The Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL), a UNCDF global programme, held its first Project Board Meeting (PBM) in New York City, on Monday 23rd June 2014. The Chair of the LoCAL Project Board and five Project Board Members representing the participating governments in Asia and Africa (Benin, Bhutan, Cambodia, Mali, and Nepal) convened to discuss the progress on the LoCAL project in 2013 and make decisions on the 2014 budget work plan based on the LoCAL Global Project document.
Participants of the PBM included H.E. Mr. Jean-Francis Régis Zinsou, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Benin to the United Nations and of H.E. Mr. Collin D. Beck, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Solomon Islands to the United Nations. Furthermore, the Project Board was happy to welcome Dr. Young-Il Song, Director General, and Dr. Jeongho Lee, Director of the Planning and Cooperation Division of the Korea Adaptation Center for Climate Change (KACCC); and Ms. Heather McGray, Head of Vulnerability and Adaptation of the World Resources Institute (WRI) to the meeting.
The meeting started off with the opening remarks by Mr. David Jackson, Director of Local Development Finance Practice and the Chair of the LoCAL Project Board, followed by the special remarks by the co-chairpersons – Minister Raphael Edou from Benin and H.E. Mr. Ngan Chamroeun, from Cambodia, respectively. Sequentially, the board members reviewed, discussed, and endorsed the 2013 annual report, as well as approved the 2014 annual budget work plan presented by Mr. Fakri Karim, LoCAL Programme Manager. Moreover, the board members established two strategic recommendations:
• The LoCAL Global Project should be advocated as a global facility to LDCs to increase resilience to climate change at the local level;
• The LoCAL mechanism should be a financing tool for implementing the CCA intervention through LGs.
On the same day, the LoCAL Forum Meeting was inaugurated with the presence of all participants of the Project Board Meeting and two representatives from the Permanent Mission of Lao PDR and the Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein to United Nations. The forum was presided by Minister Raphael Edou with the focused discussion on the LoCAL global strategy to achieve:
• Increased awareness of the role of Local Governments in implementing CCA activities at the national and international level;
• Resource mobilization at national, international, and global level.
Agreeing on the relevance of LoCAL’s interventions to build climate change resilience, the project board members, the permanent missions of the participating countries and other LDCs, as well as partners at climate change events of national, regional, and global scale will continue advocating for the LoCAL facility as means to create a resilient environment, build safe infrastructure, and empower local communities.