News and Updates

Expert Workshop: The Political Economy of Regionalism and International Waters

This Expert Workshop is designed to allow for a discussion on the extent and the manner in which regionalization processes influence GEF interventions and how GEF interventions can be better positioned in these processes for mutual benefit.

Agenda

Presentations

Fredrik Söderbaum - The Political Economy of Regionalism and International Waters

Phera Ramoeli - Overview of the SADC Transboundary Water Management: River Basin Management

Hashali Hamukuaya - Science to Governance in the BCLME: 20 Years of Institutional and Capacity Building for Integrated Transboundary LME Management

Canisius Kanangire - The Role of LVBC in the EAC Developmental and Integration Agenda

Peter Kanyi Maina - The Role of NELSAP In Regional Integration

Tuğba Evrim Maden - Turkey and the Implementation of the EU Aquis in the Context of Transboundary River Basins

Cletus Springer - Lessons from the Regionalization of Water Programs in the Americas

Robin Mahon - The Importance of Regional Cooperation and Governance Arrangements for Small Island Developing States

Douglas Taylor - Regional Collaboration Lessons Learned

To find more information on this event, click here.

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In Memory of Angela Cropper

Angela Cropper

[T]he former Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme and the first Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Angela Cropper, passed away on November 12, 2012, at the age of 66, after a long struggle with cancer. Among her many contributions and achievements in support of environmental conservation and sustainable development over her career, Angela was a member of the GEF’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel as Vice Chair for a time between 2005 and 2007.

Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director and UN Undersecretary General, indicated how much Angela appreciated her time on STAP, as it spoke directly to her desire for substance.

The former Chair of STAP, Yolanda Kakabadse – under whom Angela served – expressed that “as a STAP member her clarity of thought and long term vision made her an invaluable colleague – always concerned about the need to prioritise themes and activities that would benefit the most vulnerable and poor in all regions and societies.”

The current STAP Panel and Chair recognized Angela’s invaluable contributions to the conservation of biodiversity throughout her life; Tom Lovejoy – current Chair of STAP – expressed that “she will be sorely missed” by our community.

Special Advisor to the STAP Chair Dr. Michael Stocking, remarking on Angela’s dedication in all aspects of her life, recalled a STAP workshop hosted by Angela in her native Trinidad on the challenges faced by small island developing states in groundwater management – she was “always gracious” in her work.

Personal remembrances may be posted on the following website.

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STAP Meeting 2014

STAP Meeting (Open Session), October 27, 2014

The STAP will once more run its Biannual meeting concurrently with the GEF Council meetings. For the Fall 2014 session, the STAP Open Meeting will be held on October 27, 2014 at the World Bank MC Building in Washington DC. The main meeting objectives are as follows:-

  • Finalize the major program activities of STAP in FY15 and GEF-6;
  • Review STAP’s contribution to the IAPs, GEF Knowledge Management;
  • Review of STAP Screening Process in GEF-6.

The meeting Agenda and STAP Provisional Work Programme for GEF-6 can be accessed at the links below.

STAP Contribution to the 47th Meeting of the GEF Council (October 28-30, 2014)

The GEF Council is a high level meeting of representatives from the GEF's 32 constituencies, who act as the GEF's governing board of directors. They are responsible for developing, adopting, and evaluating policies and programs for GEF-financed activities. Council meetings are open to Council Members, Council Alternate Members, and the GEF CEO or his/her representative. The STAP is one of the invitees to this biannual meeting of the GEF partnership, and at each Council Meeting the STAP Chair presents a written and visual report on the activities of the STAP. In addition, the STAP Work Programme, the implementation of the work programme, and any other strategic or policy-related views of the STAP requested by the Council can be presented at the Council Meetings.

The STAP Chair's Report and the STAP Provisional Work Programme for GEF-6 will be the main documents presented to the Council.

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Reducing the Long Term Costs of Low Greenhouse Gas-Emitting Energy Technologies

[T]here are two main problems. First, the technologies promoted to date have been regarded as too risky, because they are large scale and capital intensive, produce power which costs more (a financial risk) and also carry higher technological risks. And second, the need to reconcile the global, long-term benefit of lower greenhouse gas emissions with sufficient local benefits, i.e. more reliable generation of electricity at affordable prices.

