Private Sector Engagement
Solar Grid installed by Coca-Cola Amatil Fiji at its Suva Facility to support its operations (Photo Credit: Sunergise).
This priority area aims at strengthening the engagement and dialogue with the private sector and deepen public sector understanding of private sector needs and experience with respect to climate change responses. It also helps to identify investment opportunities and potential areas for collaboration.
- Capacity building activities have been conducted in the past years, with some work in progress: in 2019, PIFS and the Government of Cook Islands convened the Polynesia sub-regional private sector workshop on climate change and disaster risk finance in Rarotonga that built on the 2018 Melanesia sub-regional workshop in Port Moresby. Similar workshop was successfully conducted virtually for the Micronesia sub-region in 2020. The second Melanesia sub-regional private sector climate finance workshop was virtually held in September 2021 and co-hosted by the Government of Vanuatu, Vanuatu Business Resilience Council and PIFS. It was focused on unlocking potential opportunities around climate financing and to increase awareness of, and access to climate finance and options for public-private partnership and investment. Setting up structures, inclusive investment plans, understanding government and national opportunities for private sector engagement are amongst key takeaways.
- National private sector mapping on climate change and disaster risk finance was completed for Samoa, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands and Tonga. For Samoa, this has resulted in the mobilisation of a short-term technical assistance to assist Samoa’s Chamber of Commerce. In Vanuatu, the private sector mapping has helped to increase awareness of climate change finance and, critically, to identify investment opportunities and potential areas for collaboration. As a result of the Vanuatu private sector mapping, concept notes were developed that incorporate the private sector’s needs for financing opportunities in the Agriculture and Tourism sectors. Tonga private sector mapping on climate finance was cleared by the government and assisted Tonga to secure a new GCF readiness grant. Solomon Islands private sector mapping on climate finance resulted in collective support from the Ministry of Climate Change (GCF NDA), Ministry of Finance & Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce to pursue dedicated private sector readiness grant and project funding from the GCF. Cook Islands private sector mapping report has been considered by government and used in the feasibility study for their National Adaptation Programme.
- Successful facilitation of three virtual information sharing sessions in 2021 with that National Private Sector Organisations (NPSOs) in the region. These sessions were aimed at increasing awareness on financing opportunities and technical support to mitigate climate change impacts and build resilience of the private sector. There were sessions that highlighted experiences from Vanuatu and Tonga respectively in accessing Green Climate Fund’s (GCF) readiness programme to support private sector resilience initiatives. In addition, opportunities to mainstream climate change through the strategic planning process of NPSOs was organised with support from the ILO Bureau of Employer Activities (ACT/EMP). These sessions are jointly facilitated by PIFS and Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO).
- Continuous work with other Forum Island Countries to strengthen private sector engagement in climate finance. New requests for support have been received in 2021 from the national Chambers of Commerce in Samoa, Fiji, FSM, Kiribati and Tuvalu. This work will continue in 2022 and will also include follow-ups on the Sub-regional Private Sector Workshops.
- Validation of Fiji’s private sector mapping findings: The Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF) and the Climate Change Division of the Ministry of Economy organised a meeting of key stakeholders to review the findings of the private sector mapping of climate change and resilience activities conducted in 2021 that would contribute towards the finalisation of key milestones of the mapping. The meeting held on Friday 25 February was attended by representatives from the private sector including FCEF members, Fiji Development Bank and the Ministry of Economy who had the opportunity to hear from the consultant on the status of private sector in pursuing climate change and resilience initiatives and their needs. The outcomes of the mapping will help FCEF and key stakeholders to prepare for the next phase of support. Ministry of Economy representative, Mr Prashant Chandra in welcoming the participants stated that the meeting was critical and important as a demonstration of the country’s commitment and support towards the finalisation of the private sector mapping report. He added that the mapping is the first step to strengthen this engagement whereby information and data related climate change and resilience initiatives are collected from businesses and consolidated to help guide and inform a more effective policy and decision-making process relating to private sector engagement. CEO for the Fiji Commerce & Employers Federation, Mr Kameli Batiweti acknowledged the partners such as the Ministry of Economy, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat through the EU-funded PACRES Project for the opportunity to strengthen partnerships and networks and share the learnings from the mapping.
- Representatives from Fiji Business Resilience Council and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) are participating in the Connecting Business initiative (CBi) Annual Meeting at the ‘Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Weeks’ in Geneva from 9 – 13 May, 2022. CBi is a joint initiative of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) that engages the private sector in resilience and disaster-related activities with Member Networks. During the week-long meeting, PIFS will support current members from the Pacific, presenting its work related to strengthening private sector engagement in climate change and resilience and, networking with partners on potential areas of collaboration to sustain this initiative. The Annual Meeting provides an opportunity for PIFS to support the current Members from the Pacific since the organisation has supported implementation of private sector related activities in these countries. The outcomes of the meeting will help strengthen the inter-network collaboration, address some areas of concern that can be prioritised as actionable recommendations including using this platform to extract best practices for future HNPW. Currently, PIFS collaborated with CBi to help set-up the Solomon Islands Business Resilience Council whereby technical support will be provided by CBi. Fiji and Vanuatu are current CBI Member networks.
Supported by the EU Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change and Resilience Building (PACRES) Projects and the Private Sector Development team at PIFS.