News and Updates

Use of Bioindicators, Biomarkers and Analytical Methods for the Analysis of POP's in Developing Countries

[T]he GEF asked the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) for a review of cost-effective and accurate methods available for determining the presence and levels of POPs in the environment in developing countries with special emphasis on the use of bioindicators and biomarkers.

May 2004

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Published Date:

Report to the Third GEF Assembly

[T]he report reflects STAP’s important advances in its scientific understanding of the environmental and technical issues that are directly relevant to the GEF. It also identifies emerging technologies, which could play a significant role in strengthening the effectiveness of GEF activities across the world.

June 2006

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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

 

Published Date:

STAP Meeting September 2012

STAP-2012-septPost Meeting Update

[T]he STAP successfully held its biannual meeting in Washington DC, which ran across three days of closed and open sessions (19-21 September, 2012). The meetings began with a one-day closed session on19th September, 2012, at which three new STAP Members were officially inducted into the STAP process: Jakob Granit for the International Waters focal area; Annette Cowie, Land Degradation; and Anand Patwardhan, Adaptation under the Least Developed Countries Fund/Special Climate Change Fund (LDCF/SCCF). This was immediately followed by a two-day open session, from 20-21 September, 2012, during which the STAP was introduced to the vision of the new GEF CEO Dr Naoko Ishii for GEF 6, and worked with the GEF Secretariat, representatives from the Secretariats of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), GEF agencies and other experts to explore expectations for GEF 6, and brainstorm on the role and elements of work the STAP should take onboard in GEF 6 and beyond. In addition, the meeting saw presentations from agencies, experts and private sector, on critical environmental issues, as well as potential technologies and approaches that might be important in the near to mid-term. The meeting closed out with breakout sessions where each Panel Member got to work with their Focal Area Task Teams to discuss prioritization or re-adjustment of the STAP’s current work programme.

The new CEO has envisioned a far more dynamic GEF, with an emphasis on innovation and working closer with the private sector, which she is developing into a formal longer term “2020 GEF Strategy”. She expressed a desire to see further value-added by the work of the STAP, and committed to fuller STAP engagement as the GEF looks towards GEF-6.

For more details about this event please contact us.

Washington DC | 20-21 September 2012

 

Published Date:

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.

Published Date:

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.

Published Date:

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.

Published Date:

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

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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

Published Date:

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.

Published Date:

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