Green Climate Fund

21st GCF Board meeting, October 2018

Guatemala: Building livelihood resilience to climate change in the upper basins of Guatemala’s highlands, $37.7 million. Three result areas: 1) Integrated climate-smart watershed management adapted to the local context of the Highlands. The main activities in this component are: i) Improved local capacities for climate action and watershed management and ii) Government forestry and agroforestry incentives supporting water recharge and productivity; 2) Community – led watershed management systems promoted through grant facilities. This result is oriented toward community-led implementation of climate actions in priority areas through funding from the grant; and has two main activities; i) Awarding and implementation of medium grants for second level CBOs and ii) Awarding and implementation of small grants for grassroots organizations; 3) Climate related information provided to farmers and target stakeholders. This result will improve multi-level and multi-stakeholder access to climate information that enhances agricultural and water management practices and programs. Main activities are i) Strengthened meteorological and hydrological information systems through investment in equipment for data collection, modeling, forecasting, and archiving, and ii) Design and implement a participatory early warning system for agricultural practices and water management.

Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria: Programme for Integrated Development and Adaptation to Climate Change in the Niger Basin (PIDACC/NB), $209.9 million. GCF-related outcomes include improvements in management, restoration and protection of natural habitats from climate variability and change; generation and use of climate information in decision-making; adaptive capacity and reduced exposure to climate risks; awareness of climate threats and risk reduction processes; and management of land or forest areas contributing to emissions reductions.

El Salvador: Upscaling climate resilience measures in the dry corridor agroecosystems of El Salvador (RECLIMA), $127.7 million. The project aims to improve the resilience of vulnerable family farmers to climate change through an integrated landscape approach, featuring: the promotion of practical on-farm measures for increasing the resilience of agricultural production systems (which form the principal bases of livelihood support systems); the introduction of household and community level systems for ensuring water supply through rainwater capture and storage; the maintenance of flows of environmental services of importance for livelihoods and agriculture, through improvements to production systems on-farm and the restoration and conservation of degraded ecosystems off farm.

India: Enhancing climate resilience of India’s coastal communities, $130.3 million. The proposed project supports the Government of India to enhance the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities to climate change through ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA). The project combines GCF grant finance with significant leveraged co-finance to shift the paradigm towards a new approach integrating ecosystem-centred and community-based approaches to adaptation into coastal management and planning by the public sector, the private sector and civil society. This will be achieved through investing in ecological infrastructure to buffer against climate-induced hazards, especially storm surges, supporting climate-resilient coastal livelihoods, and enhancing climate-risk informed cross-sectoral planning and governance of the coastal zone. The project objective is to enhance the resilience of the lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable populations, particularly women, in the coastal areas of India to climate change and extreme events, using an ecosystem-centred and community-based approach.

19th GCF Board meeting, March 2018

Tajikistan: Building climate resilience of vulnerable and food insecure communities through capacity strengthening and livelihood diversification in mountainous regions of Tajikistan, $10 million. This initiative will introduce adaption measures to address climate change effects leading to declines in agricultural yields, increases in food prices and reduced agricultural wages. It will focus on the most vulnerable and food insecure communities in the Rasht valley, Khatlon and Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) regions. It will include an integrated approach to provide climate information services, capacity building, sustainable water management and resilient agriculture and forestry.

Rwanda: Strengthening climate resilience of rural communities in Northern Rwanda (SCRNRP), $33.2 million. This project will focus on increasing the climate resilience of vulnerable communities in nine sectors of Rwanda's Gicumbi District. It will restore and enhance ecosystems in degraded watersheds and increase the capacity of communities to sustainably manage forest resources. It will follow an integrated landscape management model.

Paraguay: Poverty, Reforestation, Energy and Climate Change Project (PROEZA), $90.3 million. Environmental conditional cash transfers (E-CCT) will be provided in exchange for community-based climate-sensitive agroforestry. This will serve as a bridge until new farming models are financially sustainable. Credit will be made available to establish productive forest plantations for bioenergy, timber and silvo-pastoral production (combining forestry with livestock grazing). Capacity building will support good governance and law enforcement.

