Record Number of Adaptation Fund Project Proposals Received as New Regional Program Launches

Growing Awareness of Climate Risks, Need to Adapt to Climate Change Rising Among Vulnerable Countries

 (Washington, D.C., August 14, 2015) — The Adaptation Fund received a record number of project proposals – 32 – for its triannual review cycle deadline ending last week, including a large quantity of submissions for a new regional pilot program launched in May.

The Fund, which finances projects that help vulnerable communities in developing countries adapt to climate change, received 20 project proposals for individual countries and 12 regional project proposals.

“This breaks new ground with the highest total of project proposals we’ve ever received at one time,” said Marcia Levaggi, Manager of the Adaptation Fund Board Secretariat. “As we strive to reach more vulnerable communities, what’s important is that it indicates a growing and high level of interest in adaptation from countries that are most at risk to the adverse effects of climate change.”

The 20 single country proposals came from 13 different countries, with 12 submitted by the Fund’s National Implementing Entities (NIEs), seven by Regional Implementing Entities (RIEs) and one by a Multilateral Implementing Entity (MIE). The 12 proposed regional projects came from two RIEs and six MIEs. More proposals were received from RIEs than ever before, and the number from NIEs matched a previous high. It further indicates a trend with more NIEs and RIEs submitting proposals up to capacity.

“It was a record total amount,” advised Mikko Ollikainen, Senior Climate Change Specialist of the Adaptation Fund. “It’s clear that awareness of climate risks and the need to adapt is increasing rapidly in the developing world. It was also the first time we were receiving regional proposals and it has been met with quite a lot of enthusiasm.”

With an emphasis on strengthening country capacity and building on local expertise, the Adaptation Fund’s pioneering fully operational ‘Direct Access’ modality to climate financing allows projects to be directly managed by countries through accredited national and regional entities. While RIEs and MIEs were previously utilized as single country project implementing entities, the Adaptation Fund Board expanded their role in a decision last October to open up a separate call for regional proposals (that include two or more countries) under a new US$30 million pilot program. The call for regional proposals went out May 5.

The regional proposals received ranged between US$4 million and US$14 million, and included projects such as promoting climate-smart agriculture in West Africa, reducing climate vulnerability in South American urban areas, risk reduction management in the Caribbean, restoring marine ecosystems in Indian Ocean islands, strengthening water and food security to address drought risks in Central America, managing groundwater resources in Southeast Asia and reducing vulnerabilities in Central Asia from glacier lake outburst flooding due to climate change.

The 20 single country proposals ranged in funding requested from US$750,000 to nearly US$10 million and included projects such as scaling up climate-smart agriculture in Guinea Bissau, preserving livestock and jobs in Peru’s rural highlands, addressing climate change risks on water resources and agriculture in India, reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience of coastal communities in Senegal, developing climate resilient agriculture and flood management in Albania, enhancing agricultural resilience to climate change through modern irrigation and food security in Niger, and improving water catchment management in Uganda.

Direct access to funds, as well as countries and governments becoming more aware of climate change risks, and implementing entities being increasingly prepared as the conduits to climate finance were among the keys to the “unprecedented” influx of adaptation project proposals.

What has also evolved is that some NIEs are now submitting multiple smaller project proposals to pilot different kinds of adaptation approaches rather than just one large project. For instance, four projects were submitted for India and five for Namibia. “Countries are using this as a learning experience in innovation with some maximizing the opportunity to develop proposals in diverse sectors and different parts of the country,” Ollikainen said. “The Adaptation Fund was established to finance concrete activities in developing countries that are especially vulnerable to climate change, and it’s having tangible, positive impacts that can also be scaled up with larger resources.”

The projects came in at varying stages of development. Among the regional proposals 11 were pre-concepts and one was a full proposal, while 13 full proposals and seven concepts were received for individual countries. The Adaptation Fund Board will decide at its next meeting October 8-9, 2015 in Bonn, Germany, whether to endorse the concepts and approve the fully developed proposals. Small project formulation grants may also be available for proposals in the pre- and concept stages.

For a list of project proposals, please visit Public comments on the proposals are welcome and may be sent to


The Adaptation Fund was established under the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and has committed US$331 million in 54 countries since 2010 to climate adaptation and resilience activities. To date, 51 projects have been approved with the majority in the implementation stage. Please visit

Communications Contact: Matthew Trevor Pueschel, or +1 202.473.6743.


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