Adaptation Fund Launches New Grant Funding Windows to Accelerate Action, Innovation and Learning in Adaptation

Total of US$ 5 Million Available to the Fund’s National Implementing Entities in Addition to Regular Funding Channels

Katowice, Poland (December 14, 2018) — Building on its pioneering, effective and scalable adaptation actions on the ground, the Adaptation Fund launched three new small grant funding windows during the COP 24 climate change conference in Katowice, Poland.

The new funding windows were approved at the Fund’s Board meeting in October and build on its excellent work across action, innovation, and learning and sharing in adaptation. They are a key component in the implementation of the Fund’s five-year medium-term strategy from 2018-2022.

The new grants total US$ 5 million initially and are available now to the Fund’s national implementing entities (NIEs) under its pioneering Direct Access modality, which builds country capacities and fosters ownership in adaptation.

The grants will contribute to implementing the Fund’s medium-term strategy to respond to the urgency of climate change by accelerating and enhancing the quality of adaptation actions in developing countries, scaling up innovative and quality projects and disseminating knowledge of effective Fund actions.

Innovative, concrete, effective and scalable Fund projects have been common themes across several of the Fund’s events here at COP 24.

“As we have seen by the recent IPCC reports and the record demand for projects that the Adaptation Fund has been receiving, it is important to respond to these challenges in innovative and diverse ways,” said Adaptation Fund Board Chair Victor Viñas. “The medium-term strategy strives to do this while building on the Fund’s excellent concrete work on the ground. These new grant funding windows are a great example of that.”

“Often Adaptation Fund projects are the first adaptation projects on the ground in many vulnerable places around the world,” said Adaptation Fund Manager Mikko Ollikainen. Not only do our projects help vulnerable communities reduce suffering and adapt to climate change now, but they also provide valuable models that can later be replicated or scaled up by others. That has happened in several instances already. These grants will help to accelerate that further, as well as share knowledge of effective and innovative adaptation practices and tools.”

They cover three grant types: scaling up effective projects, sharing knowledge of effective actions, and accelerating innovation in adaptation. They vary from US$ 100,000 to US$ 250,000 per grant:

  • The project scale-up grants are aimed at increasing readiness of NIEs to expand or replicate quality adaptation projects based on country needs, views and priorities. They provide readiness funding to support plans and designs for scaling up Fund projects currently under implementation, while the implementation phase of the designs would be expected to be funded by other sources. Up to two US$ 100,000 scale-up grants will be approved per year between now and 2022. NIEs can obtain more information about applying here. Eligible NIEs will have made tangible achievements on current projects.
  • The learning grants are expected to assist NIEs in enhancing their systems to capture and disseminate adaptation experiences and knowledge. Up to US$ 150,000 is available per project with up to three grants to be approved annually through 2022. The grants focus on transferring knowledge to other NIEs or the adaptation community at large. Eligible NIEs will have at least submitted their mid-term project evaluation and may obtain more information here.
  • The innovation grants will be offered to NIEs up to a maximum of US$ 250,000 per grant. They are aimed at enhancing and speeding development of innovative adaptation practices on the ground. They can be used to address adaptation challenges within various themes, including but not limited to advancing gender equality and women and girls’ empowerment, disaster risk reduction, youth inclusion, community focus, innovative adaption financing, enhancing cultural heritage, nature-based solutions, social innovation, urban adaptation and water resource management. More information can be found here.

All three grant windows are in addition to regular funding channels available to countries.

New ‘Innovation Facility’ to Emerge Next Year

The Adaptation Fund will also offer innovation grants through an alternative route next year, for countries that do not have NIEs, with expected additional funding to be administered through an ‘innovation facility.’  Two of the Fund’s multilateral implementing partners, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) will serve as the new facility’s funding aggregators.

The innovation facility will encourage, accelerate and foster innovation in adaptation – including through the private sector.

“The Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) is pleased to bring our experience, and the expertise of our 460-plus Network Members, to support countries in innovating for adaptation through the new Adaptation Fund Innovation window,” said Mr. Jukka Uosukainen, Director of CTCN, the operational arm of the UNFCCC Technology Mechanism hosted by UN Environment.


Since 2010, the Adaptation Fund has committed US$ 532 million including for 80 concrete, localized climate change adaptation projects in vulnerable communities of developing countries around the world, with over 5.8 million direct beneficiaries.

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


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