News and Updates

STAP Meeting, June 2015

bierbaum gef council nov 14STAP's regular bi-annual meeting with GEF Agencies and other partners was held on June 1, 2015, beginning at 10 AM. The meeting took place in the main building of the World Bank, corner of H Street and 18th - Conference Room MC C2-125.

The objectives of the meeting were:

  • to help advance development and formulation of the Integrated Approach Pilots;
  • consider how best to move forward with the development and implementation of a GEF knowledge management strategy;
  • address how best to embed the concept of resilience in future GEF planning and program implementation.

On the issue of resilience, STAP presented results from its ongoing work related to assessing the resilience of socio-ecological systems in support of the Food Security IAP as well as its work to assist the Adaptation Committee of UNFCCC to monitor and evaluate the impact of climate adaptation.

The agenda below provides the detailed outline of the meeting, along with annotation and background documents (including hyperlinks).

STAP Meeting Open Session Agenda

STAP reported to the GEF Council on Wednesday morning, 3 June 2015, at 9 AM. The STAP Chair's Report and presentation to Council can be accessed at the following links.

STAP Chair's Report

STAP Chair's Presentation

Published Date:

Green Chemistry and Bio-based Chemicals Workshop

greenchemistry[O]n March 19 2013, the GEF and the STAP co-organized a workshop to explore the technologies, business models, and the potential for future GEF projects and programs in the area of green chemistry and bio-based chemicals. “Green chemistry, also known as sustainable chemistry, is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances. Green chemistry applies across the life cycle of a chemical product, including its design, manufacture, and use.” (US EPA definition). Many of green chemistry developments utilize the principle of “cradle to cradle” and avoid waste generation “benign by design”. Green chemistry field is dynamic and accelerating area for innovation. Some of green chemistry developments, however, if commercialized and broadly adopted could have a significant potential in many industries reducing their environmental footprint. Among relevant categories of green chemistry applications are bio-based alternatives substituting fossil-based chemicals, environmentally sound approaches to water purification; biodegradable polymers including biodegradable plastics; environmentally friendly refrigerants; bio-based batteries; substitution of hazardous chemicals in consumer products including toys and electronics and many others.

More than 30 participants from the GEF family, the US government, academia, private sector, and NGOs attended the workshop. Participants discussed the benefits and challenges supporting green chemistry applications including in the GEF context. They largely agreed on several areas for potential future work in the GEF, including:

  • Promote awareness of green chemistry among recipient countries and GEF agencies as a foundation for new projects. It was proposed to ask STAP to develop a paper for the GEF Council on “what, where and how” green chemistry applications could support GEF recipient countries in protection of global commons;
  • Support projects that reduce risks of innovative green chemistry technologies and make them ready for scaling–up – to overcome “valley of death” between R&D and pilot demonstrations. Demonstrating “success” in early applications will help catalyze future investments;
  • Identify, support and promote tools such as public procurement and certification/standards (e.g., GreenScreen for Safer Chemicals, Roadmap to Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals in apparel industry, Plastics Scorecard and others) that can be expanded to GEF recipient countries;
  • Promote studies of countries and sectors that establish baselines and opportunities for green chemistry applications assessing maturity of potential “leapfrog” technologies, institutional readiness and other factors.
  • Support existing institutions and partnerships such as UNEP/UNIDO Cleaner Production Centers Programme and Green Industry Platform as important vehicles for promoting and supporting green chemistry applications;
  • Identify key cross-cutting multi-focal area green chemistry concepts that are candidates for GEF-6 and could be included in strategic documents.

Agenda for the workshop can be downloaded here along with the presentations below.

1. Paul Anastas Director, Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering
Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment, School of Forestry &
Environmental Studies, Yale University | Green Chemistry: Environmental and health protection through innovation

2. Mark Rossi Research Fellow at the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Co-Chair
| Environmental & Economic Benefits of Green Chemistry (from the perspective of “downstream users”)

3. Stephen Gatto Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Myriant | Commercializing Bio-Based Chemicals

4. David Anton Chief Technology Officer, Codexis | Codexis Corporate Presentation to GEF

5. David Rodgers Senior Energy Specialist, GEF | Accessing GEF Funds | GEF Replenishment Process

6. Heinz Leuenberger Director of the Environmental Management Branch, UNIDO | Green Industries

Prepared By: Margarita Dyubanova

Washington DC | 19 March 2013


Published Date:

Strategic Options and Priorities in Groundwater Resources

[G]roundwater is a vulnerable resource, which, if not adequately managed and controlled, is susceptible to degradation from over-use, contamination and other abuses, with consequential loss of water supplies and far-reaching long term, irreversible consequences for the environment, often with transboundary implications. The inherent social and economic characteristics of groundwater, and its close linkage and critical significance in relation to land and environmental issues, point towards the need for a precautionary, ecosystem approach to the management of groundwater.

