Principles for the Development of Integrated Transformational Projects in Climate Change and Chemicals & Waste

Drawing on 32 case studies from the fields of Climate Change (CC), Chemicals & Waste (Ch&W), and Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS), the paper demonstrates how system thinking can enhance outcomes and lead to wider adoption of new technologies, changes and behaviours that protect and restore the environment. The paper offers guidance for the GEF on how to develop integrated projects and programs, based on a review of the literature on systems thinking and similar disciplines, drawing from examples [of GEF projects] demonstrating lessons on integrated programming in support of sustainable development and delivering multiple benefits.


In this paper, integrated approaches are seen as instruments that can bring about changes in the multiple domains necessary to achieve the desired long-term transformation. Thus "integrated projects or programs" are understood to consider causes across the environment and different realms of human activity, and to generate benefits in two or more GEF focal areas, as well as social and economic benefits. Given the multiple factors, interconnections involved and complexity of CC, and the processes related to Ch&W, the central conclusion of this review is that systems thinking can be used to derive key principles to guide the development and implementation of integrated projects that contribute to transformation at scale for both CC and Ch&W.

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STAP guidance on multifocal area projects

STAP developed guidelines for the design of multi-focal area projects based on the principles of resilience. These principles focus on: participation and system thinking (e.g. participation of stakeholders to gain a complete understanding of the problem and responses; slow variables that monitor the interactions between social and ecological dynamics); system structure (e.g. the connectivity of the various elements in a system); experimentation and learning (e.g. encourage experimentation and learning for the purposes of adaptive management, monitoring and iteration). The matrix in the attached paper delves into these elements. 

For further information about the guidelines, please contact Guadalupe Duron (

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STAP Screens - 9080

Title: Integrated Health and Environment Observatories and Legal and Institutional Strengthening for the Sound Management of Chemicals in Africa (African ChemObs)



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