Bonn, Germany, September 8, 2011 –  This week the Adaptation Fund Board (AFB) accredited the South African National Institute for Biodiversity (SANBI) as a National Implementing Entity (NIE). SANBI, created in 2004, works closely with national climate change policy makers, and has led national initiatives relating to climate change adaptation. SANBI also works with a wide range of climate change adaptation groups internationally, and with many universities and research institutions around the world.

The possibility to access and manage funds independently of multilateral agencies, the direct access modality through an NIE, is one of the innovative features of the Adaptation Fund.The accreditation of SANBI represents considerable effort at the organization to demonstrate and provide evidence that it complies with the fiduciary standards approved by the AFB. The fiduciary standards include financial integrity and management, institutional capacity, and transparency and self-investigative powers.
“SANBI is excited by the prospect of fulfilling the function of [NIE] for climate change adaptation. The accreditation procedure was a rigorous one, but is the first important milestone in the process of designing and putting into action an Implementing Entity that is responsive to South Africa’s needs, informed by the best available scientific and socio-economic information required to prioritize key adaptation projects, and cognizant of a wide range of stakeholder views,” said Dr. Guy Midgley, Chief Director, Climate Change and Bioadaptation.

SANBI’s accreditation now makes it eligible to submit project/programme proposals for funding, in coordination with South Africa’s national Designated Authority within the Department of Environmental Affairs. “SANBI is looking forward to facilitating the implementation of projects that will make a meaningful contribution to improving the lives of those who will be adversely impacted by the effects of climate change,” said Dr. Midgley.

The Board decision makes South Africa the AFB’s third accredited NIE in Africa, joining Senegal’s Center for Ecological Monitoring and Benin’s National Environment Fund. The Board has also accredited the Planning Institute of Jamaica and Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación of Uruguay since September 2010.

The Adaptation Fund Board continues to encourage the operationalization of the direct access modality through the successful accreditation of NIEs. Given SANBI’s experience, the institution is, “keen to interact with similar institutions in other developing countries, especially in Africa, to optimize the positive impact of resources made available for adaptation to climate change,” stated Dr. Midgley.

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.