Advisory Documents

Delivering Multiple Benefits through the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste

The GEF's chemicals and waste focal area's objectives are strongly interlinked with those of other focal areas. The production, use, and management of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), mercury, ozone-depleting substances (ODS) are major drivers of biodiversity loss, climate change, land degradation, and impact on international waters. Chemicals and waste are also interlinked with socio-economic issues, including human health, food security, poverty, gender equality, and economic improvements. Hence, the sound management of chemicals will deliver multiple benefits across all of GEF's focal areas; and yield other environmental benefits outside of GEF's focal areas and provide socio-economic gains. This STAP advisory report presents some of the interlinkages between the goals of the chemicals and waste focal area and those of other GEF focal areas, as well as the interactions with other environmental and socio-economic issues. It also discusses systems thinking as an approach for developing chemicals and waste projects that address interlinkages, delivers multiple benefits, and lead to transformative changes. Advice on how to effectively capture the multiple benefits from GEF chemicals and waste interventions and account for contributions towards broader chemicals and waste and sustainability objectives are also presented.

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Why behavior change matters to the GEF and what to do about it

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) seeks to address the root causes and consequences of global environmental change by transforming markets and behaviors:  unsustainable practices and behaviors are at the heart of the drivers of global environmental change, and responding to these can help to transform systems. To strengthen the GEF’s project and program design by explicitly embedding behavior change strategies, STAP developed an Advisory Document, “Why behavior change matters to the GEF and what to do about it”, based on one of the many behavior change frameworks reported in the literature. Developed by Rare, this framework has six particular strategic levers, three of these have been used traditionally - material incentives, rules and regulations, and information. Decisions are also affected by three other levers, the context in which choices are made, emotional appeals, and social influences.

STAP’s advisory document summarizes five case studies that demonstrate how these six levers can be used in various combinations to target behavior change. The case studies focus on: reducing wild meat consumption through economic incentives (Brazil); arresting land degradation by returning to traditional agricultural systems (Mexico); reducing overfishing by strengthening collaboration among fisherfolk (Indonesia); enhancing silvopastoral systems through peer-to-peer learning and payment for ecosystem services (Colombia); and reducing rhino poaching by empowering stakeholders to protect rhinos while improving local livelihoods (Namibia). Each case study describes: the behavioral challenges; targeted behaviors - what was being sought, and who should participate; interventions used; outputs and outcomes; and the knowledge and learning achieved by stakeholders.

Based on the scientific literature, and a synthesis of case studies, approaches and tools, STAP recommends that a checklist of 6 issues should be addressed, with supporting questions, in designing and implementing GEF projects. STAP’s advisory document, the literature review on behavior science, and the synthesis can be accessed through the links below.

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Technology Critical Elements

Technology critical elements (TCEs), including rare earth elements, the platinum group elements, and other relatively scarce metals, are essential for many emerging and green technologies, including renewable energy, energy security, energy storage, electronics, and urban development, and agriculture. However, the extraction of TCEs can have potentially harmful effects on ecosystems and human health when released into the environment. This STAP report provides a review of the benefits and the cost of TCEs and highlights solutions to managing their impacts. The report also presents recommendations that the GEF could consider in its investments and projects to manage the risks of TCEs and harness the opportunities it presents.

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Multi-stakeholder dialogue

The GEF is committed to enhancing integration across sectors, catalysing innovation to alter systems that degrade the global environment and leveraging multi-stakeholder coalitions to influence transformational change across scales. This Guidance Note offers advice on the principles and practices that contribute to effective design and implementation of multi-stakeholder dialogue (MSD) to address GEF priorities. The primary emphasis is on the use of MSD processes to contribute to regional or global coalitions for transformational change that integrate private sector actors, including multinational corporations, industry associations and private financial institutions.

The Note uses the term MSD to refer to sustained dialogue enabling collaborative action among diverse stakeholders at multiple scales, explicitly aiming for transformational change in systems that can generate global environmental benefits. Four models of transformation found in the GEF portfolio are outlined, along with the barriers to scaling that they face. MSD can address these barriers to achieve integration across sectors, international exchange and learning, increased policy commitment, enhanced private sector engagement and financing, and –ultimately – new levels of enduring outcome and impact. The Note offers a number of core principles which have been identified by researchers and seasoned practitioners to inform good practice.



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Harnessing Blockchain Technology for the Delivery of Global Environmental Benefits

Blockchain has been identified as a technology that can be used to address several sustainable development challenges, including for solving environmental challenges. STAP's paper on Novel Entities identified it as an important technology that can be beneficial to the work of the GEF. In this paper, STAP explores further how blockchain can contribute to achieving the objectives of the focal areas and Impact Programs of the GEF. The paper is based on a review of the relevant literature, and a STAP workshop that brought together experts on the environmental applictation of blockchain and members of the GEF Partnership. The paper explains what blockchain is and how blockchain could be used to deliver environmental benefits - particularly for the GEF. It also points out some of the challenges and barriers to using the technology and concludes with recommendations to the GEF.



