Representatives from the government, private sector, civil society, and development agencies have validated a new draft climate finance and public spending roadmap for the Solomon Islands. The validation rounded off a half day workshop in Honiara, on Friday 12 August.
The roadmap provides strategic objectives and an action plan to integrate climate change requirements into the government’s financial management systems and to strengthen coordination and capacity of the Climate Finance and Resilience Unit (CFRU) in mobilising climate finance. This work will be led through the Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MoFT)’s CFRU in collaboration with key line ministries and is consistent with the country’s National Development Strategies (NDS) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
During the workshop, the findings of roadmap consultations were discussed. These findings highlighted the importance of robust Public Financial Management (PFM) Systems, budget tagging and tracking, and climate finance access opportunities and risk-informed development for resilience building reiterated. Most importantly, participants provided feedback on the draft roadmap, strengthening it before its launch in the coming months.
In her opening remarks, on behalf of MoFT and the Ministry of National Planning and Development Coordination (MNPDC), Susan Sulu, Permanent Secretary (PS) for MNPDC reiterated that the Solomon Islands Government is seriously concerned about the challenges climate change has brought to the country and the financial resources required to support the necessary adaptation, mitigation, and sustainable development measures.
“It is one of the critical roles of MoFT in establishing internal and external systems and processes, which ensure climate change and disaster risk considerations are mainstreamed through the budget and financial management systems,” she said.
PS Sulu further added, “The five-year roadmap outlines a realistic work plan for the Climate Finance Resilience Unit to achieve Green Climate Fund accreditation and to utilise all climate finance more effectively and efficiently through strengthened internal PFM systems and processes.”
Dr Melchior Mataki, PS for the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM) and the National Designated Authority (NDA) to the Green Climate Fund said that he is pleased to see the progress to date since this work started more than seven years ago with the commissioning of the 2017 Solomon Islands Climate Change and Disaster Risk Finance Assessment. He also congratulated MoFT for its leadership in establishing the CFRU, which is a demonstration of the importance of this work for the people.
Reflecting on the roadmap, PS Mataki stated, “It is important to recognise the role of stakeholder engagement and having systems and processes in place to ensure continuing commitment from stakeholders across the country and its partners.” He also emphasised the need for reform, which will help to “maximise and better utilise resources and undertake allocation of funding more judiciously”.
The permanent secretaries acknowledged the ongoing support provided by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as well as other development and donor partners towards strengthening climate finance work in Solomon Islands.
The Climate Finance and Resilience Unit was established within MoFT following a scoping study in 2018. Its mission is to strengthen coordination of climate-finance related activities with key government agencies, development partners, civil society, and the private sector. The development of the new draft climate finance and public spending roadmap was jointly supported through the PIFS and UNDP through the Governance for Resilient Development in the Pacific (Gov4Res) Project.
The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat provided technical support to conduct a gap analysis in climate finance access to help inform the strategic objectives and action plan that will guide the CFRU to coordinate and assist the MoFT in accessing climate finance. This is in line with the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific to guide all efforts to address the impacts of climate change and disasters through effective and timely access to climate change resources.
Similarly, the Gov4Res Project through its technical expertise supported the roadmap development by analysing the status of PFM systems that could identify opportunities to improve resource management and capacity. The Gov4Res works with Pacific Island governments to ensure that countries adapt their decision making and governance systems towards more risk-informed development. The Project, implemented by the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji is partnering with a range of partners including the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).
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