Adaptation Fund (AF)


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The Adaptation Fund (AF) was established at the 7th Conference of the Parties (COP7) held in Marrakesh, Morocco in 2001 and was created as a financial instrument under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol (KP) in 2016, with the entry into force of the Paris Agreement (PA), negotiations started on how to embed the AF into the new
financial architecture of the PA.

In terms of funding sources, the AF consists of a mixture of auto-generated mechanisms and voluntary contributions, mostly from developed countries. “Auto-generation” refers to funding from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
where a share of the proceeds made amounting to 2% of Certified Emission Reduction (CERs) issued for a CDM project activity is transferred to the AF. The AF has at least five innovative elements in
comparison to other financing mechanisms:

• A governing board comprised of a majority of members from developing countries;
• The option for eligible countries to have direct access to the funds;
• A relatively streamlined project cycle;
• A certain independence from donor contributions (through the levy on CDM projects);
• A strategic mandate to prioritise the needs of particularly vulnerable communities.

Over the years, the fund has allocated more than USD 462 million to increase climate resilience in 73 countries around the world. In 2017, a total sum of USD 60.3 million was approved for new projects. However, due to the low price for CERs and the increasing dependence on voluntary contributions, the funding situation of the AF has
become difficult, which may limit its potential to fund new projects in the future.

Eligibility to Receive Funding

To access the AF, Implementing Entities need to be accredited by the Adaptation Fund Accreditation Panel on suggestion of the Designated Authority of a developing country that is a party to the Kyoto Protocol, and is particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. This includes; low-lying coastal and other small island countries, and countries with climate-sensitive, mountainous ecosystems, arid and semi-arid areas, and areas susceptible to flood, drought and desertification. Thus, the AF is directly accessible by eligible countries through their accredited National Implementing Entity (NIE). If a country lacks the national institutions to serve as a NIE, it can nominate a Multilateral Implementing Entity (MIE). This will fulfil the required criteria to serve as Implementing Entities. More information on the accreditation process can be found on the website of the Adaptation Fund.

Regional Focus: The AF does not have a regional focus, but focuses on developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

Sector Focus

The Adaptation Fund only finances concrete adaptation projects and programs in developing countries. For instance, the AF is:

  • Starting to implement adaptation activities, inter alia, in the area of water resource management, land management, agriculture, health, infrastructure development, fragile ecosystems, mountainous ecosystems, and integrated coastal zone management;
  • Improving the monitoring of; diseases and vectors affected by climate change, related forecasting, and early-warning systems, and in this context, improving disease control and prevention;
  • Supporting capacity building, including institutional capacity for preventative measures, planning, preparedness and management of disasters related to climate change, including contingency planning, in particular, for droughts and floods in areas prone to extreme weather events;
  • Strengthening existing and where needed, establishing national and regional centres and informational networks for a rapid response to extreme weather events, utilizing information technology as much as possible.

Funding Conditions

Applicants are usually national government agencies. Civil society organizations can be included in the project implementation. For a NIE to become accredited, entities are required to meet the legal and fiduciary standards as listed in the Operational Guidelines.

Application Procedure

The Adaptation Fund Board considers project proposals throughout the year on a rolling basis. The proposals submitted are reviewed by a technical committee and are published on the website for public commenting before they are discussed and approved by the AF Board. The AF elaborates on the steps of the application procedure on its website.

Proposals are to be submitted via e-mail to the Adaptation Fund Board Secretariat: Ensure to include and in your communications.

The portfolio of approved projects can be viewed on an online interactive mapping portal. Furthermore, the AF website contains a lot of additional information on approved projects, project performance reports, and projects in the pipeline, which may help applicants to draft successful project applications.


Adaptation Fund Board Secretariat c/o Global Environment Facility Mail stop: MSN P-4-400 1818 H Street NW

Washington DC  20433, USA

Tel: +1 202 473-6390



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