Financial Mechanism and Resources

Green Climate Fund

Thirty-sixth meeting of the GCF Board (B.36), Songdo, Incheon, Republic of Korea, 10-13 July 2023

GCF/B.36/17/Rev.01: Green Climate Fund - Strategic Plan 2024-2027
I. Introduction: Rising to the climate investment challenge
II. Long-term strategic vision
  • (a) Promote the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways in the context of sustainable development; and
  • (b) Support developing countries in the implementation of the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement within the evolving climate finance landscape.
III. Strategic Programming Directions
3.1 Contribution to 2030 pathways toward goals set by the international community to combat climate change
3.2 Programming Priorities for 2024-2027
  • (a) Readiness and Preparatory Support: Enhanced focus on climate programming and direct access through improved access to readiness and preparatory support, and removing barriers faced by developing countries. The GCF will seek to strengthen country capacities and enabling environments for NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution), NAP (National Adaptation Plan), and LTS (Long-term Climate Strategies) implementation, investment planning, and enhanced access to GCF resources. The GCF will strengthen direct access programming capacities to enable significantly increased DAE participation in GCF programming, and when requested by developing countries, help their financial institutions build capacities to integrate climate considerations into their investment operations;
  • (b) Mitigation and Adaptation: Supporting paradigm shifts across sectors while maintaining a 50:50 balance over time between adaptation and mitigation funding, capturing synergies and addressing trade-offs through cross-cutting projects and programmes that help advance just transitions. The GCF will incorporate evolving understanding of just and equitable transitions pathways in line with developments of such discussions within the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement. The GCF will seek to support paradigm shift towards low-emission climate-resilient energy, transport, infrastructure, ecosystems, and food systems. It will draw on its extensive partnership network to build collaborations that can advance high-impact, country-led projects and programmes, including deploying blended finance to de-risk private sector investment at scale;
  • (c) Adaptation: Addressing urgent and immediate adaptation and resilience needs, for particularly vulnerable countries, the GCF will maintain a floor of at least 50% of the adaptation allocation to developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, including SIDS, LDCs and African States, taking into account their urgent and immediate needs, while aiming to meet or exceed GCF-1 outcomes. The Board will aim for appropriate geographical balance. Through this support, GCF will seek to help countries deal with urgent climate threats, including by expanding coverage of climate information and early warning systems in line with the early warnings for all initiative, and supporting integrated risk management approaches; and
  • (d) Private Sector: Promoting innovation and catalyzing green financing while increasing the share of funding allocated through the Private Sector Facility compared to GCF-1, the GCF will seek to catalyze climate finance from the wider finance ecosystem, engaging key actors such as local private sector early-stage ventures, micro small- and medium- sized enterprises (MSMEs) and national and regional financial institutions. GCF will seek to replicate innovative and inclusive approaches, such as incubators and accelerators for climate technologies, solutions based on local, traditional and indigenous knowledge, seed capital, and expand access to green finance, including by supporting green bonds and sukuks.
3.3 Targeted Results 2024-2027
In line with its longer-term vision and programming priorities, and working through overarching funding windows and dedicated structures, GCF will strive to achieve the following results over the 2024 to 2027 programming cycle, ensuring consistency with its IRMF. The ranges for targeted results have been estimated based on a range of resourcing scenarios for GCF-2, spanning between USD 2.05 to 3.2 billion per year for funding proposal programming, pending the outcomes of the GCF-2 replenishment process:
  • 1. More than 100 developing countries directly supported by GCF to advance the implementation of their NDCs, NAPs or LTS through integrated climate investment planning and/or developing high quality climate project pipelines for GCF funding.
  • 2. Doubling the number of DAEs with approved GCF funding proposals through strengthened climate programming capacity and increasing the allocation of GCF resources through DAEs.
  • 3. CIEWS (Climate Information and Early Warning Systems): 50 to 60 developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change protected by new or improved early warning systems.
  • 4. Food: Support for developing countries that results in 190 to 280 million beneficiaries adopting low-emission climate-resilient agricultural and fisheries practices, securing livelihoods while reconfiguring food systems.
  • 5. Ecosystems: Support for developing countries that results in 120 to 190 million hectares of terrestrial and marine areas conserved, restored or brought under sustainable management.
  • 6. Infrastructure: 45 to 60 developing countries supported by GCF to develop or secure low emission climate resilient infrastructure, through systemic and/or country-driven resilience planning, funding and/or de-risking of investments, including those that draw on nature-based solutions or ecosystem based approaches.
  • 7. Clean Energy: 20 to 30 developing countries supported to expand access to sustainable, affordable resilient, reliable renewable energy, particularly for hardest to reach, and/or to increase renewable energy sources in the energy mix.
  • 8. Transport, buildings, industry: 18 to 25 developing countries supported to shift toward clean and efficient energy end-use for transport, building and industry sectors, including through electrification, decreasing energy consumption and novel solutions and emerging technologies for hard-to-abate sectors.
  • 9. 40-70 approved proposals for adaptation projects, including for locally led adaptation action.
  • 10. Support for developing countries that results in 900 to 1500 local private sector early stage ventures and MSMEs provided with broad-based seed and early-stage capital for innovative climate solutions, business models and technologies, with a focus on adaptation, energy access and transport sectors, and removing barriers for home-grown innovation
  • 11. Support for developing countries that results in 90 to 180 national and regional financial institutions supported to access GCF resources, and other green finance, particularly for MSMEs.
IV. Modalities, Actions and Partnerships to Deliver Programming
  • 4.1 Readiness and Preparatory Support: Enhanced focus on climate programming and direct access
  • 4.2 Mitigation and Adaptation: Supporting paradigm shifts across sectors
  • 4.3 Adaptation: Addressing urgent and immediate adaptation and resilience needs, for particularly vulnerable countries
  • 4.4 Private Sector: Promoting innovation and catalyzing green financing
V. Operational and Institutional Priorities
5.1 Operational priorities: Significantly improving access to GCF resources
  • (a) Predictability
  • (b) Speed
  • (c) Simplicity
  • (d) Complementarity
  • (e) Volume
  • (f) Partnerships and direct access:
5.2 Institutional priorities: consolidating capacity for delivery
  • (a) Governance and risk management
  • (b) Policies and safeguards:
  • (c) Results, knowledge, and learning:
  • (d) Organizational capacity and profile:
VI. Implementation and review

