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Commonwealth launches E-Learning Course to boost climate finance access for vulnerable states


Commonwealth launches E-Learning Course to boost climate finance access for vulnerable states

A groundbreaking e-learning course was unveiled today by the Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, aimed at enhancing the capacity of small and vulnerable states to access substantial sums of climate finance, totaling billions of dollars.

Officially launched on December 11, 2023, during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, the ‘Commonwealth Climate Finance Essentials E-learning Course’ is an initiative building upon the proven success of the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub. This hub has facilitated more than US$322 million in climate finance for projects designed to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts in 17 small and vulnerable states across Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.

The course offers government officials and experts a comprehensive understanding of intricate topics, including the climate finance landscape, compliance requirements established by major funders, financial prerequisites for accessing funding, and the unique needs of vulnerable groups.

A pivotal aspect of the course is its guidance on crafting successful applications for securing climate finance, shedding light on the use of innovative tools like earth observation data to enhance project rationale and navigate bureaucratic hurdles.

Leaders at the 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting had urged developed nations to fulfill their commitment of providing US$100 billion annually in climate finance to aid developing nations in addressing climate change challenges. Despite this commitment, the course acknowledges that access to funding remains a significant hurdle. Some small island developing states report spending two to three years developing a climate project proposal, followed by another year for legal and implementation arrangements before receiving funds to commence projects.

Speaking at the launch event, Secretary-General Patricia Scotland emphasized the disproportionate burden borne by small and vulnerable states in the face of increasingly frequent and severe weather events. She stressed the need for comprehensive support, highlighting the course as a crucial step toward aiding government officials in navigating the complex structures of multi-billion-dollar funds and accessing vital finance.

Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh for Climate Change, emphasized the capacity challenges faced by developing countries in accessing climate finance promptly. He praised the course as a valuable tool consolidating best practices from the Commonwealth, essential for building the necessary capacity.

Orlando Habet, Belize’s Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management, echoed the significance of climate finance for small island developing states and least developed countries. He acknowledged the lengthy process of securing finance and lauded the course for potentially reducing the timeline. Minister Habet also expressed gratitude to the Commonwealth Secretariat for deploying a national climate finance adviser to Belize, assisting the country in securing funding to implement its national climate plans.

The ‘Commonwealth Climate Finance Essentials E-learning Course’ is part of a broader initiative by the Commonwealth Secretariat, offering support to its 56 member countries in addressing the global climate crisis.

Sarah K. Biryomumaisho is a seasoned multimedia Award Winning journalist with 11 years of experience in broadcast and writing. She is recognized for her expertise in the field and holds a Diploma in Business Administration from Makerere Business Institute, which has equipped her with a strong foundation in business principles. Sarah's commitment to professional development is evident through her continuous pursuit of knowledge and skills. She has obtained a Certificate in Media Management from Women in News, an esteemed organization dedicated to empowering women in the media industry. In 2020, she successfully completed a Course in Wikimedia, demonstrating her proficiency as one of the few Wikipedia Editors in the country. To further enhance her reporting capabilities, Sarah has also acquired a certificate in Gender Justice Reporting from The International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF). This specialized training has equipped her with a deeper understanding of gender-related issues and their portrayal in the media. Throughout her career, Sarah has contributed her talent to various media houses, including six radio stations, where she has showcased her versatility and adaptability. Her most recent engagements include Galaxy FM 100.2 and Radio 4. Additionally, she has served as a writer for Andariya Magazine, further demonstrating her ability to excel in different mediums. Sarah's expertise extends beyond journalism. She has worked as a Digital Communications consultant for the revitalized Uganda Airlines, leveraging her skills to effectively communicate the airline's message in the digital sphere. Her passion for digital media and technology makes her a valuable asset in the evolving landscape of communication. In her entrepreneurial pursuits, Sarah is the proud owner of TheUgPost, a renowned media organization with a strong presence in Uganda and a global reach. Through this platform, she continues to make a significant impact by providing reliable and engaging content to a wide audience. Sarah won the Top Environmental Journalist Award 2023 from Uganda Biodiversity Fund. Twitter;

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