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The Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) organized a Science Day event at the Seventh GEF Assembly in Vancouver, Canada, on 22 August 2023.
Innovation is critical to achieving Global Environment Facility (GEF) objectives. It has been a consistent theme since the inception of the GEF, and the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) has identified multiple examples of innovation in GEF programming, with increasing emphasis in successive replenishment cycles. Under GEF-8, there is even more need for innovation, particularly innovations to solve systemic challenges and contribute to transformational change.
On 4 May 2023, a STAP/GEF virtual workshop to learn from GEF agencies’ experience with knowledge management and learning (KM&L) platforms developed for the Integrated Approach Pilots (IAPs) and Impact Programs (IPs), and to see how this experience could benefit the development of platforms for the Integrated Programs.
This briefing note builds on STAP’s earlier advice to the GEF on co-benefits. To assist the GEF in developing an options paper for the Council, this paper identifies potential co-benefits that can result from GEF projects, provides a guide for incorporating co-benefits into project design, and suggests ways to track and measure co-benefits using existing indicators drawn from Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Policy coherence matters to the GEF to ensure that global environmental benefits (GEBs) created by its projects are not undermined or negated due to misaligned policies that allow leakage, reduce the durability of GEBs, or even invest in environmentally-damaging behaviors, recognizing that a balance needs to be struck with a country's economic and social objectives.
The STAP brief presents STAP thinking on the use of simple future narratives to design resilient and durable projects. It highlights the importance of considering all drivers of change, such as population, conflict, climate change, and migration, when designing projects. The brief shows that not considering how drivers of change could play out in the future can make project outcomes short-lived, less resilient, or even damaging to the environment and people.
The STAP report to the 7th GEF Assembly was prepared to fulfill STAP’s terms of reference to submit a quadrennial report to the GEF Assembly that considers the state of the science, emerging issues, and gaps, looking ahead to the next replenishment period. The report highlights advances in science related to achieving transformational change, noting the need for GEF-8 and beyond to deliver more, enduring, GEBs, and to do so in ways that lead to systems transformation.
The estimated costs of climate change adaptation in developing countries greatly exceed available public financing and current adaptation action is fragmented and incremental at a time when transformational change is needed. Shifting adaptation practice to achieve transformational impacts and meet growing adaptation needs requires clear adaptation rationales that inform theories of change.
This short note, intended to be read in conjunction with STAP’s recent advisory document entitled Risk Appetite and the GEF, provides a summary of key messages that emerged from consultations with several GEF agencies and external organizations regarding the process of developing a risk appetite statement and framework.
STAP’s screening guidelines, and screening template, have been revised, to bring them into line with the GEF’s new Project Identification Form (PIF).
The revised guidelines comprise 12 questions, which relate directly to what is asked for by the new PIF, and explain what STAP looks for when it screens GEF projects.
This STAP brief presents STAP thinking on the use of simple future narratives to design resilient and durable projects. It highlights the importance of considering all drivers of change, such as population, conflict, climate change, and migration, when designing projects. The brief shows that not considering how drivers of change could play out in the future can make project outcomes short-lived, less resilient, or even damaging to the environment and people.
The GEF seeks transformative investments to deliver systemic change and durable global environmental benefits. What qualifies as a transformative goal should be clearly specified and plausible.
Natural Capital can be defined as the world’s stocks of natural assets and resources providing a wide range of services, often called ecosystem services, that make human life possible.
Increasing the impact of GEF investments requires a vision of knowledge management and learning (KM&L) that treats KM as an integral part of the GEF’s business, not as a separate process. STAP suggests that articulating this vision requires a theory of change to guide the development of a new KM&L strategy for GEF-8. This brief sets out five pathways to achieve this: governance and leadership; durable learning; empowerment and exchange; design and application; and tracking and adapting.
Co-benefits in the GEF are defined as any positive effect that an intervention aimed at one environmental objective might have on other objectives. Co-benefits are also commonly referred to in the GEF as those benefits that are not GEBs, such as improved livelihoods.
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