Umbrella Programme for Biennial Update Report to the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Project General Information



Climate change

Climate Change


The preparation and submission of national climate reports is the most important provisions of the Convention that makes climate relevant information available to the CoP of the UNFCCC. Through National communications (NCs), a wealth of climate change related data has been generated and national capacities in producing, assessing and using this information for their policy making strengthened over time. In addition to the requirement that countries submit national communications, the Conference of the Parties at its sixteenth session (COP 16) requested developing countries to submit biennial update reports containing updates of national greenhouse gas inventories, including a national inventory report and information on mitigation actions, needs and support received. The seventeenth session of the Conference of Parties (COP 17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted guidelines for the preparation of biennial update reports by Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention (non-Annex I Parties). The biennial update reports (BURs) are expected to be submitted every two years, either as a summary of parts of their national communication in the year when national communication is submitted or as a stand-alone update report.

Even though the COP decision on biennial update reports gives additional flexibility to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDs) on preparation and submission of their  biennial update reports, most of these countries have expressed their interest to prepare biennial update reports. Active participation in these countries in biennial update reports preparation is expected to strengthen their technical, methodological, institutional capacity and define their financial needs to support efforts to reduce GHG emissions whilst pursuing their socio-economic development plans and objectives.

With more than seventy five (75) developing countries currently supported by UNEP to prepare their national climate reports under the UNFCCC, majority of them are LDCs and SIDs. This programme targets to offer financial and technical support to thirty (30) LDCs and SIDs to prepare their initial biennial update reports. The following countries will be supported under this programme: Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Burkina Faso, Comoros, Dominica, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Fiji, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Lao People's Democratic Rep, Lesotho,  Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda,  Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Saint Lucia, Uganda,  Zambia. The programme will provide guidance to national governments on utilizing already existing, and new additional reporting guidelines/processes, building on-going national and/or international processes that advance the realization of the objectives of the Convention. The proposal will adopt the ‘umbrella programme modality’ which has a very streamlined approval and fund disbursement process, with multiple benefits compared to the single-country approach. Thus, the project approval process and start-up of activities will be accelerated, and as a result, the project cycle is expedited, saving significant time to countries and minimizing delays in preparation of initial biennial update reports in these countries.

In recognition of limited expertise in LDCs and SIDs countries in climate change reporting, the programme will offer project execution support to national teams in the two phases of project implementation. The first phase of the project will entail preparation of the Project Implementation Plans (PIP) to serve as baseline for monitoring project performance, as well as guide project teams prepare BURs that meet the national planning needs and the GEF and UNFCCC reporting guidelines/standards. The PIPs will outline project institutional arrangement and time-bound detailed implementation plan for each project component, including budget allocation, technical assistance and training. The output of this phase is a detailed PIP endorsed by the national GEF and UNFCCC focal points. As project execution support, UNEP will provide the necessary templates and guidance to countries

The second phase of the project will be initiated once the PIP has been agreed upon and signed. The report prepared under this phase will provide an update to the most recent submitted NC in the following areas:

(a) Information on national circumstances and institutional arrangements relevant to the preparation of the national communications on a continuous basis;

(b) The national inventory of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removal by sinks of all greenhouse gases (GHGs) not controlled by the Montreal Protocol, including a national inventory report;

(c) Information on mitigation actions and their effects, including associated methodologies and assumptions;

(d) Constraints and gaps, and related financial, technical and capacity needs, including a description of support needed and received;

(e) Information on the level of support received to enable the preparation and submission of biennial update reports;

(f) Information on domestic measurement reporting and verification;

(g) Any other information that the non-Annex I Party considers relevant to the achievement of the objective of the Convention and suitable for inclusion in its biennial update report.

UNEP will provide project execution support in form of (a) advice to national teams on access to methodological tools and support, (b) identification of  qualified experts to support national teams prepare BUR components and (c) guidance on training materials and facilitators for national and sub-regional training workshops.  The output of this phase is a biennial update report prepared using the guidelines in Annex III of decision 2/CP.17 of the COP, by thirty countries to fulfil their convention obligation

Although the scope of assistance that will be provided will go a long way to help countries address some of the capacity constraints, they are far less than what must be provided to these countries to help them establish meaningful institutional and legal frameworks for data collection, management and archiving so that national inventories of GHG can be successfully prepared and submitted every two years. UNEP will ensure that additional financial and technical support  provided to these countries for BUR preparation will be synchronized with that of their national communications preparation process. In addition, these countries will be eligible to receive technical support under the Global Support Programme for Preparation of National Communications and Biennial Update Reports for non Annex I Parties under the UNFCCC.

Even though incremental reasoning is not applicable to this kind of project, BURs are indirectly associated with global environmental benefits as improved reporting on emissions and removals of greenhouse gases (GHGs) will enable countries assess their GHG mitigation options and elaborate programmes containing measures to mitigate climate change. Such programmes and mitigation options will provide a basis for formulating project proposals for funding and promoting development and transfer of climate change technologies. Good quality BURs and enhanced capacities of non-Annex 1 countries to report on climate change means a better response to the implementation process of the UNFCCC and its treaties. 

Preparation of biennial update reports by developing countries is a convention guidance, and is implemented on an agreed full cost basis requiring only in-kind contribution by GEF-eligible countries. The thirty national governments under this programme will make in-kind contribution of up to US$ 1,056,000 and UNEP will provide co-financing of US$ 24,000 as in-kind contribution for project management in form of office facilities, equipment, communications, processes of identification of local, regional and international consultants to assist national experts prepare components of the BUR, upon request from national executing agencies.

To ensure sustainability of the preparation of the BUR every two years, it is expected that (a) funding for preparation of the BUR from GEF or any other sources will be adequate and available (b) there will be robust national system for generating and storing data on time, (c) countries will retain capacity and capabilities of institutions that are involved (d) there will be continuous efforts in training and mainstreaming of the BURs into national processes. Apart from the facts, the BUR will also complement a number of on-going climate change activities in these countries, thereby enhancing ownership and uptake of BUR outputs in countries

Full Size Project(FSP)



Burkina Faso, Dominica, Bahrain, Haiti, Fiji, Rwanda, Antigua and Barbuda, Laos, Liberia, Lesotho, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Zambia, Equatorial Guinea, Afghanistan, Angola, Dem Rep Congo, Guyana, Guinea, St. Lucia, Madagascar, Myanmar, Cambodia, Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe, Mauritius, Malawi, Somalia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Seychelles, Uganda, Sudan, Mozambique

GEF Trust Fund

Stage Grant to UNEP Grant to other IA Co-Financing UNEP Fee Other IA Fee
$ 12,936,000.00 $ 0.00 $ 1,252,500.00 $ 1,164,240.00 $ 0.00


United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

GEF Staff



Executing Agency Category
UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme)
International NGO

Partner Category

Name Category Period
GEF Staff

Low Risk

Considering the link between the NCs and BURs preparation, the following are the most probable risks that are likely to arise during the project life span (i) the possibility of most countries producing reports that lack adequate depth and quality, (ii) the existence of weak institutional arrangements, (iii) the high turnover of project staff/ national authorities and their lack of awareness of the objectives of the project and/or programmes and (iv) poor stakeholder consultation processes in the preparation of these reports. 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 provision of 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. Countries, will be encouraged to make use of existing NCs institutional arrangements for BUR preparation so as to build on ongoing climate change reporting at national level.

Not Applicable


Fiscal Year Project activities and objectives met