Solomon Islands recently launched a Roadmap of Reforms for enhancing access to climate finance and improving public sector spending.
The Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MOFT) in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM) and Ministry of National Planning and Development Coordination (MNPDC), with UNDP’s Governance for Resilient Development in the Pacific (Gov4Res) support, carried out a series of consultative dialogues to integrate climate risks into Solomon Islands Government public financial management.
The ministerial-level consultations prioritized the adoption of Climate Budget Tagging.
The Climate Finance Resilience Unit of MoFT conducted focus group discussions with MECDM around the development of a climate change financing typology. The typology helps to contextualize national policies on climate change and disaster risk management, into a guided tagging system. These deliberations also explored options for designing climate change expenditure tracking solutions using the government’s system of accounts.
A workshop was held for MNPDC, MECDM and MoFT that highlighted the importance of providing local context to the reform measures and aligning it to the existing PFM systems. Using case study methods, the participants were asked to prepare climate budgets without any guidelines and in a second exercise, a climate budget was prepared using an indicative climate change typology. It helped participants appreciate the need for an objective criterion for assigning climate relevance to the cost centers, to help ensure data integrity.
Mr. Chris Wagatora, Chief Resilience Officer of the Climate Finance Resilience Unit, MoFT emphasized that collaboration of MOFT, MNPDC and MECDM is the key to the success of climate budget tagging and the evidence generated from a tracking system will enable the Solomon Islands Government to make informed budget allocation decisions and prioritize climate investments”. He further added that, “MoFT provides a critical role in establishing internal and external systems and processes which ensure climate change and disaster risk considerations are mainstreamed through the national budget system”.
Melchior Mataki (PhD), Permanent Secretary, MECDM emphasized the need for a robust and uniform methodology to identify climate change-relevant expenditure to avoid “climate washing of budgets”. He recommended providing country-context in developing the climate change typology that could be used to track both climate-finance-related flows in the country and domestic public finances targeting climate change objectives.
Ms. Joanne Aihunu, UNDP Resilience and Sustainable Development Programme Team Leader for the Solomon Islands Sub-Office reiterated UNDP’s commitment to the Solomon Islands Government and shared that climate budget tagging will also enhance transparency and accountability. She noted, “I am very pleased to see that the climate budget tagging is not being introduced as a parallel measure but grounded in the country’s PFM system. This will ensure sustainability.”
Twenty-four (24) national government staff were trained including ten (10) female staff and fourteen (14) male staff.
As a next step towards the implementation of the roadmap of reforms the three lead ministries (MOFT, MECDM, MNPDC) will form a technical working group to ensure effective coordination for mainstreaming climate risks into PFM.
The Gov4Res Project, is implemented by the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji and partners with the Australian Government, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).
Source: Press Release, UNDP Pacific Office, Fiji