STAP believes that promoting low greenhouse gas emitting technologies should remain fundamental to the GEF's work.

March 2004

DOWNLOAD Report

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STAP at the UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference

cbp2_0 Soil Organic Carbon Project Team

[T]he STAP participated at the UNCCD’s Second Scientific Conference held 9-12 April 2013 in Bonn, Germany. The conference theme was Economic Assessment of Desertification, Sustainable Land Management and Resilience of Arid, Semi-arid and Dry Sub-humid Areas. The STAP contributed to the Conference by designing and leading a 90 minute session titled “GEF Special Session on Carbon – a Valuable Global Benefit of Sustainable Land Management.” The session objectives were to ...

  • Demonstrate the importance of the current work of the Land Degradation Focal Area of the Global Environment Facility, with special reference to Sustainable Land Management (SLM).
  • Identify the multiple potential benefits derived from above- and below-ground sequestration of carbon.
  • Show how GEF investments and strategic planning support the UNCCD.
  • Consult the scientific community on issues related to SLM that might be included in future GEF strategic plans.

The session abstract can be downloaded here

During the session, the STAP also launched its report “Soil organic carbon management for global benefits: a discussion paper”. The paper provides an overview of soil organic carbon and its relevance to soil organic carbon management within the context of generating global environmental benefits and contributing towards food security and livelihoods. The report can be downloaded here.

The paper was presented at the session by Gerard Govers. The session presentations and their titles are listed below.

  1. Mohamed Bakarr, GEF Secretariat | Sustainable Land Management in the Global Environment Facility – Enhancing Ecosystem Services in Production Landscapes
  2. Gerard Govers, University of Leuven, Belgium | Soil organic carbon management for global benefits – A review for STAP
  3. Eleanor Milne, Colorado State University, U.S.A. | A New Tracking Tool for Carbon Benefits
  4. Annette Cowie, University of New England, Armidale, Australia | Value of Soil Organic Carbon: the case for biochar

For further information about this event, please contact Guadalupe Durón at the STAP Secretariat or visit the UNCCD website

Prepared By: Guadalupe Durón

Bonn | 9-12 April 2013

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UNCCD Message

[O]n the occasion of the opening of the March 21-22, 2013 STAP Meeting, Washington DC,  the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, Mr. Luc Gnacadja, gave a message by video where, inter alia, he welcomed the GEF 2020 vision and indicated that there is a need to look at Land and its services with greater value, and to recognize the huge global environment benefits to be gained by restoring the ecosystem services of lands. In and amongst several important messages to the meeting, he thanked the STAP for making a strong case for land protections in their crosscutting paper, which in turn has been presented as a background paper to the GEF replenishment process in support of the GEF 2020 vision and the overall GEF-6 strategic approach.

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STAP Meeting March 2013

stapmeeting2013[T]he meeting focused heavily on presenting an overview of the draft GEF 6 Focal Area Strategies as well as potential innovative technologies and approaches that might be incorporated into GEF programs and projects. Apart from presentations from the GEF Secretariat and other members of the GEF fraternity, the STAP meeting also welcomed noted experts from academia and other global think-tanks.

Agenda

STAP Panel

Annette Cowie, Director, Rural Climate Solutions, University of New England and NSW Department of Primary Industries, STAP Land Degradation Panel Member | Presentation: Enhancing the GEF's Contribution to Sustainable Development

GEF Secretariat

Bob Dixon, Climate Change & Chemicals | Presentation: Towards GEF-6, Climate & Chemicals Strategy

Claus Astrup, Front Office | Presentation: GEF 2020 Strategy

Gustavo Fonseca, Natural Resources Management | Presentation: The Dawn of the Anthropocene

Evaluation Office

Aaron Zazueta, Chief Evaluation Officer and Team Leader | Presentation: Fifth Overall Performance Study (OPS5)Evaluation of STAP for OPS5

Specially Invited Experts

Joseph Alcamo, UNEP | Presentation: The Post Rio+20 Agenda, Three Actions Bringing Global Benefits

Paul Anastas, Director, Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering, Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Member of Yale faculty since 2007 | Presentation: Sustainability and Transformative Innovation: Catalytic. Nexus.

