Applications now open for funding for South African climate change adaptation projects

Submitted by: Amanda Botes, Thursday, December 6, 2012

Proposals are currently open for South African parties to apply for funding from the Adaptation Fund: Climate Change Adaptation Fund. The Adaptation Fund, established by the parties to the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), provides finance for adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries that reduce the effects of climate change on communities, countries and sectors. The finances are derived from a percentage of all carbon credits that are issued under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).  

SANBI: The national implementing entity

The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) has been appointed as the National Implementing Entity (NIE) for the fund in South Africa, and therefore applications for funding have to made through SANBI. SANBI will be responsible for selecting and approving project proposals and disbursing funds released by the Adaptation Fund if a project is successful. SANBI will also be responsible for managing the projects.

Application Process

The diagram below shows the application process for the Adaptation Fund in South Africa. All applications must be made to SANBI by the 31 January 2013, and projects should be between 3 and 5 years in length. Up to $10 million may be available to South African projects and programmes depending on funds available. The applications will be reviewed by SANBI and recommendations made to project proponents to modify or collaborate projects. The successful applicants will receive guidance and support from SANBI to develop the concepts further into the format that is required by Adaptation Fund. SANBI will then submit the projects to the Adaptation Fund for review.   SANBI aims to submit between one and three integrated projects to the Adaptation Fund and applicants must therefore be prepared to modify their proposals and possibly collaborate with other parties.

The Adaptation Fund application process in South Africa (SANBI website).


In order to be eligible for the fund projects and programmes need to align with the results framework of the Adaptation Fund  and meet its eligibility criteria.  Projects should also meet the following criteria as identified by SANBI in their investment framework developed for South Africa:

Concrete and tangible results: Projects must support concrete adaptation actions and increase the resilience of communities to climate change. The projects should have a high impact.

Co-benefits and focus on vulnerable communities: Projects must provide economic, social and environmental co-benefits, and focus on vulnerable communities.

Linkages: Projects must align with national and local policies, plans and priorities concerning climate change, sustainable development, poverty reduction and the green economy.

Partnerships: Projects must support sustainable partnerships between government, communities and individuals. These partnerships should continue once projects are complete.

Cost-effectiveness, sustainability and replication: Projects must be able to provide justification for the funding requested and be sustainable beyond the period of funding.

Knowledge management and learning: Projects must aim to capture lessons learnt from the project with the aim of building local capacity and awareness.

The closing date for applications is the 31 January 2013. Applications must be submitted via email using the prescribed format found on the SANBI website. More information on the fund can be found on the website. Applications and queries can be sent to

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Amanda Botes