The Adaptation Fund

The Adaptation Fund, the financial mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), was created in 2001 to finance concrete adaptation projects and programs in developing countries, parties to the Kyoto Protocol, that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. Its aim is to increase resilience through concrete adaptation projects and programs, with a focus on the most vulnerable countries and communities.

A concrete adaptation project is a set of activities designed to remedy the adverse effects of climate change and the risks it poses. Adaptation projects can be carried out at local, national, regional or global level. Projects involve one-off activities with one or more collective objectives, and concrete achievements and results that are more circumscribed in scope, space and time.

An adaptation program is an approach, plan or formula designed to remedy the adverse effects of climate change, and is broader in scope than an isolated project.

The West African Development Bank was accredited by the Adaptation Fund in 2011, then re-accredited in 2016 as an accredited agency, which enjoys direct access to the organization’s resources. Moreover, the « direct access to Fund resources » procedure provided for in the Operational Policies and Procedures is undoubtedly the most important innovative feature of this financial mechanism. The Fund will finance projects and programs with the express aim of increasing the capacity to adapt to climate change. Promoters will have to show how their project contributes to developing adaptability and resilience to climate change.

Fund strategic priorities

The strategic modalities drawn up by the Fund Board do not dictate to developing countries the type of adaptation measures for which they can request financial support, or in which sectors they can intervene. There are, however, strategic criteria and priorities that can serve as a guide, and which are important in making the Fund an effective and focused instrument. To ensure coherent action and win countries’ support, projects and programs financed by the Adaptation Fund must take account of relevant national strategies, including national sustainable development and poverty reduction strategies, national communication programs and national action programs for adaptation to climate change. The parties must also take account of political and scientific guidelines such as those previously defined by the Conference of the Parties, the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the information produced by the Nairobi Work Programme on Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change. To ensure that the populations most in need benefit from adaptation measures, the Fund also requires governments to ensure that proposals submitted to it specifically take into account the particular needs of the most vulnerable communities. All proposals submitted to the Fund Board will be examined in the light of these strategic priorities.

Adaptation Fund project cycles and resource allocation

Whatever the size of the project or program, the Adaptation Fund project cycle begins with the submission of the project to the Secretariat by the chosen accredited entity. This presentation is followed by an initial selection, then project appraisal and approval.

This project cycle is designed to facilitate the preparation of project and program proposals, and thus offer a simplified approval procedure. The simplified approval procedure is applied to small projects costing less than $1 million. The Secretariat examines project and program proposals submitted to it and draws up a technical summary. The proposals are then examined by a specialized committee of the Board, before being forwarded to the Board, which decides whether or not to approve them. All proposals are posted on the Adaptation Fund website before being approved.

Countries can submit a concept note first, or submit a full project or program proposal directly. To simplify the procedure, the Adaptation Fund Board has prepared model applications and instructions for countries. Funding will be calculated on the basis of the full cost of adaptation for projects and programs designed to remedy the adverse effects of climate change, and can be granted for operations at national, regional or local level.

When examining proposals, the Board pays particular attention to the compatibility of the proposed project or program with strategic priorities; the social, economic and environmental impact of projects; their cost-effectiveness; and arrangements for monitoring, evaluating and assessing impact. The specific criteria for allocating resources to the parties are :

  • Degree of exposure ;
  • The degree of urgency and the risks of late intervention ;
  • Fair and equitable access to Fund resources ;
  • Lessons learned from project and program design and implementation ;
  • Seek regional benefits wherever possible;
  • Maximizing multi-sector and cross-sector benefits;
  • Ability to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.

Active portfolio of projects initiated by BOAD with the Adaptation Fund

Since its accreditation, the BOAD has developed its portfolio of projects in the fields of climate change, food security and natural disaster risk reduction in the countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA). For UEMOA countries with limited resources to finance such projects, the BOAD and the Adaptation Fund represent a considerable source of financing and technical expertise.

