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Is Kenya Ready for the Green Climate Fund allocations in 2020?

The GCF also launched it accreditation process for entities that will access resources from the Fund for the benefit of projects and programs in developing countries and hopes to consider the proposals by June 2015. The GCF will be channeled through accredited public and private implementing entities, with recipient countries determining their mode of access.

The mode of access will either be – direct (through subnational, national or regional entities) or through international institutions, including UN agencies, multilateral development banks and international financial institutions. Countries will interact with the Fund through their National Designated Authority (NDA) or predetermined focal point.

Kenya is among countries regarded as the most vulnerable to climate change due to her dependency on climate sensitive sectors such as the rain-fed agriculture, which directly contributes 24% of the GDP; tourism contributing 27% of the foreign exchange earnings and 12% to the GDP, and hydro-electric energy generation contributing 50% of the total energy production. The combination of these factors has considerably increased Kenya’s vulnerability to climate change.

The question that lingers though is whether Kenya has put in place adequate mechanisms to tap into the GCF to help tackle climate change. The Kenyan Government has made progress towards preparing the country to deal with climate change including accessing International Climate Finance for Adaptation and mitigation actions. Key achievements include the development of the National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS) in 2010, the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) in 2013 and the Second Medium Term Plan (MTP II) 2013-2017 which seeks to promote climate resilient development. In addition, the draft Climate Change Bill and Policy have gone through the second reading in Parliament and have been subjected to further in-put by stakeholders before they undergo the third and final reading.

Even though the draft Climate Change Bill and Policy are yet to be finalized and approved by Parliament, the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) of 2012, and the County Government Act 2012 contain provisions for County Governments which are potential sub-national implementing entities for the GCF to create and manage public funds meant to address climate change impactsThe Adaptation Consortium, a project funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) through the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), is preparing County Governments of Garissa, Isiolo, Kitui, Makueni and Wajir to mainstream climate adaptation and set up mechanisms to access climate funds (from global, national and private sources) for adaptation investments prioritised by local communities.

The initial funding from DFID includes seed money for counties to demonstrate what can be achieved through such funds in a more inclusive and participatory manner.The five County Governments have started the process of establishing and institutionalizing County Adaptation Funds (CAFs) into their planning and budgeting systems.

This should enable them to draw resources from the GCF and other funds. The CAFs are aimed at supporting community driven development as well as resilience building priorities and are envisioned to be established and functional by April 2015. The County Governments will take responsibility for management and control of this fund just like any other Public Fund, with the fund being flexible enough to attract direct funding from diverse sources - global, national and local; private and public including budgetary allocation, among others.The County Governments of Garissa, Isiolo, Kitui, Makueni and Wajir comprise the few devolved government structures that are setting up mechanisms to serve as sub national implementing entities for the GCF and other climate funds.

They thus need support from all stakeholders especially the national government and development partners to ensure that this process that started in 2013 comes to fruition. By April 2015, these counties shall have put mechanisms for identifying and implementing community driven projects that build community resilience to climate change. The more the funding is devolved to the county and lower levels, the more effective it will be in responding to climate adaptation needs.

By Jane Kiiru
Communications Officer
Adaptation Consortium