News and Updates

Workshop: Soils, Food Security and Global Environment Benefits

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[T]he workshop is a special session of STAP which will highlight the vital linkages between Sustainable Land Management (SLM) and management of land degradation, biodiversity conservation, mitigation of climate change, protection of water bodies and, more widely, human livelihoods and well-being. The objective is to underscore the unique role of SLM within the program of the Global Environment Facility.

The meeting will take place Thursday, 10 October 2013 at The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), which is located at 2033 K Street, NW, Suite 400, from 9 am until 1 pm.

We are pleased to have the following guest speakers join us at the session:

  1. Dr. Diana Wall, Colorado State University and the 2013 Tyler Prize Laureate  | Presentation: Soils, Biodiversity, and Global Environmental Benefits
  2. Dr. Cheryl Palm, Earth Institute at Columbia University | Presentation: Soils and Food Security
  3. Dr. Henry Janzen, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada | Presentation: Soil Organic Carbon Management

Please find the session program for further information about the discussions here. The session will be co-chaired by Dr. Annette Cowie (STAP member for sustainable land management) and Rosina Bierbaum (STAP Chair).

To see the publication of Managing Soil Organic Carbon for Global Benefits, please click here.

To find more information on this event, click here.

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STAP is seeking a new Chairperson - CLOSED

APPLICATION CLOSED - POSITION FILLED

Chairperson’s Profile

Revised – July 2012

[T]he Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility consists of seven Members, one of whom is designated as Chairperson.  The Chairperson is contracted to work for STAP for a minimum of 25% of their working time. In addition to the important convening role of the Chair and overall responsibility for STAP’s advice to the GEF, s/he will also be expected to provide scientific and technical advice in at least one GEF focal area within their domain of expertise.

Expertise

  • Recognised intellectual leadership in global environmental issues, and a thorough understanding of environmental systems and their inter-linkages across different environmental sectors
  • Additional recognized specialization in at least one relevant field in the GEF focal areas of Biological Diversity, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, International Waters, Chemicals, and Land Degradation
  • An ability to bridge scientific, policy, economic, and social issues
  • Demonstrated leadership in science policy interface and innovation;
  • Thorough knowledge of the state of the environment, emerging issues and key responses.

Experience

  • Publications and track record confirming international status in systems thinking and as focal area lead expert;
  • Extensive and well recognized leadership in scientific and professional networks of relevance to the GEF;
  • Understanding of the GEF and its place in the context of financial instruments and multilateral institutions demonstrated through publications, or participation in GEF processes;
  • Participation in the work at Secretariat level or within meetings and processes of the Contracting Parties of at least one of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements associated with the GEF;
  • Knowledge of the scientific processes supporting implementation of one or more of the multilateral environmental conventions of relevance to the GEF;
  • Experience working in countries where GEF projects and programs are implemented;
  • Multi-cultural working experience at senior managerial, and preferably director level;

Skills

  • Proven ability to communicate effectively scientific findings of global significance to high level policy makers;
  • Effective leader and organiser of multi-cultural scientific and technical teams;
  • Ability to inspire, envision, formulate and influence the work of others as demonstrated through their expertise in devising policies and strategies which have led to well-recognized and significant impacts;
  • Ability to lead, mentor and sustain significant increases in capacity, in national and international contexts;
  • Effective listener and negotiator, able to sustain and defend positions based on objective and balanced information;
  • Challenges conventional thinking where necessary, and able to bring intellectual rigor to advice on strategic and operational issues;
  • Able to mediate between professional/scientific agendas and lobbies;
  • Demonstrated experience in cross-sectoral decision making, including prioritizing for budgetary purposes.

Personality

  • Creative, inspiring, outgoing and with a good sense of humour;
  • A self-starter combining empathy and confidence;
  • Sensitive and competent in handling issues of gender and culture.

Please take a look at the attached file in addition to the requirements above. 

THIS POSTING HAS BEEN LEFT FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY.

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Announcing four new STAP publications

The STAP is pleased to announce the release of its four latest publications - Sustainable Urbanization Policy Brief, Assessing the Effects of Terrestrial Protected Areas on Human Wellbeing, Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Practice, and the Political Economy of Regionalism. These publications  are the culmination of concerted efforts and collaboration between STAP members and Secretariat and a range of researchers and practitioners in the field. They have also undergone rigorous peer review by independent experts, the GEF Secretariat and implementing agencies. Although the publications are written for the benefit of the GEF and its implementing agencies, their scientific and technical rigor makes them of great use for a variety of audiences, including academic researchers, private and public policy makers, project designers and other funding agencies.

To find more information and download the publications, click on their images below.

Sustainable Urbanization Policy Brief  PA Impacts on Human Well-Being  Mainstreaming Biodiversity  Political Economy of Regionalism

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Climate Resilience

[C]limate Resilience workshop was held in November 2010.

