The Adaptation Fund has announced the launch of a new US$ 10 million pilot innovation programme during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid. The new programme will foster innovation for adaptation in developing countries, while targeting a broad range of potential finance recipients, including non-governmental organizations, community groups, young innovators and the private sector.
Two of the Adaptation Fund’s accredited multilateral implementing entities, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), will each receive US$5 million to administer and aggregate about 45 small grants (up to US$ 250,000 each). UNEP will also work in conjunction with the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), which is the operational arm of the UNFCCC Technology Mechanism.
The programme adds a new financing opportunity for the most climate-vulnerable communities under the Adaptation Fund’s overall Innovation Facility, which includes a recently launched separate innovation grant funding window that is available to accredited national implementing entities (NIEs).
The Adaptation Fund also recently launched new grant funding windows to accelerate project scale-ups and disseminate knowledge of effective adaptation actions — which are available to NIEs.
“Innovation is one of the three strategic pillars of the Adaptation Fund, alongside Action and Learning and Sharing, and these new funding windows will help foster innovative and effective adaptation practices and tools on the ground to help accelerate the response to climate change,” said Ms. Sylviane Bilgischer, Chair of the Adaptation Fund Board.
The Adaptation Fund’s Board recently awarded its first two innovation grants to NIEs in Armenia and Chile. The Armenia grant through the Fund’s NIE, the Environmental Project Implementation Unit of the Ministry of Nature Protection (EPIU), is aimed at engaging future leaders through a digital education module for youth on adaptation challenges and crowd-sourced solutions, while the Chile grant, to be implemented by its NIE, the Agencia Chilena de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarrollo (AGCID), targets improving water access in emergency situations in a vulnerable province of Valparaiso.
“It will be key to strengthening the country’s urban adaptation strategies. The project focuses on improving safe access and will favor a particularly vulnerable group, exposed to drought and difficulty of water delivery through the promotion of innovation,” said Ms. Violeta Leiva Milanca, AGCID program manager.
The Adaptation Fund’s NIE in Rwanda, the Ministry of Environment, was also recently awarded a new project scale-up grant to reduce climate change vulnerability in northwest Rwanda.
Meanwhile, the new innovation programme will provide special financing opportunities to support innovation for adaptation in developing countries that do not yet have NIEs, as well as the private sector. UNDP and UNEP will act as small grant aggregators for innovation, making grants available to a broad scope of stakeholders on a competitive basis.
“Investments in nature to boost climate adaptation are among the most cost-effective investments a nation can make. Adaptation innovation is therefore not only about avoiding future losses but also generating positive economic gains, and the Adaptation Fund and our partners are leading the way in making this case,” said Tim Christophersen, Head of the Climate Branch at UNEP.
“Adaptation solutions are instrumental to building resilient, sustainable societies, yet adaptation innovators, including youth, often struggle to find the necessary support to incubate and scale up such solutions. The CTCN is therefore pleased to build upon our existing collaboration with the Adaptation Fund to administer their new innovation small-grants programme,” said Dr. Rose Mwebaza, Director of the Climate Technology Centre & Network (CTCN).
With a portfolio of 100 concrete adaptation projects, the Adaptation Fund has generated results in strengthened resilience of beneficiaries on the ground, but also a body of experience in adaptation. With this, the ground is ripe for exploring ways in which innovative adaptive technologies, techniques and practices can be encouraged and accelerated.
The event at COP25 focused on the importance of innovation in adaptation, and ways in which it can be further facilitated and accelerated, as well as the importance of youth engagement in projects.