News and Updates

Planet under Pressure (PUP)

pup[T]he global gene pool, the atmosphere, the climate system and the oceans beyond national jurisdiction are major examples of global commons. Transboundary ecosystems and water catchments are examples at the regional level. Their sustainable management represents one of the toughest challenges, both for science and for governance. Through two closely interlinked sessions, we will showcase the most recent scientific thinking on global environmental benefits, in terms of their functioning, current status and trends, and then analyse how this science can best inform action to enhance the sustainability of the global commons, particularly those actions mobilized or catalyzed by the Global Environmental Facility. On the basis of the best of cutting edge science, and of failure and success cases, this session will focus on how to strengthen these pathways to face on-going and future complex socio-ecological challenges. The panel discussion will focus on two themes, outlined further below.

The science of global environmental benefits

This will focus on the latest scientific thinking on the global commons, including biodiversity, the oceans, and climate. What are the knowledge gaps, synergies, conflicts, trade-offs in relation to the global commons? What are the drivers behind them? What is the public perception of them? How action at the national jurisdiction can address the major drivers/root causes and solutions of degradation in global commons? What sort of protective measures and institutions could be envisioned that are likely to work, on the basis of previous experiences?

pup2Turning knowledge into action to sustainably manage global environmental benefits

This will focus on how the knowledge base outlined above can best inform action, in particularly that of GEF. The GEF is the world's leading source of funding in support of the global environment. Its mission includes ensuring that support channeled by it are targeted towards achieving global environment benefits, including the preservation of the climate system, the atmosphere, the waters beyond national jurisdiction and the global biodiversity. On the one hand, the best available scientific and technical knowledge and evidence-based research is essential to fully realize this mission. On the other, the results of GEF-supported projects can make an important contribution to science through the generation of data, lessons, and learning. Both pathways are essential, but require different mechanisms, which will be explored in this session.

London | March 2012

Published Date:

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:

IWC7 Roundtable: The Political Economy of Regionalism and International Waters

The Roundtable will connect the debate about the role of GEF and its projects within a regional political economy. The political economy of regions determines the behavior of individuals, markets and the public authority and is of importance for all GEF operations. The findings of the June 2013 GEF/STAP workshop held in Washington DC, hosted by the Organization of American States: ‘The Political Economy of Regionalism and International Waters’ will be presented and discussed. That workshop considered a draft Issues/Research Paper and representatives of regional organizations agreed that GEF should consider regional processes more systematically regarding project design baseline assessment, regional capacity building and principles for strengthening dialogue at regional level.

Goals and Program

Key Messages

Presentations

Jakob Granit - The Political Economy of Regionalism: The Relevance for Transboundary Waters and the Global Environment Facility

Robin Mahon - Facilitating Regional Governance Arrangements in the Wider Caribbean Region

Anya Thomas - A Single Space for Transactions in the Caribbean

Max Campos - OAS: Perspectives from a Multipurpose Regional Organization on the Environment and Overarching Goals Related to Peace Justice and Security

To find more information on this event, click here.

Published Date:

M&E Adaptation Workshop

adaptationThe Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility (STAP/GEF) and the Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation (PROVIA) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) are undertaking a joint activity that will inform the scientific basis for measuring, monitoring and evaluating climate change adaptation. Most of the existing frameworks have been developed from the perspective of project level M&E. However, with increased attention on mainstreaming adaptation into medium to long-term development activities, as reflected in the growing importance of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) related activities, focus is gradually shifting to programmatic, institutional and systemic interventions that emphasize the creation of policy frameworks and enabling environments. A set of papers have been commissioned on this topic and a workshop was held in Mumbai, India, January 22-24, 2015 to spur fresh thinking with regard to the larger issue of developing measuring, monitoring & evaluating systems at programmatic and national levels.

The workshop summary is available here.

Published Date:

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

DOWNLOAD Analysis

Published Date:

Side Event CBD SBSTTA 16

In collaboration with the Secretariat of Convention on Biological Diversity and other partners, STAP organized two side events at the 16th Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (CBD SBSTTA 16) of the CBD in Montreal, Canada on May 2nd and 3rd 2012. The information submitted by the STAP to the CBD SBSTTA-16 and discussed at both events informed participants at the meeting and was used to develop specific SBSTTA-16 recommendations to the Conference of the Parties to CBD (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/L.15 and UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/L.16).

The first event entitled “Marine Spatial Planning and Management using the Ecosystem Approach: From Principles to Practice” was organized in collaboration with UNEP, The Nature Conservancy, and IOC-UNESCO. Side event responded to the request of the CBD Secretariat and the CBD Decision X/29, paragraph 75:

“To compile and synthesize available information in collaboration with Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations on their experiences and use of marine spatial planning, in particular on ecological, economic, social, cultural and other principles used to guide such planning and the use of area-based management tools.”