18th GCF Board meeting, October 2017

Bhutan: Bhutan for Life, $118.3 million. Bhutan for Life will support improved management of the country’s PAs, providing time and resources for the government to secure long-term revenues to maintain the improvements. Activities under the programme will increase forestry and land use climate mitigation, and support ecosystem-based adaptation to improve natural resource management and livelihoods, and enhance biodiversity.

Colombia: Scaling Up Climate Resilient Water Management Practices for Vulnerable Communities in La Mojana, $117.2 million. caling up climate resilient integrated water resource management practices will tackle barriers derived from climate change through a number of activities. Systemized knowledge management of the impacts of climate change on water management will enable better planning. Water resource infrastructure and ecosystem restoration will be promoted. Early Warning Systems for climate resilience will be improved. Finally, rural livelihoods will be enhanced through climate resilient agro-ecosystems.

Senegal: Building the Climate Resilience of Food-insecure Smallholder Farmers through Integrated Management of Climate Risks (the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative), $10 million. Risk-reduction activities such as water and soil conservation measures, increased water availability, livelihood diversification and training on climate-resilient practices will be undertaken. These activities will be complemented by risk transfer through a weather index insurance programme that will transfer risk to the international market and provide farmers with compensation in case of climate shocks. The government of Senegal will contribute half the cost of the insurance premium to enrolling households. Other activities to increase resilience will include creating risk reserves to provide farmers with the ability to save for greater sustainability, and facilitating the use of surplus production as collateral for loans to unlock credit for investment.

15th GCF Board meeting, December 2016

Uganda: Building Resilient Communities, Wetlands Ecosystems and Associated Catchments in Uganda, $44.3 million. This project will help Uganda: Restore critical wetlands to improve ecosystem services - such as replenishing ground water, improving flood control, and enhancing the livelihoods of subsistence farming communities through fishing and agriculture; Enhancing the skills of people to diversify their livelihoods and become more resilient to climate shocks; and Improve the ability of communities in sensitive wetland areas to reduce climate risks and prepare them for climate-related disasters (including through decentralized early warning systems). This project will target south-western and eastern regions in Uganda, home to some of this Least Developed Country’s most vulnerable people - more than half of them women. While this climate initiative is based on grant financing, positive spillover effects are envisaged in the private sector as new revenue opportunities open up for people in rural areas.

14th GCF Board meeting, October 2016

Namibia: Climate Resilient Agriculture in three of the Vulnerable Extreme northern crop-growing regions (CRAVE), $10 million. CRAVE will reduce food insecurity by allowing beneficiaries to acquire abilities to adopt conservation agriculture and climate-resilient agricultural practices to produce food, as well as providing them with access to renewable energy.

Madagascar: Sustainable Landscapes in Eastern Madagascar, $69.8 million. The project model is to initially address smallholder vulnerability through non-profit activities, that will prepare the smallholding farmers to eventually access private sector investment, providing a pathway out of extreme vulnerability and dependency. This approach is aimed at overcoming the barriers to private sector investment. Funds will be leveraged through the issuing of a pioneering Green / Climate Bond with all returns and profits being re-invested to capitalise a Climate Change Trust Fund for Madagascar. This will enable continued investment in landscape-level adaptation and mitigation activities.

Morocco: Development of Argan orchards in Degraded Environment - DARED, $49.2 million. The argan forest of Morocco, covering 2.5 million hectares, is recognised by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve with a rich biodiversity. There has been a “market boom” in argan oil, and its rising demand has improved household income for local communities but generated serious pressure on the natural forest, threatening its sustainability. The forest is also threatened by the impact of climate change upon its regeneration. Morocco committed within its INDC to reduce its Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emission by 32% by 2030 through mitigation activities. Morocco intends to plant 43,000 hectares of argan tree orchards and promote arganiculture as a priority activity to reduce GHG emissions. This project will strengthen the resilience of rural communities and the arganeraie biosphere reserve through planting 10,000 ha of argan tree orchards with soil conservation and rain water harvesting capabilities. Supporting argan plantations and arganiculture will also contribute to relieve the anthropic pressure on the natural forest, and improve livelihoods of the communities by moving from a model of fruit collection from natural forests towards sustainable forest co-management.

