News and Updates

International Waters Indicator Review Workshop

[T]his Workshop was co-organized by the GEF Secretariat and the Science Panel and held at UNESCO. In addition to the Final Report of the Workshop, presentations made and related papers, you will find links to background documents about the GEF's Resource Allocation Framework (RAF), Terms of Reference for the three Approach Papers and the Agenda and guidance paper for the Workshop.

Paris | 4 December 2008

DOWNLOAD Final Report


DOWNLOAD Background Briefing


DOWNLOAD Ground Water Paper

DOWNLOAD Surface Water Paper

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Bridging Science to Policy Gap

Nairobi-20130730-00348-2 Dr. Rosina speaking in Nairobi

Dr. Rosina Bierbaum, STAP Chair, speaks at UNEP/UN Complex in Nairobi, Kenya on "Bridging Science to Policy Gap" on 29th July 2013.

Dr. Bierbaum’s presentation talked about the role of assessments in the science/policy area, and lessons learned from working 20 years in the United States Government. She also elaborated on the ongoing National Climate Assessment in the United States and its implications for adaptation to climate change. The moderated discussion focused on adaptation to climate change as a universal agenda, and the opportunities and challenges for bridging the science to policy gap, and its implications for the development of the GEF-6 programming direction.

The presentation can be downloaded here.


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STAP Evidence Contributes to Decision on Marine and Coastal Biodiversity

cop-logo_1The evidence presented by STAP contributes to the CBD COP-11 decision on marine and coastal biodiversity

[T]wo reports prepared by STAP in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) were presented to the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the CBD held in Hyderabad, India on 8-19 October 2012. These reports - Marine Spatial Planning in the Context of the Convention on Biological Diversity: A study carried out in response to CBD COP 10 decision X/29 andImpacts of Marine Debris on Biodiversity: Current Status and Potential Solutions,played an important role in informing CBD COP Decision XI/18 addressing impacts of marine debris on marine and coastal biodiversity (Section I, para 25-27) and marine spatial planning (Section III), respectively.

COP-11 decision on marine spatial planning requests CBD Parties and other partners to support further efforts on advancing marine spatial planning through development of guidance and information sharing as well as capacity building. CBD COP-11 recognizes firmly marine spatial planning as a useful tool in enhancing marine and coastal area management, including identification of ecologically or biologically significant marine areas, marine protected areas and other marine and coastal biodiversity spatial conservation measures.

The COP-11 decision on marine debris is the first time CBD acknowledges the global importance of the impacts of marine debris on marine and coastal biodiversity at the highest level. After the Convention on Migratory Species and itsCOP decision on marine debris, CBD calls on CBD parties and other partners to further their work to better understand these impacts, prepare practical guidance on preventing and mitigating impacts of marine debris on ecosystems, and enhance regional capacity building efforts to prevent and reduce sources of marine debris.

Prepared By: Lev Neretin

Hyderabad | 8-19 October 2012

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The GEF CEO Forum on Innovation Partnership

Rotated ICTpic

[T]he GEF CEO Forum was held on December 18th, 2013 at the Institute for Electronic Government Briefing Center in Washington, DC. The objective of the Forum was to solicit expert perspectives on enhancing the role of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in facilitating the use of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) to address global environmental challenges. This exploration is particularly critical as the GEF heads into its Sixth Replenishment (GEF-6).

The following key questions were discussed:

  1. What ICT options can be utilized to characterize drivers of environmental degradation and to devise robust approaches to monitor and address them?
  2. Who can build effective partnerships with the GEF to advance the use of ICT and how can such partnerships be developed?
  3. How can ICT help measuring short term results and long term impacts? What ICT tools can guide priority setting processes?

A select group of experts from various sectors of society were gathered to help answer these questions. In addition to members of the STAP and GEF Secretariat, participants included, inter alia, private sector representatives such as IBM, AECOM, Arup, Hitachi, CISCO and Amazon; public sector and academic representatives such as the White House- Office of Science and Technology/Policy, USEPA, Stanford University, The World Bank, UNDP, and UNIDO; as well as civil society representatives such as World Resources Institute (WRI), Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Participants were given the opportunity to form breakout discussion groups on the topics of Smarter Cities, Food and Agriculture, Forests and Land Use, and Data for Institutional Decision-making. Each working group came back to the Plenary with preliminary ideas for the incorporation of ICT into GEF-6 work within the assigned topic areas.

