Adaptation Fund

Overview of the Adaptation Fund (AF)

The Adaptation Fund (AF) was established under the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The Kyoto Protocol, in Article 12.8, states, "The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Protocol shall ensure that a share of the proceeds from certified project activities is used to cover administrative expenses as well as to assist developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change to meet the costs of adaptation." This is the legal basis for the establishment of the AF.

AF started its support in 2010. Its objective is to finance concrete adaptation projects and programs in developing countries that are parties to the Kyoto Protocol and particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

The Fund is financed in part by government and private donors, and from a two percent share of the proceeds of the Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) issued under the Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism projects.

Overview of AF Funding

(1) Eligible applicants

Eligible countries: Developing countries that are parties to the Kyoto Protocol and particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

Eligible applicants: Governmental organizations in said developing countries and regional/international organizations.

(2) Area of support

Adaptation to climate change
Agriculture, Coastal Zone Management, Disaster Risk Reduction, Food Security, Forests, Multi-sector Projects, Rural Development, Urban Development, Water Management

(3) Financing windows

Small-size projects and programs: Proposals requesting up to USD 1 million

Regular projects and programs: Proposals requesting more than USD 1 million

Apply for AF Funding

Organization Summary
  • An organization to request AF support, such as a governmental organization in a developing country.
  • A proponent prepares a proposal with the Implementing Entity (IE).
Implementing Entity (IE)
Designated Authority (DA)
  • The DA is a focal point in each developing country to communicate with the AF secretariat appointed by each Party as a representative of its government.
  • The DA is responsible for the endorsement on behalf of the national government of projects and programs proposed by the IEs.
Adaptation Fund (AF)
  • The AF is supervised and managed by the Adaptation Fund Board (AFB). The AFB is composed of 16 members and 16 alternates, and holds periodic meetings throughout the year.
  • The AFB Secretariat provides research, advisory, administrative, and various other services to the Board.
  • The World Bank serves as trustee of the AF on an interim basis.
  • The Project and Programme Review Committee reviews a proposal after the secretariat screens it and before the board makes a decision.

Approval Criteria

In assessing project and program proposals, the AFB focuses on the following criteria.

No. Criteria
1 Consistency with national sustainable development strategies including where appropriate, national development plans, poverty reduction strategies, national communications, national adaptation programs of action, and other relevant instruments where they exist
2 The economic, social, and environmental benefits of the projects
3 Meeting national technical standards, where applicable
4 Cost-effectiveness of projects and programs
5 Arrangements for management including for financial and risk management
6 Arrangements for monitoring and evaluation as well as impact assessment
7 Avoiding duplication with other funding sources for adaptation for the same project activity
8 Moving toward a programmatic approach, where appropriate

Decisions on the allocation of resources of the AF shall consider the criteria outlined in the Strategic Priorities, Policies and Guidelines of the AF adopted by the CMP. Specifically:

No. Criteria
1 Level of vulnerability
2 Level of urgency and risks arising from delays
3 Ensuring access to the fund in a balanced and equitable manner
4 Capturing lessons learned in project and program design and implementation
5 Securing regional co-benefits to the extent possible, where applicable
6 Maximizing multi-sectoral or cross-sectoral benefits
7 Adaptive capacity to the adverse effects of climate change


Approved Project List


  • Operational Policies and Guidelines for Parties to Access Resources from the Adaptation Fund (Amended in October 2017)
  • The website of Adaptation Fund

Approved AF projects list