By Pita Ligaiula at COP28 in Dubai, UAE
Fiji’s Ambassador to Indonesia and lead negotiator on climate change, Amena Yauvoli, has emphasised the importance of the Pacific Resilience Facility (PRF) as a crucial modality for climate funding in the Pacific region.
“I think the PRF will be the modality for the Pacific to go forward because it’s been approved by the Pacific leaders,” Ambassador Yauvoli said in a media interview in Dubai.
He highlighted the need for innovation in financing negotiations and the challenges faced with current modalities, particularly in accessing funds for local communities due to their size.
“The size of the pie is just too big,” Ambassador Yauvoli said.
He stressed that a regional modality like the PRF could serve as a stepping stone from sub-regional to Pacific levels, bypassing the larger regional component of Asia.
Ambassador Yauvoli acknowledged Australia’s pledge of AUD$100 million to the PRF as a positive step in the right direction.
Addressing the issue of Loss and Damage Fund Board, Ambassador Yauvoli outlined efforts by Fiji, Cook Islands, and Vanuatu to secure effective representation on the board.
Working with the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), they aim to influence funds to flow down to the PRF for better regional impact.
Ambassador Yauvoli identified domestic absorption capacity as a major challenge in the region.
“We are not in a position to utilise funds as they are ready.”
He stressed the importance of the PRF in addressing this challenge, positioning it as a vital resource for handling immediate needs without depending solely on external partners.
“My assessment right now, it will be the modality going forward for us,” said Ambassador Yauvoli.
He urged negotiators to recognise the importance of regional and sub-regional modalities in the resolution process, and the potential integration of the PRF into the broader climate funding framework.