The Adaptation Fund Leads by Example

5 October 2010

While Parties consider how to set up the new Climate Fund here in Tianjin, the Adaptation Fund, established under the Kyoto Protocol, has reached full operationalisation and set important milestones.

Two weeks ago, the members of the Adaptation Fund Board met again in Bonn and took decisions which mark the beginning of a new era in climate finance. The AFB approved the first two projects which will receive USD $14 million from the Adaptation Fund.

One project originated from Senegal and was submitted through the first accredited National Implementing Entity (NIE), the Centre de Suivi Ecologique. As the first direct access project, it focuses on combatting coastal erosion exacerbated by climate change and rising sea levels in three regions in Senegal: Joal, Rufisque and Saly.  The Senegalese project further stands out in terms of transparency and participation of local, vulnerable people in the decision-making. And it comes with a management fee that is only half of that charged by the multilaterals.

The second approved project was submitted by Honduras through the UNDP acting as the Multilateral Implementing Entity (MIE).  This project aims to reduce the vulnerability to climate change of the poorest households in the capital region of Tegucigalpa by improving water management.

Six further project concepts have been approved so far and may result in full project applications soon. But it is also notable that the AFB has rejected a number of projects.  The Board is taking seriously its responsibility for the quality of adaptation funding. Overall, it took two and a half years from the AFB´s operationalisation to the approval of the first projects.   By comparison, the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience under the World Bank so far has not put one single dollar into concrete projects.

In addition, direct access was expanded through the accreditation of two further NIEs, the Planning Institute of Jamaica and the Agencia Nacional de Investigacion e Innovacion of Uruguay. And the Secretariat of the AF has also reported that around 30 developing countries have expressed interest in direct access.

Finally, legislation to grant the AFB legal capacity by the German government is well underway and will hopefully be concluded soon, so that releasing project funds can
actually start early next year.

Congratulations, Adaptation Fund Board! You have managed to progress significantly on difficult issues and have led by example.

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