Advice to the GEF

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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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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STAP Workshop On Small Island Developing States, Groundwater and Interlinkages

[G]roundwater is a limited resource that is subject to over-exploitation, as well as pollution from various practices relating to sanitation, waste management, and use of external inputs in land use for agriculture. Further, there are often direct linkages between quality of groundwater and wetlands and coastal resources. Groundwater resources are also sensitive to climate change, biodiversity loss, and land management.

This Report indicates that these relationships are more evident and direct, that they have clearer and shorter feedback loops, and that they take on even more significance and urgency, in the context of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Moreover, it is apparent from much of the literature relating to SIDS that the sustained development of these countries depends heavily on the protection of ecosystem services, and on integrated management of their freshwater resources.

May 2007

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STAP/UNESCO Workshop Managing the Subsurface Environment

STAP/UNESCO Workshop Managing the Subsurface Environment: Integrated Managed Aquifer Recharge

[T]he significance of groundwater, and its intrinsic social and economic characteristics, are insufficiently recognized and valued in national development plans, or in the administration of water resources and the environment. The Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) was, therefore, asked by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to identify the principal threats, and strategic issues on groundwater.

In response, STAP convened a workshop on strategic priorities and options in groundwater resources in April 2004. The workshop recognized that Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) is integral to the management and sustainability of groundwater resources. Furthermore, the workshop acknowledged that MAR technologies can help address threats to groundwater (e.g. aquifer degradation due to salinization and seawater intrusion).

The GEF, therefore, asked STAP to convene a second workshop on managing the subsurface environment, with a focus on MAR. The purpose of the workshop was to assess the effectiveness of MAR, including, and in combination with related technologies, such as water reuse, in a range of hydrogeological and environmental settings. These included: transboundary water impacts in international waters, the impacts of extreme climatic events on groundwater recharge/storage, and groundwater management for sustaining groundwater-dependent ecosystems.

May 2006

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