Update on Unlocking Private Sector Involvement for South Africa’s Green Climate Fund Project Development

Author: Mpfunzeni Tshindane

Date: 09 April 2021

Responding to climate change impacts requires the involvement and the fostering of partnerships between a range of different stakeholders, such as the public sector, civil society organisations, non-government organisations and the private sector, amongst others.

With support from the Green Climate Fund’s (GCF) readiness programme, the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) has been working with the National Business Initiative (NBI) to engage the private sector in South Africa’s GCF proposal development processes.

Through a three phased project, the NBI and SANBI are working closely with the private sector to help identify areas of vulnerability and areas where adaptation projects led by the private sector are currently taking place. This is with a view to identifying areas where scale up opportunities exist in order to enhance impact and to attract climate finance.

The first phase, which started in 2019, involved a series of capacity building events that focussed on  the sharing of climate information on biodiversity, climate resilience, adaptation finance and ecosystem-based adaptation. Following the completion of this phase, a short documentary video of all the events was launched.

The NBI recently completed the second phase which involved the identification of projects that could secure resources from the GCF to deliver adaptation, biodiversity and ecosystem-based adaptation actions. This followed an extensive collation of case studies of existing private sector led projects that are either currently under development or being implemented.

The NBI also established a Private Sector Community of Practice which convened three times in February 2021. The convenings explored project opportunities around (i) Agriculture & Food Systems; (ii) Water Management & Security; and (iii) Ecosystems and Sustainable Natural Resource Use. The three convenings brough together a variety of private sector role players from different industrial sectors such as manufacturing, banking, insurance, packaging, retail and mining houses.

All three collaboration sessions were informative and presented networking and benchmarking opportunities for industries faced with similar challenges” reflected Ms Funeka Madikizela from Tongaat Hallett.

Ms Madeleine Ronquest from FirstRand stated that “It is refreshing to see how economic hurdles can be bridged to make historic financial and investment limitations shift. The community of practice is one of true and conclusive collaboration between the public and the private sector, which already indicates a significant measure of success. Climate adaptation provides a plethora of opportunities for both parties and the necessity for scale must be addressed”.

The last phase of the project will involve the development of at least three detailed Project Concepts that could be considered for GCF funding.

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