An opportunity for communities of low lying islands to take greater control of their destinies emerged during the COP23 events as Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT) signed an Accreditation Master Agreement with the Green Climate Fund, a global financial mechanism to support efforts of developing countries, particularly the most vulnerable, in responding to the impacts of climate change.
William Kostka, MCT Executive Director and part of the Ecojesuit team in Bonn, said that through a partnership with the Green Climate Fund, the enhanced access to climate finance will help local communities in Micronesia take action to reduce the destruction of extreme weather events and to improve their long-term planning to deal with a warming planet.
The signing ceremony on 12 November 2017 also followed the dedication of the Tony deBrum Meeting Room at the Bula Zone of the UNFCCC World Conference Center in Bonn. Tony deBrum, former Foreign Minister of the Republic of the Marshall Islands was a leading figure in the COP21 Paris talks and whose “1.5 to stay alive” became a catchphrase to remind people that low-lying islands will disappear with a 2 degree Celsius goal. This lower temperature limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius was a last-minute intervention and pushed by a “high ambition coalition” of which deBrum was central.
The MCT supports biodiversity conservation and related sustainable development for the people of Micronesia in the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the US Territory of Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
The agreement opens the way for MCT and other groups to submit proposals for funding climate change projects that develop low-emission and climate-resilient paths for small island developing states.
William joined the Ecojesuit team in Bonn with the endorsement of Dave Andrus SJ who is part of the Reconciliation with Creation Task Force of the Jesuit Conference Asia Pacific and Thomas Benz SJ, superior of the Jesuit community in Micronesia.