CBD COP decisions on climate change
• The loss of biodiversity and its potential damage is one impact of, inter alia, climate change;
• Climate change is a major and growing driver of biodiversity loss, and biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services, significantly contribute to climate change adaptation, mitigation and disaster risk reduction;
• While biodiversity and ecosystems are vulnerable to climate change, the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and the restoration of ecosystems can play a significant role in climate change mitigation and adaptation, combating desertification and disaster risk reduction;
• Escalating destruction, degradation and fragmentation of ecosystems would reduce the capacity of ecosystems to store carbon and lead to increases in greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the resilience and stability of ecosystems, and make the climate change crisis ever more challenging;
• Failing to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels would place many species and ecosystems with limited adaptive capacity as well as the people that depend on their functions and services, especially indigenous peoples and local communities and rural women, under very high risk;
• Limiting the global average temperature increase to 1.5°C compared to 2°C above pre-industrial levels would reduce the negative impacts on biodiversity and on the people that depend on ecosystem functions and services, especially indigenous peoples and local communities and rural women, especially in the most vulnerable ecosystems, such as wetlands, small islands, and coastal, marine and Arctic ecosystems.
• Transformational change, including the consideration of climate resilience and sustainable development, is necessary in order to address climate change, and transformational change is most effective when it reflects national and local visions and approaches to sustainable development;
• There are opportunities to implement climate change mitigation and adaptation activities in ways that are mutually beneficial and synergistic, and that contribute simultaneously to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and its Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and other international agreements, all within broader national development objectives;
• There is also the potential for synergies provided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 2030, the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Paris Agreement;
• Reduced deforestation and forest degradation, and increased afforestation and reforestation, could provide multiple benefits for biodiversity and reducing greenhouse gas-emissions;
• Cooperation among the biodiversity, climate change adaptation, mitigation and disaster reduction communities results in a greater ability to design interventions that deliver multiple benefits;
• The ecosystem approach provides a framework for the integrated management of land, water and living resources. Its application could facilitate the formulation of climate change mitigation and adaptation projects that also contribute to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use at the national level;
• Ecosystem-based approaches can be technically feasible, politically desirable, socially acceptable, economically viable and beneficial and that implementation and investment into these approaches are, in general, increasing at the international and national levels;
• Ecosystem restoration, when effectively implemented and coherent with other related policies, helps to achieve not only many of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, but also several Sustainable Development Goals, ecosystem-based adaptation and combating desertification, mitigating the effects of drought and supporting mitigation under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, land degradation neutrality under the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the wise use of wetlands under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the four Global Objectives on Forests of the United Nations Forum on Forests, commitments under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, the Bonn Challenge of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration and the objectives of many other initiatives,
• Restoration needs to be carried out in ways that balance social, economic and environmental objectives, and the engagement of all relevant stakeholders, such as land owners, and indigenous peoples and local communities, is crucial at all stages of the restoration process especially as regards the participation of women, recognizing that women are powerful agents of change and their leadership is critical in community revitalization and renewable natural resource management;
• By improving the provision of financial support for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use including through new and additional financial resources, as part of a portfolio of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures, some of the challenges caused by climate change and its affects on biodiversity can also be addressed;
• Gender-responsive approaches and engagement of the youth are critical to ensure the success and sustainability of climate change adaptation, mitigation and disaster risk reduction policies, programmes and projects;
• Indigenous, local and traditional knowledge systems and practices are a major resource for adapting to climate change, and integrating such forms of knowledge into existing practices can increase the effectiveness of adaptation actions;
• There is the need for the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and local communities including through prior informed consent, and the need to pay particular attention to their differentiated needs in order to avoid detrimental impacts on their livelihoods and cultures.

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COP 14
Decision 14/5: Biodiversity and climate change.

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Decision XIII/4: Biodiversity and climate change
Decision XIII/5: Ecosystem restoration: short-term action plan
  • Ramsar resolution XII.11: Peatlands, climate change and wise use: Implications for the Ramsar Convention, which highlights the role of peatlands in climate change not only in adaptation but also in mitigation
  • UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/20/10: biodiversity and climate change
  • UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/20/INF/2: Synthesis report on experiences with ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction
  • UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/20/INF/3: Managing ecosystems in the context of climate change mitigation: A review of current knowledge and recommendations to support ecosystem-based mitigation actions that look beyond terrestrial forests
  • UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/20/INF/29: Relationships between the Aichi Targets and land-based climate mitigation
  • UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/20/INF/1: Guidance on enhancing positive and minimizing negative impacts on biodiversity of climate change adaptation activities
  • UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/20/INF/4: Voluntary guidelines to support the integration of genetic diversity into national climate change adaptation planning

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Decision XII/20: Biodiversity and climate change and disaster risk reduction

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Decision XI/21: Biodiversity and climate change: integrating biodiversity considerations into climate-change related activities
Decision XI/19: Biodiversity and climate change related issues: advice on the application of relevant safeguards for biodiversity with regard to policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries; and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries
Decision XI/20: Climate-related geoengineering
  • UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/9: Proposals on Integrating Biodiversity Considerations into Climate Change-Related Activities, Including Addressing Gaps in Knowledge and Information
  • UNEP/CBD/WS-REDD/1/3: Global Expert Workshop on Biodiversity Benefits from Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries, Nairobi, 20-23 September 2010
  • UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/INF/28: Report on the impacts of climate related geoengineering on biological diversity
  • UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/INF/29: Study on the regulatory framework for climate-related geoengineering relevant to the Convention on Biological Diversity
  • UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/INF/30: Overview of the views and experiences of indigenous and local communities and stakeholders
  • UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/10: Technical and Regulatory Matters on Geoengineering in Relation to the Convention on Biological Diversity

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Decision X/33: Biodiversity and Climate Change
  • UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/INF/21: Report of the Second Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Biodiversity and Climate Change
  • UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/INF/22: Compilation of views submitted by Parties on ways to integrate biodiversity considerations into climate change-related activities
  • UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/6/Add.1: In-Depth Review of the Work On Biodiversity and Climate Change (Addendum: Integration of Climate Change Impacts and Response Activities within the Programme of Work On the Biodiversity of Dry and Sub-Humid Lands)

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Decision IX/16: Biodiversity and Climate Change. A. Proposals for the integration of climate-change activities within the programmes of work of the Convention; B. Options for mutually supportive actions addressing climate change within the three Rio Conventions; C. Ocean Fertilization; D. Summary of the findings of the Global Assessment on Peatlands, Biodiversity and Climate Change
  • UNEP/CBD/COP/9/INF/43: The International Expert Meeting on Responses to Climate Change for Indigenous and Local Communities and the Impact on their Traditional Knowledge Related to Biological Diversity in the Arctic Region, held in Helsinki from 25 to 28 March 2008
  • UNEP/CBD/WGRI/1/7/Add.1: Reports of the seventh and eighth meetings of the Joint Liaison Group and the document prepared jointly by the three Rio conventions

