GEF Council Approves Over US$500 Million in Project Financing
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The GEF Council adopted a Policy on Gender Equality, a Policy on Stakeholder Engagement, and the November 2017 Work Program, which includes over US$500 million in project financing.

The Council also, inter alia, discussed an update on the seventh replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund (GEF-7), the report of the Chairperson of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP), and relations with the Conventions and other international institutions.

30 November 2017: The 53rd meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council adopted a Policy on Gender Equality, which will come into effect on 1 July 2018, as well as a new Policy on Stakeholder Engagement, for which guidelines will be developed through a consultative process that will seek to harmonize existing best practices. Council members also discussed and adopted the proposed November 2017 Work Program, which includes over US$500 million in project financing.

The meeting convened in Washington, DC, US, from 28-30 November 2017, at World Bank headquarters. Representatives of governments, international organizations, and civil society organizations (CSOs) attended the three-day meeting, which also included the 23rd meeting of the Council for the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). The meetings were preceded by a consultation with CSOs on 27 November.

Naoko Ishii, GEF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairperson, and Jane Chigiyal, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) (Council member for Cook Islands, Fiji, Indonesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, FSM, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu), served as Co-Chairs for the meetings.

The newly approved Work Program comprises: 83 full-sized projects; one programmatic approach; 101 recipient countries; 38 least developed countries (LDCs) and 28 Small Island Developing States (SIDS); and US$2.6 billion in co-financing. Single country projects include:

  • Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade and Human Wildlife Conflict in Angola;
  • Expanding Conservation Areas Reach and Effectiveness(ECARE) in Vanuatu; China Distributed Renewable Energy Scale-up Project;
  • Promoting Better Access to Modern Energy Services through Sustainable Mini-grids and Low-carbon Bioenergy Technologies Among Guinea Bissau’s Forest-dependent Communities;
  • Sustainable Management of Water Resources, Rangelands and Agropastoral Perimeters in the Cheikhetti Wadi Watershed of Djibouti;
  • Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) of Lindane in Brazil;
  • and Environmentally Sound Management and Disposal of PolyChlorinated Biphenyls[PCBS] in South Africa.

Regional projects include Economic Growth and Water Security in the Sahel through Improved Groundwater Governance, and Impact Investment and Capacity Building in Support of Sustainable Waste Management to Reduce Emissions of Unintentional POPs (UPOPs) and Mercury in West Africa.

Multi-focal area projects include:

  • CReW+: An Integrated Approach to Water and Wastewater Management Using Innovative Solutions and Promoting Financing Mechanisms in the Wider Caribbean Region;
  • Integrated Natural Resource Management (INRM) in the Productive, Natural and Forested Landscape of Northern Region of Cambodia;
  • A Ridge-to-Reef Approach for the Integrated Management of Marine, Coastal and Terrestrial Ecosystems in the Seychelles;
  • and Conservation and Sustainable Use of Liberia’s Coastal Natural Capital.

The programmatic approach is for the PRC-GEF Partnership Program for Sustainable Agricultural Development in China. A globally-focused non-grant instrument project titled, “CPIC Conservation Finance Initiative – Scaling up and Demonstrating the Value of Blended Finance in Conservation,” was also approved.

The Council also approved the ‘Updated Vision to Enhance Civil Society Engagement with the GEF’, requesting a progress report at the 55th Council meeting in 2018, and adopted the proposed policy on ethics and conflict of interest for Council members, alternates and advisers.

The Council discussed an update on the seventh replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund (GEF-7), the report of the Chairperson of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP), and the Semi-Annual Evaluation Report November 2017, Management Response, and the Sixth Overall Performance Study of the GEF (OPS6).

The Council considered relations with relevant conventions, during which they heard presentations by the Executive Secretary of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and the Principal Coordinator of the Interim Secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury regarding GEF activities in support of their respective multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs).

The LDCF/SCCF Council convened for its 23rd meeting on 30 November and welcomed announcements of contributions totaling US$95,348,945 for the LDCF and US$507,949 for the SCCF. On an agenda item on the “Strategic Alignment of the LDCF Pipeline,” Council members considered factors and options for the strategic and innovative use of LDCF/SCCF resources and an update on the current status of the pipeline.

At the conclusion of the meetings, Council members reviewed and approved the Joint Summaries of the Co-Chairs for the GEF Council and LDCF/SCCF Council meetings. [IISD RS coverage of GEF Council Meeting]


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