Thu | Jan 21, 2021

Earth Today | FAO gets implementing entity status with the Adaptation Fund

Published:Thursday | July 16, 2020 | 12:18 AM

The Adaptation Fund has expanded its reach to identify and develop tangible climate-smart projects in vulnerable countries, with the recent approval of a new implementing partner in the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

FAO has become the fund’s 13th multilateral implementing entity and 51st overall implementing entity to be accredited to develop and implement adaptation projects, according to information out of the fund.

It is a development welcomed by local stakeholders, who believe it could benefit the Caribbean and the larger developing world.

“It spreads the reach of the Adaptation Fund and of adaptation measures. The truth is, we have not been paying enough attention to adaptation which is badly needed in small island states,” noted Eleanor Jones, who heads Environmental Solutions Limited and is a member of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica.

“The more that we can spread the access to funds from the Adaptation Fund, the better off we will be, the more results we will see, which is what we want,” she added.

For Indi Mclymont-Lafayette, knowledge management and public education specialist with the Adaptation Programme and Financing Mechanism Project of the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience in Jamaica, it is good news.

“I think that is fantastic news because it has implications for the region. I know the FAO has been doing quite a bit of work in the region and especially in Jamaica, (including) looking at options for climate-smart agriculture. I think this is a great opportunity for farming groups and even other entities to work together to maximise the opportunities through the FAO,” she said.

“I really also commend them for the work they do with gender, agriculture and climate change and making persons more aware of how to undertake climate planning to include women. It is good news that they have got this additional access to funds, and hopefully Jamaica and the Caribbean will benefit,” Lafayette added.

According to the fund, the FAO’s approval also marks the first time it has applied its ‘Fast Track Accreditation’ process for a new implementing entity.

“This process enables potential national, regional or multilateral implementing entities already accredited by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to more quickly and efficiently become accredited to the Adaptation Fund. There is a further reciprocal process in place for the GCF,” it said in a release earlier this month.

The GCF accredited the FAO as an international implementing entity in 2016. The Adaptation Fund had previously used the fast track process for the reaccreditation of certain implementing entities, but this is its first application of the policy to a new accreditation.


With its goal to achieve food security for all and to ensure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives, the FAO serves as the lead UN agency for global efforts to defeat hunger. With over 194 member states, the entity works in over 130 countries worldwide and has, since 2018, had projects financed or co-financed by the GCF in Paraguay, El Salvador, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Chile, and Cuba.

“FAO’s official accreditation to the Adaptation Fund is a significant step forward in our work to promote food security and nutrition in countries particularly affected by climate change,” said Maria Helena Semedo, FAO’s deputy director general, in the release.

“It will help boost the efforts of the organisation to enhance the resilience of rural communities to build back better in times of changing environmental conditions, degrading ecosystems, and increasing water scarcity,” she added.

In becoming accredited, the fund said that the FAO showed it is in strong compliance with its fiduciary, legal and ethical standards, as well as policies that foster environmental, social and gender principles, and has solid capacity to identify and develop effective adaptation projects.

“We are very pleased to have the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization join the Adaptation Fund’s growing community of implementing entities, which now numbers more than 50,” said Ibila Djibril, Adaptation Fund board chair.

“This is further an excellent example of the Adaptation Fund enhancing synergies and complementarities with the Green Climate Fund, as FAO marks the first implementing entity to be accredited with the fund through the Fast Track Accreditation process. It showed it is in strong compliance with the fund’s stringent accreditation standards, and we look forward to working with FAO to continue to grow our portfolio of adaptation projects on the ground,” added fund manager Mikko Ollikainen.

Upon attaining accreditation, the FAO reportedly took the step to establish a dedicated unit within its Land and Water Division to provide immediate assistance for the development and implementation of climate change adaptation projects in countries that might otherwise not have access to these climate-financing mechanisms.