News and Updates

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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The STAP's Role in the Fifth GEF Assembly

5th GEF Assembly[T]he Fifth Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) was hosted by the Government of Mexico in Cancun during the last week of May, 2014. GEF Assemblies are held every four years, and are attended by representatives of all 183 GEF member countries. Through a combination of plenary and high-level panels, exhibits, side events and GEF project site visits, representatives are given the opportunity to assess and amend GEF policies, operations, and memberships. The STAP was heavily involved in the GEF Assembly through participation by the Chair and Panel Members in several side events and other meetings. The STAP Chairperson, Dr. Rosina Bierbaum, presented a report to the GEF Council on STAP's work programme, it's role in the GEF and next steps. For a copy of this presentation, click here.  Dr. Bierbaum also gave a presentation to the GEF Assembly which, among other things, provided STAP's vision for GEF-6, including new areas for integration. For a copy of this presentation, click here.

 

STAP Meeting

From 24-25 May, the STAP Secretariat and Panel gathered for their bi-annual meeting. The objectives of the meeting were to discuss and reach agreement on the major program activities of the STAP in FY15 and GEF-6, and to review proposed changes to the STAP's contribution to the GEF Project Cycle. The first day of the meeting (24 May) was open to all Assembly participants, and featured presentations by the UNEP's Chief Scientist and the GEF Secretariat.

To see the meeting agenda, click here. Links to the background documents for the meeting are provided below:

  1. Discussion Brief - STAP in GEF-6
  2. Discussion Brief - Proposed Changes to STAP's Role in the GEF Project Cycle
  3. STAP Report to the GEF Assembly - Delivering Global Environmental Benefits for Sustainable Development
  4. Chairperson's Report to Council
  5. GEF-6 Programming Directions
  6. GEF-6 Policy Recommendations
  7. Evaluation of the STAP of the GEF - Technical Document 15, OPS 5
  8. Progress Report on the GEF Project Cycle Streamlining and Harmonization Process
  9. Sub-Study on Results Based Management - Technical Document 10, OPS 5
  10. Knowledge Management in the GEF - Technical Document 11, OPS 5
  11. Research within the GEF - Proposals for Revising the Targeted Research Modality
  12. Draft STAP Key Points for PIF Screens + STAP Screen - January 2014
  13. STAP Schedule for the Assembly and Associated Events
  14. Logistics information for GEF Assembly and Associated Events

 

45th Council Meeting Dr. Rosina Bierbaum presents to the GEF Council at the 45th Meeting in November, 2013

STAP Report to the 46th Meeting of the GEF Council

The STAP Chairperson - Dr. Rosina Bierbaum - presented the STAP's Report to the 46th Meeting of the GEF Council on 26 May. The report highlights the STAP's work programme activities and products, summarizes a recent evaluation of the STAP that was conducted by the GEF's Evaluation Office (EO), and proposes operational changes to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of the STAP's contribution to the GEF's Project Cycle. To see the Chairperson's Report to Council, click here. To view the Chairperson's presentation, click here.

 

STAP Report to the 5th GEF Assembly

On 28 May, Dr. Bierbaum also presented directly to the Assembly plenary to highlight the major findings of a thematic Report to Assembly by the STAP. The presentation provided guidance for how the STAP can assist the GEF with:

  • delivering global environmental benefits in the context of sustainable development
  • improving integration and synergistic benefits between focal areas and through the pilot integrated approach programs (IAPs)
  • supporting innovation through effective knowledge management frameworks and practices

To download the Report to Assembly, click here. To view the Chairperson's presentation, click here.

 

Side Events at the Assembly

The STAP also facilitated three Side Events that were held on the margins of the Assembly. Click on the title of each event for a detailed description and programme:

 

To see a schedule of the STAP's involvement in the GEF Assembly and Associated Events, click here.

To see Logistics information for the GEF Assembly and Associated Events, click here.

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Green Chemistry and Bio-based Chemicals Workshop

greenchemistry[O]n March 19 2013, the GEF and the STAP co-organized a workshop to explore the technologies, business models, and the potential for future GEF projects and programs in the area of green chemistry and bio-based chemicals. “Green chemistry, also known as sustainable chemistry, is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances. Green chemistry applies across the life cycle of a chemical product, including its design, manufacture, and use.” (US EPA definition). Many of green chemistry developments utilize the principle of “cradle to cradle” and avoid waste generation “benign by design”. Green chemistry field is dynamic and accelerating area for innovation. Some of green chemistry developments, however, if commercialized and broadly adopted could have a significant potential in many industries reducing their environmental footprint. Among relevant categories of green chemistry applications are bio-based alternatives substituting fossil-based chemicals, environmentally sound approaches to water purification; biodegradable polymers including biodegradable plastics; environmentally friendly refrigerants; bio-based batteries; substitution of hazardous chemicals in consumer products including toys and electronics and many others.

