PHOTO: Tapusoa Senele Tualaulelei of SBEC addressing the participants during the consultation at the Vailima EFKS Hall
Laufaleaina Lesa, UNDP Communications Officer, GCF
APIA, SAMOA – FRIDAY 17 MAY 2019 – The Green Climate Fund Vaisigano Catchment Project (GCF-VCP) is continuing its momentum with the latest development being the Call for Proposals (CfP) which is now out for the Ecosystem-based Adaptation Enterprise Development Programme, EbAEDP.
Throughout this week, the Small Business Enterprise Centre, SBEC, went out into selected communities of the Vaisigano Catchment Area (VCA) to conduct trainings that will help them draw up viable proposals for funding of their business ideas. Trainings will continue next week.
This is to ensure that the target communities in the VCA have a higher chance of reaping the benefits of this activity under the wider GCF-VCP, Samoa’s first project funded by GCF along with the Government of Samoa, supported by UNDP. It is also the country’s largest climate change adaptation and resilient project to date with a total worth of $65.7 million US dollars.
The EbAEDP is a programme of the GCF-VCP that the Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment (MNRE), the Civil Society Support Programme (CSSP) and SBEC are working collaboratively on.
The deadline for proposals is 24th June 2019.
“We have high expectations that through a collaborative effort between MNRE, CSSP and SBEC, applicants will fully understand the application process, the eligibility criteria for EbAEDP activities and enterprises, be able to answer any questions from applicants so they can submit quality proposals for potential EbA enterprises by June, and to build their confidence in seeking help from CSSP and SBEC regarding EbA enterprises,” said Soe Elika Tutagalevao, Principal Business Trainer, GCF based at SBEC.
The community trainings follow the completion of awareness workshops that were carried out for the 31 target communities in the VCA a few weeks ago.
These workshops promoted what the GCF-VCP is and how communities can benefit from the CfP, but also registered the concerns of many communities regarding their vulnerability due to where they are located, particularly in the VCA.
“The responses from the target communities during the awareness workshops was positive in the sense that they will be applying for grants, and not loans. However, there were comments regarding other problems they are facing that this CfP does not address but are currently being addressed by other infrastructural and hard measures under the GCF-VCP. These problems include families who have relocated elsewhere due to the destruction of houses by cyclones, and families unable to apply for funding through this CfP to rebuild their homes; destruction of land by flooding and soil erosion, and families seeking assistance to build fences or walls to safeguard themselves and their properties from future flooding,” said Christina Taua, Programme Manager for CSSP.
These concerns are expected to be addressed by the infrastructural works done by the Ministry of Works, Transport &Infrastructure and other Implementing Agencies under the GCF-VCP, including the construction of the riverwall, Lelata bridge and others.
Another observation from the awareness workshops was that villagers had difficulty understanding what “Ecosystem-based Adaptation Enterprise Development” is, with many interpreting it only as referring to usual agricultural practices of farming the lands they live on and own.
The CSSP and partners during the awareness workshops reiterated that there are many types and examples of EbA enterprises that interested applicants may choose from based on their capacity to implement if successful. For example, if a family has a small parcel of land for a sustainable or organic vegetable garden, they may opt to apply for a grant to conduct a hydroponics project where they can build a green house and install pipes to plant vegetables in water.
Vulnerable households, existing business enterprises, community-based organizations and non-government organizations in the VCA are encouraged to apply for this funding, and to attend the community trainings to boost their chances of having their proposals approved.
“The SBEC training goals are to provide quality support and help sessions to all applicants with regards to the application process and completing application forms, with the aim that it will result in quality proposals submitted to CSSP by the deadline. SBEC will specifically assist applicants with the development of EbA-Enterprise proposals and organize sector support groups to assist with proposal ideas,” said Soe.
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