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Belize joins regional discussion on obtaining funding for climate mitigation projects

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Posted: Tuesday, March 2, 2021. 11:13 am CST.

By BBN Staff: Rising sea levels, uncontrolled erosion, erratic weather patterns such as drought, and spontaneous bursts of hard rain are just some of the effects of climate change that Belize is currently experiencing all over the country.

The agriculture sector lost more than $50 million worth of crops in 2020 due to drought, while communities like Barranco and Monkey River and even the Cayes have lost hundreds of yards of beaches, due to erosion. Implementing projects to mitigate climate change, or building the resiliency of communities to help them adapt often requires the use of new technologies and can be expensive. This is evidenced by projects such as the Inter-American Development Bank’s 2017 project to control coastal erosion in Palapa Gardens beach on Caye Caulker, which is valued at US$10 million.

Small Island Developing States (SIDS), such as Belize need assistance from international funding organizations such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF), to access the necessary financing to develop and implement climate mitigation projects. In that light, the Government of Belize (GOB) is participating in a regional dialogue with the GCF on “Transformational Climate Financing” this week.

Prime Minister John  Briceño, along with Narda Garcia, CEO in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development, and Investment and Belize’s National Designated Authority to the GCF; and Leroy Martinez, the GCF Focal Point in the Ministry, were all present at day one of the five-day virtual conferences which launched on Monday. GOB said that the event will focus on the access to and mobilizing urgently-needed climate finance for low carbon and climate-resilient economies in the Caribbean.

“This will be achieved by strengthening country ownership of programming and developing innovative and transformational projects targeting areas of high mitigation potential and adaptation needs, catalyzing private sector finance at scale, and strengthening institutions,” GOB said.

The government also noted that the event serves as an opportunity for stakeholders to be informed of the status of GCF support to the region and the various support windows available.

Prime Minister  Briceño took the opportunity to communicate some of the needs and innovative products that still need to be taken into consideration by the fund. Belize has been a supporter and beneficiary of climate financing from the GCF since 2015.

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