More than 30 participants from the GEF family, the US government, academia, private sector, and NGOs attended the workshop. Participants discussed the benefits and challenges supporting green chemistry applications including in the GEF context. They largely agreed on several areas for potential future work in the GEF, including:

  • Promote awareness of green chemistry among recipient countries and GEF agencies as a foundation for new projects. It was proposed to ask STAP to develop a paper for the GEF Council on “what, where and how” green chemistry applications could support GEF recipient countries in protection of global commons;
  • Support projects that reduce risks of innovative green chemistry technologies and make them ready for scaling–up – to overcome “valley of death” between R&D and pilot demonstrations. Demonstrating “success” in early applications will help catalyze future investments;
  • Identify, support and promote tools such as public procurement and certification/standards (e.g., GreenScreen for Safer Chemicals, Roadmap to Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals in apparel industry, Plastics Scorecard and others) that can be expanded to GEF recipient countries;
  • Promote studies of countries and sectors that establish baselines and opportunities for green chemistry applications assessing maturity of potential “leapfrog” technologies, institutional readiness and other factors.
  • Support existing institutions and partnerships such as UNEP/UNIDO Cleaner Production Centers Programme and Green Industry Platform as important vehicles for promoting and supporting green chemistry applications;
  • Identify key cross-cutting multi-focal area green chemistry concepts that are candidates for GEF-6 and could be included in strategic documents.

Agenda for the workshop can be downloaded here along with the presentations below.

1. 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, Yale University | Green Chemistry: Environmental and health protection through innovation

2. Mark Rossi Research Fellow at the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Co-Chair
BizNGO
| Environmental & Economic Benefits of Green Chemistry (from the perspective of “downstream users”)

3. Stephen Gatto Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Myriant | Commercializing Bio-Based Chemicals

4. David Anton Chief Technology Officer, Codexis | Codexis Corporate Presentation to GEF

5. David Rodgers Senior Energy Specialist, GEF | Accessing GEF Funds | GEF Replenishment Process

6. Heinz Leuenberger Director of the Environmental Management Branch, UNIDO | Green Industries


Prepared By: Margarita Dyubanova

Washington DC | 19 March 2013

 

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Strategic Options and Priorities in Groundwater Resources

[G]roundwater is a vulnerable resource, which, if not adequately managed and controlled, is susceptible to degradation from over-use, contamination and other abuses, with consequential loss of water supplies and far-reaching long term, irreversible consequences for the environment, often with transboundary implications. The inherent social and economic characteristics of groundwater, and its close linkage and critical significance in relation to land and environmental issues, point towards the need for a precautionary, ecosystem approach to the management of groundwater.

The significance of groundwater is often insufficiently recognised in national economic development plans, and in the administration of water resources and environmental protection. The Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) was therefore asked by the GEF to provide an assessment of the state of knowledge on groundwater, which would identify the principal threats, and strategic issues. To meet this request, STAP decided to convene a workshop on strategic priorities and options in groundwater resources, and to commission a review and synthesis document.

November 2004

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STAP Meeting, June 2015

bierbaum gef council nov 14STAP's regular bi-annual meeting with GEF Agencies and other partners was held on June 1, 2015, beginning at 10 AM. The meeting took place in the main building of the World Bank, corner of H Street and 18th - Conference Room MC C2-125.

The objectives of the meeting were:

  • to help advance development and formulation of the Integrated Approach Pilots;
  • consider how best to move forward with the development and implementation of a GEF knowledge management strategy;
  • address how best to embed the concept of resilience in future GEF planning and program implementation.

On the issue of resilience, STAP presented results from its ongoing work related to assessing the resilience of socio-ecological systems in support of the Food Security IAP as well as its work to assist the Adaptation Committee of UNFCCC to monitor and evaluate the impact of climate adaptation.

The agenda below provides the detailed outline of the meeting, along with annotation and background documents (including hyperlinks).

STAP Meeting Open Session Agenda

STAP reported to the GEF Council on Wednesday morning, 3 June 2015, at 9 AM. The STAP Chair's Report and presentation to Council can be accessed at the following links.

STAP Chair's Report

STAP Chair's Presentation

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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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Workshop: Soils, Food Security and Global Environment Benefits

pic for post

[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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Climate Resilience

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

November 2010

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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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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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