Green and climate finance opportunities in the Mediterranean region

A capacity-building workshop explores the opportunities for the Green Climate Fund and for achieving Land Degradation Neutrality in Mediterranean countries

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Capacity-building workshop on green and climate finance in the Mediterranean region hosted at the Union for the Mediterranean's headquarters. ©UfM

On 4 to 7 November 2019 a capacity-building workshop on the opportunities for green and climate financing in the Mediterranean region gathered eighteen participants from eight Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Jordan, Palestine, Tunisia and Turkey) at the headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) in Barcelona (Spain).

The workshop was organised in the framework of the Mediterranean regional component of the IKI-funded project “The Paris Agreement in action: upscaling forest and landscape restoration to achieve nationally determined contributions” (2018-2022) led by the Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism (FLRM) of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO of the UN). The objective of the project is to enhance national and regional capacities and political will to successfully plan, implement and monitor large-scale programmes mainstreaming forest and landscape restoration (FLR) as a key option to achieve countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the context of the Paris Agreement. Other than the Mediterranean region, the project targets the Pacific Islands in the Asia-Pacific region and countries of the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI) in Africa, where similar initiatives will be organised in the years to come.

green climate finance
Mediterranean mountain landscape in Lebanon. ©Magda Abou Dagher

The main objective of this first regional training in Spain was to reinforce stakeholders’ capacity in matters related to green and climate finance within the framework of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) transformative projects and programmes related to the Mediterranean forestry sector. The training helped Mediterranean countries to better understand the context of international cooperation and how to engage themselves in the creation of financial project proposals customised to the needs and urgencies of their own country.

This capacity-building event was organised in collaboration with UfM, which oversaw the Mediterranean component of the project recognising its strategic importance for the region, and the Global Mechanism of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). THE UNCCD is supporting interested countries with their national Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) target setting process through the LDN Target Setting Programme.

The training was structured in three main parts that addressed i) the general concept of climate finance, forest and landscape restoration and LDN; ii) the Green Climate Fund (project cycle, justification of funds, investment criteria, co-financing, etc.); and iii) LDN transformative projects and programmes (general concept and concrete examples from different countries of the world where the forestry sector, initially degraded, is now a successful business).

Participants to the capacity-building workshop on green and climate finance opportunities in the Mediterranean region. ©UfM

Additionally, the participants had the opportunity to present their experience with GCF and the LDN transformative projects and programmes, highlighting the challenges faced and successes achieved, which in some countries helped strengthen the coordination of activities at the national level and communication among stakeholders and parties.

This training is the first of a series of four capacity-building trainings to be delivered at the Mediterranean regional level in the next years on key topics related to the Mediterranean forestry sector and forest and landscape restoration.

In addition to supporting the organisation of the training, the IKI-funded project “The Paris Agreement in action” is providing an ad hoc technical assistance facility (TAF) to Mediterranean countries that finances activities such as i) the preparation of studies on the potential of FLR to contribute to the current NDCs, ii) the revision of the NDCs with a better integration of FLR options, iii) the preparation of an FLR investment framework to be integrated in the national GCF investment framework, iv) ad hoc trainings on climate and LDN financing instruments and/or on the preparation of bankable projects for submission to the GCF and LDN Fund, and v) the preparation of a submission to the GCF of LDN Fund for readiness support or for the preparation of a project concept note.

This TAF complements the capacity-building workshop on green and climate finance, providing the Mediterranean countries with a complete set of instruments and support to access climate-related funds.