Adaptation Fund Accredits Cook Islands as 24th National Implementing Entity
On the 14th July 2016 the Adaptation Fund in Washington declared the Cook Islands to be Fund’s 24th National Implementing Entity. This is a major achievement as the Cook Islands Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) becomes the first Pacific Island government agency to achieve this status. (The Micronesia Conservation Trust was accredited in 2015).
It also represents the outcome of more than three years of hard work on the part of the entire Government of the Cook Islands, led by MFEM.
The process started in 2013 when the Government began the application process with support from (a) the Pacific Community’s European Union funded-Global Climate Change Alliance: Pacific Small Islands States project and (b) the United Nations Environment Programme.
The application was submitted to the Adaptation Fund Board in December 2014. The process of accreditation has involved several improvements to the country’s fiduciary processes, these include:
- Scoping and introduction of “Te Tarai Vaka” a revised structure for the Cook Islands Activity Management Cycle;
- Integration of Social Safeguards and Policies;
- Implementation of updated procurement guidelines and online portal;
- Cabinet endorsement of the Official Development Assistance Policy 2015 to give broader mandate to cover “Development Finance”;
- Establishment of a complaints process for ministries as well as re-invigoration of the Anti-Corruption Committee;
- Re-establishment of the internal audit function in MFEM.
Ana Tiraa, the Director of Climate Change Cook Islands explains “This announcement's timing is positive as it provides our office with an alternative access point to mobilise funding, and it is with thanks from a number of people who have dedicated their time and expertise. In recognition I’d like to congratulate MFEM on such a milestone and thank the national steering group, our partners under the European Union Global Climate Change Alliance and the United Nations Environment Programme.”
On the horizon for the country at this time is direct access and utilization of the Green Climate Fund, a similar opportunity like the Adaptation Fund born out of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
For more information see the official press release from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management