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Theory of Change Primer

This primer provides a synthesis of guidance specifically aimed at carrying out Theory of Change in processes in a GEF context. The document is part of a growing suite of STAP documents intended to support the design of interventions within GEF's goal to apply leading practices to deliver transformational change. The primer provides a brief overview of the origin of Theory of Change; defines what is a Theory of Change; explains why developing and carrying out a Theory of Changes is necessary; describes when to do a Theory of Change; and, provides a succinct guide on how to do a Theory of Change. The primer also makes a distinction between Theory of Changes for projects and programs - given their distinct cycles. In addition, the document provides, examples of Theory of Change, and sources of further information. The primer is accompanied by a short literature review and annotated bibliography. The primer and its supplement are listed below.

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Guidelines for Land Degradation Neutrality

In 2015 the UNCCD introduced the new concept of Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN), which was later adopted as a target of Goal 15 of the SDGs, Life on Land: 120 countries have committed to pursue voluntary LDN targets.

The objectives of LDN are to: maintain or improve the sustainable delivery of ecosystem services; maintain or improve productivity, in order to enhance food security; increase resilience of the land and populations dependent on the land; seek synergies with other social, economic and environmental objectives; and reinforce responsible and inclusive governance of land.

The fundamental aim of LDN is to preserve the land resource base, by ensuring no net loss of healthy and productive land, at national level. This goal is to be achieved through a combination of measures that avoid, reduce and reverse land degradation. Achieving LDN requires estimating the likely cumulative impacts of land use and land management decisions, and counterbalancing anticipated losses through strategically-planned rehabilitation or restoration of degraded land, within the same land type.

These guidelines offer practical help to those developing projects which contribute to Land Degradation Neutrality.

Each of the five modules presents key concepts, principles, and practical steps for implementation.

The complete guidelines were presented in September 2019 at the UNCCD COP 14 in Delhi.

The link to a version translated into Spanish is available below.

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STAP guidelines for screening GEF projects

The screening guidelines for GEF projects were developed by STAP, and follow the structure of the GEF’s Project Identification Form (PIF).  The guidelines answer the question, “what does STAP look for when it screens projects?”, and provide prompts for project proponents to address scientific and technical issues that are important for designing projects. For example, the guidelines assist with the problem analysis, and help develop an impact pathway (theory of change) to achieve the project objective. To help plan for change in the project’s social-ecological system, the guidelines assist with developing intervention options and alternative pathways to deal with the change required (incremental or transformational change) to achieve resilience.

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A Conceptual Framework for Governing and Managing Key Flows in a Source-to-Sea Continuum

This Advisory Document from the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) takes stock of a range of earlier GEF IW investments and concludes that existing governance and management arrangements could be improved to balance the often diverse and conflicting water management objectives, stakeholder priorities, and institutional arrangements of connected systems in the source-to-sea continuum. This proposed source-to-sea framework considers the interconnected social, ecological, and economic systems in a comprehensive manner, from the land area that is drained by a river system to the coastal area to the open ocean it flows into. It offers a way to consolidate analysis, planning, policy-making, and decision-making across sectors and scales. STAP presents in this paper a conceptual framework that can support the design and implementation of GEF projects addressing inter-connected upstream and downstream water systems by identifying several key flows that must be managed across the source-to-sea continuum and geographies.

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Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Practice

The challenges confronting the conservation of the planet’s richness of life threaten to overwhelm our collective efforts to limit species loss and degradation of ecosystems and the services that they deliver. The foundation of biodiversity conservation for well over a century have been protected areas (PAs). While successful, they are increasingly vulnerable to land use changes taking place around them.  In response to these trends, conservationists and international organizations have developed and actively supported a new biodiversity conservation paradigm: biodiversity mainstreaming. It is the process of embedding biodiversity considerations into policies, strategies and practices of key public and private actors to promote conservation and sustainable use of natural resources beyond PA boundaries.  This STAP Advisory Document on Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Practice reports on the outcome of two workshops on this issue that took place in Cape Town, South Africa in 2004 and 2013.  In 2004, the objective was to review the concept of biodiversity mainstreaming, to promote best practices in GEF projects focused on production landscapes and seascapes, and to assess the effectiveness of such interventions. In 2013, the objective was to assess lessons learned following investments totaling over US$ 1.6 billion made since 2003 by the GEF in over 300 mainstreaming projects in 135 countries.  Case studies and perspectives on mainstreaming are also included. The report concludes that while progress has been made to mainstream biodiversity into broader policy and practice areas, it is clear that greater care needs to be brought to the design, implementation, and assessment of mainstreaming projects to inform and improve future efforts. Publication Date:  April 2014 Authors: Brian J. Huntley, Kent H. Redford. DOWNLOAD

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