A Technical assistance facility managed by the international Union for Conservation of Nature

The SCF Initiative features a dedicated, grant-funded facility ($28M) for Technical Assistance (TA) that provides technical support and grant funding to stakeholders in identifying and strengthening investment proposals for the Fund. In addition to financial performance, it supports implementers in ensuring the achievement of National Determined Contributions (NDCs), SDG impacts, and Nature Based Solutions (NbS).

With the GCF’s financial support, TA is led by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in collaboration with Regions of Climate Action (R20) and Gold Standard.


The Technical Assistance combines:


  • Pipeline development (project sourcing, selection, pre-feasibility and feasibility assessment, and Environment Social Impact Assessment)
  • Capacity building aimed at boosting capacities in the pre-investment phase to design and develop investable projects and strengthen the enabling environment for sustainable finance
  • SDGs Impact Identification, Measurement, Management and Maximisation

Subnational Climate Finance Scf Fund Schema@2x

Pipeline development

Potential projects with high scalability and impact will be sourced through the R20, Pegasus Capital Advisors, and IUCN networks.

Sourcing project opportunities:

  • Run region-specific webinars to generate strong flow of potential projects
  • Maintain close interaction and relationships with project sponsors and developers to discover projects early in their development
  • Maintain close interaction and relationships with NDAs and regional authorities to learn of potential projects and facilitate political buy-in, permitting and concessions for projects
  • Partner with other DFIs, MDBs, city networks, and IOs to share pipeline of projects and combine resources

Technical support to prepare projects toward bankability:

  • Conduct pre-feasibility assessments, studies and contractual arrangements
  • Perform technical, legal or economic feasibility studies
  • Perform additional ESIA and other related ESS assessments to comply with the SCF’s Environment Social Management System

Online platform to facilitate project submission



Capacity building is primarily aimed at boosting capacities in the pre-investment phase to design and develop investable projects and ready to go through the investment decision-making process of the SCF Fund. At the same time, the initiative aims to strengthen the enabling environment for sustainable finance and the replication of successful models more broadly.

The capacity-building program implemented under SCF targets:

  • Project developers
  • Subnational authorities
  • And regional investors

It provides technical content and stimulates a community of practice in the regions where SCF operates while capturing lessons for replication and scaling up sustainable finance opportunities. Furthermore, the Initiative will support the development of the tools, resources, and best practices to help stakeholders develop bankable, investment-ready projects with a high impact on climate mitigation and high-integrity projects concerning mandatory safeguards, NbS, and other certified SDG impacts.

Capacity Needs

An initial assessment carried out through a survey among SCF partners on perceived capacity gaps and consultations with the GCF National Designated Authorities highlight the following as critical areas for capacity building interventions across all target groups:

  • Raising awareness about the potential for investing in green infrastructure and NbS in key targeted sectors,
  • Enhancing capacity in the design and delivery of investment-ready deals with high potential to address major social and environmental challenges,
  • Increasing local understanding of innovative financing instruments, blended financial instruments, Public Private Partnership (PPP), and similar,
  • Opportunities to strengthen the enabling environment for investments in green infrastructure and NbS,
  • Replication and scaling up of high-integrity, green infrastructure projects.

SDGs Impact Identification, Measurement, Management and Maximisation

Development of new approaches to support fund managers such as Pegasus identify, measure, report and maximise sustainable development impacts. Utilising 20 years of impact measurement experience Gold Standard will develop requirements that reward fund managers for best practice fund management procedures and performance. Additionally Gold Standard has been selected as the standard to define the assurance process to support IUCN implement the NBS standard.

Gold Standard supports the SCF deliver on its sustainable development strategy at every stage of the investment cycle – go/no go, feasibility, operation and exit. The process and performance required to secure gold standard fund certification will ensure that the portfolio is not “greenwashing” and that projects are held to account to deliver the best impacts that are possible. Gold Standard is working to establish an financial industry best-practice case that can be adopted by other funds and actors.