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Adaptation Finance Accountability Initiative

Climate Finance often refers to funding that developing countries utilize to adapt to climate change and strengthen climate resilience. The better term might be adaptation finance, which has increased over the years in the form of international commitments and domestic spending.

But it is not enough to define funding flows. Questions such as the following add significance to the deployment of adaptation finance.

How much adaptation finance is actually available within developing countries?

How is it being directed and used, and by whom?

Is it reaching the local level? Are the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable being met and do they have a say in how funding is deployed?

To address these essential issues, the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (iCSC) partnered with the World Resources Institute (WRI), Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and Oxfam to launch the Adaptation Finance Accountability Initiative (AFAI). The purpose:

• examine how climate adaptation and resilience finance is delivered at the domestic and local level;

• pilot new tracking and monitoring tools to improve finance transparency;

• and promote more effective accountability with regard to adaptation finance.

The project is being undertaken with other partners in Zambia, Uganda and Nepal. In the Philippines, more objectives have been established by iCSC.

AFAI in the Philippine Context

Adaptation finance represents a significant and growing section of total international funding flows to the Philippines. In the period from 2009 to 2011, for instance, over PhP10 billion in climate adaptation-tagged funding from different international sources was committed for delivery to the Philippines. But how much was disbursed, to which sectors, using what modalities and through which institutions?  Was adaptation the primary, sole or secondary focus of specific funding streams? Which funding streams were designed to reach the local level? How much of this was aligned with national and local priorities?

These are important points of inquiry. To ensure that the AFAI project contributes as well to Philippine-specific challenges, iCSC added a few more goals:

1. Help increase the profile of slow onset climatic impacts, such as long-term changes in average precipitation or sea level-rise, in the national discourse.

2. Promote shared understanding about the current state of adaptation finance, particularly in the Philippines, in relation to international and domestic funding flows and processes.

3. Operationalize Section 7(p) of R.A. 10174, also known as the People’s Survival Fund (PSF)  law, which provides  the Climate Change Commission  (CCC) the man- date to act as the information hub on climate finance for the Philippines.

4. Develop tracking instruments for the government, particularly Adaptracker.org, to which citizens can contribute as well.

AFAI was formally launched in Luxent Hotel, Quezon City, Philippines on May 28, 2013. Key offices from the legislative and executive offices of the government attended the meeting with representatives from civil society organizations, academe, and media.

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