STAP Report to the 54th Meeting of the GEF Council
In her presentation to the GEF Council on 25 June, Dr. Rosina Bierbaum, the Chair of STAP, explained that the Panel’s papers for the GEF Assembly were part of a linked set, under three broad themes – integration, innovation, and learning.
The starting point is the science addressing interconnected and interacting environmental and social challenges which require systems thinking; this is fundamental to achieving better integration. Two prime examples of this are the food system and plastics, for both of which a circular economy approach would be beneficial. At the 2014 Assembly, STAP had recommended that more attention be given to environmental security, and had now provided advice on how to do this more effectively. Two papers examined achieving GEF’s goals of transformation: one broadly focused on innovation, including business models, institutional and social innovation, as well as policy, financial and technological innovation; and a second on the emergence of novel entities which could have both positive and negative disruptive effects on the earth’s system. And on learning, there were papers on knowledge management, an essential element of successful integration, both to ensure that what has already been learned is applied to new investments, and for scaling up; and on to integrate local learning and institutions into improving the global commons.
Looking ahead, Dr. Bierbaum set out some ideas for STAP’s GEF-7 work programme, under the same three themes. Integration: climate risk screening; stakeholder engagement in social-ecological systems, building on RAPTA (resilience); land degradation neutrality guidelines; and reducing climate vulnerability and promoting adaptation, i.e. adaptation metrics across the GEF portfolio. Innovation: an information document highlighting which remotely-sensed data products are most applicable, drawing on the experiences of the GEF agencies; and innovative aquaculture options, e.g. farming the marine water column, novel plant- or animal-based nutrients, and the link to marine biodiversity, algae, seaweeds and alternative food sources. And Learning: development of a global mercury knowledge platform to support on implementation and compliance under the Minamata convention; and guidance on how to estimate the broader GEBs from chemicals and waste projects.
STAP's reports to the GEF Assembly include:
- Integration to solve complex environmental problems
- Managing knowledge for a sustainable global future
- A future food system for healthy human beings, and a healthy planet
- Plastics and the circular economy
- Environmental security: dimensions and priorities