USD 2.2 Million Signing Ceremony a GWP Regional Days Highlight

GWP held its annual Regional Days meeting on 1-4 June. The virtual event set a record in numbers, with over 120 GWP participants worldwide. While the main purpose is to have a shared understanding of GWP priorities and approaches, one of the highlights this year was the ‘virtual signing’ of a grant agreement between GWP and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) on readiness support to the Zambia National Adaptation Plan (NAP).

The GWP Regional Days is an opportunity for GWP staff to engage around key network questions and opportunities. With 2020 marking the first year of the GWP 2020-2025 Strategy, the meeting agenda centered on concrete challenges in implementing the new Strategy – including ways of leveraging GWP’s value proposition in today’s COVID-19 context. In the past months, GWP has taken several steps to make sure water and climate resilience remain high on the development agenda.

Participants discussed collaboration on strategic initiatives and business development initiatives across regions, and explored and identified priority actions to strengthen operations. This included targeted sessions on GWP activities around transboundary, gender, youth, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – with particular focus on GWP’s SDG IWRM Support Programme – as well as climate.

The event was also GWP Executive Secretary Monika Weber-Fahr’s last major GWP event, following her departure announcement in April. As she bid her farewell to the network, she said that her 2 years with GWP “have been exciting, being able to help reinvigorate GWP” and that she is “glad that we now have a good direction for the team and my successor to follow through on.”

High-level signing ceremony for climate funds

The climate session included a high-level segment to sign a grant agreement between GWP and the GCF to support Zambia's NAP process. In December 2019, GWPO was accredited to the GCF as a Delivery Partner of the GCF Readiness country support. GWP is supporting a number of countries to prepare readiness proposals for submission to the GCF. In March 2020, the GCF approved Zambia’s proposal for advancing its NAP process with USD 2.2 million over 3 years, with GWP as Delivery Partner.

On 3 June, the grant agreement between GWP and GCF was formally signed, with Zambia’s Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Jean Kapata participating.

“On behalf of the Zambian government, let me thank the Green Climate Fund for once again coming to Zambia's aid in addressing the challenge of climate change. I also wish to thank the Global Water Partnership for being a reliable and diligent partner during the preparation of the proposal for these funds. The Zambian government has a lot of confidence in the work of the GCF to support countries address their challenge of climate change,” said Kapata.

Youssef Nassef, Director of Adaptation at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), congratulated GWP and GCF to the successful agreement: “I started and evolved the international adaptation work at the UNFCCC for over two decades, and I consider two of my most beloved babies to be the NAPAs and the NAPs. Zambia has already completed its NAPA in 2007 and now it is wonderful to see the NAP being moved forward with the support of GWP and GCF funding.”

GWP Chair Howard Bamsey said that the signing of the grant agreement marked “the first step forward in something much broader and of global importance in years to come.”

The signing ceremony was opened by Alex Simalabwi, GWP Global Head - Climate Resilience and GWP Southern Africa Executive Secretary, who introduced GWP's work to accelerate country support on GCF Readiness.

Watch the signing: