The Local Public Sector Alliance’s (LPSA) Regional Working Group on Asia Open Meeting took place January 16, 2024 (3:30 PM Delhi, 5:00 PM BKK, 6:00 PM Manila). The meeting was opened and moderated by Rachana Shrestha, Public Management Specialist at Asian Development Bank (ADB), who serves as one of the co-chairs of the LPSA Asia Working Group. In her remarks, Shrestha briefly gave an introduction of the LPSA, which is a global professional network that promotes inclusive governance and localized development around the world.
The main speaker at the meeting was Mr. Rafael Moser, Program Specialist at the UN Capital Development Fund. Moser provided a comprehensive overview of the outcomes of COP 28, particularly focusing on significant developments in climate action and adaptation. He underscored the approval of a substantial $700 million loss and damage fund, a crucial step recognizing the diverse impacts of climate change. Moser highlighted the groundbreaking nature of the first global stock taken under the Paris Agreement, revealing that countries acknowledged being off track in meeting adaptation targets. A pivotal achievement at COP 28 was the approval of a global goal on adaptation, reflecting a framework to address the contextualized and diverse challenges faced by different regions.
Moser introduced the work of UNCDF “LoCAL” as a mechanism designed to finance locally led adaptation efforts. This approach emphasizes alignment with existing national systems and promotes competition among local governments through performance-based grants. The mechanism, currently engaged in 38 countries globally, seeks to institutionalize climate adaptation efforts at the local level.
Furthermore, Moser discussed the importance of direct access to climate finance, citing a current portfolio of around $180 million submitted to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Adaptation Fund. He highlighted the potential role of “LoCAL” as a market approach under Article 6.8 of the Paris Agreement, as acknowledged and supported in the COP 28 discussions. In summary, Moser outlined the key achievements, challenges, and the transformative potential of initiatives like “LoCAL” in advancing climate resilience and adaptation strategies globally.
Shivaranjani Venkatramani from Oxford Policy Management, a discussant at the meeting, raised three key important points during the discussion:
- Risk-Informed Investment Menu: She inquired about the challenges related to data at the local level and how experience has been in addressing these challenges.
- Local Mechanism’s Role in Improving Data Quality
- Exploring Non-Grant Instruments by local Government
This was followed by a brief overview of LPSA’s assessment of local governance institutions across Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America by Nicholas Travis, LPSA Secretariat. The LPSA utilizes the Logic Framework methodology to analyze the multi-level governance structure of various countries. The focus has been on intergovernmental profiles, mapping subnational entities’ structure, autonomy, and authority. Travis highlighted the importance of understanding local governments’ empowerment levels, as there is no global consensus on their definition. The methodology, initially complex, has been streamlined, and assessments, led by country experts, are ongoing. All the discussions were followed by Q&A sessions. Shrestha concluded the meeting by sharing details on the next quarterly meeting and updates on the upcoming plans of the working group.
A video of the meeting is available on YouTube. The links below provide access to the video segments of the different agenda items.
|Insights & Learnings from COP28: Advancing Local Climate Action for Sustainable Communities
|Open Floor Reflections / Q&A
|Update: State of Local Governance Institutions in Asia
Reminder: You can join any LPSA Expert Working Group free of cost and receive reminders and updates by opting-in to one or more working group as part of your LPSA Membership registration.