The work of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) helping developing countries tackle climate change received a major boost with the announcement that the organisation has been accredited by the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund (GCF).
The news further underlines the important role that nature-based solutions, championed by IUCN, play in mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.
As the world’s largest conservation organisation, IUCN supports governments and communities in the developing world in reducing carbon emissions from deforestation and the degradation of ecosystems, as well as helping them adapt to the impacts of climate change through the better conservation, management and restoration of natural ecosystems of all types.
This work can now be expanded following IUCN’s accreditation to the GCF as the Union can develop and submit funding proposals for projects and programmes to the Fund and oversee their implementation.
The GCF was established in 2010 as a financial arm of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in response to developing countries’ need for financial support to deal with the causes and consequences of climate change. Under the Convention, developed countries have agreed to mobilise US $100 billion per year by 2020 to help developing countries achieve a low-carbon economy and climate-resilient development.
“IUCN and the Green Climate Fund share the same objectives: to support the lives and livelihoods of societies which depend daily on the natural environment,” says IUCN Director General, Inger Andersen. “Drawing on the combined power of IUCN’s 1,300 member organisations and the knowledge of over 15,000 experts, this partnership will advance the implementation of important projects that safeguard our precious natural resources. The health of these resources is critical in helping communities worldwide cope with the multi-faceted challenge of climate change.”
For many years, IUCN has been demonstrating how healthy ecosystems such as forests, oceans and wetlands make a critical contribution to climate change mitigation by absorbing and storing carbon. Robust ecosystems also help vulnerable communities, especially those that depend on them, to adapt and become more resilient to the adverse effects of climate change.
After a year of preparation to ensure that IUCN complies with GCF policies and procedures, the GCF board has now decided that IUCN meets all the requirements to become an Accredited Entity.
Accredited Entity status will allow IUCN to add value to the Fund by delivering nature-based solutions to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Nature can be a powerful ally in combatting climate change and protecting ourselves from its effects – terrestrial ecosystems, for one, store almost three times the amount of carbon found in the atmosphere.
IUCN will also support recipient countries in fulfilling the Fund’s requirements for accessing funding. Every recipient country has a National Designated Authority (NDA) which deals with the GCF. Through its mandate to help build governance capacity, IUCN will assist NDAs in their role and work with its state or government members to support countries in gaining direct access to multilateral funding.
The GCF announcement builds on IUCN’s accreditation, in 2014, as a Project Agency for the Global Environment Facility – a global partnership that has provided US $ 14.5 billion in grants and leveraged US$ 75.4 billion in additional financing since 1991. This status allows IUCN to develop and manage large-scale conservation and sustainability projects.
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