November 2010

DOWNLOAD Report

DOWNLOAD Decision

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Workshop on Adaptation and Vulnerability

[S]cientifically and politically, adaptation to the impacts of climate change has emerged as one of the most urgent critically and contemporary societal issues. Adaptation is now recognised as an integral part of the response to the impact of climate change, because current agreements to limit emissions, even if implemented, will not stabilise atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. It is a process that needs to be incorporated in overall development planning, including the design and implementation of projects and programmes across all sectors. Furthermore, vulnerability reduction and by extension adaptation is neither a one-off intervention or stand-alone activity.

May 2002

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STAP hosts discussion on plastic debris solutions in the maritime industry

port-of-miamiOn June 16th 2015, the STAP hosted two speakers, Captain David A. Condino, a Maritime Transportation Specialist at the United States Coast Guard, Office of Port and Facility Compliance and Charles (Bud) V. Darr, Senior Vice President for Technical and Regulatory Affairs for Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). The discussion focused on the international and regional regulatory frameworks addressing port reception facilities, and the role of the international cruise industry in reducing environmental impacts, including those of plastic debris, on the marine environment.

CLIA is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association with representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia comprised of 63 cruise lines (representing about 95% of the global cruise line capacity) and 13,500 travel agencies. In addition, more than 120 of the most innovative suppliers of goods and services to the cruise industry make up CLIA’s Executive Partner Program. CLIA represents a unified voice for the global cruise community, advocating the common interests of the industry to external stakeholders, including on environment protection and sustainable practices. The STAP-hosted discussion explored the importance of the adequacy of waste reception facilities at ports, and ways in which the cruise lines are working towards procurement of goods to minimize generation of waste, supporting sustainable waste management practices onboard and influencing passenger behaviors, all ultimately contributing to the prevention of marine debris.

This timely discussion responds to the increasing recognition and call for action to prevent, reduce and mitigate impacts of plastic debris on our watersheds and oceans, and the vital role of the maritime industry in this process. The G-7 Leader’s Declaration at its latest annual Summit in Elmau, Germany on June 7-8th, 2015 acknowledges that “marine litter, in particular plastic litter, poses a global challenge, directly affecting marine and coastal life and ecosystems and potentially also human health. Accordingly, increased effectiveness and intensity of work is required to combat marine litter striving to initiate a global movement.” Together with the GEF partners, including members of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter, STAP is committed to continue supporting GEF’s efforts in tackling this global problem.

Presentations delivered at the meeting are available to download: David. A. Condino "MARPOL, Marine Debris and Managing Ship's Waste: U.S. and International regulatory schemes and a focus on the Caribbean" and Charles V. Darr “The cruise industry and its commitment to environmental stewardship”.

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The GEF Council approves initiative to conduct a "GEF 2020" strategic exercise

[T]he Council of the Global Environment Facility approves the initiative of the CEO and Council Chair Dr. Naoko Ishii’s to conduct a “GEF 2020” strategic exercise. The GEF 2020 strategic exercise, Dr. Ishii said, “will seek to answer a range of questions critical to the GEF’s future. It will explore broader and bolder changes in the way we manage the global environment. It will seek to identify what unique role this institution can play in catalyzing transformational change.”

The Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel strongly supports GEF’s future focus on transformational change in delivering global environmental benefits, and will work closely with the GEF CEO, Secretariat, and GEF Partnership in delivering on this challenge. As an important step, at the 43rd GEF Council STAP released an assessment of climate change science that identifies the utmost urgency of action on climate change mitigation and adaptation and identifies the necessary ingredients for the GEF’s transformative action towards a global low-carbon economy.

Washington DC, November 19, 2012

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STAP’s Participation at the UNCCD COP 11

STAP event 2[T]he Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility (STAP/GEF) led two side events at the 11th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) held during the first week of the COP – 16th to 20th September 2013 in Windhoek, Namibia. The side events were organized jointly with the GEF.

The side events titled, “Global Environment Facility – Carbon Sequestration – A Valuable Global Benefit of Sustainable Land Management”; and, “The Global Environment Facility’s Carbon Benefits Project – new tools to measure carbon & the GEF’s experience applying the tools”, were held on 16th and 18th September 2013.

To find more information on this event, click here.

The objectives of the side events were as follows:

  1. Demonstrate the importance of the current work of the GEF Land Degradation Focal Area, with special reference to sustainable land management and the potential benefits derived from above- and below-ground sequestration of carbon.
  2. Illustrate our current scientific understanding of the relationship between soil organic carbon management and its importance to sustainable land management.
  3. Demonstrate a set of the carbon tools developed by UNEP-GEF’s Carbon Benefits Project and show how Parties could use the tools to monitor and report on Strategic Objective 3 (to generate global benefits through effective implementation of the UNCCD).
  4.  Contribute towards policies that support UNCCD’s efforts to generate global benefits through sustainable land management.

