Thursday, August 20, 2020

Nepal receives Rs 3.29 billion from GCF

 Nepal is getting Rs 3.29 billion funding from Green Climate Fund (GCF) to support climate activities.

The 26th board meeting of the GCF in Sangdo of South Korea yesterday approved Nepal’s proposal for the project ‘Improving Climate Resilience of Vulnerable Communities and Ecosystems in the Gandaki River Basin, Nepal’, according to Ministry of Forest and Environment.

“With the approval of the project, Nepal will get a financial grant of $27.4 million (over Rs 3.29 billion) for implementing the five-year project,” the ministry informed, adding that the project aims at improving the climate resilience of nearly 1.9 million people from 198,016 vulnerable households of the Gandaki River Basin. “The basin falls in 19 districts of three provinces – Bangamti Province (five districts), Gandaki Province (eleven districts) and Province 5 (three districts).”

These districts cover low-lying districts of Nawalparasi and Chitwan to the ones in the high mountains like Mustang and Manang.

The project will be implemented jointly by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) –a GCF accredited entity – and the Ministry of Forest and Environment. The IUCN will work on other components like capacity building, whereas the Forest Ministry will be the lead agency for implementing the project.

The main goal of the project is to protect the ecosystem and enhance communities’ livelihood through nature-based solutions. Watershed management, river conservation, protecting ecosystem services and improving livelihood are the major priorities. Through the project, the government is expected to mainstream the concept that river basins cannot be confined within the political boundary.

“The project is designed to improve the resilience of the communities and ecosystems in the basin area, according to the project,” the ministry claimed, adding that it is the second significant funding Nepal has received within a year from the GCF. “Last year in November, the 24th GCF board meeting had approved the first-ever funding proposal of Nepal.”

Earlier this year, Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) – the first and only GCF accredited entity – also signed a contract with GCF for seeking climate finance for Nepal’s climate actions. The AEPC received GCF accreditation in February 2019. The GCF accreditation status means the entity becomes eligible for claiming and accessing financial support of up to $50 million as its climate action partner.

Likewise, Nepal’s other climate finance support of $24 million under the Strategic Climate Fund from the World Bank was approved last month for implementing the Forest for Prosperity Project.

Two more climate change-related projects worth $7 million each from the Global Environment Facility were approved in August 2019 and April 2020. 

For the project, Building Resilient Churia Region in Nepal (BRCRN), to be implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in partnership with the Ministry of Forest and Environment, Nepal was awarded $39.3million in grant.

Nepal managed to receive the grant out of a tough and competitive process. According to the GCF, a Independent Technical Advisory Panel of the GCF sends queries regarding the project proposals which we have to respond. Then, there are also inquiries during the board meeting, before the project is approved.

For accessing funds from the GCF, a global platform that helps countries in their efforts to fight climate change by investing in low-emission and climate-resilient development, WWF Nepal and UNDP Nepal have also been working on their project proposals.

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