A summary report of the Forum will be published shortly and made available on this website. In the meantime, background information about the Forum can be found here, and the agenda can be found here.

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M&E Adaptation Workshop

adaptationThe Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility (STAP/GEF) and the Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation (PROVIA) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) are undertaking a joint activity that will inform the scientific basis for measuring, monitoring and evaluating climate change adaptation. Most of the existing frameworks have been developed from the perspective of project level M&E. However, with increased attention on mainstreaming adaptation into medium to long-term development activities, as reflected in the growing importance of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) related activities, focus is gradually shifting to programmatic, institutional and systemic interventions that emphasize the creation of policy frameworks and enabling environments. A set of papers have been commissioned on this topic and a workshop was held in Mumbai, India, January 22-24, 2015 to spur fresh thinking with regard to the larger issue of developing measuring, monitoring & evaluating systems at programmatic and national levels.

The workshop summary is available here.

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Report to the Fourth GEF Assembly

[F]or GEF-4, STAP has undergone major structural reform in order to undertake its new strategic role in advising on the scientific content of all focal area strategies, a new operational role in screening all proposals for Full Size Projects, and a continuing advisory role in providing guidance and outputs on topics requested by GEF agencies. Additionally, STAP has been active in a number of GEF-funded targeted research projects on issues important to the agencies such as developing a carbon tracking tool for project managers.

May 2010


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Liquid Biofuels in Transport

[T]his report from STAP, while providing clear recommendations to the GEF, clearly demonstrates that the sustainable development and use of biofuels is only one part of a larger picture involving the need for much greater efficiencies in existing transport systems. The report also cautions that where new technologies offer promise, they also need to be appropriate solutions to problems facing developing countries.

May 2007


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Side Event CBD SBSTTA 16

In collaboration with the Secretariat of Convention on Biological Diversity and other partners, STAP organized two side events at the 16th Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (CBD SBSTTA 16) of the CBD in Montreal, Canada on May 2nd and 3rd 2012. The information submitted by the STAP to the CBD SBSTTA-16 and discussed at both events informed participants at the meeting and was used to develop specific SBSTTA-16 recommendations to the Conference of the Parties to CBD (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/L.15 and UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/L.16).

The first event entitled “Marine Spatial Planning and Management using the Ecosystem Approach: From Principles to Practice” was organized in collaboration with UNEP, The Nature Conservancy, and IOC-UNESCO. Side event responded to the request of the CBD Secretariat and the CBD Decision X/29, paragraph 75:

“To compile and synthesize available information in collaboration with Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations on their experiences and use of marine spatial planning, in particular on ecological, economic, social, cultural and other principles used to guide such planning and the use of area-based management tools.”

STAP in collaboration with partners prepared a report that synthesizes available information on the scope of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) activities around the world, lessons learned about the utility of spatial planning and management processes and tools, and criteria for successful use of MSP at various scales. This report explores spatial management as an effective contribution to protecting marine and coastal biodiversity while at the same time addressing human needs, concentrating especially on valuable ecosystem services in coasts, estuaries and deltas, near-shore environments, and open oceans. The report reviews conventional planning processes, identifies innovative new tools, and discusses the potential MSP has -- as yet not fully realized -- in aligning conservation and development interests while protecting vital ecosystems, the services they deliver, and the biodiversity they support. The draft report was made available as information document to the participants at the 16th meeting of Subsidiary Body of Scientific, Technological and Technical Advice (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/INF/18).

The side event presented findings of the report and initiated a discussion on the necessary strategies and activities to build on the successes of MSP around the world focusing on the following three issues:

  1. Overview of theory and practice of designing and implementing MSP;
  2. Barriers and lessons learned in MSP applications throughout the world;
  3. Implications for the CBD.

