Tuesday 21st May saw the official closing ceremony of the Integrated Climate Change Adaptation Strategies programme, which became better known under its accronym ICCAS.
ICCAS was funded with 6.8 million Euro (ECD 20 million) by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU) under its International Climate Initiative (IKI). It has been running in Grenada since April 2013 and has been jointly implemented by the Environment Division, GIZ and until July 2018 also the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The programme, which aimed at increasing Grenada’s resilience to climate change, included four components: mainstreaming adaptation, improving resources planning and management, a Community Climate Change Adaptation Fund, and enabling access to finance and knowledge management.
The programme was a first of its kind for the Government of Germany which, until now, had only considered regional projects. A bilateral arrangement was quite a novelty. ICCAS was originally meant to end in October 2016, but it benefited from a number of extensions due to its success at implementing deep rooted changes on the ground.
ICCAS‘s impacts, for a single project, were broad and far reaching. During her Speech, Aria St Louis, Head of the environement division, who was also the ICCAS’s counterpart for the Government of Grenada, endavoured to cover ICCAS’s main achievements in capacity building within government, private sector and civil society, mainstreaming of climate resilience througout government sectors and building community resilience to the changing climate and its negative impacts. A documentation of leassons learned and best practices can be found on the Grenadapt YouTube channel www.youtube.com/channel/UCb9KRCExkZROCYcWNP9dVrQ. The Grenadapts Facebook page is currently hosting a campaign #ICCASlegacy to celebrate ICCAS’s achievements. www.facebook.com/Grenadapts
But overall, the ICCAS legacy will be dominated by its ability to improve Grenada’s access to climate finance. Dieter Rothenberger, Head of Project for GIZ explained that throughout its lifetime, the project acted as a „docking station“ for other projects to bring more support to Grenada’s adaptation ambitions in several sectors, from health to waste management and water security, etc. It has also secured two critical „Green Climate Fund“ readiness projects which opens the way for Grenada to access the world’s largest source of climate finance (www.greenclimate.fund). Through ICCAS, Grenada was the first country in the region to gain approval from the Green Climate Fund on a sole-country project: The XCD 125 millions Grenada Climate Resilient Water Sector which will start its implementation this summer with Nawasa, The Government of Grenada, Grenada Development Bank and GIZ.
The impacts of climate change on a small island like Grenada can be devastating. And as such, Sen. The Hon. Winston Garraway, Minister wrf. Disaster Management and Information at the Minister of Ministry of Climate Resilience, the Environment, Forestry, Fisheries, Disaster Management & Information outlined in his keynote address that, as a country, Grenada knows about the destruction of hurricanes or the pressure placed on the nation by severe droughts and flash floods. We also worry about our coastlines, our main tourism product, which are subjected to sea level rise and coastal errosion. Therefore, as these events are predicted to increase in the coming years, Grenada needs to continue on its adaptation path, mapped and laid under the ICCAS project. Grenada must also do good on its commitment to reduce emmissions, to be a part of shaping a better future for our planet. The only one we have.
The event, which also included inspiration speeches from Roxy Hutchinson, Permanent Secretary (Ag.), Ministry of Climate Resilience, the Environment, Forestry, Fisheries, Disaster Management & Information, Merina Jessamy, Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Implementation and Verena Blickwede, Regional Director Caribbean, GIZ, featured several entertainment breaks. It included a pan performance of the national anthem by Pan Wizards, a testimonial movie “ICCAS was for me”, a music video of Eclipse, Swipe and Avvoni now well known “Can’t do this alone” ICCAS’s theme song and not least an original monologue about climate change and the resilience of our island by Richardo Keens-Douglas.