract and manage climate finance alongside bilateral and multilateral options.
Acknowledging these outcomes, around 100 participants attended the USAID Adapt Asia-Pacific Third Annual Forum in Siem Reap – comprising officials from 17 Asian governments (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Lao PDR, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam). Four Pacific Island Countries (Cook Islands, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, and Vanuatu) also participated. Countries represented are currently assisted by USAID Adapt Asia-Pacific and UNDP with accessing climate finance from existing vertical funds, such as the Global Environment Facility (Least Developed Countries Fund, Special Climate Change Fund), Adaptation Fund as well as the Governments of Australia, Germany, Japan, Flanders and Canada. Other representatives who attended included eight development partner organizations (100 Resilient Cities, ADB, GIZ, ICLEI, IFC and PIFS), representatives of vertical funds such as the Adaptation Fund and Green Climate Fund (through video conference), as well as numerous technical
resource persons from USAID and UNDP.