The Stakeholder Advisory Network (SAN) on Climate Finance hosted its first Members Meeting in May, 2017 on the fringes of the UNFCCC Meetings in Bonn. The meeting was a critical milestone in a journey that culminated in the timely launch of the SAN by the CIF and other climate finance stakeholders at COP22.  

Tasked with enabling the engagement of non-state stakeholders in climate finance at the country, regional and global levels, the SAN serves as a cooperative platform to bring together climate finance actors across major existing climate funds, for the wider effort to respond to the global climate challenge. The SAN strengthens the cooperation among the climate funds and as a recent World Resources Institute report says, the future of climate finance will depend on better cooperation and coordination across the existing climate funds.   

The launch of the SAN is also a response to the Paris agreement, which called for multi-level and multi-sectoral cooperation of both state and non-state actors (such as civil society, Indigenous peoples and the private sector)  “to uphold and promote regional and international cooperation in order to mobilize stronger and more ambitious climate action by all Parties and non-Party stakeholders, including civil society, the private sector, financial institutions, cities and other sub-national authorities, local communities and indigenous peoples.”

The first Members Meeting focused on the SAN’s vision, objectives, operational modalities, governance, and initial action plan.

Part of the SAN’s strength is its commitment to ensuring that the voices often ignored in development finance are heard. Fiu Elisara is one such voice committed to Indigenous Peoples and local community outcomes.

Fiu is the Executive Director of Ole Siosiomaga Society Incorporated in Samoa and a CIF observer with a specific focus on the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR). In that role, Fiu the voices of his constituents to the conversations on climate risk and resilience and how they can be integrated into core development planning and implementation. Fui notes that “even though the challenges are huge, I still take it as a responsibility that is invaluable, so that at least the voices of my constituency are actually shared and heard by the decision-makers in the Climate Investment Funds.”

As part of the commitment to ensure that members and non-state actors are engaged in the decision-making process-- not an easy task with participants dotted around the world-- efforts are being made to enhance participation and engagement, for example, through an online LinkedIn Group. Having this virtual platform enables SAN members to discuss, share and collaborate on initiatives and activities from wherever they are in the world.

The meeting discussed and approved a set of working principles, and agreed on the scope of SAN activities, priority areas, and timelines.

The SAN is the first network of its kind to connect the dots across climate funds. The SAN was created to enhance good climate governance that started with inclusive, transparent and accountable decision-making and genuine partnerships.   Steps have already been taken to develop working relations with Fund representatives and the sharing of issue-by-issue best practice. Going forward, the SAN will work to build connections, coordinate support, and foster inclusiveness and learning across the climate community.