The significance of groundwater is often insufficiently recognised in national economic development plans, and in the administration of water resources and environmental protection. The Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) was therefore asked by the GEF to provide an assessment of the state of knowledge on groundwater, which would identify the principal threats, and strategic issues. To meet this request, STAP decided to convene a workshop on strategic priorities and options in groundwater resources, and to commission a review and synthesis document.

November 2004


Published Date:

STAP is seeking a new Chairperson - CLOSED


Chairperson’s Profile

Revised – July 2012

[T]he Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility consists of seven Members, one of whom is designated as Chairperson.  The Chairperson is contracted to work for STAP for a minimum of 25% of their working time. In addition to the important convening role of the Chair and overall responsibility for STAP’s advice to the GEF, s/he will also be expected to provide scientific and technical advice in at least one GEF focal area within their domain of expertise.


  • Recognised intellectual leadership in global environmental issues, and a thorough understanding of environmental systems and their inter-linkages across different environmental sectors
  • Additional recognized specialization in at least one relevant field in the GEF focal areas of Biological Diversity, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, International Waters, Chemicals, and Land Degradation
  • An ability to bridge scientific, policy, economic, and social issues
  • Demonstrated leadership in science policy interface and innovation;
  • Thorough knowledge of the state of the environment, emerging issues and key responses.


  • Publications and track record confirming international status in systems thinking and as focal area lead expert;
  • Extensive and well recognized leadership in scientific and professional networks of relevance to the GEF;
  • Understanding of the GEF and its place in the context of financial instruments and multilateral institutions demonstrated through publications, or participation in GEF processes;
  • Participation in the work at Secretariat level or within meetings and processes of the Contracting Parties of at least one of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements associated with the GEF;
  • Knowledge of the scientific processes supporting implementation of one or more of the multilateral environmental conventions of relevance to the GEF;
  • Experience working in countries where GEF projects and programs are implemented;
  • Multi-cultural working experience at senior managerial, and preferably director level;


  • Proven ability to communicate effectively scientific findings of global significance to high level policy makers;
  • Effective leader and organiser of multi-cultural scientific and technical teams;
  • Ability to inspire, envision, formulate and influence the work of others as demonstrated through their expertise in devising policies and strategies which have led to well-recognized and significant impacts;
  • Ability to lead, mentor and sustain significant increases in capacity, in national and international contexts;
  • Effective listener and negotiator, able to sustain and defend positions based on objective and balanced information;
  • Challenges conventional thinking where necessary, and able to bring intellectual rigor to advice on strategic and operational issues;
  • Able to mediate between professional/scientific agendas and lobbies;
  • Demonstrated experience in cross-sectoral decision making, including prioritizing for budgetary purposes.


  • Creative, inspiring, outgoing and with a good sense of humour;
  • A self-starter combining empathy and confidence;
  • Sensitive and competent in handling issues of gender and culture.

Please take a look at the attached file in addition to the requirements above. 


Published Date:

Workshop: Soils, Food Security and Global Environment Benefits

pic for post

[T]he workshop is a special session of STAP which will highlight the vital linkages between Sustainable Land Management (SLM) and management of land degradation, biodiversity conservation, mitigation of climate change, protection of water bodies and, more widely, human livelihoods and well-being. The objective is to underscore the unique role of SLM within the program of the Global Environment Facility.

The meeting will take place Thursday, 10 October 2013 at The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), which is located at 2033 K Street, NW, Suite 400, from 9 am until 1 pm.

We are pleased to have the following guest speakers join us at the session:

  1. Dr. Diana Wall, Colorado State University and the 2013 Tyler Prize Laureate  | Presentation: Soils, Biodiversity, and Global Environmental Benefits
  2. Dr. Cheryl Palm, Earth Institute at Columbia University | Presentation: Soils and Food Security
  3. Dr. Henry Janzen, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada | Presentation: Soil Organic Carbon Management

Please find the session program for further information about the discussions here. The session will be co-chaired by Dr. Annette Cowie (STAP member for sustainable land management) and Rosina Bierbaum (STAP Chair).

To see the publication of Managing Soil Organic Carbon for Global Benefits, please click here.

To find more information on this event, click here.

