The Adaptation Fund (AF) is a self-standing fund established under the Kyoto Protocol in order to finance concrete adaptation projects in the most vulnerable countries. It has several unique and innovative features, including ‘direct access’, a new level of developing country participation, a new revenue source, and an equitable governance composition. These elements give the Fund the potential to contribute significantly to exploring new ways in international cooperation on adaptation.
The AF Board has also developed a transparent working mode and allows observers to publicly comment on project proposals before their adoption. Furthermore, the strategic priority that the particular needs of the most vulnerable communities and people should be given special attention is an important new step.
ECO has been closely following the development of the AF and recognises that establishing a proper framework for the AF Board has been quite an achievement. With the accreditation of the first National Implementing Entity, the Centre de Suivi Ecologique (CSE) from Senegal, the direct access modality became a reality. The recent call for project proposals by AF for funding through the AF marks the beginning of the long-awaited implementation phase.
It is remarkable that interventions in yesterday´s SBI plenary uniformly supported the Adaptation Fund, across both developing and developed countries. This is a clear sign of progress. In addition, Spain’s contribution of 45 million and Germany´s pledge of 10 million euro to the AF will help set up the ground-breaking facility under the Kyoto Protocol. Other developed countries ought to immediately follow this positive example of fast-start finance.
During the SBI session here, Parties will consider the Terms of Reference for the review of the Adaptation Fund. ECO considers that the review should be based on the positive development of the Fund, the importance of its innovative features and particularly its direct access pilot. The Fund is now just becoming fully operational, so some of the necessary lessons will not be fully captured in the next six months. But the review should in particular look at the following aspects:
* In order to play out its full potential, the resources for the Adaptation Fund have to be increased, and the review should consider how to raise those funds as soon as possible.
* The current set-up has improved significantly compared to early days, but the review should nevertheless address quality, cost-effectiveness and options for further improvement.
* The appropriate role of the AF in the broad finance architecture now being shaped must be discussed.
Overall, the review should seek to strengthen the Adaptation Fund’s innovative features and help overcome operational barriers.