Strengthening the Global Climate Finance Readiness Community of Practice – National Coordinators’ Retreat

El Salvador
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National coordinators from all nine participating countries and global coordination teams for UNDP and UN Environment met for a three-day retreat in Paris in February 2017 
The UN Environment/UNDP/WRI GCF Readiness Programme brought together national coordinators from all nine participating countries with the global coordination teams for UNDP and UN Environment for a three-day retreat in Paris in February 2017 to share experiences, significant milestones, best practices and challenges in order to learn from each other and reinforce a small but far-reaching community of practice on climate finance readiness.  
Through lively and open discussions, national coordinators were able to draw on the experiences of others, and collaboratively troubleshoot challenges they face in supporting their governments in accessing the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Opening the event, Mr Mark Radka, Head, Energy and Climate Branch, UN Environment, welcomed the participants, saying that “although the nine programme countries are a very diverse group, they face similar challenges in accessing the Green Climate Fund, and so have a lot they can learn from one another.”  
On an interpersonal level, the retreat provided an opportunity to strengthen the national coordinators’ network, enabling them to continue supporting each other once they returned to their respective countries. 
“The experiences shared by national coordinators through presentations, questions and contributions were great. But more importantly, the chance to actually meet all the different national coordinators and coordination team was fantastic, and will definitely enhance team work going forward,” said Ayirebi Frimpong, Ghana’s National Coordinator for the Programme.
Retreat sessions covered a range of topics, including National Implementing Entity (NIE) selection and accreditation experiences, project selection and proposal development, inter-governmental coordination on climate finance decision making, private and finance sector engagement and policy and regulatory frameworks for climate finance readiness. Core information was also shared by the global coordination team, including providing an overview of the overall programme, partnership structures and external networks, including coordination with the GCF. This was also an opportunity for planning the 2017 milestones at the global and national levels. 
Providing an important opportunity for a two-way flow of information, Ms. Stephanie Capdeville, Green Climate Fund Secretariat, also attended the retreat to brief participants on the latest GCF Board decisions and changes in the Secretariat’s structure and policies, and learn first-hand lessons on different aspects of readiness.