13th GCF Board meeting, June 2016

Gambia: Large-scale Ecosystem-based Adaptation in the Gambia River Basin: developing a climate resilient, natural resource based economy, $25.5 million. Implementing Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) will both protect the environment and facilitate the development of the sustainable, natural resource-based economy to the benefit of local communities. EbA will be integrated into planning at national, district and village levels. Agricultural landscapes and degraded ecosystems including forests, mangroves and savannahs will be restored using climate-resilient tree and shrub species across an area of at least 10,000 hectares. This will be complemented by the establishment of natural resource-based businesses managed by local communities.

Tajikistan and Uzbekistan: Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program for the Aral Sea Basin (CAMP4ASB), $68.8 million. GCF’s engagement will allow support for the adoption of climate-smart rural production and landscape management investments through a regional climate investment facility. This will target the poorest and most climate-vulnerable rural communities, benefiting farmers and village in particular. The facility will strengthen climate resilience and food security. Agricultural, land and water management practices will be implemented based on local agro-ecological conditions in order to strengthen climate change resilience. Investments via the facility will be demand-driven, but will include crop diversification, water resource management, rehabilitation of degraded land, conservation agriculture, livestock production improvements, agro-products processing, energy efficiency improvements and expansion of renewable energy sources.

Tuvalu: Coastal Adaptation Project, $38.9 million. The project will build coastal resilience in three of Tuvalu’s nine inhabited islands, managing coastal inundation risks. 2,780m of high-value vulnerable coastline will be protected, reducing the impact of increasingly intensive wave action on key infrastructure. The investments will build upon existing initiatives, using a range of measures for coastal protection including eco-system initiatives, beach nourishment, concrete and rock revetments, and sea walls. National capacity for resilient coastal management will also be developed, and the project will help to catalyse additional coastal adaptation finance from other donors.

Vietnam: Improving the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities to climate change related impacts in Viet Nam, $40.5 million. In order to create storm surge buffers, 4,000 hectares of mangroves will be planted and rehabilitated, which will also create sustainable ecosystem resources to support coastal livelihoods. The project will also develop systematized climate and economic risk assessments for private and public sector application in all 28 coastal provinces of Viet Nam.

11th GCF Board meeting, November 2015

Senegal: Increasing Resilience of Ecosystems and Communities through Restoration of the Productive Bases of Salinized Lands, $8.2 million. Activities to reduce the impacts of salinization will be undertaken including the construction of small dams and artificial basins, large ponds, anti-salt works, and use of drip irrigation. Biological measures will include reforestation, protection of soils against erosion, mangrove restoration, promotion of biosaline agriculture, and use of natural phosphate, manures, and composts to improve soil fertility.

Peru: Building the Resilience of Wetlands in the Province of Datem del Marañón, Peru, $9.1 million. The project will facilitate better land-use planning and management of the region’s wetlands, while strengthening sustainable, commercial bio-businesses of non-timber forest products. It will entrust indigenous communities with the management of resources, improve their livelihoods, and empower women in the decision-making processes. The funding will support government departments in developing the land-use plan, and provide support to community-based organizations for the participation of indigenous people. The largest share of funds will support bio-businesses, including for business plans, marketing and management, equipment and supplies, and the development of solar energy for operations. The nature-based products include salted fish, smoked meat, aguaje pulp (from palm trees), and “dragon’s blood,” a croton tree resin used as an antiinflammatory and anti-viral. The project will avoid deforestation of an estimated 4,861 hectares of palm swamp and terra firma forests over a 10-year period and enhance resilience and conservation of 343,000 ha of peatlands and forest.


As a result of the Copenhagen Accord in 2009, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has been established as an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to support projects, programme, policies and other activities in developing countries related to mitigation and adaptation. The GCF has evolved rapidly to be the largest multilateral climate fund, with an initial resource mobilization of pledges amounting to US$10.3 billion for the 2015-2018 programming period.

The GCF has defined a list of the initial result areas (Annex I, page 35), and many of these areas are of direct or indirect relevance to achieving the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). These include: sustainable land use management to support mitigation and adaptation; sustainable forest management to support mitigation and adaptation including afforestation and reduction of forest degradation; REDD+ implementation; adaptation activities to reduce climate-related vulnerabilities; and related readiness and capacity building activities. Many decisions of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD have highlighted the importance of climate change mitigation and adaptation for achieving the objectives of the Convention, and have advocated ecosystem-based solutions for climate change.

