You are a technical adviser to the Intra-ACP Global Climate Change Alliance+ (GCCA+) programme which supports ACP countries’ efforts to address climate change, one of the challenges for the Group. Could you tell us more about the programme, its focus and budget?
Yes, that’s correct. I am the team leader of this programme, which helps members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States to tackle climate change. The ACP Group of States is one of the largest groups of developing countries. It consists of 79 Member States, ranging from Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries to Land-Locked Developing Countries. All these countries are particularly vulnerable to climate change. We are facilitating political dialogue for climate negotiations at the global level, ensuring a strong collective voice from the ACP Group. We are also helping them to build their climate resilience. We are helping them to adapt.The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are our guiding framework. Climate change threatens to undo progress towards these Goals. Given the nature of our programme, our major focus is on SDG 13 (combat climate change and its impacts). However, our interventions go beyond climate to cover other issues such as gender, poverty, and hunger. You asked about finance. Our €70 million programme is funded by the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). Of this amount, €65 million has been allocated to the regions. Another €4.5 million has been allocated for institutional support, including the ACP Secretariat and the Intra-ACP GCCA+ Climate Support Facility.
What are the eligibility criteria to receive GCCA support?
Our Climate Support Facility offers mostly technical assistance to governments, regional organisations, universities, research institutions, civil society organisations, and more. We offer a range of services such as feasibility studies, technical advice, and training. For more detailed information, visit https://intraacpgccaplus.org/the-technical-assistance/#csf
What are your programmes and what do you consider the most significant progress achieved so far?
I would say that our greatest strength is the variety of our members. Climate change affects all three of the regions where we work – Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific region too. This provides an invaluable opportunity to learn, exchange, and discuss new ideas. We try to ensure that whenever we provide technical assistance, other members can learn from it. Countries face very similar issues, even if they are thousands of miles apart, with some specific sub-regional nuances. In recent months, we have focused on supporting ACP countries with implementation of the Paris Agreement. We recently published an analysis of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the ACP regions. Readers can find out more by visiting our website: www.intraacpgccaplus.org.
What would you need to upscale and expand the successes across regions and ACP?
Finance is always an issue, but the most meaningful scale-up will come when the regions cooperate more with each other. A stronger inter and intra ACP cooperation and collaboration would ensure that the countries can better learn from each other’s positive experiences on addressing the impacts of climate change, as well as use the expertise existing in the different countries and regions, among others. We are facilitating dialogue and cooperation on climate change between these three distant regions. With dialogue and cooperation, we expect to see the real impact of our work. Many ACP countries are making great progress in addressing climate change and working towards building resilience. They are the best champions of the fight against climate change. And if we can help them to spread their successes more widely, then I would say that an important part of our mission has been accomplished.
Dr Maro has been the Team Leader for the Intra-ACP GCCA Programme for the past 6 years. She has been at the forefront of delivering technical advice on climate change and related policies and activities to the ACP Secretariat. Dr Maro has extensive experience in climate change and environmental policy and processes, having worked as an academic as well as a technical expert for public and private organizations on a broad range of issues. Dr Maro has over 15 years of experience in international consulting, including with the ACP Secretariat, the European Commission and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ). Her academic background includes a B.Sc. in Biology/Chemistry from the National University of Lesotho, an M.Sc. in Environmental Management from the University of the Free State in South Africa and a PhD in Environmental Change and Policy from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Belgium.