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Accreditation: a regional first for Antigua’s Environment Division

Antigua and Barbuda no longer has to go through a middle man to access financing from the Adaptation Fund of the Climate Change Convention.

Over the weekend, the country received word that it has been accredited as a National Implementation Entity.

“This facility within the climate change convention was negotiated specifically to allow developing countries to have direct access.

“Over the years, we have argued that having to go through an implementation agency means that your projects sometimes are skewed towards what the implementation agency wants to achieve and are not necessarily the best fit for the country,” Deputy Chief Environment Officer Ruleta Camacho-Thomas explained, adding that accreditation allows Antigua and Barbuda to access 100% of the funding, whereas only 25% was at times available through middlemen.

She said the achievement is also a big deal, because the Environment Division is the first government agency in the Caribbean to be accredited. It comes after a two-year log process.

“It was a lot of work for the Environment Division. It was a full-scale technical and financial audit of the division – audit of all the projects within the last five years that we have done; audit of our technical abilities, so we send in the CVs of all the staff; demonstrate our ability to conform to all the standards of technical competency that the board required. So, it took a while to demonstrate that,” the deputy chief outlined.

She also said that the department has identified what she referred to as hotspot areas for adaptation funding. Prioritisation is necessary, as the funding cap is US$10 million, and the division needs more that that for climate change solutions.

“Now (that) we’re accredited, we would need to compile those lists and get policy decision on what we apply for first, because the adaptation needs far exceed US$10 million,” she Camacho-Thomas said.

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