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CSO participation key to GCF success

Civil society organisations have been encouraged to make their voices heard in the Green Climate Fund process to enhance the success of the fund.

Speaking during a side event organized by the German Watch, TEBTEBA, International Student Movement for the United Nations (ISMUN) and the Pan African Climate Change Alliance (PACJA), experts warned that the exclusion of CSOs in crucial meetings and process of the fund would compromise the fund’s effectiveness in achieving its set objectives. 

Dr Curtis Doebbler, a representative from ISMUN highlighted the crucial role played by CSOs in project implementation, noting that in various World Bank-funded projects, CSOs have been instrumental in pointing out flaws in project design and implementation.

“Many times, it is the CSOs that have pointed out to the World Bank when a project has been more harmful than beneficial to the community,” he said.

Dr Doebbler noted that CSO participation in the GCF process is crucial, adding that it would be impossible to know what is needed at the community level without their participation.

He regretted that civil societies face a dearth of information on GCF processes before board meetings, noting that most of this information is technical and CSOs may lack the capacity to fully comprehend it before attending board meetings.

“There is a dearth of information for civil society regarding GCF processes before the board meeting so most times they go into these meetings without the documents. Even when they get these documents, they cannot understand them because most of them lack the capacity,” he said.

He lamented that the COP has not provided enough funding to CSOs to engage in these processes, adding that participating in these forums is an expensive affair. 

“CSOs don’t have funding and are most times the poorest in the room during these meetings,” he quipped.

He noted that there are instruments that CSOs could use to enhance participation in the process such as Human Rights processes.

“I hope CSOs will look toward Human rights instruments to enhance participation because it needs enhancing for the success of the fund”, he said.

Speaking at the same forum, Julius Karanja, a project assistant at PACJA, said it was important for Civil Society Organisations to be involved from the very beginning of a project during project design.

Mr Kimaren Ole Riamit, the executive director of Indigenous Livelihoods Enhancement Partners (ILEPA), who also spoke at the side event, pointed out that indigenous people hold a wealth of knowledge that could provide solutions to the problem that is facing the world right now.

“We think of ourselves as custodians of Nature,” he said.

He lauded the fund for recognizing the need for indigenous people to engage but noted that the fund’s modalities make it impossible for indigenous people to participate or access funding.

“We need a robust consultative arrangement enabling indigenous people to engage in the GCF framework,” he remarked.

The Green Climate Fund is a fund that was established to assist in limiting greenhouse gas emissions by investing in low emission and climate-resilient development in developing countries and to help vulnerable societies adapt to climate change.

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Lisa Kamau
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