GCF Executive Director launches maladaptation thematic brief, highlights value of integrity

  • Article type Press release
  • Publication date 12 Nov 2021

“Avoiding maladaptation should be one of our greatest priorities in the years to come, making sure that we actually do not increase the risk on people by trying to mitigate (a maladaptive climate project) ,” said Yannick Glemarec, GCF Executive Director at the formal launch of the thematic brief entitled, ‘Enhancing Integrity to Avoid Maladaptation.’

[video:https://www.youtube.com/embed/YtXmMMb9NT4/title:WATCH IT AGAIN: GCF Executive Director Yannick Glemarec opens the session to launch the thematic brief, "Enhancing Integrity to Avoid Maladaptation".]

The thematic brief provides an initial understanding of integrity risks in adaptation projects and how these risks can lead to maladaptation if left unaddressed. It also identifies potential ways forward in mitigating the possible cycle of maladaptive outcomes. The brief further strives to increase awareness of the issue and expand the discourse to diverse stakeholders.

Speaking to a hybrid audience at the GCF-GEF Pavilion and via online live stream, Glemarec posits that adaptation projects require high integrity standards allowing organisations to improve identified deficiencies. “Corruption basically makes it next to impossible for us to learn. This will be very difficult to understand, what has gone wrong and what has gone right if you have a major problem of integrity.”

In his opening remarks, Glemarec underscored the value of integrity in climate adaptation projects and that climate crisis and corruption have a lot in common. “The first thing is that both hit the poor; it hits the most vulnerable the hardest. The second thing is that both can kill a lot of people.” He adds that corruption can deter the much-needed investment from scaling up adaptation and meeting project demands, a key result recognized at COP26.

GCF Independent Integrity Unit (IIU) Head Ibrahim Pam agreed and highlighted the intersection of corruption and adaptation. “We’re concerned with the fact that there’s an increasing portfolio of adaptation projects, so we thought to focus with our partners to speak about the issues around what could result in maladaptation,” said Pam speaking on the panel.

Screen capture and photo of panelists who spoke in the session after the launch of the thematic brief. (From L to R) Rennie Valladares, Head of the Office of Integrity and Compliance, Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI); Brice Böhmer, Climate and Environmental Lead, Transparency International; Ibrahim Pam, Head of the Independent Integrity Unit, GCF; Yannick Glemarec, Executive Director, GCF; Maria-José Poddey, Head of Climate Policy Support Programme, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ); Moderator, Jyotsna Puri, Associate Vice-President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); Barbara Schreiner – Executive Director, Water Integrity Network (WIN); Coleen Vogel, Professor, University of Witwatersrand; and Host, Albert Lihalakha, Deputy Head of the Independent Integrity Unit, GCF

With the launch of the thematic brief, the IIU hopes to encourage further discourse on the emerging topic of maladaptation and be a catalyst to finding solutions and remediation while ensuring adaptation funds are used efficiently. The IIU also plans to drive the momentum by collaborating with stakeholders from governments to grassroots to ensure sustained commitment to addressing integrity gaps that may lead to maladaptation in climate projects.

The IIU developed the thematic brief in collaboration with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, Transparency International, Water Integrity Network, and the  University of Witwatersrand–Global Change Institute.

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