SANBI’s Green Climate Fund project development processes

In October 2016 SANBI was accredited as a Direct Access Entity of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). As an Accredited Entity, SANBI is responsible for presenting funding applications to the GCF, and then overseeing, supervising, managing and monitoring the overall GCF-approved projects and programmes. This accreditation opens up opportunities to build on experiences that SANBI has gained as South Africa’s National Implementing Entity of the Adaptation Fund and to further support South Africa’s Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation ambitions.

SANBI’s GCF Accreditation Profile

The GCF has a tiered accreditation system which classifies applicant entities based on the nature of their organizations and the intended scale, nature and risks of their proposed climate finance activities.

SANBI’s GCF Accreditation Profile is as follows:

  • Entity Type: Direct (national).
  • Size: Micro (maximum total projected costs, including the GCF contribution and co-financing, of up to USD 10 million), and Small (maximum total projected costs, including the GCF contribution and co-financing, of above USD 10 million and up to and including USD 50 million)
  • Fiduciary Standard: SANBI may manage, supervise and oversee the overall project or programme, either directly or indirectly through Executing Entities. SANBI may also disburse GCF funds as an intermediary through a competitive and transparent grant award process. SANBI is not accredited to carry out intermediate funding by providing loans, blending different instruments and resources, undertaking equity and/or providing guarantees.
  • Environmental and Social Risk Category: SANBI is accredited to manage projects with environmental and social risk levels that fall into Categories C (Activities with minimal or no adverse environmental and/or social risks and/or impacts) and B (Activities with potential mild adverse environmental and/or social risks and/or impacts that are few in number, generally site-specific, largely reversible, and readily addressed through mitigation measures). SANBI may not manage projects with potential significant adverse environmental and/or social risks and/or impacts that are diverse, irreversible, or unprecedented (Category A).

Green Climate Fund project proposal development

In 2018 SANBI issued a national call for Expressions of Interest that for that could form the basis of proposals that align with SANBI’s mandate as well as the Green Climate Fund’s project criteria. Since then, SANBI has been working with stakeholders to develop a national pipeline of project proposals for submission to the GCF. To date, it has developed and submitted three first stage proposals (Concept Notes) to the GCF as follows:

  • The first Concept Note for the project entitled ‘Scaling up ecosystem-based approaches to managing climate intensified disaster risks in vulnerable regions of South Africa’, with an anticipated grant value of USD 20 million, was submitted to and approved by the GCF Secretariat in November 2019. The proposed project will scale-up ecosystem-based approaches to buffer the impacts of climate-intensified extreme events and enhance the adaptive capacity of vulnerable communities. Full proposal development is underway.
  • The second Concept Note is for a project entitled ‘Nature-based Solutions for transforming smallholder farming systems that are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change in South Africa’, with a proposed grant value of USD 10 million. The proposed project will adopt a participatory, action learning approach using nature-based solutions to enhance the resilience of smallholder farmers in vulnerable catchments in the provinces of KwaZulu- Natal, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, and possibly Limpopo in South Africa.
  • The third Concept Note for a project entitled ‘Ecosystem-based Adaptation for Water Security in South Africa’, aims to secure and safeguard the resource base and strengthen water security in South Africa’s Strategic Water Source Areas. The project will seek USD 30 million in grant finance from the GCF. It will be led by the DFFE and the Department of Water and Sanitation.

Several additional projects are under discussion and development with other national and provincial partners.

Should you have any queries regarding SANBI’s GCF process, please direct them to: and we will do all that we can to assist

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