By Naresh Sharma
It is my pleasure to report on some of the activities I carried out as the Board Chair during the intercessional period between the 28th and 29th Board meetings. I would like to start with the considerable joint effort that the secretariat and I put to the Marrakech Climate Conference in November. This was a key event as it was the first COP after Paris, and as it took place very shortly after the Paris Agreement entered into force.
I was happy to notice that the Adaptation Fund was high on the agenda of the COP, the CMP and the CMA. This was clearly a result from the inclusion of the Adaptation Fund in the decisions taken at the time of the Paris Agreement, and the notion that the Adaptation Fund “may” serve the Paris Agreement.
In Marrakech, I represented the Board in several events and meetings, supported by the secretariat. For instance, I presented the Report of the Board to CMP12 at the CMP plenary. I functioned as a resource person, together with the secretariat, in the meetings of the CMP contact group on the Board Report and the informal consultation on the role of the Adaptation Fund in the Paris Agreement. I delivered a statement on behalf of the Board at the High-Level Segment of COP/CMP.
I joined the Adaptation Fund Side Event and presented welcoming remarks; and I had a number of other meetings with different stakeholders. I also worked with the secretariat communications team to share information about the Fund. I am very happy to report, once again, that the Marrakech COP was a great success for the Adaptation Fund.
First of all, the CMA decided that the Adaptation Fund “should” serve the Paris Agreement. This is a significant change from “may” to “should” and clearly shows that there is confidence in the Adaptation Fund among parties.
Secondly, the CMA and COP decisions that were taken in Marrakech make the so-called road map much clearer, as those decisions spell out what are the specific issues that will need to be addressed by parties – and it is also spelled out that the roadmap should produce results by the end of next year, 2018.
And thirdly, we achieved great success also in resource mobilization. As you may remember, we had set a target of US$ 80 million for 2016. In Marrakech we received pledges and contributions that exceeded this target and totaled US$ 81.5 million. I would like to gratefully acknowledge the contributions by Germany, Sweden, Italy, and the Flanders, Walloon and Brussels-Capital Regions of Belgium.
The Marrakech COP also launched the third review of the Adaptation Fund. That review will be based on submissions by parties, as well as a technical paper that will be developed by the UNFCCC secretariat in collaboration with the Adaptation Fund Board secretariat. It is expected that the review will be finalized in CMP13 here in Bonn in November.
In addition to the work I did in and around Marrakech, I also undertook some of the day-to-day duties as the Chair. Firstly, the Vice-Chair and I worked, assisted by the secretariat, to finalize the report of the October meeting Secondly, as mandated by the Board, I signed 18 legal agreements related to projects, project formulation grants and readiness grants. I also signed 12 tranche transfer requests to projects.
Finally, together with Michael, I represented the Board in the recruitment process of the new manager for the secretariat. That process is almost at its end at the moment.
With this, I would like to thank you all for your support during my time as the Chair. It has been a great honor to serve the Board in this capacity. I will continue working with you as a Board member, and I am happy to know that Michael is a very capable Chair for the Fund, so I am sure he will continue to strive for the best of the Fund.
Sharma was outgoing chair of Adaptation Fund Board. He completed his one year tenure on March 16.