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Climate Finance Specialist Dr. Brian Bell hold first round of consultations with stakeholders in Tonga

Dr. Brian Bell hold his first round of consultations in Nukualofa starting on Monday 16th June 2014. Dr. Bell will run a scoping sequence to collate the views of national stakeholders for the designing of  the climate change fund. The establishment of the Climate Change Fund is one of the activities under the JNAP to establish a finance mechanism in place to assist in funding medium to large scale climate change adaptation projects.

Dr. Bell in a meeting with the JNAP task force shared his vast amount of experience in designing models of the fund in particular of 15 countries. One of his major achievements to date is the Tuvalu Trust fund and he has proposed that the same approach be taken by Tonga. Tuvalu trust fund is the most successful fund in the region which has now operated for more than twenty years now. Bell will be meeting individual stakeholders of both government and non-government organisations for one week to see their views in pushing forward this work.

The Tonga Climate Change Fund has a draft legislation, which was drafted in 2012, and one of Dr. Bell’s mission is to meet with the legal drafter to discuss possible amendments to the bill. The work will take another month for Dr. Bell to submit a report to the Ministry and the JNAP Secretariat.

Brian Bell has acted as New Zealand’s representative on the Tuvalu Trust Fund Advisory Committee since its inception in 1989. He has also undertaken consultancy work for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to evaluate options to extending the trust fund concept to outer island development in Tuvalu and the feasibility of establishing trust funds for the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), and the Federated States of Micronesia. Together with Mr Jock Struthers, he undertook similar work for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) in Niue.

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