19 November 2012
43rd GEF Council Approves Work Program with Projects/Programs Benefiting Africa
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The 43rd Meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council adopted a work program that includes 12 projects and programs that benefit African countries.

15 November 2012: The 43rd Meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council adopted a Work Program that amounts to US$174 million and benefits 63 countries. Twelve of the projects and programs approved will benefit Africa.

The Council convened in Washington, DC, US, from 13-15 November 2012, at International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters. Representatives of governments, international organizations and civil society organizations (CSOs) attended the three-day meeting, which also included the 13th meeting of the Council for the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). The meetings were preceded by consultations with CSOs on 12 November.

A keynote address by Francisco Gaetani, Vice-Minister of Environment of Brazil, helped set the stage for a discussion on the long-term vision for the GEF. Aram Harutyunyan, Minister of Nature Protection, Armenia, and Rachel Kyte, Vice President for Sustainable Development, World Bank, also contributed remarks to help frame this discussion. The Council also heard messages from two Executive Secretaries and the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP).

The Council approved decisions on: briefing on the replenishment process; relations with conventions and other international institutions; proposed framework for a financial mechanism for the future mercury convention and draft operational program for mercury; the progress report from the Director of the GEF Evaluation Office; the annual thematic evaluations report 2012 and management response; the annual impact report 2012 and management response; the annual monitoring review; streamlining of the project cycle; financial projections for GEF-5 programming options; the report of the selection and review committee; and the Work Program.

Projects and programs in the Work Program that benefit Africa include: Development of a National Network of Terrestrial and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) Representative of the Comoros’ Unique Natural Heritage and Co-managed With Local Village Communities (UN Development Programme (UNDP)); Democratic Republic of Congo Conservation Trust Fund (World Bank); Mainstreaming Biodiversity into Land Use Regulation and Management at the Municipal Scale in South Africa (UNDP); Strengthening the National Protected Areas System of Swaziland (UNDP); Enhancing the Forest Nature Reserves Network for Biodiversity Conservation in Tanzania (UNDP); Geothermal Power Generation Program in Djibouti (World Bank); Energy Efficient Production and Utilization of Charcoal through Innovative Technologies and Private Sector Involvement in Sierra Leone (UNDP); Promotion of Waste-to-Energy Applications in Agro-industries in Tanzania (UN Industrial development Organization (UNIDO)); Pesticide Risk Reduction in Malawi (UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)); Continuing Regional Support for the POPs Global Monitoring Plan under the Stockholm Convention in the Africa Region (UN Environment Programme (UNEP)); a global project on Decision Support for Mainstreaming and Scaling up of Sustainable Land Management (FAO) that will include Lesotho, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia; and an Umbrella Programme for National Communication to the UNFCCC that will include Benin, Eritrea, Mali, Mauritius, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles and Tanzania (UNEP).

The LDCF/SCCF Council convened for its 13th meeting on the afternoon of 15 November, and adopted, inter alia, a Work Program that amounts to US$28.544 million for the SCCF and US$1.87 million for the LDCF. Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden announced new contributions to the LDCF and SCCF amounting to US$80.8 million.

On Thursday afternoon, the LDCF/SCCF and GEF Councils reviewed and approved the Joint Summary of the Chairs of the respective meetings. A Council member stressed that the highlights of the meeting should indicate that the Council had expressed its appreciation to the new CEO for her efforts to engage the Council and to renew the partnership on which the GEF was built, and that the Council found the Work Program to be well balanced, with projects that were innovative and scalable. CEO Ishii stressed that the meeting had accomplished the three goals she identified at the opening of the meeting: think of the future of the GEF; begin a new way of doing business to strengthen partnerships; and ensure that resources are effectively managed. She added that the GEF 2020 visioning exercise had been a highlight for her. Ishii closed the meeting at 3:25 pm. [IISD RS coverage of the 43rd meeting of the GEF Council]

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