Representatives of UNCDF attended the Conference of Parties 17 (COP17) held last week in Durban. Jointly with UNDP's Environmental Finance team, CDF convened a high level panel discussion on the pressing issue of financing climate resilient infrastructure including the head of UNDP Energy and Environment Group Yannick Glemaric, and senior staff from UNOPS and the Global Environment Facility. Environment Ministers from Maldives, El Salvador, Nigeria, Gambia, Vanuatu spoke on the challenges currently faced.
In many developing countries, infrastructure - the backbone of development efforts – is highly vulnerable to losses and damage from climate change-related hazards and extreme events. Available sources of public finance are limited. As climate induced events cut across socio-economic sectors and administrative jurisdictions, they can jeopardize development objectives not only in the immediate vicinity of the climate impact but also in distant places.
UNCDF focuses on local governments in the Least Developed Countries and through its Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL) programme is piloting mechanisms to ensure that they can access resources to meet the extra cost of climate change – which is absorbing precious development resources.
CDF was also represented on the platform ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability conference which was opened by South African President Jacob Zuma. During the plenary, David Jackson, representing the CDF Executive Secretary David Morrison discussed the increasingly important role of local governments in climate change adaptation, highlighting the progress made under LoCAL. The conference culminated in the signing of the Durban Adaptation Charter by 114 mayors from 28 countries across the world. The charter upholds the leading role of local governments in preparing and implementing integrated, inclusive and long-term local adaptation strategies designed to reduce vulnerability and ensure local economic development.
During both events CDF advocated with several development partners the leading role that Local Governments play in developing and implementing holistic and effective adaptation measures.