Adaptation Futures - Session on Small grants, big impacts

The Green Climate Fund aims to support transformational pathways to climate-resilient development, intends to reach those most vulnerable, and commits to a gender-sensitive approach. This session presents an important way of putting these commitments into practice: by engaging small grants funds. These funds can provide the much needed channel between large international institutions and local communities adapting to climate change, and assure financing reaches women and men to contribute to transformative climate action. But how to make this shift in how financing is delivered? The audience will be actively engaged in the discussion to come to concrete suggestions to strengthen local access and gender responsiveness of climate finance.


  • Ms. Theo Sowa, African Women's Development Fund
  • Ms. Joëlla van Rijn, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Mr. Daan Robben, Both ENDS
  • Mr. Fumihiko Tominaga, Green Climate Fund, South Korea
  • Mr. Zaheer Fakir, Green Climate Fund Board Member (tbc)



Annelieke Douma


About the panellists

Theo Sowa is an independent advisor and consultant, specialising in international social development. She is currently the CEO of the African Women's Development Fund, mobilising financial, human and material resources to support African women and the work of the African women's movement to advance women's rights and gender equality in Africa.


Joëlla van Rijn is a climate change expert and diplomat at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In her actual assignment she focuses on international finance for climate in developing countries. She is involved in the setup of the new Dutch Climate Fund and other financial instruments to mobilize private investment in light of the Paris Agreement.


Daan Robben is a climate finance policy advisor at Both ENDS, with a specific focus on Green Climate Fund. Both ENDS promotes local access, gender equality and the inclusion of southern CSOs in GCF decision-making processes. He follows GCF processes closely and as of this year joined the civil society active observer team.


Fumihiko Tominaga is Adaptation Planning Associate at the Green Climate Fund, responsible for managing the portfolio of the GCF adaptation planning proposals and for processing, reviewing, and providing feedback and guidance for each proposal.


Zaheer Fakir is Chief Policy Adviser International Relations and Governance at the Department of Environmental Affairs in South-Africa, and Member of the Board of Directors at the Green Climate Fund. He served as a negotiator on climate finance and is active in the Boards of the Adaptation Fund, Global Environment Facility and Climate Investment Funds.


Annelieke Douma is senior programme officer and coordinator of the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action within Dutch non-governmental organization Both ENDS, focusing on water management, gender equality, and climate adaptation and finance. She monitors the Green Climate Fund and supports Southern CSOs to engage in climate finance decision-making processes.

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