South African National Implementing Entity Projects Approved

Progress of the South African National Implementing Entity (NIE) to the Adaptation Fund of the UNFCCC

By Mandy Barnett (SANBI)

The Adaptation Fund was established to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries that are parties to the Kyoto Protocol and are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. Funds are accessed via implementing entities that are responsible for endorsing project and programme proposals. As part of its intention to promote direct access, the Adaptation Fund strongly promotes direct country access via National Implementing Entities.

SANBI was accredited as South Africa’s National Implementing Entity  to the Adaptation Fund in September 2011. Since accreditation, and in support of its intention to operate transparently, the NIE has consulted broadly and established a high level Steering Committee and a set of policies and procedures to guide its work.

The NIE issued a call for concept proposals in November 2012. In response to this call, over 70 diverse proposals were received. With the support of the NIE Steering Committee and an associated task team, these were subjected to a process of careful review and evaluation, and two project concepts were selected for further development. These were submitted to the Adaptation Fund for consideration at the 21st Adaptation Fund Board meeting, which was held early in July 2013. Both projects were endorsed for further development.

A comprehensive project development process followed, culminating in both projects being submitted as fully developed proposals for consideration at the 24th Adaptation Board meeting, which was held on 9 and 10 October 2014. We are delighted to report that the Adaptation Fund Board approved both South African projects.

The first approved project “Building resilience in the greater uMngeni catchment, South Africa” (US$ 7,495,055) aims to increase resilience of vulnerable communities through interventions such as early warning systems, climate smart agriculture and climate proofing settlements. This project will be led by the uMgungundlovu District Municipality.

The second approved project “Taking adaptation to the ground: a small grants facility for enabling local level responses to climate change in South Africa” (US$ 2,442,682) will develop and implement a small grant finance mechanism in the context of climate finance, to deliver direct and tangible adaptation benefits with a view to scaling up and replicating this model. This project will be led by SouthSouthNorth and Conservation South Africa, and will be implemented in the Namakwa and Mopani Districts in Northern Cape and Limpopo Provinces respectively.

There continues to be notable national and international interest in South Africa’s NIE process, and especially in its small grants facility project, which is being recognised as the Adaptation Fund’s first ‘Enhanced Direct Access’ project.

The next few months will see SANBI and the partners who will be leading the projects convening launch events and inception workshops, and preparing for project implementation, which is due to start in mid 2014.