Climate Change Adaptation

STAP Chair's Report at the GEF Agency Retreat, 1 April 2020

At a virtual retreat on 1 April, Rosina Bierbaum, the STAP Chair, made a presentation to the GEF agencies on how STAP and the GEF secretariat screen for climate risk in reviewing GEF projects.

This exemplified what STAP and the GEF secretariat look for in response to the four questions on climate risk in STAP's screening guidelines (June 2018):

  1. How will the project's objectives or outputs be affected by climate risks over, not just the implementation phase, but 2020 to 2050, and have the impact of these risks been addressed adequately?
  2. Has the sensitivity to climate change, and its impacts, been assessed?
  3. Have resilience practices and measures to address projected climate risks and impacts been considered? How will these be dealt with?
  4. What technical and institutional capacity, and information, will be needed to address climate risks and resilience enhancement measures?

Dr. Bierbaum's presentation, and the exemplified guidance are below.

Report:  GEF Agency Retreat: guidance on climate risk screening of GEF projects

Presentation:  How the GEF Secretariat and STAP Screen for Climate Risk

The exemplified guidance includes an annex which provides examples of climate-related risks in each GEF focal area.

See also: STAP's climate risk guidance (June 2019).


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STAP guidance on climate risk screening

GEF investments are increasingly exposed to risks associated with climate change and natural disasters. At the same time, GEF funding contributes to the resilience of human and natural systems in the face of these risks. The need to systematically identify and address climate and disaster-related risks across GEF investments was identified by STAP and recognized by the GEF Council in 2010 (GEF/C.39/Inf.18, Enhancing Resilience to Reduce Climate Risks: Scientific Rationale for the Sustained Delivery of Global Environmental Benefits in GEF Focal Areas). The GEF Council asked STAP to examine the effects of climate change on GEF projects. More recently, the UNFCCC COP requested the GEF to “to take into consideration climate risks in all its programs and operations, as appropriate, keeping in mind lessons learned and best practices” (2016).

In December 2018, the GEF Council approved a new Environmental and Social Safeguards policy. On climate change and disaster risks, the new policy states that, “short- and long-term risks posed by climate change and other natural hazards are considered systematically in the screening, assessment and planning processes…. based on established methodologies, and significant risks and potential impacts are addressed throughout the design and implementation of projects and programs”.

This STAP guidance proposes a common standard for climate risk screening of GEF projects based on the scientific literature and builds on earlier work undertaken over the last several years in response to the Council’s request that STAP examine the effects of climate change on GEF projects.  At a minimum, each agency should use a risk screening process that includes four steps (hazard identification, assessment of vulnerability and exposure, risk classification, risk mitigation plan), ranks risks according to a clearly defined scale, and uses the best available data.



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Strengthening Monitoring and Evaluation of Climate Change Adaptation

STAP and UNEP's Global Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts, and Adaptation initiated a process to assess the state of knowledge on the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of climate change adaptation (CCA). This report reflects the synthesis of efforts over the past two years in that area, and draws from a wide base of knowledge regarding the current state of national and multilateral actions on adaptation, the outcomes of the Paris Agreement, and the needs and priorities of the GEF.

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Monitoring and Evaluation Of Climate Change Adaptation

Over the past decade-and-a-half, the GEF has been a leader in supporting climate change adaptation in the developing world – by investing over US$1.3 billion to help communities, notably through the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). The GEF has been an “early mover” in climate change adaptation. This base of past experience is not only a rich source of insights and learning, it also places the GEF in a unique position to scale-up and mainstream adaptation in the future. Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) plays an essential role in understanding where to focus investments, what is working and what is not (and why), and learning from experience to maximize impact. Yet a number of methodological challenges remain, primarily with defining “success” in climate change adaptation (CCA) given the long-term nature of climate change and changing baseline conditions. This brief presents key STAP recommendations for strengthening CCA M&E, and for leveraging effective learning, planning, and implementation of adaptation strategies and investments in future.

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STAP Screen - 5340

Title: NAMA Support for the Tunisian Solar Plan


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STAP Screen - 5681

Title: Building Climate Resilience of Urban Systems through Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in Latin America and the Caribbean.


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STAP Screen - 6945

Title: Strengthening Capacities of Rural Aqueduct Associations' (ASADAS) to Address Climate Change Risks in Water Stressed Communities of Northern Costa Rica


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STAP Screen - 5372

Title: Belarus Green Cities: Supporting Green Urban Development in Small and Medium Sized Cities in Belarus


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STAP Screen - 5685

Title: Increasing Productivity and Adaptive Capacities in Mountain Areas of Morocco (IPAC-MAM)


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STAP Screen - 6955

Title: Strengthening the Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change in the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector


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