National Designated Authorities (NDAs) for each developing country act as the country’s interface with the Fund, and are involved closely in all of GCF’s funding processes. National Designated Authorities must approve all GCF project activities within the country. Best Practices Guidelines for NDA/FP Selection and Establishment; Best Practices for Country Coordination and Multi-Stakeholder Engagement

The Green Climate Fund is overseen by a Board of 24 members, comprising an equal number of individuals from developing and developed countries. The Board generally meets three times a year to decide on key issues guiding GCF funding activities and policies. The GCF report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the pertinent decisions from the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties include:
  • 2011: Decision 3/CP.17: Launching the Green Climate Fund
  • 2012: Decision 6/CP.18: Report of the Green Climate Fund to the Conference of the Parties and guidance to the Green Climate Fund. And 7/CP.18: Arrangements between the Conference of the Parties and the Green Climate Fund
  • 2013: Decision 4/CP.19: Report of the Green Climate Fund to the Conference of the Parties and guidance to the Green Climate Fund. And 5/CP.19: Arrangements between the Conference of the Parties and the Green Climate Fund
  • 2014: Decision 7/CP.20: Report of the Green Climate Fund to the Conference of the Parties and guidance to the Green Climate Fund
  • 2015: Decision 7/CP.21: Report of the Green Climate Fund to the Conference of the Parties and guidance to the Green Climate Fund
  • 2016: Decision 10/CP.22: Report of the Green Climate Fund to the Conference of the Parties and guidance to the Green Climate Fund

The GCF Secretariat, headquartered in Songdo, Republic of Korea, manages day-to-day activities of the Fund.

Accredited Observers can have access to the meetings of the GCF Board. Guidelines relating to the observer participation, accreditation of observer organizations and participation of active observers, (Annex XII, page 34).

GCF projects range in level of funding (pages 62-63) from up to US$ 10 million (“micro”) to over US$ 250 million (“large). Projects are developed by national and international Accredited Entities with agreement and in close consultation with National Designated Authorities or focal points, based on the climate finance needs of individual developing countries. In addition, the GCF Private Sector Facility (PSF) engages directly with the private sector in transformational climate-sensitive investments and to leverage and crowd in additional financing.

Potential entry points for engagement with GCF activities at the national level include:

The Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme (the Readiness Programme)(GCF/B.08/10, 7 October 2014) provides up to USD 1 million per country per year for strengthening country capacity, engaging stakeholders in consultative processes, realizing direct access, providing access to finance, and mobilizing the private sector. In addition, up to USD 3 million per country is available for the formulation of national adaptation planning.

The GCF Project Preparation Facility (PPF) (Board Decision B.13/21) supports project and programme preparation, especially targeted to support national direct access entities and micro-to-small size category projects. Up to USD 1.5 million is available per request.

Both of these provide opportunities for focal points of the CBD to coordinate with GCF National Designated Authorities or focal points to facilitate due consideration of opportunities for ecosystem-based approaches to be integrated into proposals for GCF funding. Accordingly, CBD national focal may wish to engage with their GCF counterparts, as deemed relevant and appropriate in each unique national context. A list of National Designated Authorities or focal point is available here.

Through Structured dialogues, (Decision B.12/32, paragraph (j)), the GCF Secretariat has been organizing regional workshops on the development of regional hubs and on strengthening expertise in regions to support countries.

CBD decisions on climate change

Decision VII/15: Biodiversity and Climate Change
Decision VIII/30: Biodiversity and climate change: guidance to promote synergy among activities for biodiversity conservation, mitigating or adapting to climate change and combating land degradation
Decision IX/16: Biodiversity and Climate Change. A. Proposals for the integration of climate-change activities within the programmes of work of the Convention; B. Options for mutually supportive actions addressing climate change within the three Rio Conventions; C. Ocean Fertilization; D. Summary of the findings of the Global Assessment on Peatlands, Biodiversity and Climate Change
Decision X/33: Biodiversity and Climate Change
Decision XI/21: Biodiversity and climate change: integrating biodiversity considerations into climate-change related activities
Decision XI/19: Biodiversity and climate change related issues: advice on the application of relevant safeguards for biodiversity with regard to policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries; and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries
Decision XI/20: Climate-related geoengineering
Decision XII/20: Biodiversity and climate change and disaster risk reduction
Decision XIII/4: Biodiversity and climate change

