Blog / 13 maart 2013

Leonie Wezendonk: Lobbying at the Green Climate Fund

Leonie Wezendonk: Lobbying at the Green Climate Fund


But how do we get the board members to listen to the message of 'direct access for local actors'?  It’s my first time at a meeting like this, and I’m not the only ‘green’ delegate. Most of our group members have not been at a UNFCCC or another climate convention before, so we could use some strategic advice. Therefore on Monday, our first day in Berlin, we had a brilliant meeting where we learned how to get this message heard by the board members.


We learned about the importance of finding out what the current positions and needs of the GCFs board members are. Knowing what WE want is one thing, but just shouting the message is not enough. We already have an idea of the positions of our “own” board members (from the Philippines, Benin, Colombia, India and Netherlands) but now we should also find out what THEY are struggling with. How can we help them? If we offer them a so-called ‘win-win solution’, they will surely ask for our e-mail addresses and want further advice!


We also need to know more about the power balances within the board; who are the powerful parties? Which board members are in favour of direct access? Which members are completely against it and who are the ones we can still convince?


And if we know this, HOW should we spread the message? With good examples! We should bombard the board members with local experiences of what works - and of course what doesn’t. Stories told by Ken, Chy, Pratim and Jorge, stories from their own experience. Those are the examples that stick in our head. And if they stick in ours, they will most likely stick in the board members’ heads too.


Ken Kinney, for instance, is de director of the Development Institute (DI), an NGO in Ghana. He and his organisation obtained $25.000 from the so-called Global Environment Facility (GEF) for a biodiversity project in a mountain area in Ghana. This was only half of what he actually needed to conduct the project. The other $25.000 ('co-finance') had to be raised by the community, which unfortunately is always the case for GEF-projects that support communities.


The money was not found, so Ken had to do the best he could with half the budget, making the project much less efficient than it could have been. As finding co-finance often turns out to be impossible for local communities, this example shows that co-finance for local projects is NOT an option in the design of the GCF.  


Today, armed with examples like these, we are putting into practice what we learned. Focus our lobby message, come up with specific stories for specific Board Members, and of course do whatever we can to meet them in the corridors to actually tell these stories and get them interested. And then hopefully by the next Board meeting in June direct access to the Green Climate Fund will already have been adopted!  


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