Pavan Sukhdev, Yale University (visiting fellow), Former Head of UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative and author of Corporation 2020 | Presentation: How Can GEF Engineer Change?


Washington DC | 20-22 March, 2013

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IWC7 Roundtable: The Political Economy of Regionalism and International Waters

The Roundtable will connect the debate about the role of GEF and its projects within a regional political economy. The political economy of regions determines the behavior of individuals, markets and the public authority and is of importance for all GEF operations. The findings of the June 2013 GEF/STAP workshop held in Washington DC, hosted by the Organization of American States: ‘The Political Economy of Regionalism and International Waters’ will be presented and discussed. That workshop considered a draft Issues/Research Paper and representatives of regional organizations agreed that GEF should consider regional processes more systematically regarding project design baseline assessment, regional capacity building and principles for strengthening dialogue at regional level.

Goals and Program

Key Messages

Presentations

Jakob Granit - The Political Economy of Regionalism: The Relevance for Transboundary Waters and the Global Environment Facility

Robin Mahon - Facilitating Regional Governance Arrangements in the Wider Caribbean Region

Anya Thomas - A Single Space for Transactions in the Caribbean

Max Campos - OAS: Perspectives from a Multipurpose Regional Organization on the Environment and Overarching Goals Related to Peace Justice and Security

To find more information on this event, click here.

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The 6th Urban Research and Knowledge Symposium on Rethinking Cities

[T]he 6th Urban Research and Knowledge Symposium (URKS6) on Rethinking Cities: Framing the Future (Barcelona, October 8-10, 2012) was organized by the World Bank in partnership with the City of Barcelona and other key partners, at the Palau de Congressos de Barcelona.

The meeting gathered policy makers and experts in economics, social equity, environmental sustainability, and ran with a format based on large twice daily interactive plenaries sandwiched amongst numerous thematic sessions across the various disciplines. This forum provided an opportunity for an exchange of thoughts on ways in which the city might, based on the principles of agglomeration, grow GDP and global trade, with counterbalance being provided by experts on the need to contemplate issues of environmental sustainability, provision of services, social inclusiveness, sharing of wealth and overall social well-being. The STAP was able to participate in key exchanges that feed into its work on urbanisation, tradeoffs, and multi focal area/integrated approaches to environmental management.

More information can be found by clicking here.

Prepared By: Christine Wellington-Moore

Barcelona | 8-10 October 2012

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Agro-Ecosytem Resilience Workshop

Identifying Common Indicators: Agro-ecosystem resilience Across the Rio Conventions

group photo_Sydney workshop_croppedThe STAP Agro-Ecosystem Resilience workshop kicked off on November 19, 2014 in Sydney Australia with opening remarks from Monique Barbut – the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The Executive Secretary urged participants to work collaboratively during the course of the workshop to develop measures of land-based adaptation that can be shared with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Nearly 50 participants representing a range of expertise covering multiple aspects of both science and policy are discussing a conceptual framework for assessing and identifying indicators of agro-ecosystem resilience that could be aligned with monitoring and reporting needs of the UNCCD, and that could further integrate with the CBD’s efforts on ecosystem resilience and the UNFCCC’s work on climate change adaptation. The discussion will also inform how the GEF can ensure that future projects include elements of the proposed framework to incorporate resilience, and will also provide input into how the GEF can continue to help countries meet their obligations under the three Rio Conventions through harmonized indicators.

The STAP is partnering with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), the GEF, and the Convention Secretariats. The STAP has commissioned two papers that have been the basis of discussion for the workshop. One paper synthesizes the scientific understanding of resilience in interacting social- ecological systems, with a particular focus on agro-ecosystems, and proposes an approach for defining indicators to assess social-ecological resilience of farming systems. The second paper reviews remote sensing based vegetation indices, such as Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), to begin a discussion on the suitability of various vegetation indices for national-level assessment of land degradation.

Information from the workshop discussions will be incorporated into the final papers, which will be available upon request when completed.

Further information about the workshop is available in the background note and the logistics note that are available through the link below, or by contacting Guadalupe Duron (guadalupe.duron@unep.org)

Documents

Background Note ||

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Pages