STAP in collaboration with partners prepared a report that synthesizes available information on the scope of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) activities around the world, lessons learned about the utility of spatial planning and management processes and tools, and criteria for successful use of MSP at various scales. This report explores spatial management as an effective contribution to protecting marine and coastal biodiversity while at the same time addressing human needs, concentrating especially on valuable ecosystem services in coasts, estuaries and deltas, near-shore environments, and open oceans. The report reviews conventional planning processes, identifies innovative new tools, and discusses the potential MSP has -- as yet not fully realized -- in aligning conservation and development interests while protecting vital ecosystems, the services they deliver, and the biodiversity they support. The draft report was made available as information document to the participants at the 16th meeting of Subsidiary Body of Scientific, Technological and Technical Advice (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/INF/18).

The side event presented findings of the report and initiated a discussion on the necessary strategies and activities to build on the successes of MSP around the world focusing on the following three issues:

  1. Overview of theory and practice of designing and implementing MSP;
  2. Barriers and lessons learned in MSP applications throughout the world;
  3. Implications for the CBD.

Prepared By: Lev Neretin
Montreal | May 2012

Published Date:

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:

Recruitment: Biodiversity & Chemical Panel Members

Find this posting in Spanish and French.

Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP)
Of the Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Recruitment of 2 STAP Panel Members

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is the world’s largest funding mechanism addressing global environmental challenges in biodiversity conservation, climate change, international waters, safe management of chemicals, and land degradation. The Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility is currently accepting applications for three positions from highly qualified candidates with outstanding academic and technical credentials, and experience in making science relevant for policy and decision-makers, in the areas of Biodiversity and Chemicals and Waste. To review the detailed Terms of Reference for each position, please click on the appropriate link.

STAP is an independent group of seven experts working together to provide objective scientific advice on policies and strategies of the GEF. The Panel implements a results oriented program of work – developed in collaboration with GEF Partners – designed to address important challenges within the GEF Program, and provide operational advice on individual GEF projects.

The successful candidate must have:
Professionalism:
1. An advanced degree, preferably a PhD in a field directly related to the position;
2. Minimum 15 years experience in scientific research with demonstrated success in applying research results to real-world issues;
3. Ability to work cross-sectorally in areas of importance related to their field of expertise;
4. Capable of bridging scientific, technological, and policy issues;
5. Demonstrated capacity to formulate scientific advice that integrates findings from relevant bio-physical sciences as well as socio-economic disciplines (e.g. economics, geography, anthropology, etc.) on policy and project/program issues.
6. Experience working in developing countries and in the context of multi-lateral environmental assistance;
7. Demonstrated ability to manage scientific research undertakings involving multiple stakeholders;
8. Excellent communication skills, orally or written.
9. Understanding of the assigned GEF focal area, its strategic objectives, and linkages with other GEF focal areas is an asset.

Leadership:
1. Extensive access to scientific networks, and demonstrated ability to engage these networks;
2. Demonstrated expertise and leadership in one of the thematic areas noted above, supported by (but not restricted to) the candidate’s peer-reviewed publication record;
3. Knowledge of the scientific processes required for the implementation of relevant conventions in developing countries for which the GEF supports.

A STAP Panel Member is expected to provide 60 to 90 days per year to the work of STAP. Remuneration is based on UN scales for senior consultants. A full description of responsibilities, and application forms, are available below.  Applications along with a cover letter should be sent to Recruitment.STAPGEF@UNEP.org, quoting the relevant vacancy reference number in the subject line of your email. All applications should be sent on or before the deadline of January 31, 2014.

UNEP is an equal opportunity employer. Preference will be given to equally qualified women candidates.

 

Application Form
Position Description - Biodiversity
Position Description - Chemical
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STAP's Climate Change Adaptation Postdoc and Kyoto University's DRC Program

VMorinIn 2012 our STAP Postdoc on Climate Change Adaptation, Veronique Morin, participated in a graduate exchange program with Kyoto University. The program was entitled "Disaster Resilient Countries (DRC)", and consisted of intensive short courses and field visits to tsunami, flood and earthquake disaster affected areas all over Japan and Thailand. Three years after completing the program, Kyoto University catches up with Veronique to see what kind of activities she is involved in at the STAP, and to reflect on how the DRC program helped her to prepare for her ongoing work.

To read Veronique's full article, please click here.

Published Date:

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.
Published Date:

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