Promoting climate-smart agriculture in West Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger, Togo)

Project area :

The project will be implemented in the following regions:

  • East, Centre-East and Centre-South of Burkina Faso,
  • Méridionales de Tillabéry et Dosso in Niger,
  • of Alibori and Atakora in Benin,
  • Savane and Kara in Togo and
  • North-East, North-West and North of Ghana.

Purpose and objectives :

The aim of the project is to promote intelligent agriculture in the face of the adverse effects of climate change in five West African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger and Togo).

It aims to reduce the vulnerability of farmers and breeders to increased climatic risks. These risks hamper food security, income generation and the provision of ecosystem services in poor communities.

Climate issues to be addressed :

Storms, floods, abnormally high temperatures and variable precipitation patterns.

Adaptation Fund financing :

The total cost of the project is 14,000,000 USD or 8,093.96 M FCFA, financed entirely by the Adaptation Fund.

Project to scale up smart farming practices (PMEPAI) in eastern Guinea-Bissau

Project area :

The project area covers the Bafata and Gabu regions. It will be implemented in the northern part of these regions, namely: Sonaco, Pirada, Pitche, Gabù, Cuntoboel and Ganadu.

Purpose and objectives :

The project involves the development of irrigated plots in the lowlands to maintain agricultural production and water supplies for livestock during periods of drought.

Its overall aim is to increase the resilience of existing agricultural production systems by strengthening practices and capacities for climate-smart agriculture in the regions concerned and at institutional level.

Specific objectives :

  • Develop the technical and institutional capacities of stakeholders to cope with increased climate risk in climate change adaptation planning;
  • Improving the resilience of agricultural production systems and contributing to the intensification of productioN
  • Promote the dissemination of knowledge and lessons learned on climate-smart agriculture and adaptation planning to other regions of Guinea-Bissau and other West African countries.


Climate issues to address Drought

Cost and financing :

  • Total cost: 4,990 M FCFA.
  • The State’s contribution: 824 M FCFA.
  • BOAD grant: FCFA 50 million.

Project to strengthen agricultural resilience to climate change (PRRACC) in Niger

Project area

The project area covers the following five (05) regions and eleven (11) departments: Tchirozérine (Agadez), Loga (Dosso), Abalak, Bagaroua, Illéla, Tchintabaraden (Tahoua), Abala, Banibangou, Filingué, Ouallam (Tillabery), Niamey (Niamey) and twenty-six (26) communes.


Purpose and objectives

The project involves the development of 1,000 ha of market gardening perimeters in 1 to 5 ha units equipped with drip irrigation kits (600 ha) and Californian system (400 ha) and solar photovoltaic (PV) kits to supply energy for the irrigation system. The plan also includes infrastructure to support the processing and marketing of agricultural products, capacity-building initiatives for beneficiary populations and environmental protection.

The overall aim of the project is to contribute to sustainable food security by strengthening the resilience of agriculture to climate change in Niger, through modern irrigation techniques.

Climate issues to be addressed

In Niger, agricultural production is faced with the adverse effects of climate change, characterized by a general decline in rainfall, as well as a poor distribution of rainfall in time and space, resulting in insufficient water availability. Climate variability and change have a direct impact on food security, particularly in rural areas. On the other hand, in areas where water is available, it is difficult to access it by pumping.


In this context, the project aims to provide a sustainable solution to the problem of low agricultural production and food insecurity. It will help to build people’s resilience and prevent « maladaptation » by tackling the problem of fetching water and managing water resources.

In addition, by using the solar system to pump water instead of diesel-powered motor-driven pumps, the project is contributing to the national effort to mitigate climate change by avoiding around 2,000 tCO2eq per year.

Cost and financing

  • Total cost: 15,728 M FCFA excluding VAT; 18,559 M FCFA including VAT
  • FA financing: FCFA 4,571 M (29%)
  • BOAD financing: 10,000 M FCFA (64%)
  • BAGRI funding: 492 M FCFA (3%)

The remainder is made up of the beneficiaries’ contribution and the State’s contribution in the form of taxes.

Contacts : Focal Points and Experts

Mr Honoré D. TOE

Vice President, Environment and Climate Finance

Mr Komlanvi MOGLO

Senior Environmentalist

Focal Point FA – BOAD