ECO Consult to conduct cross-country studies and trainings

Valuable steps for mainstreaming EbA into policy planning

2016-12/ Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) measures are currently piloted across the globe with promising results. Yet, the challenge remains to enable meaningful comparison between EbA and in particular 'grey' infrastructure measures. ECO Consult will now start an extensive analysis of valuation methods currently applied in the field of EbA and provide guidance on their application. Good practice from existing EbA-relevant projects will be compiled and published as 'EbA solutions'.

The tasks were mandated by GIZ's project "Mainstreaming EbA" (Mainstreaming ökosystembasierter Anpassung). The Bonn-based super-sectoral project intends to support Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) measures as they are presently promoted by a couple of donors, among them German BMUB-IKI and BMZ, in practically every ODA recipient region.

The valuation guidance as intended by GIZ could improve the ground of argument for the approach (which currently competes, among others, with 'mere' grey infrastructure interventions that operate on a rather transparent cost-benefit analysis). In the long run such a valuation guidance could foster the adoption and mainstreaming of EbA into development planning processes in partner countries.

Until autumn 2017, ECO Consult is going to assist the global project by compiling and assessing various valuation methods of EbA activities (in their economic, social and ecological dimensions). The qualitative cross-country study will reach out to projects in Latin America, the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Results will be compiled in a sourcebook. Practical trainings for selected partner organizations about the methods and e.g. in how to commission a valuation study, are to follow in summer 2017, predominantly in three of the global project's core partner countries (Mexico, Peru, South Africa, the Philippines, Vietnam).

Moreover, ECO Consult will assist the project in the compilation of replicable good practices of EbA ("EbA solutions"). ECO will support EbA projects around the globe in systematizing the evidence and in particular identifying success factors (“EbA building blocks”). The findings will later be disseminated to a broader audience through the Panorama Platform, a BMUB-initiated structured catalogue of EbA measures (cf: and by way of entries in the database of the UNFCCC Nairobi Work Programme.

ECO Consult trainings appear under new brand

Introducing SkillsLab

2016-11/ In November, ECO Consult has aligned its training and extension services under a new brand. "ECO SkillsLab" stands for integrated capacity development support, which exceeds isolated training inputs. Here, development practitioners and other stakeholders find a competent partner to build strategic and implementation capacities by way of context-specific and tailor-made support, from conception through to follow-up. Our areas of expertise cover Climate change adaptation, Ecosystem-based adaptation, Value chain development, Ecosystem services, Biodiversity and others, each based on the latest state of the art. Please refer to the corresponding new web pages that showcase our portfolio.

New NDC Partnership to channel coordinated, "tailor-made" technical assistance

IKM, capacity development, access to financing for countries

2016-11/ Germany intends to align its future climate-related funding closely with the new NDC Partnership. The "Global Partnership for Implementing Nationally Determined Contributions" was founded at COP 22 in Marrakech as a German-Moroccan initiative, jointly with the World Resources Institute. It aims to endorse implementation of the Paris Agreement on country levels via networking, enhanced coordination and focalised technical cooperation. The Partnership had won support from 40 countries and organisations. German public investment in climate-related cooperation (including the International Climate Initiative) totalled EUR 2.7 billion, in 2015.

Germany has announced to invest EUR 3 million in furnishing the NDC Partnership's Secretariat, which is to serve as a clearing house for networking and coordination. EUR 28 million will be allocated for consultancy services in partner countries, such as how to integrate CCA into budget planning and identify external financing sources for climate-related measures. Programmes for sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation will be run in parallel. BMUB's International Climate Initiative (IKI) is envisaged to specifically support reporting and an enhancement/ successive upscaling of national targets.

Ministers Hendricks and Müller announced to coordinate "a large share" of Germany's future CCP and CCA funding with the Partnership. They described the Partnership's added value as delivering "tailor-made support" for countries in three respects: (a) improved access to information and knowledge; (b) improved mutual coordination of goals related to climate protection and development; technical support and capacity building; (c) improved access to finance for NDC implementation. 

Germany adopts peak ODA increase for 2017

Minister Müller: "We need new responses in Africa"

2016-11/ Germany raises its official development commitment by 15 % for the fiscal year 2017. The new ODA budget of EUR 8.5 billion was passed in the frame of overall parliamentary budget adoptions. An additional EUR 1.2 billion, as compared to 2016, will primarily go into alleviating the refugee crisis in and around Syria and into creating livelihood perspectives for youths in Africa. Other priority areas are education and agriculture.

The new budget constitutes the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development's largest budget in its history. It is also the highest annual increase in ODA funding ever. Minister Müller commented the new figures: "It is a clear signal by Parliament that international crises cannot be solved without an intervening development policy. [...] In Africa also, we need new responses and an enhanced involvement. Here, it is specifically vocational training and agricultural extension that we will devote our efforts to."

Owing to worldwide political and refugee crises the BMZ's budget had already increased by 13.5 %, in 2016. Together with the new figures overall ODA allocations will rise by 35 percent (EUR 2.2 billion) over the full legislative period. Since the current legislative period crisis prevention and reintegration of migrants have figured as priority intervention areas, with measures such as infrastructure programmes for affected regions.

USB cards for documentation, capitalisation and proliferation of results

A handy way to advertise for projects

2016-11/ International projects regard cloud computing as a welcome tool to bridge distances and facilitate joint document review. Decentral storage of project files, reports, pictures and other prevents duplication of file hosting and can foster orientation and corporate knowledge. What has been stored in the project's lifetime however may become a liability at phasing out when servers need to be cleared, and scaling out of results – or first of all their presentation – calls for storage devices that are more overtly or, differently accessible.

In this situation project data pools (pdp) have evolved as a convenient solution. Pdps have a simply accessible site structure with a website-like design that can be saved and carried on via USB device. The site contains programmatic papers, facts and figures and photo documentation. A pdp allows projects to share central documents with selected target groups and advertise their progress in a both substantiated and handy way. ECO Consult has configurated pdp for projects in Senegal, Togo and the South Caucasus. They usually come with fitting USB cards in an attractive, officially approved design.

Company manager lost the fight against cancer

ECO Consult takes farewell from Cornelia Sepp

2016-10/ Management and staff of ECO Consult are struck by the loss of the company's honoured leader Mrs. Cornelia Sepp. The distinguished co-founder, managing director and respected senior expert passed away on October, 13th, at the age of only 62. Cornelia Sepp had presided the company for almost 25 years. Her far-sighted and perceptive leadership shaped ECO Consult's working attitude, HR recruitment policy and corporate identity. As a person of principle and with her warm-hearted personality Mrs. Sepp won the company the trust of affiliated experts.

A graduate in Tropical Forestry from Göttingen University, Cornelia Sepp was among the three founders of the company, then named ECO Consult Sozialökologische Programmberatung, in 1992. Since, she promoted and shaped ECO's business profile especially in the areas of household energy/improved stoves and M&E. Countless long-term projects owe their success to her executive backstopping and advice. Employees, friends of the company and the professional community are united in the irreplaceable loss which comes weeks before her company's 25th anniversary.

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