Cancun, Mexico, December 7, 2010 – Today in Cancun on the sidelines of the COP 16 climate change summit the Government of Germany, represented by its Vice Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Ms. Gudrun Kopp, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Adaptation Fund Board, represented by its Chair, Farrukh Iqbal Khan, to confer legal capacity on the Adaptation Fund Board. This act enables the Adaptation Fund Board to enter into contracts with recipients and legally perform its duties under German Law. Formal finalization of that MoU according to German legal requirements is expected by the end of this year.

“This is an important step forward in our process to become an independent financial mechanism and to be able to live up to the great expectations that the international development community has in us. I would like to thank Germany for entrusting the Adaptation Fund Board with the appropriate legal status to do its work most efficiently; legal capacity is a key necessary tool for the Direct Access Modality as well as to reduce operational costs.” said Farrukh Iqbal Khan, chairman of the Adaptation Fund Board.

This agreement goes back to the 4th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in Poznan in 2008, when it was decided that the AFB be conferred legal capacity to facilitate its functions, namely “direct access” to its funds by developing countries. Consecutively the Adaptation Fund Board, during its 8th meeting in November 2009, accepted Germany’s offer to confer legal capacity. Ms. Gudrun Kopp mentioned: “It is important to send good messages from Cancún. By giving legal capacity to the Adaptation Fund in Bonn/Germany, we expect this fund brings hope to poor people living in countries most affected by climate change.”

The Adaptation Fund provides funding, including via direct access, to developing countries to implement projects and programs that reduce the economic and environmental pressures caused by climate change. The Adaptation Fund is financed by an international revenue source through two percent of the proceeds from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The Adaptation Fund is supervised and managed by the Adaptation Fund Board (AFB), which is comprised of 16 members and their alternates from both developed and developing countries.
The AFB has approved funding for two projects thus far, including a program in Senegal aimed at reinforcing coastlines to address rising sea levels that threaten seaside towns, and a project in Honduras aimed at protecting local freshwater supplies from changing rainfall patterns.