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Decision VIII/30: Biodiversity and climate change: guidance to promote synergy among activities for biodiversity conservation, mitigating or adapting to climate change and combating land degradation
  • Interlinkages between Biological Diversity and Climate Change: Advice on the integration of biodiversity considerations into the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol. Ad hoc Technical Expert Group on Biological Diversity and Climate Change 2003
  • UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/11/18: Guidance for Promoting Synergy Among Activities Addressing Biological Diversity, Desertification, Land Degradation and Climate Change, 17 October 2005

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Decision VII/15: Biodiversity and Climate Change
  • UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/11: Review of the interlinkages between biological diversity and climate change, and advice on the integration of biodiversity considerations into the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol
  • UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/INF/12: report of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Biological Diversity and Climate Change
  • Ramsar resolution VIII.3: Climate change and wetlands: impacts, adaptation and mitigation. It called on relevant countries to take action to minimize the degradation as well as promote the restoration of those peatlands and other wetland types that are significant carbon stores or have the ability to sequester carbon

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22nd GCF Board meeting, February 2019

Namibia: Building resilience of communities living in landscapes threatened under climate change through an ecosystems-based adaptation approach, $9.1 million. Seventy percent of Namibia’s population depends on natural resources to sustain their livelihoods. The productivity of these natural resources is threatened by both climate and non-climate drivers, both which increase the vulnerability of rural communities. This project will use Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) as cost effective and low risk approach to build climate resilience across eight targeted landscapes in Namibia. The project is based on the premise that biodiversity and ecosystems provide valuable services that increase the climate resilience of local communities. Activities undertaken as part of the project will maintain and enhance ecosystem integrity to continue to support the generation of food and income in order to reduce the severity of negative socio-economic impacts of climate change on vulnerable rural households. In addition, adaptive capacities at the community level will be improved so that communities are able to sustainably manage natural resources.

Benin: Enhanced climate resilience of rural communities in central and north Benin through the implementation of ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) in forest and agricultural landscapes, 10 million. Most of Benin’s rapidly growing population lives in rural areas, where agriculture supports about 70 percent of population’s livelihoods, and provides about 80 percent of export income to the economy. This strong dependency on agriculture is heavily impacted by environmental degradation and climate change. The project objective is to halt the negative cycle of climate change, agricultural yield depletion and natural resource degradation in central and northern Benin to build resilience of local communities, using an Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) approach. The EbA will integrate climate-resilient agriculture techniques with the tailored restoration of degraded forest ecosystems. Thus, the project will address current and future climate change impacts through three components focusing on restoration of degraded forest ecosystems, enhancing agricultural productivity and improving technical and institutional capacity of governments and communities.

Brazil: REDD+ results-based payments for results achieved by Brazil in the Amazon biome in 2014 and 2015, $96.5 million. This is the first project that has been approved under the GCF’s REDD+ results-based payments pilot programme. It provides payments for results derived from reducing emissions from deforestation in the Amazon region in 2014 and 2015. These results have subsequently been reported to the UNFCCC and undergone technical assessment and are fully compliant with UNFCCC requirements and the Terms of Reference for the GCF’s pilot programme on REDD+ results-based payments. Considering that Brazil will reinvest the proceeds received through this project in activities that are consistent with their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) established under the UNFCCC Paris Agreement and national REDD+ strategy, Brazil will use the proceeds for (a) Development of a pilot of an Environmental Services Incentives Program for Conservation and Recovery of Native Vegetation (Floresta+); and (b) for Strengthening implementation of Brazil’s REDD+ strategy.

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21st GCF Board meeting, October 2018

Guatemala: Building livelihood resilience to climate change in the upper basins of Guatemala’s highlands, $37.7 million. Three result areas: 1) Integrated climate-smart watershed management adapted to the local context of the Highlands. The main activities in this component are: i) Improved local capacities for climate action and watershed management and ii) Government forestry and agroforestry incentives supporting water recharge and productivity; 2) Community – led watershed management systems promoted through grant facilities. This result is oriented toward community-led implementation of climate actions in priority areas through funding from the grant; and has two main activities; i) Awarding and implementation of medium grants for second level CBOs and ii) Awarding and implementation of small grants for grassroots organizations; 3) Climate related information provided to farmers and target stakeholders. This result will improve multi-level and multi-stakeholder access to climate information that enhances agricultural and water management practices and programs. Main activities are i) Strengthened meteorological and hydrological information systems through investment in equipment for data collection, modeling, forecasting, and archiving, and ii) Design and implement a participatory early warning system for agricultural practices and water management.

Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria: Programme for Integrated Development and Adaptation to Climate Change in the Niger Basin (PIDACC/NB), $209.9 million. GCF-related outcomes include improvements in management, restoration and protection of natural habitats from climate variability and change; generation and use of climate information in decision-making; adaptive capacity and reduced exposure to climate risks; awareness of climate threats and risk reduction processes; and management of land or forest areas contributing to emissions reductions.

El Salvador: Upscaling climate resilience measures in the dry corridor agroecosystems of El Salvador (RECLIMA), $127.7 million. The project aims to improve the resilience of vulnerable family farmers to climate change through an integrated landscape approach, featuring: the promotion of practical on-farm measures for increasing the resilience of agricultural production systems (which form the principal bases of livelihood support systems); the introduction of household and community level systems for ensuring water supply through rainwater capture and storage; the maintenance of flows of environmental services of importance for livelihoods and agriculture, through improvements to production systems on-farm and the restoration and conservation of degraded ecosystems off farm.

India: Enhancing climate resilience of India’s coastal communities, $130.3 million. The proposed project supports the Government of India to enhance the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities to climate change through ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA). The project combines GCF grant finance with significant leveraged co-finance to shift the paradigm towards a new approach integrating ecosystem-centred and community-based approaches to adaptation into coastal management and planning by the public sector, the private sector and civil society. This will be achieved through investing in ecological infrastructure to buffer against climate-induced hazards, especially storm surges, supporting climate-resilient coastal livelihoods, and enhancing climate-risk informed cross-sectoral planning and governance of the coastal zone. The project objective is to enhance the resilience of the lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable populations, particularly women, in the coastal areas of India to climate change and extreme events, using an ecosystem-centred and community-based approach.

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19th GCF Board meeting, March 2018

Tajikistan: Building climate resilience of vulnerable and food insecure communities through capacity strengthening and livelihood diversification in mountainous regions of Tajikistan, $10 million. This initiative will introduce adaption measures to address climate change effects leading to declines in agricultural yields, increases in food prices and reduced agricultural wages. It will focus on the most vulnerable and food insecure communities in the Rasht valley, Khatlon and Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) regions. It will include an integrated approach to provide climate information services, capacity building, sustainable water management and resilient agriculture and forestry.

Rwanda: Strengthening climate resilience of rural communities in Northern Rwanda (SCRNRP), $33.2 million. This project will focus on increasing the climate resilience of vulnerable communities in nine sectors of Rwanda's Gicumbi District. It will restore and enhance ecosystems in degraded watersheds and increase the capacity of communities to sustainably manage forest resources. It will follow an integrated landscape management model.

