09 Jul 2021 News

STAP Chair's Presentation to the GEF Council, 16 June 2021

Dr. Rosina Bierbaum, STAP Chair, reported to the GEF Council on the Panel's recent work, and she also summarized a number of "New Science" articles, of which a few are mentioned here:

  • The new IPCC-IPBES Report states that if we ignore the connection between climate chnge and bioidiversity, it will not result in a sustainable world.
  • While Making Peace with Nature outlines how human well-being is dependent on Earth's natural systems, we can't forget that human activities have reduced the capacity of those systems for all species. Unless the Paris climate goals are met and exceeded, climate change will become one of the most pressing drivers of biodiversity loss.
  • The State of the Global Climate report, released by The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in April, declared that although COVID may have slowed many activities down, but there were still many increases in climate impacts. It’s crucial that investing in climate change adaptation also be addressed, not just climate mitigation.

Dr. Bierbaum’s report on STAP’s ongoing work also reflected on the fact that the GEF-8 planning effort focusing on a “Healthy Planet, Healthy People” approach is bringing the GEF much closer towards addressing the challenges of co-benefits in GEF investments. The STAP report on Nature-based Solutions considered how avoiding leakage will help ensure durable global environmental benefits.

In Dr. Bierbaum’s account on STAP’s recent work, she highlighted the following:

  • Circular economy and climate mitigation, focusing on how circular economy approaches in multiple sectors can contribute substantially to meeting Nationally Determined Contributions under the UNFCCC. This would also deliver co-benefits related to other MEAs.
  • STAP’s advice on achieving transformation through GEF investments proposes that GEF projects be challenged with three specific questions: 1) Could the investment be transformative? 2)  Does the goal have transformational ambition? 3) Are the proposed mechanisms to achieve transformation plausible?
  • The Chair also addressed the issue of resilience in GEF investments, outlining an approach to future risks that builds resilience into the design and planning process from the outset.

Dr. Bierbaum also included comments on the GEF work program considered during the 60th Council Meeting. You can find her full report and presentation by visiting the link in Further Resources.