Prepared By: Lev Neretin
Montreal | May 2012

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Observing the Success of GEF Investments

STAP Chair’s Visit to the Menengai and Olkaria Geothermal Fields

Kenya, August 2013

rig[E]arlier this month, while on mission in Kenya to meet with senior UNEP officials, the STAP Chair Dr. Rosina Bierbaum, and the STAP Secretary, Thomas Hammond accompanied by Dr. Meseret Zemedkhun, Program Manager of ARGeo, had the opportunity to visit and observe Kenya’s fast expanding geothermal development projects – the Menengai and Olkaria Geothermal Fields.

Located 10km north of Nakuru, the Menengai Caldera is a trachytic central volcano underlain by a high-level magma chamber.  The activity found in the Volcano provided a significant opportunity for the development of the Menengai Geothermal Development project, aimed at meeting the needs of Kenya’s increasing demand for power in accordance with the country’s green growth vision. The Geothermal Development Company (GDC) has so far drilled 15 wells from which the steam equivalent of over 100Mwe has been proven. Drilling continues with the hopes of targeting up to 400Mwe in the coming years. The tour of the site included a visit to the drilling sites, view wells, pump stations and tree nursery.

The Olkario Geothermal area is located within the Greater Olkaria Volcanic Complex which consists of a series of lava domes/flow and ashes.  To date, 186 wells have been drilled in Olkaria with a proven power potential of 620 MWe. As works continue in this area, the target potential of 1400 MWe will prove to be a substantial contribution towards the improvement in Kenya’s green power supply. The Olkaria geothermal area has been divided into seven development sectors. The scope of the visit was limited to three of the sectors, Olkaria III (South West Field) and Olkaria II (North East Field) and the Olkaria – Domes Field, where the members of STAP were able to visit specific power stations, drilling sites and gain more understanding about the project.

GEFKenyaThe African Rift Geothermal Development Facility Project (ARGeo), a GEF funded projected being implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has played a crucial role in the development of these geothermal facilities and its operations, more specifically the Menengai Geothermal Development. This GEF investment has allowed for a leap frog effect in the project’s work in terms of lower financial costs, reduced risk associated with the resource’s exploration and leveraging new technologies. The success of such an investment has had, and will continue to have, an immense effect within other countries in the region and other nearby regions.


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Carbon Benefits Project Review Meeting

cbp2_0[F]rom 13 to 16 September, STAP led a review of the UNEP-GEF “Carbon Benefits Project” at Voi Wildlife Reserve in Kenya. STAP was asked by the GEF to lead a review of the carbon benefit tools (CBP) tools as the project nears its completion. The project developed a standardized system for the GEF to measure, model, and monitor carbon stock changes and greenhouse gas emissions from land management projects. In response to this request, the meeting objective focused, therefore, on the applicability and usefulness of the suite of tools developed by the CBP. The CBP team (composed of scientists from several institutions based in Africa, Europe, and the United States) led with presentations on the modeling and measurement components, as well as one day training on the use of the tools. STAP will now draw from the meeting outcomes to develop its conclusions and recommendations about the future use of the CBP tools in GEF projects.

Further information about the CBP can be found here.

For further information about the CBP, please contact Gemma Shepherd.

For further information about this workshop, please write to Guadalupe Duron.

Further information about the workshop, including presentations by the CBP team, can be found below. 

Prepared By: Guadalupe Duron

Nairobi | 13-16 September, 2012

DOWNLOAD All Documents

DOWNLOAD Community carbon accounting

DOWNLOAD Cost benefit analysis and DPSIR tool

DOWNLOAD Detailed assessment and dynamic modelling

DOWNLOAD Guidance module

DOWNLOAD Measurement outreach and user engagement

DOWNLOAD On-line tools for monitoring reporting and evaluation

DOWNLOAD Overview of CBP measurement component

DOWNLOAD Overview of the CBP modelling

DOWNLOAD Overview on CBP project

DOWNLOAD Research and development of CBP field measurements

DOWNLOAD Soil Carbon Measuring Monitoring

DOWNLOAD Tools development and outcomes

DOWNLOAD Simple assessment module

DOWNLOAD Project description module

DOWNLOAD Remote sensing add-ons

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