Adaptation Fund


Organizational profile:

The Adaptation Fund was established to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries that are parties to the Kyoto Protocol and are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. Since 2010, the Adaptation Fund has committed more than US$ 1 billion for climate change adaptation and resilience projects and programmes, including 150 concrete, localized projects in the most vulnerable communities of developing countries around the world with38 million total beneficiaries. 

The Fund is financed in part by government and private donors, and also from a two percent share of proceeds of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) issued under the Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism projects. The Adaptation Fund (AF) finances projects that help vulnerable communities in developing countries adapt and build resilience to the effects of climate change while providing an innovative direct access modality that allows accredited national institutions in developing countries to access financing and manage projects directly.

The Adaptation Fund finances projects and programmes to fight land degradation, create smart agricultural practices and integrate adaptive measures within communities to conserve their forests and rich biodiversity.

The Fund has demonstrated its capacity to innovate by pioneering new models for accessing finance such as Direct Access and Enhanced Direct Access, new services that empower national institutions such as the Fund’s Readiness Programme, and concrete adaptation projects that directly reach, engage, empower and benefit the most vulnerable communities and social groups.

Financing Instrument: Grants, Technical assistance

Project scale: Forest-related project funding has ranged from approximately US$500,000 to US$3,600,000.

The Readiness Package Grant is available for accreditation of NIEs only, up to a maximum of US$ 150,000.

Project Formulation Assistance Grants (PFAs) can be requested up to a maximum of US$50,000 per project. Project Scale-up Grants are available up to a maximum of $100,000 per project and programme.

Technical Assistance Grants for the Environmental and Social Policy and Gender Policy (TA-ESGP) are available up to a maximum of US$25,000 per NIE. Technical Assistance Grants for the Gender Policy (TA-GP) can be provided up to a maximum of US$10,000 per NIE.

In additional to general project funding and grants to support implementing entities, the Fund's Innovation Facility supports the development and diffusion of innovative adaptation practices, tools, and technologies. This funding opportunity makes available small-grant projects, using the services of accredited national implementing entities (NIEs).  The innovation facility will provide up to US$250,000 to National Implementing Entities (NIE). 

Applicable geographical regions: Global

Eligibility Criteria: 

To apply for project and programme funding, countries must submit proposals through an accredited institution. There are three categories of accredited institutions:

  • National Implementing Entities (NIEs)
  • Regional Implementing Entities (RIEs)
  • Multilateral Implementing Entities (MIEs)

Only institutions accredited by the Adaptation Fund may receive funding for adaptation projects. After accreditation, the entity may submit project proposals aligned with national priorities for consideration by the Adaptation Fund Board.

Readiness Package Grant: All developing country Parties to the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that wish to have an NIE accredited with the Fund are eligible to receive the Readiness Package grant. The grant is available as a once off grant per NIE.

Project Formulation Grants: All accredited NIEs of the Fund are eligible to apply for a PFG grant. The PFG grant can be requested at the same time when NIEs going through the two-step approval process submit project concepts.

Project Scale-up Grants: NIEs eligible to receive Project Scale-up Grants are those entities that have tangible achievements on their project/programme with the Fund and are nearing completion as evidenced by the submission of at least two project performance reports (PPR) for projects with a life span of less than 4 years, or a mid-term evaluation/review (MTE/MTR) for projects with a life span of more than 4 years, or have completed implementation as demonstrated by the submission of the project/programme terminal evaluation report.

Application guidelines:

  1. Choose an Access ModalityEligible parties seeking financial resources from the Adaptation Fund must submit their project and programme proposals directly through accredited National, Regional, or Multilateral Implementing Entities. 
  2. Policies and GuidelinesPlease begin the proposal submission process by getting familiar with the Operational Policies and Guidelines for Parties to Access Resources from the Adaptation Fund and its annexes.
  3. The ProposalIdentify an adaptation or resilience challenge that could be addressed with support by the Adaptation Fund through a project or programme. The project or programme would need to be in accordance with priorities laid out in national strategies and plans or in Nationally Determined Contributions. Develop the proposal using the template “Request for Project/Programme Funding from Adaptation Fund” (see Project Proposal Materials). The Adaptation Fund Board requests that all proposals be written in English. While developing the proposal, please pay attention to the criteria included in the Operational Policies and Guidelines and its annexes, including the need to consult with stakeholders of the planned project or programme and to take into account environmental and social risks and gender considerations. Proposals can be submitted either using a 1-step process, directly as fully developed project/programme documents, or a 2-step process, when first a concept is submitted and following it, a fully developed proposal. Specific requirements apply to regional projects and programmes within the pilot programme for such activities.
  4. EndorsementProposals require endorsement by the Designated Authorities of the country in which the project or programme would take place.
  5. Submit the Project ProposalSubmissions for all funding windows are now accepted on a rolling basis. Once proposals are technically recommended, they will be automatically included in an upcoming Board meeting agenda.

Last updated: 24 August 2023

Publication Date
Monday, 01 March 2021
Applicable location
Climate change
Forest conservation and management
Sustainable land use
Financing opportunities