The Ministry of Finance participated in a virtual high-level panel discussion with other regional National Designated Authorities (NDA) to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) on Wednesday. The event sought to promote dialogue between participating countries regarding challenges, constraints, and successes in accessing climate finance; strengthen cooperation by learning from Mexican institutions that have been successful in accessing GCF funds; and receive feedback from GCF and the Global Environmental Fund representatives. The Ministry’s representative, economist Leroy Martinez, who also serves the GCF’s focal point, explained that climate finance for both mitigation and adaptation is urgently needed because Belize’s location makes it vulnerable to the impacts of climate change such as storms, flooding, drought and erosion that are already affecting coastal communities. He added that climate finance is also needed for primary sectors such as agriculture – including sugar and banana — and tourism, which contributes significantly to the national economy, including food security and employment. The Belize NDA, under the leadership of CEO Dr. Osmond Martinez, has overcome challenges and is already accessing climate finance from the GCF one-time National Adaptation Plan (NAP) allocated funds of six million Belize dollars. The forum called the Regional Dialogue to Access Climate Finance, was organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) under a Mexico and CARICOM initiative with the support of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean Countries.