Story | 05 Apr, 2022

Capacity building sessions in the midst of COVID, a great success

A key output for the Local Projects Component is capacity building for local NGOs, civil society groups and local authorities to raise their ability to access funds and to understand and implement Nature-based Solutions for climate change adaption.

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Photo: IUCN Oceania

The first call for local projects to  the Kiwa Initiative was accompanied with virtual awareness and capacity building sessions for the Pacific Island Countries in the ACP and the French Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) prospective grantees at both the concept note stage and full proposal stage.

At the concept note stage for ACP and OCT countries, 2-day awareness workshops and trainings were conducted from 16-17June 2021. This was followed by 8 consecutive weeks of capacity building sessions for ACPs, that included topics on Nature-based Solutions, climate change adaptation, Environmental and Social Management Systems (ESMS), and developing logical frameworks and budgets.

These were very well attended.  At least 710 participants attending these virtual capacity building sessions, from 23 countries representing 166 civil society organisations, academic institutions and national authorities.

Capacity building sessions were also conducted by the IUCN French National Committee (FNC) based in French Polynesia. Three webinars were conducted during the first call for concept notes, attended by 95 participants from 42 organisations and local authorities.

The capacity building exercise was aimed at strengthening capacities of local and national authorities, civil society organizations (including those that represent women and indigenous peoples) and regional organizations to design and implement rights-based, gender-sensitive and socially-inclusive very small to medium-scale projects on Nature-based Solutions for climate change adaptation at the local, national and regional levels.


The Kiwa Initiative is a multi-donor program with an EUR 41M budget, is the product of a unique commitment by the European Union, France, Canada, Australia and New Zealand that aims to build resilience to climate change through Nature-based Solutions (NbS). It is based on simplified access to climate change adaptation and NbS financing for local and national authorities, civil society and regional organizations in the Pacific Countries and Territories, including the three French Overseas. The Kiwa Initiative aims to strengthen the resilience of Pacific Islands ecosystems, economies and communities in Oceania by supporting projects that promote nature-based solutions via grants and technical assistance.

Local Projects Component: The IUCN Oceania Regional Office (ORO) is managing the Local Projects Component for very small, small, and medium grants ranging from €25,000 to €400,000.  The other two components of the overall Kiwa Initiative are regional projects between €1.5 to 5 million managed by the AFD Secretariat with technical assistance from SPREP and SPC.

The Local Projects Component is a 5-year programme that started in December 2020 and will end in June 2025. The programme commenced with the establishment of the grants mechanism which included the hiring of three staff, development of the grants operation manual and internal grant-making systems such as the establishment of Local Projects Component Steering Committee and a Technical Review Committee. In June the first call for proposal was opened for three months which then closed in September.

The Local Projects Component is open to countries and territories throughout the Pacific.  This includes the Pacific Island Countries defined under the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP).  The Kiwa Initiative is also open to French Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT).