Adaptation Fund Board Approves Implementation Plan for Strategy Focused on Action, Innovation and Learning

Board Also Approves US$ 14M in New Projects and Programmes, and Activities to Enhance Access to Finance as New Board Leadership Assumes One-Year Terms

Bonn, Germany (March 28, 2018) – Among the key decisions of the Adaptation Fund Board during its 31st meeting on the UN Campus in Bonn, Germany last week were the approval of an implementation plan for its five-year Medium-Term Strategy (MTS) that calls for the creation of new grant funding windows that support the strategy’s pillars of Action, Innovation and Learning and Sharing.

The Board also approved US$ 14 million for new adaptation projects in the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Iraq while endorsing another six project concepts and pre-concepts.

It further approved steps to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the application process for organizations seeking accreditation with the Fund as implementing entities, and decided to advance complementarity and coherence with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) by continuing to explore options and concrete steps. It additionally approved US$ 60 million in new funding in the next fiscal year (from July 2018 to June 2019) for its innovative program of regional projects aimed at helping countries collaboratively address climate change issues that cross borders, while simplifying the regional project pipeline by merging categories of funding levels. The additional funding is aimed at meeting growing demand for regional projects, as three regional projects have been approved to date with another 19 endorsed regional concepts in the Fund’s pipeline.

The meeting featured a changing of the guard in annual leadership. Victor Viñas, of the Dominican Republic, presided over the meeting as the Board’s newly elected Chair, assuming the position from Michael Kracht, of Germany, who completed his one-year term. Ms. Sylviane Bilgischer, of Belgium, was also elected to take over the Vice-Chair seat which had been held by Viñas for the last year.

“We took several steps forward at the meeting to help the most vulnerable communities in developing countries adapt to climate change,” Viñas said. “Implementation of the Medium-Term Strategy will continue the Fund’s good work and empower the most vulnerable communities while advancing gender equality and accelerating and enhancing the quality of adaptation action in developing countries. It will support opportunities to scale up proven innovations and learning for effective adaptation.”

“The Board made several decisions that will empower many more vulnerable communities to adapt and build resilience to climate change through concrete actions, and help countries most at risk to the negative impacts of climate change access climate finance by enhancing the accreditation process,” said Adaptation Fund Board Secretariat Manager Mikko Ollikainen. “These steps will help the Fund continue to see excellent results.”

Viñas also expressed his gratitude to Kracht for his leadership through an historic year for the Fund, which included a significant decision by the Kyoto Protocol’s member country Parties (CMP13) that the Fund shall serve the Paris Agreement, a single-year record amount of resources mobilized, and a successful series of activities to mark the 10th Anniversary of the Fund becoming operational. Kracht commended the good spirit and cooperation of the Board and the dedicated hard work of the secretariat. He said the Fund demonstrated its important value and concrete adaptation results to the international community and its beneficiaries. Bilgischer said she looks forward to the good challenges ahead and great opportunities to further demonstrate the Fund’s added value and concrete results on the ground.

The meeting included a civil society dialogue, where representatives from the Adaptation Fund NGO Network spoke of effective food security and gender components of Fund projects implemented in Ecuador and the close involvement of local groups as being a key to project success. A Fund project in Rwanda to reduce vulnerability to extreme rainfall through sustainable land and water management was also discussed, and how NGOs fostered consultations and awareness raising with beneficiaries and stakeholder groups.

Approval of the MTS implementation plan will guide the way for putting the strategy into action from 2018-2022. While being closely aligned with the Paris Agreement and UN Sustainable Development Goals and retaining the Fund’s focus on concrete adaptation actions for the most vulnerable, the plan calls for creating new grants for capturing and sharing lessons learned, and scaling up innovative, effective and proven adaptation actions. The plan will adapt to the evolving needs of the Fund, and the specific funding windows and their budgets will be set by the Board along the way.

The decision to enhance the accreditation process includes undertaking an initiative to ‘fast-track’ the Fund’s accreditation process for implementing entities that are already accredited with GCF (a process already exists for GCF to fast-track Adaptation Fund implementing entities). The decision also includes providing enhanced assistance to applicants at earlier stages including an in-country visit, encouraging national implementing entities (NIEs) to build capacity by working on projects being implemented by multilateral or regional implementing entities, exploring ways to reduce language barriers, and determining early whether applicants are eligible for the Fund’s innovative streamlined accreditation process designed for smaller entities (including those from small island developing states). Furthermore, the Board adopted an updated and strengthened reaccreditation process with defined timelines and refined reviews.

The Board’s decision to further linkages with GCF to enhance cohesion and collaboration between funds includes pursuing active engagement through GCF’s co-chairs, continuing discussions to advance collaborative activities, and continuing to explore different options for establishing fund-to-fund links toward complementarity and coherence.

Other Board decisions included advancing a draft report of the second phase of the Independent Evaluation, and approving a resource mobilization goal of US$ 90 million per year for 2018-2019.

Projects approved included:

  • A US$ 970,000 project in the Federated States of Micronesia proposed by the Micronesia Conservation Trust (an NIE of the Fund) to build ecological, social and economic resilience of communities through practical solutions for reducing vulnerability to climate change;
  • a nearly US$ 3 million project in the Cook Islands proposed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (another NIE of the Fund) to build and implement an integrated approach to increasing capacity of remote island communities and ecosystems to adapt to disasters and climate change impacts; and
  • a nearly US$ 10 million project in Iraq proposed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (a multilateral implementing entity of the Fund) to strengthen the agro-ecological and social resilience to climate change by promoting adaptive agriculture production systems and technologies for improved livelihoods and food security in rural households.

Single-country concepts in Armenia and Lesotho were also endorsed by the Board, as well as regional concepts in Argentina and Uruguay and Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali and Togo and regional pre-concepts in Chile, Colombia and Peru, and Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro. About US$ 230,000 in project formulation grants were also approved by the Board.


Since 2010, the Adaptation Fund has committed US$ 462 million to support 73 countries, with nearly 5.5 million direct beneficiaries.

Communications: Matthew Pueschel, or +1-202-473-6743


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