Further readings

Biodiversity and Climate Change, UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/20/10, 14 February 2016
Synthesis report on experiences with ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/20/INF/2, 4 February 2016
Managing ecosystems in the context of climate change mitigation: A review of current knowledge and recommendations to support ecosystem-based mitigation actions that look beyond terrestrial forests, UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/20/INF/3, 31 March 2016
Relationships between the Aichi Targets and land-based climate mitigation, UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/20/INF/29, 18 April 2016
Guidance on enhancing positive and minimizing negative impacts on biodiversity of climate change adaptation activities, UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/20/INF/1, 1 April 2016
Voluntary guidelines to support the integration of genetic diversity into national climate change adaptation planning, UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/20/INF/4, 15 February 2016

PNAS: Natural climate solutions, Bronson W. Griscoma et al. 20 Natural climate solutions (NCS): Forests (1. Reforestation, 2. Avoided Forest Conversion, 3. Natural Forest Management, 4. Improved Plantations, 5. Avoided Woodfuel, 6. Fire Management), Agriculture and Grasslands (7. Biochar, 8. Trees in Croplands, 9. Nutrient Management, 10. Grazing - Feed, 11. Conservation Agriculture, 12. Improved Rice, 13. Grazing - Animal Management, 14. Grazing - Optimal Intensity, 15. Grazing - Legumes, 16. Avoided Grassland Conversion), Wetlands (17. Coastal Restoration, 18. Peat Restoration, 19. Avoided Peat Impacts, 20. Avoided Coastal Impacts). Forest pathways offer over two thirds of cost-effectiveNCS mitigation, Grassland and agriculture pathways offer one-fifth, and wetland pathways 14%. Supporting information appendix

G20: Fostering sustainable global growth through green finance – what role for the G20?, Kathrin Berensmann et al, G20 Insights, 12 April 2017

German Development Institute: Green Finance: Actors, Challenges and Policy Recommendations, Briefing Paper 23/2016: banks, institutional investors and international financial institutions (IFIs), as well as regulatory authorities and central banks.

UNEP: Green Finance for Developing Countries: Needs, Concerns and Innovations, UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, July 2016

IFC: Green Finance: A bottom-up approach to track existing flows, Climate Business Department, 2016. Tracking Green Finance in the Banking Sector. Bond Market and Institutional Investors.

UK: Globalising green finance: the UK as an international hub, City of London Corporation’s Green Finance Initiative, PwC. China has established standards for green bonds and environmental disclosure and now, through the green finance mechanism, may also offer government interest subsidies via refinancing and professional guarantees, set up a national green development fund, to improve investment returns; and urge local governments to include green financing into their annual task list. The European Commission is developing a “comprehensive European strategy on sustainable finance”, as well as a High Level Expert Group (HLEG) on sustainable finance to include representatives from across the sector. Japan’s Principles for Financial Action towards a Sustainable Society. The French government legislated on disclosure of climate change risks with the publication of Article 173, which is part of the 2015 Law on Energy Transition for Green Growth. It has also announced a government green bond programme to begin in early 2017. Sweden's innovation on green mortgages and municipal green financing. Bangladesh’s central bank concessionary refinancing for domestic bank green lending to promote renewable energy and environment friendly financial activity. 47 green product lines are now eligible for refinance. The US National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Insurer Climate Risk Disclosure Survey now receives responses from 90 companies across 18 states. The disclosures and their ratings are made public.

IDFC: IDFC Green Finance Mapping for 2014, International Development Finance Club, November 2015.

State of Green Finance in the UAE: The first national survey on contributions of financial institutions to Green Economy, United Arab Emirates Ministry of Environment and Water 2015

Definition of Green Finance, Dr. Nannette Lindenberg, April 2014

Designing smart green finance incentive schemes: The role of the public sector and development banks, Amal-Lee Amin, Taylor Dimsdale and Marcela Jaramillo, April 2014, prepared for the KfW Financial Sector Development Symposium 2014: “Greening the Financial Sector – From Demonstration to Scale in Green Finance”.

Green Finance: An Innovative Approach to Fostering Sustainable Economic Development and Adaptation to Climate Change, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Eschborn, September 2011.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme