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Climate Financing Accreditation Project Underway

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved a project that will provide support for three entities: the Ministry of Economic Development, the Social Investment Fund and the Belize National Protected Areas System (BNPAS) Entities”. Valued at 1.2 million dollars, the project is intended to support the Ministry’s access of up to fifty million U.S. dollars of grant funding directly from the GCF and other funding institutions. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Economic Development, Doctor Osmond Martinez discussed why this is important for Belize.

Dr.Osmon Martinez, CEO, Ministry of Economic Development: “The importance of accrediting or to seek accreditation for the Ministry of Economic Development and SIF is for Belize to have a higher capacity in absorbing more green climate funds. So say for example presently the only accredited entity to GCF is PACT and their capacity is 10 million U.S. dollars so which means only projects up to 10 million U.S. dollars can be absorbed. Then we have DFC who is in the process of getting accredited however I think their capacity is between $10- $20 million US dollars. And then we have SIF that will start the accreditation process along with the Ministry of Economic Development and so the aim is that we will have the capacity to get projects up to $50 million U.S. dollars just for example in the Ministry of Economic Development,  another 10 to $15 million at SIF so we would be able to absorb much more money and at the same time once we are accredited it means that we are doing everything that is good, meaning good governance, meaning all the assessments will be done to international standards and the entities that are accredited means that they are doing everything that is free of corruption and that is where we want to go. At the same time it will benefit Belize because we will get millions of dollars which is grants or free monies, two concessionary loans and three to absorb even bigger loans in the future if it is needed related to climate finance.”

The project will further develop the Ministry’s specialized capacity in driving climate action through various mitigation and adaptation projects. Activities for this component will include a gap assessment and action plan as first steps. Doctor Martinez also spoke on how this will help the productive sector particularly.

Dr.Osmon Martinez, CEO, Ministry of Economic Development: “For example we have issues in the marine life you know the coral reefs for example in Australia they have die out. We have the largest Barrier Reef in the Western Hemisphere and we have the second largest in the world but the only one that is living and we need to protect  it so we need to do sustainable fishing. Then there is another issue with erosion in the coastal areas. So for example just yesterday I was advised that there is erosion problems in Corozal, in Punta Gorda, we all know the situation of Monkey River where Monkey River used to be a town in the past now it’s practically in the mercy of God that it would disappear. Then we have the situation in Barranco another village that is highly affected by erosion and this is because of climate change but at the same time we have to look at the productive sector. Now in the field of agriculture we have faced drought and there is also flooding so how do we mitigate and do adaptation programs that will help the productive sector to continue to produce even knowing and acknowledging that we have issues with climate change and that’s where these funds can be used to introduce science and technology in the productive sector.“

The Protect Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) will be the delivery partner since they have accreditation experience and continue to support Belize’s efforts to combat climate change.