Sixth Umbrella Programme for National Communication to the UNFCCC

Project General Information


Sixth Umbrella Programme


Climate change

Climate Change


1.      Pursuant to Articles 4.1 and 12 of the UNFCCC, all Parties must report on the steps they are taking or intend to undertake to implement the Convention.  The preparation and submission of national communication is the most important provisions of the Convention of making climate relevant information available to the CoP of the UNFCCC. In accordance with the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" enshrined in the Convention, the required contents of these national communications and the timetable for their submission are different for Annex I and non-Annex I Parties.  These reports include information on: sustainable development and the integration of climate change concerns into medium-and long-term national planning frameworks; inventories of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases; measures contributing to addressing climate change; research and systematic observation; climate change impacts, adaptation measures and response strategies; and education, training and public awareness. 


2.      Presently there are 153 non-Annex I Parties to the Convention, out of which 49 Parties are classified as least developed countries (LDCs) by the United Nations.  These Parties are given special consideration under the Convention on account of their limited capacity to respond to climate change and adapt to its adverse effects.


3.      As of 23rd August, 2012, one hundred and forty two (142) non-Annex I Parties had submitted their initial national communications, seventy four (74) their SNC, three (3) their TNC and one (1) Party its FNC. Most of these Parties are presently engaged and expected to finalize preparation of their NCs before December 2012, as presented in the report of the GEF to the COP on status of NCs implementation compiled by UNDP and UNEP in document   FCCC/CP/2011/7/Add.1. As these countries finalize their current round of NCs, there is concern that a funding gap may hinder the progress countries have made to consolidate the NC process.


4.      The SBI at its thirtieth session recognized the importance of the continuity of the NC preparation process. In its draft conclusions, under Agenda item 4 (c) Provision of financial and technical support of National communications from non-Annex I Parties to the Convention, the SBI “encouraged non-Annex I Parties to submit project proposals for the funding of their subsequent national communications before completion of their current national communications, in order to avoid a lack of continuity in project financing. In the same conclusions the SBI…” urged the GEF, in accordance with decision 4/CP.14, to ensure, as a top priority, that sufficient financial resources are provided to meet the agreed full costs incurred by developing country Parties in complying with their obligations under Article 12, paragraph 1, of the Convention, noting and welcoming that a number of non-Annex I Parties plan to initiate the preparation of their third or fourth national communications by the end of the fourth replenishment of the GEF.”


5.      In order to make the necessary funding provision for these countries and in alignment with GEF Policies and Procedures, the proposed new umbrella project under GEF-5 will guarantee timely access to GEF resources for twelve LDCs and SIDS that have chosen to be supported by UNEP for their NC projects. The main objective of the project is to provide financial and technical support for the preparation of National Communications (NCs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 12 non-Annex I Parties that have completed preparation of their current national communications. The proposed project will seek to strengthen the information base and institutional capacity of the national institutions involved in the development of national communications in order to integrate climate change priorities into development strategies and relevant sector programs. The project will ensure that countries not covered under the current National Communications umbrella project under GEF-4, and which seek support from UNEP will have expedited access to financial resources for their National Communications.  It will also ensure continuity in the strengthening of national capacities and institutional mechanisms for the preparation of National Communications by building on previous achievements and addressing gaps that will be identified during the national stocktaking exercise.


6.      The proposed project will consist of the two components namely:

  • Component 1: National stocktaking and stakeholder consultations
  • Component 2: Preparation of National Communication

While these two components are bottom-up and support activities at country level, UNEP will provide enhanced administrative and technical support to eligible LDC/SIDs in the course of implementing Components 1 and 2 to support realization of the programme’s objective to have the 12 LDCs and SIDS submit good quality National Communications reports to the UNFCCC, which comply with Convention reporting obligations and meet national development planning needs.


7.      Component 1: National stocktaking and stakeholder consultations: During the first phase (6 months maximum), participating countries will receive up to $20,000 for stocktaking and national consultations, in accordance with the GEF Operational Procedures, to carry out a self-assessment and prepare their project documents for their NC. The output of this phase is a detailed national workplan and project document, endorsed by the national GEF and UNFCCC focal points. The project document will be based upon a simplified format, but will include timelines, benchmarks and indicators to show how each project output is linked to capacity development for reporting to the UNFCCC. Project outputs will follow the UNFCCC Guidelines for National Communications for Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention (Decision 17/CP.8). It is expected that this phase will enhance national ownership of the NC and improve preparation of National Communications project proposals responsive to national development needs.


8.      Component 2: Preparation of National Communication: Once the project document prepared under component 1 has been agreed and signed between the country and UNEP, the enabling activity funding will be made available to the country, and the second phase (up to 3 years) of the project will commence. It is expected that preparation of NC will strengthen linkages between climate change and development priorities/planning processes and build capacities for relevant institutions to use/apply recommended tools and methodologies for quality reporting.


9.      Provision of enhanced administrative and technical support for LDCs and SIDS – (Covered by Project Management Cost): Recognizing the limited expertise in LDCs and SIDS countries and in an effort to ensure that a good quality project document is prepared in the shortest time possible during implementation of component 1, UNEP will assist Countries prepare ToRs for a national consultant to be engaged in preparing the project document and assist national governments in identifying qualified national experts to prepare reports that meet the requirements of the UNFCCC and national and sectoral planning needs.


