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 - 5668

Title: Innovative Use of a Voluntary Payment for Environmental Services Scheme to Avoid and Reduce GHG Emissions and Enhance Carbon Stocks in the Highly Threatened Dry Chaco Forest Complex in Western Paraguay


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STAP Screen - 5734

Title: Sustainable Business Models for Biogas Production from Organic Municipal Solid Waste


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Edward Carr

Edward R. Carr is Professor and Director of International Development, Community, and Environment (IDCE) at Clark University. A geographer and anthropologist, Dr. Carr has more than twenty years of experience working at the interface of climate change adaptation and global development as an academic, through policy and technical positions with bilateral and multilateral development donors, and through various roles on global environmental assessments, including serving as a lead author for the ongoing IPCC AR6. His work contributes to fields including livelihoods studies; socio-ecological resilience; climate change adaptation; critical development studies; weather and climate services; gender, identity, and development; environmental migration; food security; and climate-smart agriculture. Drawing upon his academic and professional experience, he builds innovative academic units that advance development and adaptation goals by connecting research, teaching, policy, and implementation in novel ways, producing more impactful research and students.

Dr. Carr holds a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Kentucky, a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Syracuse University, a MA in Anthropology from Syracuse University, and a BA in American Studies and Archaeology (with high distinction) from the University of Virginia.

You may review Dr. Carr's full CV here



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STAP Screen - 5669

Title: Enabling Solid State Lighting Market Transformation Promotion of Light Emitting Diode Lighting


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STAP Screen - 5742

Title: Development of Cornerstone Public Policies and Institutional Capacities to Accelerate Sustainable Energy for All (SE4A) Progress


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STAP Screen - 5673

Title: Promoting the Use of Electric Water Pumps for Irrigation


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