Green Climate Fund

How can we make sure that local organisations will get access to the Green Climate Fund? This Fund is currently being set up for programs and projects in developing countries that counter (the negative effects of) climate change. Local civil society organisations in the global South often have much experience in addressing climate change and know well what is needed on a local level. Unfortunately, they lack access to the financial means to further implement and upscale their efforts. It is important that the Green Climate Fund is transformational as it wants to be;  its money should benefit local communities most vulnerable to climate change and should not only be accessible for large-scale projects.


Both ENDS started a project in 2012 to advocate the adoption of structures and regulations that make sure that people most affected by climate change, actually benefit from the Green Climate Fund. How do we do this? Below you can read the experiences of Ken Kinney, director of a civil society organization from Ghana, who participates in the project.


For more information on our work on the Green Climate Fund also see:


Our project page

Our blogs

Blog on CDKN-website




This is Ken Kinney. He lives in Ghana and is in charge of a local organisation helping farmers with an important problem: their land yields less and less produce. One of the causes is climate change: the rainy season has become unpredictable, and when it does rain, the precipitation is far less than it used to be. More drought means less rice, beans and vegetables. Ghanaian farmers themselves can’t really do much about climate change. They hardly produce any greenhouse gasses, yet the do have to deal with the nasty consequences, so something has to been done about that.


Ken and local farmers in the River Dayi basin looked into ways of using the river’s water as an alternative to being dependent on the changing amount of rainfall. To prevent the river from drying up, they have to allocate and use the water very carefully. Scientists in Ken’s network calculated exactly how much water everyone could use without straining the river. They tested various options for adaptation suggested by the local community. Together they decided to create green buffer zones along the river, and to use river water for small-scale irrigation of the arable land behind these zones. The buffer zones help to retain the precipitation and thus the fertility of the fields. This approach was a success! The rice, beans and vegetable yields have quadrupled in just a few years.


Through mediation by Ken and his organisation, the basin’s farmers came into contact with local and regional authorities. One of the farmers joined Ken in the Board of the Rive Dayi. The community now has a say in the allocation and use of water and land in and around the river.


Melting ice in Peru and saline fields in Vietnam


This set of measures against the negative consequences of climate change was established with Dutch support from Both ENDS, the VU University Institute for Environmental Studies, and the water experts from Acacia Water.




They believe that the measures farmers came up with themselves to adapt to climate change should be tested and implemented on a larger scale. These measures then have to be presented to the local government, so they can be used in other places as well. It is important that those who use the water get to decide what is the best way for them to adapt to climate change, and thus have a say in policies concerning water and the climate. This can be different in all places. In Peru, for example, people have to deal with melting glaciers, whereas in Vietnam, people have to adapt to the rising level of the sea. There too, the most promising local methods have been tested and choses, resulting in successful implementation.



Great sums of money for the fight against climate change

 By now it is clear that climate change has disastrous consequences all over the world. The United Nations now too want to promote better use of water to ensure farmers will be able to keep up their yields while ecosystems stay intact. At the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference, it was agreed that by 2020, a 100 billion dollars a year will be used to prevent and counter climate change, as well as to adapting to the present consequences of the rise in temperature. Most of this money will probably be channelled through the Green Climate Fund, which is being set up.

Ken’s search for money


This brings us back to Ken. He doesn’t just want higher yields for the farmers of the River Dayi basin, but also for many other farmers and water users. There are so many other rivers in Ghana. And in Africa. And in the world. Money is required. Ken could really use funds from this Green Cilmate Fund to implement the same solution in all other river basins in Ghana facing the same problems.



Good things come in small packages

 The UN’s Green Climate Fund will be a mega-fund. Small organisations like Ken’s are easily overlooked, for big funds tend to invest in big projects. These, however, are often not the most effective. To ensure that the climate funds are given to those who need them most and who know best how to use them, Ken wants to talk to the board members of the Green Climate Fund. They are the people he needs to convince. That is why, in March 2013, he travelled to Berlin with Both ENDS and three partners from India, the Philippines and Argentina, because the board was having a meeting there.



The Green Climate Fund is NOT meant for the private sector

 “Most African board members believe in what we are saying, I’m sure they are,” says Ken. “But most of the developed countries only talk about the leading role the private sector plays in the Fund, instead of emphasising that of the national governments. It will be quite a challenge to convince the board that the private sector’s role should be limited, and that they should be focussing on the development component. To put it differently: How can we help the board to understand that the fund is meant for climate change, and not simply for the benefit of companies.”

And now?

 Ken has returned to Ghana, and keeps working with the local community on improving their living conditions as best they can. Even though he has limited means to do so. He’s itching to repeat the successful model tested in the Dayi area in other places. He keeps telling his story and will continue to do so until all local organisations and governments in the world can go to the Green Climate Fund. We will keep up with Ken, support him and sometimes join him in his search for money and other means to arm people against climate change.



Both ENDS works on this project with:

Development Institute (D.I.) Ghana (Ken Kinney)

Keystone - India (Pratim Roy)

M'Biguá  - Argentinië (Jorge Daneri)

Sandhana institute / KIN - Filippijnen  (Maria “Chy” Santos Canoy)


For more information about our work concerning the Green Climate Fund:


Our project page

Our blogs

Article about Green Climate Fund in Huffington Post (December 4th 2013) 


For more information about the climate programme in the River Dayi basin in Ghana, as well as programmes in Vietnam, Ethiopia and Peru, go to




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