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Earth Today | Adaptation Fund launches new grant to benefit vulnerable countries

Published:Thursday | December 12, 2019 | 12:00 AM

THE ADAPTATION Fund, from which Jamaica has benefited, has announced the launch of a new US$10-million pilot innovation programme during the UN climate conference being held in Madrid.

The new programme will foster innovation in adaptation in developing countries, and will target a broad range of potential finance recipients, including non-governmental organisations, community groups, young innovators and the private sector.

Two of the fund’s accredited multilateral implementing entities, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Environment Programme (UNEP), will each receive US$5 million to administer and aggregate about 45 small grants (up to US$250,000 each). UNEP will also work in conjunction with the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), which is the operational arm of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Technology Mechanism.

The latest programme adds a new financing opportunity for the most vulnerable communities under the fund’s overall Innovation Facility, which includes a recently launched separate innovation grant funding window that is available to accredited national implementing entities (NIEs) under its pioneering direct access modality that builds country ownership in adaptation.

The fund also recently launched new grant funding windows to accelerate project scale-ups and disseminate knowledge of effective adaptation actions -- which are available to NIEs. All of these grants are available in addition to the fund’s regular project funding channels.

“Innovation is one of the three strategic pillars of the Adaptation Fund, alongside action and learning and sharing, and these new funding windows will help foster innovative and effective adaptation practices and tools on the ground to help accelerate the response to climate change,” said Sylviane Bilgischer, chair of the Adaptation Fundboard.

“Very often, Adaptation Fund projects are the first adaptation actions on the ground in many vulnerable places throughout the world, and many of its projects have innovative aspects about them that have established valuable models that are replicable and scalable, and have been scaled up with other funds in several instances. We are trying to further build on these strengths through these new innovative programme offerings,” she added.

The new innovation programme will provide special financing opportunities to support innovation for adaptation to developing countries that do not yet have NIEs, as well as the private sector. UNDP and UNEP will act as small grant aggregators for innovation, making grants available to a broad scope of stakeholders on a competitive basis.


With a portfolio of 100 concrete adaptation projects, the Adaptation Fund has generated results in strengthened resilience of beneficiaries on the ground, but also a body of experience in adaptation.

“This year alone, the Adaptation Fund board has approved a record US$188 million in new projects, and has been in constant high demand as we see the rising urgency of climate change,” noted Fund manager Mikko Ollikainen.

“These new innovative funding windows offered … will help to extend the fund’s reach to countries to help meet this record demand. The Innovation Facility will also offer new opportunities for developing countries to pilot new, relatively untested techniques, technologies and approaches to adaptation, something that can help bring about the transformation that is urgently needed in order to accelerate responses to the impacts of climate change,” he added.