Gerard Govers, University of Leuven, Belgium, presented the scientific evidence as to how, why, and under what circumstances global benefits could be achieved through sustainable land management. This evidence is elaborated further in the STAP publication “Managing soil organic carbon for global benefits”, published by STAP in August 2013.  At the session, participants demonstrated an interest in understanding further the implications of soil organic carbon management on agricultural productivity and livelihoods. This included the vital effects of soil carbon management on plant available water – an important element for drylands, and areas affected by climate change risks, such as drought.

Eleanor Milne, Colorado State University, featured the simple assessment tool and the detailed assessment tool developed by the UNEP/GEF Carbon Benefits Project (CBP). The second half of the session profiled the GEF Agencies (UNEP, UNDP and IFAD) experiences with the carbon tools in land management projects, and sustainable forest management projects. The outcomes of the session demonstrated the GEF Agencies are testing the tools in land management and sustainable forest management projects, and showing their utility in practical project situations. Similarly, challenges in using the tools also were demonstrated – especially when applied to peatlands, since the values for the parameters in the tools are not well enough understood.   Additionally, the discussions featured how the tools are being used to validate carbon sequestered in projects on payment for ecosystem services. This demonstrated a prospect for using the tools beyond the expected reporting on carbon stock changes from land management projects.

Further information about the side events can be found at this link. The presentations also can be downloaded through here.

At the COP 11, STAP also observed the UNCCD’s Committee on Science and Technology and its discussions. Of interest to STAP for the development of its advice to the GEF, were several agenda items, notably:  “Advice on how best to measure progress on strategic objectives 1, 2 and 3 of The Strategy”. The agenda item featured advice by UNCCD’s Advisory Group of Technical Experts (AGTE) – an ad hoc group consisting of the scientific community and its efforts to refine the impact indicators of the 10-year Strategy. STAP is a member of the AGTE, and advised UNCCD on indicators prior to the establishment of this advisory group.

The AGTE proposal was adopted, with amendments.  STAP’s role in the AGTE was instrumental – above all in identifying an indicator for strategic objective 3: “Total terrestrial system carbon”. Equally, STAP’s advice encouraged the use of the CBP methodology so that countries can estimate carbon stock changes and report on their progress in addressing strategic objective 3: “To generate global benefits through effective implementation of the UNCCD”. STAP’s contributions in the AGTE were made possible through its advisory partnership with the GEF on the land degradation focal area – combined with its thorough scientific understanding of the UNEP/GEF Carbon Benefits Project. Ultimately, this is an example of STAP’s commitment to the GEF as it seeks to strengthen the scientific and technical coherence with the UNCCD to deliver global benefits.

The AGTE’s technical report and its recommendations to the CST and the COP can be accessed below, along with the final decision from these two UNCCD bodies.

Refinement of the Set of Impact Indicators on Strategic Objectives 1, 2 and 3 - Recommendations of the ad hoc Advisory Group of Technical Experts

Advice on How Best to Measure Progress on Strategic Objectives 1, 2 and 3 of The Strategy - Draft Decision Submitted by the Chairperson of the Committee on Science and Technology

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Knowledge From The Field: Lessons Learned from the GEF Learning Missions

GEF Staff on the ground GEF Staff on the ground

[I]n May 2013, Michael Stocking (Senior Adviser to the STAP Chair) attended the International Conference on Sustainable Land Management Policies and Practices organized by the People’s Republic of China-Global Environment Facility Partnership (PRC-GEF). The conference was held 6-8 May 2013 in Beijing, China. The Conference sought to highlight ten years of progress on integrated approaches to land management in the six poorest and most degraded provinces of China based on the GEF program “PRC-GEF Partnership on Land Degradation in Dryland Ecosystems”. At the Conference, Michael Stocking delivered a keynote presentation on “Sustainable Land Management for Global Benefits: Learning from China”. The presentation drew-upon a GEF publication featuring six major findings from the GEF Learning Mission in 2012.

Project Staff on the Field Project Staff on the Field

The publication was co-authored by the GEF Secretariat and STAP. Further information about this initiative can be accessed below.

EXTERNAL LINK | PRC-GEF Partnership on Land Degradation in Dryland Ecosystems

DOWNLOAD | Sustainable Land Management for Global Benefits: Learning from China, Michael Stocking

DOWNLOAD | PRC-GEF Partnership to Combat Land Degradation in Drylands. Knowledge from the field. Lessons learned from the GEF learning missions.

Further information about this GEF’s knowledge management series can be found here.

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STAP Report to the Fifth GEF Assembly

STAP Report to the 5th GEF Assembly[T]he STAP is pleased to release a report for the 5th GEF Assembly in Cancun, Mexico. The report provides recommendations for supporting environmentally sustainable development in the Global Environment Facility's Sixth Replenishment Period (GEF-6), including specific advice related to Integrated Approaches as well as ideas for additional themes. The report also includes a summary of STAP accomplishments in GEF-5 and draws attention to the important role of science and knowledge management in future GEF programming.

To find more information and download the publication, click here.

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