Published Date:

Announcing four new STAP publications

The STAP is pleased to announce the release of its four latest publications - Sustainable Urbanization Policy Brief, Assessing the Effects of Terrestrial Protected Areas on Human Wellbeing, Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Practice, and the Political Economy of Regionalism. These publications  are the culmination of concerted efforts and collaboration between STAP members and Secretariat and a range of researchers and practitioners in the field. They have also undergone rigorous peer review by independent experts, the GEF Secretariat and implementing agencies. Although the publications are written for the benefit of the GEF and its implementing agencies, their scientific and technical rigor makes them of great use for a variety of audiences, including academic researchers, private and public policy makers, project designers and other funding agencies.

To find more information and download the publications, click on their images below.

Sustainable Urbanization Policy Brief  PA Impacts on Human Well-Being  Mainstreaming Biodiversity  Political Economy of Regionalism

Published Date:

Climate Resilience

[C]limate Resilience workshop was held in November 2010.

November 2010



Published Date:

STAP hosts discussion on plastic debris solutions in the maritime industry

port-of-miamiOn June 16th 2015, the STAP hosted two speakers, Captain David A. Condino, a Maritime Transportation Specialist at the United States Coast Guard, Office of Port and Facility Compliance and Charles (Bud) V. Darr, Senior Vice President for Technical and Regulatory Affairs for Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). The discussion focused on the international and regional regulatory frameworks addressing port reception facilities, and the role of the international cruise industry in reducing environmental impacts, including those of plastic debris, on the marine environment.

CLIA is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association with representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia comprised of 63 cruise lines (representing about 95% of the global cruise line capacity) and 13,500 travel agencies. In addition, more than 120 of the most innovative suppliers of goods and services to the cruise industry make up CLIA’s Executive Partner Program. CLIA represents a unified voice for the global cruise community, advocating the common interests of the industry to external stakeholders, including on environment protection and sustainable practices. The STAP-hosted discussion explored the importance of the adequacy of waste reception facilities at ports, and ways in which the cruise lines are working towards procurement of goods to minimize generation of waste, supporting sustainable waste management practices onboard and influencing passenger behaviors, all ultimately contributing to the prevention of marine debris.

This timely discussion responds to the increasing recognition and call for action to prevent, reduce and mitigate impacts of plastic debris on our watersheds and oceans, and the vital role of the maritime industry in this process. The G-7 Leader’s Declaration at its latest annual Summit in Elmau, Germany on June 7-8th, 2015 acknowledges that “marine litter, in particular plastic litter, poses a global challenge, directly affecting marine and coastal life and ecosystems and potentially also human health. Accordingly, increased effectiveness and intensity of work is required to combat marine litter striving to initiate a global movement.” Together with the GEF partners, including members of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter, STAP is committed to continue supporting GEF’s efforts in tackling this global problem.

Presentations delivered at the meeting are available to download: David. A. Condino "MARPOL, Marine Debris and Managing Ship's Waste: U.S. and International regulatory schemes and a focus on the Caribbean" and Charles V. Darr “The cruise industry and its commitment to environmental stewardship”.

Published Date:

The GEF Council approves initiative to conduct a "GEF 2020" strategic exercise

[T]he Council of the Global Environment Facility approves the initiative of the CEO and Council Chair Dr. Naoko Ishii’s to conduct a “GEF 2020” strategic exercise. The GEF 2020 strategic exercise, Dr. Ishii said, “will seek to answer a range of questions critical to the GEF’s future. It will explore broader and bolder changes in the way we manage the global environment. It will seek to identify what unique role this institution can play in catalyzing transformational change.”

The Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel strongly supports GEF’s future focus on transformational change in delivering global environmental benefits, and will work closely with the GEF CEO, Secretariat, and GEF Partnership in delivering on this challenge. As an important step, at the 43rd GEF Council STAP released an assessment of climate change science that identifies the utmost urgency of action on climate change mitigation and adaptation and identifies the necessary ingredients for the GEF’s transformative action towards a global low-carbon economy.

Washington DC, November 19, 2012

Published Date:

Workshop on Adaptation and Vulnerability

[S]cientifically and politically, adaptation to the impacts of climate change has emerged as one of the most urgent critically and contemporary societal issues. Adaptation is now recognised as an integral part of the response to the impact of climate change, because current agreements to limit emissions, even if implemented, will not stabilise atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. It is a process that needs to be incorporated in overall development planning, including the design and implementation of projects and programmes across all sectors. Furthermore, vulnerability reduction and by extension adaptation is neither a one-off intervention or stand-alone activity.

May 2002


Published Date: