News and Updates

STAP at the UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference

cbp2_0 Soil Organic Carbon Project Team

[T]he STAP participated at the UNCCD’s Second Scientific Conference held 9-12 April 2013 in Bonn, Germany. The conference theme was Economic Assessment of Desertification, Sustainable Land Management and Resilience of Arid, Semi-arid and Dry Sub-humid Areas. The STAP contributed to the Conference by designing and leading a 90 minute session titled “GEF Special Session on Carbon – a Valuable Global Benefit of Sustainable Land Management.” The session objectives were to ...

  • Demonstrate the importance of the current work of the Land Degradation Focal Area of the Global Environment Facility, with special reference to Sustainable Land Management (SLM).
  • Identify the multiple potential benefits derived from above- and below-ground sequestration of carbon.
  • Show how GEF investments and strategic planning support the UNCCD.
  • Consult the scientific community on issues related to SLM that might be included in future GEF strategic plans.

The session abstract can be downloaded here

During the session, the STAP also launched its report “Soil organic carbon management for global benefits: a discussion paper”. The paper provides an overview of soil organic carbon and its relevance to soil organic carbon management within the context of generating global environmental benefits and contributing towards food security and livelihoods. The report can be downloaded here.

The paper was presented at the session by Gerard Govers. The session presentations and their titles are listed below.

  1. Mohamed Bakarr, GEF Secretariat | Sustainable Land Management in the Global Environment Facility – Enhancing Ecosystem Services in Production Landscapes
  2. Gerard Govers, University of Leuven, Belgium | Soil organic carbon management for global benefits – A review for STAP
  3. Eleanor Milne, Colorado State University, U.S.A. | A New Tracking Tool for Carbon Benefits
  4. Annette Cowie, University of New England, Armidale, Australia | Value of Soil Organic Carbon: the case for biochar

For further information about this event, please contact Guadalupe Durón at the STAP Secretariat or visit the UNCCD website

Prepared By: Guadalupe Durón

Bonn | 9-12 April 2013

Published Date:

Marine Spatial Planning in Practice

MSP by NOAA[M]arine spatial planning (MSP) is an area-based management framework that provides a means for improving decision-making as it relates to the use of marine resources and space. As human activities continue to exert increasing pressures on marine ecosystems, MSP is gaining international recognition as a valuable approach that integrates, rather than polarizes, environmental, social, and economic interests to achieve multiple management objectives.

STAP, in collaboration with UNEP and UNEP’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre, and guided by Panel Member Jakob Granit, is undertaking a cross-cutting advisory task to reflect available global experience of implementing MSP.  The partnership undertaking this task have invited all relevant GEF focal points, and a wide range of national and regional agencies, in liaison with the CBD Secretariat, to contribute their experience through a survey. The findings of this survey will be analysed in an expert workshop in Cambridge, UK, from 6-8 May.  The expected outputs will include lessons on the challenges of successfully making the transition from planning to implementation, lessons on the analysis of the governance context and identification of capacity building needs by context and MSP type.

To view a recent publication about MSP that was produced by the STAP and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), click here.

To find more information about this event, click here.

Published Date:

Reducing Black Carbon Can Save Lives and Help Combat Climate Change

Press Release:

Washington, D.C., 19 October 2015 - Black carbon causes millions of deaths every year and contributes to the warming of the planet. In the atmosphere it appears as air pollution, with emissions arising mainly from the combustion of diesel fuel and biofuels, coal-fired power stations, biomass cook stoves, brick kilns and vegetation burning in open fields.

The importance of reducing emissions of black carbon and other short-lived climate pollutants while simultaneously continuing efforts to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions, is the subject of a new advisory document, “Black Carbon Mitigation and the Role of the Global Environment Facility,” produced by the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

In the publication, STAP recommends significant investments in accelerating the reduction of black carbon to directly support implementation of the recently announced Sustainable Development Goals in the areas of improved air quality, climate change mitigation, reduced climate vulnerability, and transfer of low-carbon technologies.

"The GEF is already addressing black carbon as part of its climate mitigation program. What we are proposing is to expand these nascent efforts across other areas of the GEF program, and to significantly expand the mitigation, ecosystem, and human health benefits that result from these activities,” said Rosina Bierbaum, STAP Chair.

Black carbon absorbs solar energy at rates of up to a million times more than carbon dioxide. Although only lasting in the atmosphere for a few days, it adds to the overall global warming process. It has been linked to a range of climate impacts and accelerated ice and snow melt and sensitive regions such as the Arctic and the Himalayas are particularly vulnerable to the warming and melting effects of black carbon.

Black carbon emissions also have adverse impacts on human health and ecosystems. According to the World Health Organization, indoor smoke from burning coal or wood is among the top ten major health risk factors globally, contributing to over 4 million premature deaths from illness from household air pollution each year. Women and children are particularly at risk.

Recommendations from the report for the GEF include: mainstreaming black carbon mitigation measures into their project portfolio; supporting programs and projects that focus on the reduction of black carbon emissions; measuring and reporting on the amount of black emissions avoided or reduced as a result of GEF-funded projects; and increasing awareness and the engagement of stakeholders involved in national, regional and international efforts to address black carbon mitigation.

The report will be presented to the 49th GEF Council Meeting that will take place in Washington D.C, from 20 to 22 October 2015.

 

About the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel

The Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the GEF (STAP) is an independent group of scientists supported by the United Nations Environment Programme, responsible for connecting the GEF to the most up-to-date and authoritative and globally representative science.

About the Global Environment Facility

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a global partnership of 183 countries, 18 multilateral and civil society organizations, and the private sector tackling a wide spectrum of environmental challenges – including clean energy, protection of terrestrial and marine ecosystems, climate mitigation and adaptation, and cross-cutting problems such as sustainable urban development.

For more information, please contact:

Virginia Gorsevski, STAP Secretariat, UNEP, Tel.+1 202 785-0465

The full Press Release can be downloaded here.

The STAP Advisory document can be downloaded here:

Sims, R., V. Gorsevski and S. Anenberg (2015). Black Carbon Mitigation and the Role of the Global Environment Facility: A STAP Advisory Document. Global Environment Facility, Washington, D.C.

 

Published Date:

Report to the Third GEF Assembly

[T]he report reflects STAP’s important advances in its scientific understanding of the environmental and technical issues that are directly relevant to the GEF. It also identifies emerging technologies, which could play a significant role in strengthening the effectiveness of GEF activities across the world.

June 2006

DOWNLOAD Report

Published Date:

Carbon Benefits Project Review Meeting

cbp2_0[F]rom 13 to 16 September, STAP led a review of the UNEP-GEF “Carbon Benefits Project” at Voi Wildlife Reserve in Kenya. STAP was asked by the GEF to lead a review of the carbon benefit tools (CBP) tools as the project nears its completion. The project developed a standardized system for the GEF to measure, model, and monitor carbon stock changes and greenhouse gas emissions from land management projects. In response to this request, the meeting objective focused, therefore, on the applicability and usefulness of the suite of tools developed by the CBP. The CBP team (composed of scientists from several institutions based in Africa, Europe, and the United States) led with presentations on the modeling and measurement components, as well as one day training on the use of the tools. STAP will now draw from the meeting outcomes to develop its conclusions and recommendations about the future use of the CBP tools in GEF projects.

Further information about the CBP can be found here.

For further information about the CBP, please contact Gemma Shepherd.

For further information about this workshop, please write to Guadalupe Duron.

Further information about the workshop, including presentations by the CBP team, can be found below. 

Prepared By: Guadalupe Duron

Nairobi | 13-16 September, 2012


DOWNLOAD All Documents

DOWNLOAD Community carbon accounting

DOWNLOAD Cost benefit analysis and DPSIR tool

DOWNLOAD Detailed assessment and dynamic modelling

DOWNLOAD Guidance module

DOWNLOAD Measurement outreach and user engagement

DOWNLOAD On-line tools for monitoring reporting and evaluation

DOWNLOAD Overview of CBP measurement component

DOWNLOAD Overview of the CBP modelling

DOWNLOAD Overview on CBP project

DOWNLOAD Research and development of CBP field measurements

DOWNLOAD Soil Carbon Measuring Monitoring

DOWNLOAD Tools development and outcomes

DOWNLOAD Simple assessment module

DOWNLOAD Project description module

DOWNLOAD Remote sensing add-ons

Published Date:

Welcoming Dr. Rosina Bierbaum

Photo courtesy of IISD Reporting Service/ENB Photo by Franz Dejon Photo courtesy of IISD Reporting Service/ENB
Photo by Franz Dejon

The governing Council of the Global Environment Facility welcomed Dr. Rosina Bierbaum on the 19th of June, 2013.

Dr. Bierbaum is a Professor of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy at the University of Michigan. She served as Dean of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment from 2001 to 2011. In April 2009 President Obama named Dr. Bierbaum to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and she has held many leadership posts throughout her career advising the U.S. Congress and the Executive Branch on environmental science and policy.

In 2011, Dr. Bierbaum was named as one of the World Bank’s first Fellows, in the area of climate change adaptation. She was also chosen to co-lead the World Bank’s ground-breaking World Development Report 2010: Development and Climate Change.

To read more, please click here.

Washington DC | 19 June 2013

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The STAP's Role in the Fifth GEF Assembly

5th GEF Assembly[T]he Fifth Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) was hosted by the Government of Mexico in Cancun during the last week of May, 2014. GEF Assemblies are held every four years, and are attended by representatives of all 183 GEF member countries. Through a combination of plenary and high-level panels, exhibits, side events and GEF project site visits, representatives are given the opportunity to assess and amend GEF policies, operations, and memberships. The STAP was heavily involved in the GEF Assembly through participation by the Chair and Panel Members in several side events and other meetings. The STAP Chairperson, Dr. Rosina Bierbaum, presented a report to the GEF Council on STAP's work programme, it's role in the GEF and next steps. For a copy of this presentation, click here.  Dr. Bierbaum also gave a presentation to the GEF Assembly which, among other things, provided STAP's vision for GEF-6, including new areas for integration. For a copy of this presentation, click here.

 

STAP Meeting

From 24-25 May, the STAP Secretariat and Panel gathered for their bi-annual meeting. The objectives of the meeting were to discuss and reach agreement on the major program activities of the STAP in FY15 and GEF-6, and to review proposed changes to the STAP's contribution to the GEF Project Cycle. The first day of the meeting (24 May) was open to all Assembly participants, and featured presentations by the UNEP's Chief Scientist and the GEF Secretariat.

To see the meeting agenda, click here. Links to the background documents for the meeting are provided below:

  1. Discussion Brief - STAP in GEF-6
  2. Discussion Brief - Proposed Changes to STAP's Role in the GEF Project Cycle
  3. STAP Report to the GEF Assembly - Delivering Global Environmental Benefits for Sustainable Development
  4. Chairperson's Report to Council
  5. GEF-6 Programming Directions
  6. GEF-6 Policy Recommendations
  7. Evaluation of the STAP of the GEF - Technical Document 15, OPS 5
  8. Progress Report on the GEF Project Cycle Streamlining and Harmonization Process
  9. Sub-Study on Results Based Management - Technical Document 10, OPS 5
  10. Knowledge Management in the GEF - Technical Document 11, OPS 5
  11. Research within the GEF - Proposals for Revising the Targeted Research Modality
  12. Draft STAP Key Points for PIF Screens + STAP Screen - January 2014
  13. STAP Schedule for the Assembly and Associated Events
  14. Logistics information for GEF Assembly and Associated Events

 

45th Council Meeting Dr. Rosina Bierbaum presents to the GEF Council at the 45th Meeting in November, 2013

STAP Report to the 46th Meeting of the GEF Council

The STAP Chairperson - Dr. Rosina Bierbaum - presented the STAP's Report to the 46th Meeting of the GEF Council on 26 May. The report highlights the STAP's work programme activities and products, summarizes a recent evaluation of the STAP that was conducted by the GEF's Evaluation Office (EO), and proposes operational changes to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of the STAP's contribution to the GEF's Project Cycle. To see the Chairperson's Report to Council, click here. To view the Chairperson's presentation, click here.

 

STAP Report to the 5th GEF Assembly

On 28 May, Dr. Bierbaum also presented directly to the Assembly plenary to highlight the major findings of a thematic Report to Assembly by the STAP. The presentation provided guidance for how the STAP can assist the GEF with:

  • delivering global environmental benefits in the context of sustainable development
  • improving integration and synergistic benefits between focal areas and through the pilot integrated approach programs (IAPs)
  • supporting innovation through effective knowledge management frameworks and practices

To download the Report to Assembly, click here. To view the Chairperson's presentation, click here.

 

Side Events at the Assembly

The STAP also facilitated three Side Events that were held on the margins of the Assembly. Click on the title of each event for a detailed description and programme:

 

To see a schedule of the STAP's involvement in the GEF Assembly and Associated Events, click here.

To see Logistics information for the GEF Assembly and Associated Events, click here.

Published Date:

Liquid Biofuels in Transport

[T]his report from STAP, while providing clear recommendations to the GEF, clearly demonstrates that the sustainable development and use of biofuels is only one part of a larger picture involving the need for much greater efficiencies in existing transport systems. The report also cautions that where new technologies offer promise, they also need to be appropriate solutions to problems facing developing countries.

May 2007

DOWNLOAD Report

Published Date:

Soil Organic Carbon for Global Benefits: A Scoping Workshop for the GEF

soc_0[T]he Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) organized a workshop for the GEF on “Soil organic carbon for global benefits”. The meeting was held 10th – 12th September at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

The purpose of the meeting was to scope what the GEF could do to deliver global environment benefits by focusing on the role of soils. In particular, the workshop discussed the following questions:

  • How could the GEF support program development that would comprehensively focus on soils, ecosystem services, and water?
  • What strategy would be appropriate for the GEF to deliver multiple benefits?
  • Which ecosystems and agro-ecologies have the best scope to deliver multiple benefits and under what conditions?

These questions and the relevance of soils were discussed prominently in the context of the current, and future, GEF land degradation strategy.

The complete set of conclusions and recommendations will be developed fully in a technical report to be completed by November 2012. STAP will draw from the technical report to develop specific policy recommendations for the GEF on soil organic carbon. The GEF Secretariat will consider both documents for the development of the GEF – 6 land degradation strategy. Please refer below to the presentations to learn more about the workshop.

For further information about this workshop, please write to Guadalupe Duron.

Prepared By: Guadalupe Duron

Nairobi | 10-12 September, 2012


DOWNLOAD All Documents

DOWNLOAD Agenda

DOWNLOAD Workshop Information Note

DOWNLOAD List of participants

DOWNLOAD Estimating soil carbon change from land management using remote sensing and modeling

DOWNLOAD GEF Land Degradation Focal Area

DOWNLOAD Measuring monitoring and modelling soil organic carbon

DOWNLOAD Soil organic matter - soil fertility and climate change

DOWNLOAD Soil organic carbon management for global benefits

DOWNLOAD Soil organic matter and ecosystem services

DOWNLOAD Spatial assessment of soil degradation and its impact on SOC under different land covers

DOWNLOAD Spatial distribution variability and behavior of soil carbon

Published Date:

Expert Workshop: Role of Regional Organizations in the International Waters Focal Area

STAP/GEF Technical Workshop
Hosted by the Organization of American States
Washington, DC

A two day expert workshop (June 11th – June 12th), co-organized by members of the STAP, OAS, UNEP and the GEF Secretariat, provided a platform to discuss the preliminary findings of the upcoming report – The Political Economy of Regionalism and International Waters. The report explores the increasing influence of regional political and economic organizations such as – the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), East African Community (EAC), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Organization of American States (OAS), Central American Integration System (SICA), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and others – in various projects and programs developed by the International Waters focal area of the GEF. These regional organizations together form regional governance frameworks and networks which are aimed at improving cooperation, trade and exchange within these emerging regional structures. Such systems of integration could benefit GEF interventions through stronger channels of formal and informal cooperation at regional level

IW workshop Participant Photo

The workshop took on a two pronged approach addressing the extent and manner in which regionalization processes influence GEF interventions and how GEF interventions can be better positioned in these processes for mutual benefit. The first day commenced with information sessions where members from various regional organizations across the world presented on different aspects of regional integration. The following day comprised of a detailed and comprehensive discussion in plenary – including representatives from regional organizations around the world, the co-authors of the report, and other experts from STAP and the GEF. The discussion was divided according to the following sub categories – The Political Economy Context, Regionalism and the Governance Systems. Overall, discussions from the workshop called for a more practical application of the theoretical analysis, addressed the difficulties in making overall regional decisions due to the varying political and economic structures within a region itself and explored the structuring and evaluation mechanisms of effective governance frameworks.

The Presentations from the Workshop are listed below

  • Ivan Zavadsky – International Waters Focal Area Coordinator, GEF Secretariat | GEF IS Strategy for the 6th replenishment period
  • Phera Ramoeli – Senior Program Officer at Southern African Development Community Secretariat, Botswana | Experience from SADC and the transboundary river basin commissions
  • Hamukaya Hashali – Executive Secretary at the Benguela Current Commission, Namibia | Science to Governance in the BCLME: Two decades of institutional and capacity building for integrated transboundary LME management
  • Cansius Kabungo Kanagire – Executive Secretary of the Lake Victoria Basin Commission, Rwanda | The role of LVBC in the EAC developmental and integration agenda
  • Peter Kanyi Maina – Senior Economist/M&E/ NBI/ NELSAP, Rwanda | The role of NELSAP in regional integration
  • Tuğba Evrim Madem – ORSAM, Water Research Programme, Turkey | Turkey and the implementation of the EU aquis in the context of transboundary river basins
  • Martha Jarosewich – Holder –The World Bank, Central Asia Energy Water Development Program, USA) | Lessons from the Regionalization of Water Programs in the Americas
  • Cletus Springer – Director, Department of Sustainable Development, OAS, USA | Lessons from the Regionalization of Water Programs in the Americas
  • Robin Mahon – Director of the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies, University of West Indies, Barbados | The importance of regional cooperation and governance arrangements for Small Island Developing States

Prepared By: Francisna Fernando

Published Date:

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