Advice to the GEF

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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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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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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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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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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Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage

[T]his Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel Report to the GEF Secretariat, was informed by a small expert group meeting, convened at the GEF Secretariat, during October 17-18 2007, to support the STAP in the development of its advice to the GEF Secretariat.

The Report is supported by Annex 1, containing examples of awareness and capacity building activities, and by Annex 2, which contains the proceedings of the meeting, but any discussions or recommendations made in the meeting are not endorsed by STAP as its own position.

March 2008

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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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Non-Combustion Technologies for the Destruction POPs Stockpiles

[T]he GEF is seeking to destroy obsolete stockpiles of POPs. Contaminated soils around stocks are also a challenge in many countries. Stockpiles are especially severe in Africa, in Central and Eastern Europe, and in the Newly Independent States, with 47,000 obsolete pesticide stockpiles identified in Africa alone.
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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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Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Production Landscapes

[T]he international conservation community has reason to celebrate the setting aside of over 12 percent of the Earth’s land surface for long-term protection. From minute reserves on oceanic islands to extensive mega reserves in tropical savannas and boreal forests, the protected area systems of the world have become the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation. During the past decade, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has contributed over $1.2 billion, and leveraged $3.1 billion in cofinancing, to supporting this agenda.

What we at the GEF have learned, however, is that protected areas alone cannot ensure that our goal of achieving global biodiversity benefits for the planet and its six billion people will be met. Unless we address the root causes of biodiversity loss and incorporate biodiversity conservation into all development actions—and simultaneously incorporate development goals into our conservation programs— we will not reduce, much less reverse, the current rates of biodiversity loss.

This realization has convinced the GEF Council to approve new strategies within the GEF biodiversity work program. Strategic Priority 2 seeks to “mainstream biodiversity in production landscapes and sectors.” In attempting to position mainstreaming approaches into our work program, however, we found that the concept and its application were poorly understood by many stakeholders. It was, therefore, considered appropriate to refer this topic to the GEF’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP), which was established in 1992 to provide the GEF Council with strategic advice where appropriate.

STAP’s response is presented in this volume, based on a workshop held in Cape Town, South Africa, in September 2004. The workshop brought together experts from around the globe to review the mainstreaming concept, and to develop principles and conditions for its effective application. The workshop also identified areas for GEF interventions to promote the mainstreaming of biodiversity and to propose tools to assess the effectiveness of such interventions.

November 2005

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