10.  UNEP will provide the following range of administrative and technical support to the participating countries, recognizing the unique challenges faced by LDCs and SIDS in meeting their reporting obligation under the UNFCCC.  This support will be funded from the project management costs. Most LDCs and SIDs are still in need of qualified experts that are capable of preparing good quality reports that meet the requirements of the UNFCCC and national and sectoral planning needs. UNEP will assist to:

i.        Conduct search for suitable national and sub-regional/ international climate change experts (by means of advertisements, website, and roster of experts) capable of carrying out the requisite thematic assessments in the areas of GHG Inventories, Mitigation Analysis and Adaptation strategies. 

ii.      Prepare Terms of References and help in supervising performance/work outputs of local and regional consultants as well as national experts.

As a result of very high staff turnovers, a number of project managers in LDCs and SIDs are still not proficient in technical progress and financial reporting which undermines effective work delivery and consequent delays in project completion. UNEP will provide comprehensive support to country level project management teams on compliance with technical and financial reporting guidelines/standards through the development of and dissemination of guidance notes to enable countries meet their reporting obligations to GEF and UNFCCC

UNEP will support nationally funded country level and sub-regional workshops by assisting countries:

i.        Identify and appraise technical skill and expertise of trainers to ensure they deliver high quality and targeted training support

ii.      Assist in the design the course/workshop agenda and review course/workshop training materials

UNEP will assist in the development of training programmes but will not be able to attend all these workshops.

 Although the scope of assistance that will provided as outlined above will go a long way to help countries address some of the challenges they face during NCs preparations, as outlined by the Group of Experts (CGE) reports - FCCC/SBI/2011/5/Add.2 and FCCC/SBI/2011/5/Rev.1, they are far less than what must be provided to these countries to prepare national reports that can be used for planning purposes at the national, sectoral and community level to address the problems of climate change.  Additional support will therefore need to be provided through a separate request which would include amongst others the provision of technical backstopping on thematic assessments, technical review of assessment reports, and onsite visits to countries to provide hands-on-training on tools and methodologies for cross-sectoral assessments, mainstreaming of climate change issues into development plans, etc.

Full Size Project(FSP)

Global Multi Country


Bhutan, Tanzania, Mali, Bahrain, Benin, Sao Tome and Principe, Mauritius, Seychelles, Nauru, Eritrea

GEF Trust Fund

Stage Grant to UNEP Grant to other IA Co-Financing UNEP Fee Other IA Fee
$ 6,180,000.00 $ 0.00 $ 1,098,000.00 $ 618,000.00 $ 0.00


United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)



Partner Category

Name Category Period
GEF Staff

Low Risk

The NC is the only obligation of Non-Annex I Parties under the Convention. Thus the risk of countries not delivering the project outputs can be considered none or minimal. Furthermore, the majority of countries participating in the project would have already completed two NCs with only a handful of countries initiating their SNCs. Thus most countries have already established a reasonable technical and institutional basis to prepare their subsequent NCs. The main project risk, however, is related to (i) the possibility of most countries producing reports that lack adequate depth and quality, (ii) the existence of weak institutional arrangements, and (iii) poor stakeholder consultation processes that currently exist in these countries for the preparation of the NCs. The Consultative Group of Experts (CGE) reports - FCCC/SBI/2011/5/Add.2 - and FCCC/SBI/2011/5/Rev.1 - have elaborated exhaustively on the challenges faced by NA1 Parties, and especially LDCs and SIDS in their NC preparation process. These include but are not limited to the following:  Building on existing weak procedures and organizational framework for the preparation of national communications on a continuous basis  Poor archiving system for data collected in during the preparation of previous national report which makes data update very challenging.  Weak national institutional arrangements and structure which does not allow for effective information exchange, collaboration and cooperation amongst national stakeholders on one hand and other Parties to the UNFCCC on the other hand.  Inadequate incentives and difficulties in retaining staff involved in the preparation of previous or current national communications.  Lack of opportunities in accessing hands-on-training and on-the-job training in preparing various components of the national report.  Inadequate access to the most up-to-date information and tools for thematic assessments  Additionally, there is also the risk that countries may not be able adequately internalize the National Communications so that the NC could not be used as a tool for guiding national actions on climate change. To work towards mitigating these risks, UNEP will assist country teams to set-up appropriate national implementation modality, supervise implementation, and mitigate project risks to ensure effective work delivery. This will include advice on access to methodological tools, support preparations and participation of qualified facilitators/experts to provide training in country and sub-regional training workshops for country teams / experts in addition to providing comprehensive guidance to project management team on project technical and financial reporting guidelines. Upon request, UNEP will undertake a non-intrusive technical review of assessment reports, and facilitate onsite visits to countries to provide hands-on-training on tools and methodologies for cross-sectoral assessments and for mainstreaming of climate change issues into development plans, etc.

Not Applicable


Fiscal Year Project activities and objectives met

$ 0.00