What is the NIE to the Adaptation Fund?

People will have to find ways to adapt to life in a world where weather patterns are less predictable, and more turbulent. For poorer and vulnerable communities, this kind of 'adaptation' will often call for locally-appropriate development projects, and funding support to allow them to happen.

The Adaptation Fund is a United Nations initiative. It is geared towards financing projects that have concrete, on-the-ground benefits that will help communities deal with the fallout of climate change.

Each country that receives money from the Adaptation Fund must have an accredited 'Implementing Entity' to design and roll out these projects. In South Africa, this job has been given to SANBI. Appointing a national institution like SANBI to take on this role is important, because it encourages country ownership and ensures that projects are aligned with national development priorities.

The Adaptation Fund has made a total budget of about R109 m (US$10 m) available to South Africa for the following two projects, over the next five years:

  • 'Building resilience in the Greater uMngeni Catchment, South Africa', which will be implemented in the uMgungundlovu District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.
  • 'Taking adaptation to the ground: a small grants facility for enabling local level responses to climate change in South Africa', which will be implemented in the Mopani and Namakwa districts in the Limpopo and Northern Cape provinces.

These pilot projects will produce tangible benefits for communities, and the lessons learned here will help with rolling out other adaptation projects in the future, across the region or even internationally.

Further information is available on:

  • NIE Secretariat and Governance
  • NIE Investment Framework
  • NIE Grievance Procedures
  • NIE Proposal Selection and Development Processes
  • NIE projects
  • Monitoring and Evaluation 

Money for Adaptation

NIE Secretariat and Governance

NIE Secretariat

SANBI was accredited as South Africa's National Implementing Entity to the Adaptation Fund in 2011.

The NIE Secretariat is housed within SANBI's Climate Change Adaptation Directorate. The operations of the NIE Secretariat are governed by SANBI's policies and procedures.

NIE Steering Committee

The NIE Steering Committee provides an oversight function for the NIE.

The objectives of the NIE Steering Committee are as follows:

  • Support SANBI to ensure overall compliance with the spirit, policies and procedures of the Adaptation Fund.
  • Support the NIE to build a co-ordinated adaptation response that delivers tangible outcomes.
  • Guide the development of and endorse the NIE investment strategy, ensuring optimal linkages with the policy environment and that projects are driven by country needs.
  • Set up and oversee the project review process, including guiding the development of terms of reference for reviewers, setting up the review panel, and considering the recommendations of reviewers.
  • Endorse projects for submission to the Adaptation Fund, ensuring appropriate linkages with Adaptation Fund criteria and facilitating appropriate consultation with and, where necessary, endorsement from relevant spheres of government. From time to time this may involve promoting agreement on the roles of relevant institutions in implementing Adaptation Fund projects and facilitate the resolution of disputes among project partners.
  • Promote co-operation between relevant South African Institutions and funding agencies to enhance synergy and avoid duplication between adaptation efforts, to leverage additional resources where appropriate, and to support information management and flows between and feedback between the NIE and the National Climate Change Committee and Inter-Governmental Committee on Climate Change and contribute towards climate finance and climate change adaptation policy development.

Steering Committee Composition

The NIE Steering Committee is Chaired by the CEO of SANBI. The Chief Director of Climate Change Adaptation in DEA is the Deputy Chair.

The Steering Committee comprises mandated individuals from the following institutions and networks:

Members are expected to provide support to the NIE, attend Steering Committee Meetings, and to contribute to the agenda and discussions.

Meetings of the NIE Steering Committee

The NIE Steering Committee meets according to an agreed schedule that responds to the programmatic needs of the NIE and at least twice yearly. The NIE secretariat provides logistical and administrative support to Steering Committee meetings.

NIE Investment Framework

The NIE, with input from stakeholders provided through a workshop held in October 2012 has developed an Investment Framework to guide its operations. The framework has a focus on the principles of:

  • Demonstrating concrete and tangible results.
  • Generating co-benefits with a focus on vulnerable communities.
  • Establishing linkages with existing policies and initiatives.
  • Developing partnerships between government, communities and individuals.
  • Ensuring cost-effectiveness, sustainability and allowing for replication.
  • A focus on including elements of knowledge management and learning.

These principles are aligned with those of the Adaptation Fund.

NIE Grievance Procedures

Any objections that stakeholders wish to raise in respect of the work of the NIE should first be raised with the NIE Secretariat. If not resolved at this level, these could be forwarded to the NIE Steering Committee, via the Chair. Should the matter still not be resolved, objections should be sent to the Director General of the Department of Environmental Affairs for final arbitration and resolution.

NIE Proposal Selection and Development Processes

The NIE issued a call for concept proposals in November 2012, as outlined in Project Concept Application Process. In response to this call, over 70 diverse proposals were received. With support of the NIE Steering Committee and an associated task team, these proposals 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, and both concepts were endorsed for further development in July 2013.

A comprehensive 15 month project development process followed. This included numerous site visits to the project implementation areas to meet and form relationships with local stakeholders. These stakeholders included government and non-government project partners, academics, local and traditional authorities and members of vulnerable communities. Stakeholder feedback, together with the underlying principles of the Adaptation Fund and NIE, was used to guide the development of the project proposals to ensure that they addressed local needs and climate change vulnerabilities. This process culminated in both NIE projects being submitted as fully developed proposals and approved by the Adaptation Fund on 10 October 2014.

The lessons learned from the project development process will be captured in case studies, which are in the process of being finalised.

Monitoring and Evaluation

One of the main objectives of the NIE is to draw lessons and experiences from the NIE project development and implementation processes. This will support Climate Change Adaptation planning, decision making and monitoring and evaluation with a view to enhancing the benefits of adaptation responses both nationally and internationally. This process will be supported by both the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and SANBI.

In support of this, the NIE has commissioned independent case studies on the project development process, and will be working closely with DEA's Monitoring and Evaluation team to develop appropriate Climate Change Adaptation indicators. 

Last updated on 31 May 2016
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