Paraguay: Poverty, Reforestation, Energy and Climate Change Project (PROEZA), $90.3 million. Environmental conditional cash transfers (E-CCT) will be provided in exchange for community-based climate-sensitive agroforestry. This will serve as a bridge until new farming models are financially sustainable. Credit will be made available to establish productive forest plantations for bioenergy, timber and silvo-pastoral production (combining forestry with livestock grazing). Capacity building will support good governance and law enforcement.

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18th GCF Board meeting, October 2017

Bhutan: Bhutan for Life, $118.3 million. Bhutan for Life will support improved management of the country’s PAs, providing time and resources for the government to secure long-term revenues to maintain the improvements. Activities under the programme will increase forestry and land use climate mitigation, and support ecosystem-based adaptation to improve natural resource management and livelihoods, and enhance biodiversity.

Colombia: Scaling Up Climate Resilient Water Management Practices for Vulnerable Communities in La Mojana, $117.2 million. caling up climate resilient integrated water resource management practices will tackle barriers derived from climate change through a number of activities. Systemized knowledge management of the impacts of climate change on water management will enable better planning. Water resource infrastructure and ecosystem restoration will be promoted. Early Warning Systems for climate resilience will be improved. Finally, rural livelihoods will be enhanced through climate resilient agro-ecosystems.

Senegal: Building the Climate Resilience of Food-insecure Smallholder Farmers through Integrated Management of Climate Risks (the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative), $10 million. Risk-reduction activities such as water and soil conservation measures, increased water availability, livelihood diversification and training on climate-resilient practices will be undertaken. These activities will be complemented by risk transfer through a weather index insurance programme that will transfer risk to the international market and provide farmers with compensation in case of climate shocks. The government of Senegal will contribute half the cost of the insurance premium to enrolling households. Other activities to increase resilience will include creating risk reserves to provide farmers with the ability to save for greater sustainability, and facilitating the use of surplus production as collateral for loans to unlock credit for investment.

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15th GCF Board meeting, December 2016

Uganda: Building Resilient Communities, Wetlands Ecosystems and Associated Catchments in Uganda, $44.3 million. This project will help Uganda: Restore critical wetlands to improve ecosystem services - such as replenishing ground water, improving flood control, and enhancing the livelihoods of subsistence farming communities through fishing and agriculture; Enhancing the skills of people to diversify their livelihoods and become more resilient to climate shocks; and Improve the ability of communities in sensitive wetland areas to reduce climate risks and prepare them for climate-related disasters (including through decentralized early warning systems). This project will target south-western and eastern regions in Uganda, home to some of this Least Developed Country’s most vulnerable people - more than half of them women. While this climate initiative is based on grant financing, positive spillover effects are envisaged in the private sector as new revenue opportunities open up for people in rural areas.

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14th GCF Board meeting, October 2016

Ecuador: Priming Financial and Land-Use Planning Instruments to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation, $84 million. Deforestation levels in Ecuador amounted to 109,000 hectares per year between 2000 and 2009, with over 99% of deforested land being transformed into agricultural areas. Ecuador’s REDD+ Action Plan addressed the drivers of this deforestation, with the aim of achieving net zero deforestation by 2020. GCF’s investment will co-finance the Action Plan. Targeted investment will control agricultural expansion into forest areas, whilst agricultural and livestock production practices will be implemented to reduce deforestation. Land-use zoning plans will be aligned with national climate change-related targets, and measures will be implemented to support restoration, conservation and sustainable production in vulnerable watersheds. The project will also ensure that financial instruments are aligned with the objectives of the action plan, by orienting public credit lines towards sustainable agricultural production practices, promoting tax incentives for REDD-supportive activities, and strengthening purchasing policies for deforestation-free commodities, their certification and traceability.

Namibia: Climate Resilient Agriculture in three of the Vulnerable Extreme northern crop-growing regions (CRAVE), $10 million. CRAVE will reduce food insecurity by allowing beneficiaries to acquire abilities to adopt conservation agriculture and climate-resilient agricultural practices to produce food, as well as providing them with access to renewable energy.

Madagascar: Sustainable Landscapes in Eastern Madagascar, $69.8 million. The project model is to initially address smallholder vulnerability through non-profit activities, that will prepare the smallholding farmers to eventually access private sector investment, providing a pathway out of extreme vulnerability and dependency. This approach is aimed at overcoming the barriers to private sector investment. Funds will be leveraged through the issuing of a pioneering Green / Climate Bond with all returns and profits being re-invested to capitalise a Climate Change Trust Fund for Madagascar. This will enable continued investment in landscape-level adaptation and mitigation activities.

Morocco: Development of Argan orchards in Degraded Environment - DARED, $49.2 million. The argan forest of Morocco, covering 2.5 million hectares, is recognised by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve with a rich biodiversity. There has been a “market boom” in argan oil, and its rising demand has improved household income for local communities but generated serious pressure on the natural forest, threatening its sustainability. The forest is also threatened by the impact of climate change upon its regeneration. Morocco committed within its INDC to reduce its Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emission by 32% by 2030 through mitigation activities. Morocco intends to plant 43,000 hectares of argan tree orchards and promote arganiculture as a priority activity to reduce GHG emissions. This project will strengthen the resilience of rural communities and the arganeraie biosphere reserve through planting 10,000 ha of argan tree orchards with soil conservation and rain water harvesting capabilities. Supporting argan plantations and arganiculture will also contribute to relieve the anthropic pressure on the natural forest, and improve livelihoods of the communities by moving from a model of fruit collection from natural forests towards sustainable forest co-management.

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13th GCF Board meeting, June 2016

Gambia: Large-scale Ecosystem-based Adaptation in the Gambia River Basin: developing a climate resilient, natural resource based economy, $25.5 million. Implementing Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) will both protect the environment and facilitate the development of the sustainable, natural resource-based economy to the benefit of local communities. EbA will be integrated into planning at national, district and village levels. Agricultural landscapes and degraded ecosystems including forests, mangroves and savannahs will be restored using climate-resilient tree and shrub species across an area of at least 10,000 hectares. This will be complemented by the establishment of natural resource-based businesses managed by local communities.

Tajikistan and Uzbekistan: Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program for the Aral Sea Basin (CAMP4ASB), $68.8 million. GCF’s engagement will allow support for the adoption of climate-smart rural production and landscape management investments through a regional climate investment facility. This will target the poorest and most climate-vulnerable rural communities, benefiting farmers and village in particular. The facility will strengthen climate resilience and food security. Agricultural, land and water management practices will be implemented based on local agro-ecological conditions in order to strengthen climate change resilience. Investments via the facility will be demand-driven, but will include crop diversification, water resource management, rehabilitation of degraded land, conservation agriculture, livestock production improvements, agro-products processing, energy efficiency improvements and expansion of renewable energy sources.

Tuvalu: Coastal Adaptation Project, $38.9 million. The project will build coastal resilience in three of Tuvalu’s nine inhabited islands, managing coastal inundation risks. 2,780m of high-value vulnerable coastline will be protected, reducing the impact of increasingly intensive wave action on key infrastructure. The investments will build upon existing initiatives, using a range of measures for coastal protection including eco-system initiatives, beach nourishment, concrete and rock revetments, and sea walls. National capacity for resilient coastal management will also be developed, and the project will help to catalyse additional coastal adaptation finance from other donors.

Vietnam: Improving the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities to climate change related impacts in Viet Nam, $40.5 million. In order to create storm surge buffers, 4,000 hectares of mangroves will be planted and rehabilitated, which will also create sustainable ecosystem resources to support coastal livelihoods. The project will also develop systematized climate and economic risk assessments for private and public sector application in all 28 coastal provinces of Viet Nam.

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11th GCF Board meeting, November 2015

Senegal: Increasing Resilience of Ecosystems and Communities through Restoration of the Productive Bases of Salinized Lands, $8.2 million. Activities to reduce the impacts of salinization will be undertaken including the construction of small dams and artificial basins, large ponds, anti-salt works, and use of drip irrigation. Biological measures will include reforestation, protection of soils against erosion, mangrove restoration, promotion of biosaline agriculture, and use of natural phosphate, manures, and composts to improve soil fertility.

Peru: Building the Resilience of Wetlands in the Province of Datem del Marañón, Peru, $9.1 million. The project will facilitate better land-use planning and management of the region’s wetlands, while strengthening sustainable, commercial bio-businesses of non-timber forest products. It will entrust indigenous communities with the management of resources, improve their livelihoods, and empower women in the decision-making processes. The funding will support government departments in developing the land-use plan, and provide support to community-based organizations for the participation of indigenous people. The largest share of funds will support bio-businesses, including for business plans, marketing and management, equipment and supplies, and the development of solar energy for operations. The nature-based products include salted fish, smoked meat, aguaje pulp (from palm trees), and “dragon’s blood,” a croton tree resin used as an antiinflammatory and anti-viral. The project will avoid deforestation of an estimated 4,861 hectares of palm swamp and terra firma forests over a 10-year period and enhance resilience and conservation of 343,000 ha of peatlands and forest.

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As a result of the Copenhagen Accord in 2009, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has been established as an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to support projects, programme, policies and other activities in developing countries related to mitigation and adaptation. The GCF has evolved rapidly to be the largest multilateral climate fund, with an initial resource mobilization of pledges amounting to US$10.3 billion for the 2015-2018 programming period.

The GCF has defined a list of the initial result areas (Annex I, page 35), and many of these areas are of direct or indirect relevance to achieving the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). These include: sustainable land use management to support mitigation and adaptation; sustainable forest management to support mitigation and adaptation including afforestation and reduction of forest degradation; REDD+ implementation; adaptation activities to reduce climate-related vulnerabilities; and related readiness and capacity building activities. Many decisions of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD have highlighted the importance of climate change mitigation and adaptation for achieving the objectives of the Convention, and have advocated ecosystem-based solutions for climate change.

National Designated Authorities (NDAs) for each developing country act as the country’s interface with the Fund, and are involved closely in all of GCF’s funding processes. National Designated Authorities must approve all GCF project activities within the country. Best Practices Guidelines for NDA/FP Selection and Establishment; Best Practices for Country Coordination and Multi-Stakeholder Engagement

The GCF Secretariat, headquartered in Songdo, Republic of Korea, manages day-to-day activities of the Fund.

Accredited Observers can have access to the meetings of the GCF Board. Guidelines relating to the observer participation, accreditation of observer organizations and participation of active observers, (Annex XII, page 34).

GCF projects range in level of funding (pages 62-63) from up to US$ 10 million (“micro”) to over US$ 250 million (“large). Projects are developed by national and international Accredited Entities with agreement and in close consultation with National Designated Authorities or focal points, based on the climate finance needs of individual developing countries. In addition, the GCF Private Sector Facility (PSF) engages directly with the private sector in transformational climate-sensitive investments and to leverage and crowd in additional financing.

Potential entry points for engagement with GCF activities at the national level include:

The Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme (the Readiness Programme)(GCF/B.08/10, 7 October 2014) provides up to USD 1 million per country per year for strengthening country capacity, engaging stakeholders in consultative processes, realizing direct access, providing access to finance, and mobilizing the private sector. In addition, up to USD 3 million per country is available for the formulation of national adaptation planning.

The GCF Project Preparation Facility (PPF) (Board Decision B.13/21) supports project and programme preparation, especially targeted to support national direct access entities and micro-to-small size category projects. Up to USD 1.5 million is available per request.

Both of these provide opportunities for focal points of the CBD to coordinate with GCF National Designated Authorities or focal points to facilitate due consideration of opportunities for ecosystem-based approaches to be integrated into proposals for GCF funding. Accordingly, CBD national focal may wish to engage with their GCF counterparts, as deemed relevant and appropriate in each unique national context. A list of National Designated Authorities or focal point is available here.

Through Structured dialogues, (Decision B.12/32, paragraph (j)), the GCF Secretariat has been organizing regional workshops on the development of regional hubs and on strengthening expertise in regions to support countries.

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Further readings

UNESCO 2018. The United Nations World Water Development Report 2018: Nature-based Solutions for Water. It discusses the “opportunities to harness the natural processes that regulate various elements of the water cycle.”
  • Water demand: Global water use has increased by a factor of six over the past 100 years and continues to grow steadily at a rate of about 1% per year.
  • Water scarcity: Throughout the early-mid 2010s, about 1.9 billion people (27% of the global population) lived in potential severely water-scarce areas. If monthly variability is taken into account, 3.6 billion people worldwide (nearly half the global population) are already living in potential water-scarce areas at least one month per year and this could increase to some 4.8–5.7 billion in 2050. About 73% of the affected people live in Asia (69% by 2050).
  • Water quality: Since the 1990s, water pollution has worsened in almost all rivers in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The deterioration of water quality is expected to escalate over the next decades and this will increase threats to human health, the environment and sustainable development. An estimated 80% of all industrial and municipal wastewater is released to the environment without any prior treatment, resulting in a growing deterioration of overall water quality with detrimental impacts on human health and ecosystems.
  • Extreme events: Since 1992, floods, droughts and storms have affected 4.2 billion people, causing US$1.3 trillion of damage worldwide. The number of people at risk from floods is projected to rise from 1.2 billion today to around 1.6 billion in 2050 (nearly 20% of the world’s population) and the economic value of assets at risk is expected to be around US$45 trillion by 2050, a growth of over 340% from 2010. The population currently affected by land degradation/desertification and drought is estimated at 1.8 billion people.
  • Trends in ecosystem change that affect water resources:
    1. About 7.5% of grassland worldwide has been degraded because of overgrazing alone. Overgrazing, soil degradation and surface compaction are leading to higher evaporation rates, lower soil water storage and increased surface runoff, all of which are considered detrimental to the water-provisioning services of grasslands, including water quality, and the attenuation of flood and drought risks.
    2. Soil erosion from croplands carries away 25–40 billion tonnes of topsoil every year, significantly reducing crop yields and the soil’s ability to regulate water, carbon and nutrients, and transporting 23–42 million tonnes of nitrogen and 15–26 million tonnes of phosphorus off land, with major negative effects on water quality.
    3. Wetlands (including rivers and lakes) cover only 2.6% of land but play a disproportionately large role in hydrology per unit area. The best estimate of reported global loss of natural wetland area due to human activity averages between 54% and 57%, but loss may have been as high as 87% since 1700, with a 3.7 times faster rate of wetland loss during the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, equating to a loss of 64–71% of wetlands extent since that existing in 1900.
    4. Losses have been larger and faster for inland than for coastal natural wetlands. Although the rate of wetland loss in Europe has slowed down, and in North America has remained low since the 1980s, the rate of loss has remained high in Asia, where large-scale and rapid conversion of coastal and inland natural wetlands is continuing. Some of these losses are off-set by the expansion of artificial or managed wetlands, principally reservoirs and rice paddies.
    5. About 30% of the global land area is forested, but at least 65% of this area is already in a degraded state. However, the rate of net forest area loss has been cut by over 50% in the past 25 years and in some regions planting is off-setting the loss of natural forest.
  • NBS for managing water availability and improving food production: A review of agricultural development projects in 57 low-income countries found that more efficient use of water, reduced use of pesticides and improvements in soil health had led to average crop yield increases of 79%. Global crop production could be increased by nearly 20% from on-farm green water management practices alone. The system of rice intensification (SRI) can become labour-saving over time, while saving water (by 25–50%) and seed (by 80–90%), reducing costs (by 10–20%), and raising paddy output by at least 25–50%, often 50–100% and sometimes even more. Food systems (meaning both food consumption patterns and methods of food production) account for 70% of the projected loss of biodiversity by 2050 under business-as-usual (Leadley et al., 2014).
  • NBS for managing water quality: wetlands can remove 20–60% of metals in water and trap and retain 80–90% of sediment from runoff. A business case found that a US$10 million investment in water fund activities, such as riparian buffers, reforestation and implementation of improved agricultural practices, could be expected to return an estimated US$21.5 million in economic benefits over a 30-year timeframe (TNC, 2015).
  • NBS for managing water-related risks, variability and change: The welfare gains obtained from only mitigating hydrological variability at large by securing water to existing irrigators globally was assessed at US$94 billion for 2010.
  • Financial aspect: It is estimated that approximately US$10 trillion will be required in water resources infrastructure between 2013 and 2030. A key issue, therefore, is how NBS can contribute to reducing this investment burden through improved economic, environmental and social efficiencies in investment outcomes.
    1. Governments, water utilities, companies and communities spent nearly US$25 billion in payments for green infrastructure for water, positively affecting 487 million ha of land (Bennett and Ruef, 2016). Transactions grew by about 12% per year between 2013 and 2015, suggesting a rapid increase in the level of uptake. Funding for the vast majority of these PES schemes (US$23.7 billion) is derived from national governments, or in Europe from the European Commission. Much of the remaining investment (about US$650 million) was categorized as ‘user-driven watershed investments’, led by large programmes in China and Vietnam, whereby cities, companies or water utilities acting on behalf of their customers paid landholders for stewardship of water-critical landscapes (Bennett and Ruef, 2016).
    2. Issuances of green and climate bonds, introduced in 2007 as a loan mechanism to demonstrate the economic advantages of environment-positive investments and assets, tripled in 2013 to about US$10 billion after commercial finance and corporate institutions began promoting the market. These trends accelerated in 2014 (US$35 billion) and passed US$80 billion in 2016, which looks favourable in the light of the Paris Agreement’s UNFCCC call for reaching US$100 billion for climate finance by 2020 (CBI, 2017)
    3. Three protected watersheds provide New York City with the largest unfiltered water supply in the USA, saving the city more than US$300 million a year on water treatment operation and maintenance costs. The programme also serves as an alternative to building a water treatment plant which would have cost between an estimated US$8 billion to US$10 billion (Abell et al., 2017).
    4. In the countries of the LAC region, water utilities are investing less than 5% of their budgets in green infrastructure (with the possible exception of some cities in Peru), although these allocations appear to be on the rise (Echavarria et al., 2015; Bennett and Ruef, 2016)
    5. A recent report estimated that “over £30 billion will be spent in England in meeting the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) and in maintaining current standards of water and waste water treatment”. Of this £30 billion for the WFD, the report estimates that “between £300 million to £1 billion of cost would be avoided by the adoption, by the water sector, of wider catchment approaches” (Indepen, 2014, p.1). Taking account of the wider co-benefits to biodiversity, flood risk reduction and carbon management, which were not accounted for in the report, would further enhance the financial argument for watershed management.
    6. Despite increasing allocations to NBS in certain countries and regions, current direct investments in NBS appear to be less than 1% (globally), and probably closer to the order of only 0.1%, of the total investment in water resources infrastructure and management.
  • Moving forward: realizing the potential of NBS for water and sustainable development: Indigenous and tribal peoples care for an estimated 22% of the Earth’s surface, and protect nearly 80% of the remaining biodiversity on the planet, while representing only 5% of the world’s population (ILO, 2017). According to the preliminary water resources scenario analysis (Burek et al., 2016) under the alternative regional rivalry scenario, global GDP peaks at US$220 trillion by the year 2100 but is US$570 trillion under the middle-of-the-road scenario and US$650 trillion under the sustainability scenario, with a similar pattern for GDP per capita. This is consistent with contemporary conclusions that environmental sustainability is not a constraint to social and economic development, but a requirement to achieve it. NBS offer an understandable and practical means to operationalize water resources policy and management to achieve this end.

PNAS: Natural climate solutions, Bronson W. Griscoma et al. 20 Natural climate solutions (NCS): Forests (1. Reforestation, 2. Avoided Forest Conversion, 3. Natural Forest Management, 4. Improved Plantations, 5. Avoided Woodfuel, 6. Fire Management), Agriculture and Grasslands (7. Biochar, 8. Trees in Croplands, 9. Nutrient Management, 10. Grazing - Feed, 11. Conservation Agriculture, 12. Improved Rice, 13. Grazing - Animal Management, 14. Grazing - Optimal Intensity, 15. Grazing - Legumes, 16. Avoided Grassland Conversion), Wetlands (17. Coastal Restoration, 18. Peat Restoration, 19. Avoided Peat Impacts, 20. Avoided Coastal Impacts). Forest pathways offer over two thirds of cost-effectiveNCS mitigation, Grassland and agriculture pathways offer one-fifth, and wetland pathways 14%. Supporting information appendix

G20: Fostering sustainable global growth through green finance – what role for the G20?, Kathrin Berensmann et al, G20 Insights, 12 April 2017

German Development Institute: Green Finance: Actors, Challenges and Policy Recommendations, Briefing Paper 23/2016: banks, institutional investors and international financial institutions (IFIs), as well as regulatory authorities and central banks.

UNEP: Green Finance for Developing Countries: Needs, Concerns and Innovations, UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, July 2016

IFC: Green Finance: A bottom-up approach to track existing flows, Climate Business Department, 2016. Tracking Green Finance in the Banking Sector. Bond Market and Institutional Investors.

UK: Globalising green finance: the UK as an international hub, City of London Corporation’s Green Finance Initiative, PwC. China has established standards for green bonds and environmental disclosure and now, through the green finance mechanism, may also offer government interest subsidies via refinancing and professional guarantees, set up a national green development fund, to improve investment returns; and urge local governments to include green financing into their annual task list. The European Commission is developing a “comprehensive European strategy on sustainable finance”, as well as a High Level Expert Group (HLEG) on sustainable finance to include representatives from across the sector. Japan’s Principles for Financial Action towards a Sustainable Society. The French government legislated on disclosure of climate change risks with the publication of Article 173, which is part of the 2015 Law on Energy Transition for Green Growth. It has also announced a government green bond programme to begin in early 2017. Sweden's innovation on green mortgages and municipal green financing. Bangladesh’s central bank concessionary refinancing for domestic bank green lending to promote renewable energy and environment friendly financial activity. 47 green product lines are now eligible for refinance. The US National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Insurer Climate Risk Disclosure Survey now receives responses from 90 companies across 18 states. The disclosures and their ratings are made public.

IDFC: IDFC Green Finance Mapping for 2014, International Development Finance Club, November 2015.

State of Green Finance in the UAE: The first national survey on contributions of financial institutions to Green Economy, United Arab Emirates Ministry of Environment and Water 2015

Definition of Green Finance, Dr. Nannette Lindenberg, April 2014

Designing smart green finance incentive schemes: The role of the public sector and development banks, Amal-Lee Amin, Taylor Dimsdale and Marcela Jaramillo, April 2014, prepared for the KfW Financial Sector Development Symposium 2014: “Greening the Financial Sector – From Demonstration to Scale in Green Finance”.

Green Finance: An Innovative Approach to Fostering Sustainable Economic Development and Adaptation to Climate Change, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Eschborn, September 2011.

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GCF Reports to UNFCCC

The Green Climate Fund is overseen by a Board of 24 members, comprising an equal number of individuals from developing and developed countries. The Board generally meets three times a year to decide on key issues guiding GCF funding activities and policies. The GCF report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the pertinent decisions from the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties include:
  • 2011: Decision 3/CP.17: Launching the Green Climate Fund
  • 2012: Decision 6/CP.18: Report of the Green Climate Fund to the Conference of the Parties and guidance to the Green Climate Fund. And 7/CP.18: Arrangements between the Conference of the Parties and the Green Climate Fund
  • 2013: Decision 4/CP.19: Report of the Green Climate Fund to the Conference of the Parties and guidance to the Green Climate Fund. And 5/CP.19: Arrangements between the Conference of the Parties and the Green Climate Fund
  • 2014: Decision 7/CP.20: Report of the Green Climate Fund to the Conference of the Parties and guidance to the Green Climate Fund
  • 2015: Decision 7/CP.21: Report of the Green Climate Fund to the Conference of the Parties and guidance to the Green Climate Fund
  • 2016: Decision 10/CP.22: Report of the Green Climate Fund to the Conference of the Parties and guidance to the Green Climate Fund

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GCF Strategic Plan

GCF Board 12
The Board of the Green Climate Fund endorsed an initial Strategic Plan for GCF at its twelfth meeting in March 2016.
Decision B.12/20, contained in GCF/B.12/32
Document GCF/B.12/06: Report on the development of the draft Strategic Plan for the Green Climate Fund: Submission from the ad hoc group of Board/Alternate members
GCF Board 16
The Board took note of the first annual report on implementing the initial strategic plan at its sixteenth meeting in April 2017.
GCF/B.16/04: Implementation of the initial strategic plan of the GCF: annual report
GCF/B.16/04/Add.01: Implementation of the initial Strategic Plan of the GCF – Addendum I: Update on country programmes and entity work programmes
GCF Board 17
The Board, at its seventeenth meeting in July 2017, took note of the document GCF/B.17/11: Implementation of the Initial Strategic Plan of the GCF: Update on country programmes and entity work programmes
GCF Board 19
The Board, at its nineteenth meeting in February 2018, took note of the document GCF/B.19/10: Implementation of the Strategic Plan: 2017 report
GCF Board 21
The Board, at its twenty-second meeting in February 2019, agreed to update the core operational priorities and underlying action plan with a view to continuous improvement of the accessibility, efficiency, effectiveness, impact, scale and reach of the GCF.
GCF/B.22/17: Synthesis of Board submissions on the update of the Strategic Plan of the Green Climate Fund
GCF/B.22/17/Add.01: Synthesis of Board submissions for the review of the Strategic Plan of the Green Climate Fund – Addendum I: Compilation of Board Submissions
GCF/B.22/Inf.13: Report on the implementation of the initial Strategic Plan of the GCF: 2015–2018

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Resources on nature-based solutions

European Union:
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the European Investment Bank. A Clean Planet for all: A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy, Brussels, 28.11.2018, COM(2018) 773 final. "Carbon sinks are as important as reducing emissions. Maintaining and further increasing the natural sink of forests, soils, and agricultural lands and coastal wetlands is crucial for the success of the Strategy, as it allows the offsetting of residual emissions from sectors where decarbonisation is the most challenging, including agriculture itself. In this context nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches often provide multiple benefits regarding water management, biodiversity and enhanced climate resilience."
In-Depth Analysis in Support of the Commission Communication COM(2018) 773.

UNESCO (2018): Nature-based Solutions for Water

UN Environment:

OECD Coastal adaptation (2019): Responding to Rising Seas: OECD Countries' Approaches to Tackling Coastal Risks. Policy tools that national governments can use to encourage an efficient, effective and equitable response to ongoing coastal change.

OECD Resilient infrastructure: Climate-Resilient Infrastructure: Policy Recommendations. Guidance for national governments as they plan, build and finance resilient infrastructure.

