Bonn, March 18, 2011 The Adaptation Fund Board approved grant funding for three concrete climate change adaptation projects from three developing countries, with total value of US$ 19.5 Million. The countries represent three regions: Africa, Pacific Islands and South America.

The project in Eritrea, to be implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is planned to enhance the resilience of rural communities to climate change by supporting the development of physical structures such as sub-surface and micro-dams, complemented by awareness programs and mechanisms to generate and disseminate information on agricultural practices. The project in the Solomon Islands, to also be implemented by the UNDP, will strengthen ability of communities in the island nation to make informed decisions and manage likely climate change driven pressures on food production and management systems. The project in Ecuador, to be implemented by the United Nations World Food Programme is planned to reduce climate induced vulnerability and food insecurity of communities and ecosystems in the most vulnerable cantons of Pichincha Province and the basin of the Jubones River.

In addition to the three fully-developed project proposals, the Board decided to show a green light to a project concept from Uruguay, which is expected to be developed into a full proposal this year. The proposed project, submitted by the National Implementing Entity for Uruguay, Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación (ANII), utilizes the ground-breaking direct access modality of the Adaptation Fund, in which countries can access financing directly, without going through international financial institutions. This project is expected to build national capacity to adapt to climate change and variability, focusing on the extensive livestock sector in Uruguay, and targeting especially the vulnerable smallholders.

The Board continued discussion on allocation of its resources, and decided to set the cap for maximum amount of funding per country at US$ 10 Million. The current amount of available funds in the Fund after the three new approvals is US$ 168.5 Million, expected to increase to US$ 334 by the end of 2012.

At this thirteenth meeting of the Board, the new chairperson Ana Fornells de Frutos from Spain, appointed at the Board’s previous meeting in December 2010, took over from Farrukh Iqbal Khan from Pakistan. Ms. Fornells de Frutos is the first woman to chair the Board. “During this year the Board will continue enhancing the direct access modality. One of the concrete measures will be working together with the UNFCCC secretariat to arrange regional workshops to familiarize countries with direct access”, she said. “We will also do our best to increase awareness about the innovative features of the Fund that could play a major role in the future international financial architecture of climate change”.

The Board also decided to decrease its own footprint on the environment, deciding that all of its subsequent meetings will be paperless, using electronic documents, eliminating 200.000 pages of paper annually, equivalent of US$10,000.

The Adaptation Fund is a self-standing fund established under the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which gets the main part of its funding from a two percent share of proceeds of all Certified Emission Reductions issued under the Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism projects. The Fund is designed to finance concrete climate change adaptation projects and programs based on the needs, views and priorities of developing countries. The Global Environment Facility provides secretariat services to the Adaptation Fund and the World Bank serves as its trustee, both on an interim basis.