News Item

Strengthening Climate Financing Policy Knowledge For Staff

News 28 Aug 2018

The Fiji Development Bank (FDB) on Friday concluded a two-day Green Climate Fund (GCF) awareness session for its staff members.

The workshop was to strengthen their knowledge capacity on the GCF, its requirements, climate financing, and the science behind climate change.

FDB chief executive officer, Mark Clough, said the GCF awareness session captured discussions on the science behind climate change by Professor Elisabeth Holland of the University of the South Pacific (USP) and increased internal policy knowledge for staff relating to the Fund.

"To generate high-quality proposals for climate finance investments in low emission and climate-resilient projects and programmes, we need to first empower our people with knowledge about the impacts of climate change," Mr Clough said.

"It should be backed by the science behind it, about the Bank's GCF accreditation conditions and features and how the portfolio would be operationalised within the existing structure."

Relevance

"How GCF is relevant to Fijians and FDB staff and what are the climate positive outcomes of that relevance is the question that we are asking our staff members to think about," he said.

The session was delivered internally, complemented by inviting Professor Holland as a guest speaker and policy consultants the Bank has engaged through its USAID Ready Project.

"We had the opportunity to hear first-hand that global warning is unequivocal and is no longer debated in the scientific community," Mr Clough said.

Ms Holland, who is also the Director of the Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PaCESD), USP, provided an understanding of the science behind climate change.

Decision

She said because Fiji is an economic hub of the Pacific, "the decisions made by you all will affect the rest of the Pacific".

"We look at this weather and climate events and we look at the vulnerability and the exposure to determine the risk, both climate and disaster risk," Ms Holland said.

"Then we look at how that influences the development and what we can do to reduce the risk."

She said that FDB and PaCE-SD could forge common thinking about risk, giving it more layers of understanding in dialogue.

Day two

Day two of the session was devoted to two critical new policies, the Procurement Policy and the Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) Policy.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Ready Project, is assisting the Bank in progressing its Green Climate Fund (GCF) accreditation requirements with these two policy developments.

Two USAID Ready Project consultants, Akosita Drova and Colleen Peacock-Tautai, have developed these policies.

"We are grateful to Ms Holland for adding to the knowledge of our team and to USAID for its assistance," said Mr Clough.

"Selected participants - our FDB-GCF champions- from all our branches and unit centres convened at the head office for the awareness session to better comprehend the GCF, its functinos and expectations of the Bank as an accredited entity.

"With changes in our policy sphere to reflect GCF requirements, the session included awareness on five new policies, namely, the Disclosure Policy, Insider-Trading/Anti-Money Laundering/Terrorism Policy, Revised Complaints Policy, Procurement Policy and the GESI Policy," Mr Clough said.

Source: Fiji Sun