GEF Council Approves Compliance Policy, Start of GEF-7 Replenishment Talks
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The 51st meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council gave the green light to start discussions on the seventh replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund (GEF-7) and approved a Work Program comprising 16 project concepts and three programmatic frameworks, with total resources amounting to US$301.91 million.

The Council approved a policy on monitoring the compliance of its 18 implementing agencies with GEF environmental and social safeguards, and gender and fiduciary standards.

It also set up an Ad Hoc Working Group to produce a draft policy on ethics and conflict of interest for Council members, following recommendations by Transparency International.

27 October 2016: The 51st meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council gave the green light to start discussions on the seventh replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund (GEF-7) and approved a Work Program comprising 16 project concepts and three programmatic frameworks, with total resources amounting to US$301.91 million. The Council also approved a policy on monitoring the compliance of its 18 implementing agencies with GEF environmental and social safeguards, and gender and fiduciary standards. Where needed, these can include a third-party review of agency compliance.

GEF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairperson, Naoko Ishii, and Carlos Raul Delgado (Mexico) served as Co-Chairs for the meetings. Among other agenda items, the Council engaged in dialogues with the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) Chair and the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO), with a view to gleaning lessons learned from GEF-6 that could guide discussions on GEF-7, due to begin in spring 2017.

The Council considered the status of the Capacity-Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) established in June 2016 in accordance with UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Decision 1/CP.21, and reviewed draft memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and Minamata Convention on Mercury, for which GEF serves as a financial mechanism. The Council discussed work on an update of the GEF’s Public Involvement Policy, GEF-6 resource availability, and the Annual Portfolio Monitoring Report. It also set up an Ad Hoc Working Group to produce a draft policy on ethics and conflict of interest for Council members, following recommendations by Transparency International.

The Council discussed relations with the Conventions and other international institutions, with presentations by the Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions and the Principal Coordinator of the Minamata Convention, as well as interventions from representatives of the Secretariats of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the UNCCD, relating to GEF activities in support of their respective multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs).

The Work Program includes three programmatic frameworks: the Mediterranean Sea Program (MedProgram) on integrated land and coastal waste management; Global Opportunities for Long-term Development (GOLD) of the Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) Sector to help artisan and small scale miners access resources for technologies and technical assistance that will help eliminate or reduce the use of mercury in gold processing; and China’s Protected Area System Reform (C-PAR). The Work Program contains one non-grant instrument (NGI) project committing non-grant resources to support the issuance of Blue Bonds in Seychelles to attract private sector investment, with proceeds to be used to strengthen management of fisheries and coastal conservation.

The work program approved six MFA projects, including: US$70 million for the Small Grants Program (SGP) managed by the UN Development Programme (UNDP); restoring degraded forest landscapes and promoting community-based, sustainable and integrated natural resource management in Eritrea; integrated ecosystem management program for sustainable human development in Mauritania; sustainable productive landscapes in Mexico; revitalizing oasis agro-ecosystems through a sustainable, integrated and landscape approach in Morocco; and integrated climate resilience and sustainable livelihoods in the Mekong Delta in Viet Nam.

The work program approved four standalone biodiversity projects, including one for sustainable financing of Papua New Guinea’s Protected Areas Network and another to develop value chains of medicinal plant products in Brazil. The two international waters projects approved included one on transboundary cooperation and integrated natural resources management in the Songwe River Basin in Malawi and Tanzania, and another on sustainable management of living marine resources shared by Chile and Peru. The Council approved one land degradation project on assuring land degradation neutrality of mountain landscapes in Lebanon.

During the discussion on the establishment of CBIT, Council members were told that a number of medium-sized project proposals were already submitted and efforts were underway to approve at least one of these before the UNFCCC COP 22. Members were also told there would be a pledging event at COP 22 and efforts by the GEF Secretariat to collaborate with other platforms, such as the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency and the International Partnership on Mitigation and Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV).

The 51st meeting of the GEF Council convened in Washington, DC, US, from 25-27 October 2016, at World Bank headquarters. The 21st meeting of the Council for the Least Developed Countries Fund and Special Climate Change Fund (LDCF/SCCF) convened on 27 October, and considered a progress report on the funds. The meetings were preceded by a consultation with civil society organizations (CSOs) on 24 October. [IISD RS Coverage of the GEF Council Meeting] [GEF Council Meeting Documents] [GEF Press Release on Council Meeting]


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