Participants of the AF’s global seminar for its National Implementing Entities held in 2018 made a field trip with Washington, D.C.’s Climate Resilience Office to adaptation sites that improve water management in vulnerable areas around the city.
Washington, D.C. (September 23, 2022) — The Adaptation Fund’s 9th Annual Global Seminar for its Accredited National Implementing Entities (NIEs) will return to an in-person format in Washington, D.C., after being held virtually the last two years during the heights of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Fund welcomes its 34 NIEs from around the world, as well as its Secretariat and the AF-Technical Evaluation Reference Group to attend the five-day meeting next week.
Participants will exchange country-level experiences with projects on the ground and accessing finance from the Fund, while the Secretariat will familiarize participants with the Fund’s emerging grant funding windows in project scale up, innovation, learning, and enhanced direct access that are available to countries, in addition to its regular concrete single-country and regional projects and related processes such as project preparation, gender and reaccreditation guidances, as well as results-based management and evaluation.
The final day of the seminar will feature a visit to an adaptation project in Montgomery County, Maryland, to learn about stream restoration using ecological techniques.
The annual seminar traditionally serves as an opportunity to engage with the Fund’s NIEs, which continue to grow and expand under its pioneering Direct Access modality that empowers country ownership in adaptation by enabling entities in countries to develop and implement projects and access funding directly from the Fund. The Fund also innovated a way several years ago for particularly small implementing entities from small island developing states and other small vulnerable countries to access climate finance through Streamlined Accreditation.
Opportunities for NIEs through the Fund have continued to grow over the past few years, as the urgency of climate change has risen. The Fund’s Board doubled the amount of single-country funding countries can access as well as the number of NIEs countries can have last year amid continuing record demand, and the Fund has been offering these additional funding windows across the themes of Action, Innovation, and Learning through its five-year Medium-Term Strategy – which the Fund will be updating later this year.
The newer grant windows are offered in addition to the Fund’s regular country and regional projects, and reflect how the Fund is continuing to evolve to offer more opportunities to countries to respond to the climate crisis, as well as continuing to build country ownership through Direct Access and its supporting readiness programmes.
The seminar will also feature presentations from several NIEs themselves on their experiences with the Fund, as well as presentations, e-trainings and videos prepared by Fund staff to review the various funding opportunities that are now in place and how to access them. It will further feature exercises and discussions in breakout groups by region conducted in English, Spanish and French.
“We have accredited several new national implementing entities over the last few years, and are excited to be able to see them as well as some familiar faces in person,” said Mikko Ollikainen, Head of the Adaptation Fund. “The Community of Practice of NIEs has really blossomed over the last years, and we see this reflected in the national capacity-building that countries have undergone through Direct Access and the results seen on the ground through effective adaptation actions taking place around the world. Direct Access is one of the hallmarks of the Fund, and these close relationships that are fostered through it really translate to concrete actions. It is also timely, with adaptation, finance and collaboration being critical themes of the upcoming COP27 UN Climate Conference in Egypt.”
“These annual global seminars and other regional NIE exchanges that happen throughout the year are a chance to show the tremendous trust that has grown between the Adaptation Fund and the participating countries, as well as the trust and collaboration taking place between countries themselves. It is a great opportunity to continue to grow and learn from one another, and ultimately enhance adaptation efforts across the field,” added Farayi Madziwa, the Fund’s Readiness Coordinator.
The Fund has been innovative and nimble in nature since being launched 15 years ago as the only fund created out of the UN system to focus specifically on concrete adaptation projects for countries that are most vulnerable to climate change. Country-driven with projects tailored to local adaptation needs, the Fund now has over 130 tangible projects and 36 million total beneficiaries — with many projects being scalable or replicable in addition to making often the first concrete adaptation impacts for vulnerable communities.