One step closer for the Cook Islands in accessing Climate Finance as BCI obtains Delivery Partner status with GCF

Bank of the Cook Islands (BCI) has received an official green light in the form of formal ‘Notification of Endorsement of Financial Management Capacity Assessment’ (FMCA) from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) early this month, which propels BCI to ‘Delivery Partner’ status with GCF. 

This marks an important milestone for the Cook Islands in the quest to access external funding to help Cook Islands at the business and household level to cope with and mitigate the effects of climate change. 

The Green Climate Fund is a global initiative to respond to climate change through financing and investing into low-emission (mitigation) and climate-resilient (adaptation) development.

Delivery Partners are entities officially approved by the GCF to implement GCF Readiness Grant Programs.  Based on the submission of high quality proposals, the Readiness Programme may provide:

  • Up to USD 1 million per country per year for support related to institutional capacity building, coordination, policy and planning, and programming for investment.

  • Up to USD 3 million per country for the formulation of national adaptation plans (NAPs) and/or other adaptation planning processes. This may include support for subnational adaptation plans and/or sectoral adaptation planning process.

This endorsement has come about through the collaboration of key agencies, namely BCI, the Development Coordination Division (DCD) of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) and the Cook Islands National Designated Authority (NDA) coordinated through Climate Change Cook Islands Division under the Office of the Prime Minister.

For BCI, this is one of the official ‘green lights’ to pass in a series of traffic light assessments required to meet the criterion of the GCF, on BCI’s pathway to direct access accreditation required to mobilize climate finance.

Upon receipt of official notification of GCF’s endorsement the Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Ms Jeane Isamaela expressed her delight in BCI’s Delivery Partner status by saying “allow me to share that it is most satisfying indeed for the Bank of the Cook Islands to have been independently assessed against the high standards to which the GCF subscribes and found to have met such criterion as set”.    

The CEO of the Bank of Cook Islands Ms Vaine Nooana-Arioka commented “In addition, we remain deeply conscious and acknowledge this FMCA endorsement is one step in a broader process in BCIs aspiration to firstly obtain GCF Readiness Program Delivery Partner status, further as an Accredited Entity, and ultimately project approval with implementation for end beneficiaries, being our people on each island of the Cook Islands, as recipients of climate finance through both grants and loans”. 

BCI’s Climate Finance consultants Jenny Henry and Anna Glassie added that “we are elated with becoming a GCF Delivery Partner and are extremely grateful for the tremendous support received from MFEM and the NDA in this process”. 

The Director of Climate Change Cook Islands as the GCF NDA, Mr Wayne King stated “BCI’s endorsement is a welcome acknowledgement of recognition towards our country aspirations of maximising access to external funding sources to resource climate change mitigation and adaptation activities, the uniqueness in BCI achieving approval of the FMCA ensures that on-lending and blending can be undertaken with our private sector in mind, and compliments MFEMs GCF direct accreditation as they are approved for only grant awards.”