OECD (2019): Nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation, OECD perspective. Why nature-based solutions? NbS can address two major challenges: adapting to climate change and mitigating biodiversity loss. They can also complement conventional, engineered ‘grey’ infrastructure; provide multiple benefits; be more cost-effective; provide additional flexibility for responding to the impacts of climate change.
Institutional barriers:
• Perceived as emerging technologies
• Silo institutional arrangements, lack of policy coherence
• Disconnect between short-term actions and long-term goals
Regulatory barriers
• Regulations, funding mechanisms and lock-in failures tend to favor grey infrastructures
Financial and investment barriers
• Many benefits not easily monetized; undermining potential revenue flows for private investors
• Conservative financing strategies (e.g. those of international financial institutions) often biased towards large-scale, grey infrastructure

Forests and climate change: IUCN's work on forests and climate change focuses on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) and promoting forest landscape restoration through the Bonn Challenge initiative.
: Healthy ecosystems help communities adapt to the adverse effects of climate change (EbA) and reduce risks of climate-related disasters ( and WISE-UP to climate help local communities build climate resilience through the use of natural infrastructure in better water resources management.
Species and climate change: Climate change poses a serious threat to species conservation. IUCN is developing and applying a unique 'trait-based' approach to assessing species' vulnerability to climate change.
Protected Areas and climate change: Beyond conserving species and ecosystems, protected areas provide natural solutions to climate change and other essential ecological, social, and economic services.
World Heritage and climate change: Climate change has been identified as the biggest potential threat to natural World Heritage sites. Yet natural World Heritage sites also contribute to global climate stability by storing significant amounts of carbon, and by aiding climate resilience.


In decision XI/19, CBD-COP considered advice on the application of relevant safeguards for biodiversity with regard to policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and took note of an annex on safeguards, including the guidance and safeguards adopted in UNFCCC decision 1/CP.16, appendix I, paragraph 2.
CBD-COP also invited Governments and relevant organizations to consider the information in the annex. Annex 1 also includes the voluntary guidelines on safeguards in biodiversity financing mechanisms adopted in decision XII/3, annex III.
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Ecosystem-Based Approaches or Nature-Based Solutions
In decision X/33, CBD-COP invites Governments and Organizations to consider the following guidance on ecosystem-based approaches for adaptation, and to promote and implement ecosystem-based approaches to climate change related activities and disaster risk reduction, in both terrestrial and marine environments, and to integrate these into their policies and programmes. CBD-COP invites Governments and Organizations to consider the guidance below on ecosystem-based approaches for mitigation.
In decision XIII/4, CBD-COP encourages Governments, when developing their Nationally Determined Contributions and, where appropriate, implementing associated domestic measures, to fully take into account the importance of ensuring the integrity of all ecosystems, including oceans, and the protection of biodiversity, and to integrate ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation, and disaster risk reduction, into their strategic planning across sectors, involving the national focal points to the Convention on Biological Diversity in this work and ensuring that information and tools and guidance developed under the Convention on Biological Diversity are used.
In decision 14/5, CBD-COP adopts the voluntary guidelines for the design and effective implementation of ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction
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REDD+ (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation)
In decision XI/19, CBD-COP noted paragraph 70 of decision 1/CP.16 by the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which encourages developing country Parties to contribute to mitigation actions in the forest sector by undertaking the following activities: (a) Reducing emissions from deforestation; (b) Reducing emissions from forest degradation; (c) Conservation of forest carbon stocks; (d) Sustainable management of forests; (e) Enhancement of forest carbon stocks;
In decision XII/20, CBD-COP welcomes the Warsaw Framework for REDD+, and the guidance on the implementation of REDD+ activities that it provides, while also noting existing alternative policy approaches such as joint mitigation and adaptation approaches for the integral and sustainable management of forests, in accordance with decisions of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Governments are encouraged to make use of information generated in the context of the Warsaw Framework for REDD+, and alternative policy approaches for results-based finance, to enhance progress.
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Ecosystem restoration
In decision XIII/5, CBD-COP adopts the short-term action plan on ecosystem restoration:
  • Objectives and purpose
  • Scope and scale
  • Principles
  • Key activities of the action plan
  • Supporting guidance, tools, organizations and initiatives relating to ecosystem restoration
  • Actors
  • Guidance for integrating biodiversity considerations into ecosystem restoration

CBD-COP urges Governments and relevant organizations, as well as indigenous peoples and local communities, and relevant stakeholders to promote, support and take actions on ecosystem restoration inter alia by making use, as appropriate, of the short-term action plan on ecosystem restoration as a flexible framework according to national circumstances, and encourages Governments and relevant organizations and stakeholders to consider ecosystem restoration in reef, coastal and marine ecosystems as well as urban environments, in the action plans, where relevant, to ensure that marine environments are sustained. International finance agencies are invited to provide support for ecosystem restoration activities, as well as monitoring processes integrated as appropriate into programmes and initiatives for sustainable development, food, water and energy security, job creation, climate change mitigation, adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and poverty eradication.
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Climate related geoengineering
In decision XI/20, CBD-COP notes, without prejudice to future deliberations on the definition of geoengineering activities, that climate-related geoengineering may include: (a) Any technologies that deliberately reduce solar insolation or increase carbon sequestration from the atmosphere on a large scale and that may affect biodiversity (excluding carbon capture and storage from fossil fuels when it captures carbon dioxide before it is released into the atmosphere); (b) Deliberate intervention in the planetary environment of a nature and scale intended to counteract anthropogenic climate change and/or its impacts; (c) Deliberate large-scale manipulation of the planetary environment (32nd session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change); (d) Technological efforts to stabilize the climate system by direct intervention in the energy balance of the Earth for reducing global warming (Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).
CBD-COP also notes that there is no single geoengineering approach that currently meets basic criteria for effectiveness, safety and affordability, and that approaches may prove difficult to deploy or govern, and that there remain significant gaps in the understanding of the impacts of climate-related geoengineering on biodiversity. The application of the precautionary approach as well as customary international law, including the general obligations of States with regard to activities within their jurisdiction or control and with regard to possible consequences of those activities, and requirements with regard to environmental impact assessment, may be relevant for geoengineering activities but would still form an incomplete basis for global regulation.
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Synergies Among the Rio Conventions
In decision IX/16, annex II, CBD-COP notes that efforts at the national and local levels are of high importance to the achievement of synergies between activities addressing biodiversity, combating desertification/land degradation and climate change, and invites Governments, where appropriate based on national circumstances, to implement the activities contained in the indicative list. Relevant organizations are invited to provide support to Governments, as appropriate and based on national circumstances, in implementing these activities in order to enhance cooperation and coordination between the three Rio conventions and other relevant multilateral environmental agreements.
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