GEF’s Newly Adopted Work Program to Deliver Transformational Change in Food Systems, Land, Forests
UN Photo/Eva Fendiaspara
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The 56th meeting of the GEF Council adopted the largest-ever Work Program, featuring four Impact Programs designed to bring about transformational change in: food systems, land use, and restoration; Amazon forests; Congo Basin forests; and dryland landscapes.

A consultation with civil society, which took place prior to the Council meeting, highlighted practical experiences and lessons learned with regard to the production, consumption, and waste management of plastics.

13 June 2019: The 56th meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council adopted the largest-ever Work Program for the GEF Trust Fund, totaling USD 865.9 million and comprising 31 projects, seven programs, and three multi-trust fund projects. The Work Program will benefit 91 recipient countries, including 30 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and 32 small island developing States (SIDS).

The Work Program features four Impact Programs, which amount to USD 495.5 million and are designed to deliver transformational change, covering: food systems, land use, and restoration (FOLUR); Amazon forests; Congo Basin forests; and dryland landscapes. GEF CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii noted that the GEF Secretariat expects the Impact Programs to deliver more impact per dollar spent than past Work Programs.

Other global programs approved include the Global Programme to Support Countries with the Shift to Electric Mobility, Implementing Sustainable Low and Non-chemical Development in SIDS (ISLANDS), and the Global Wildlife Program.

The GEF Council discussed and approved amended GEF policies on monitoring, evaluation, and environmental and social safeguards, and considered further work on the sustainability of GEF projects and programs.

The Council also heard updates from representatives of the Conventions for which the GEF serves as a financial mechanism regarding recent and upcoming meetings, decisions and other relevant activities. The presentations by the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) Conventions, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and the Minamata Convention on Mercury prompted Council Members to reflect on ways to achieve maximum impact on the ground through synergies and collaboration.

The 56th meeting of the GEF Council convened in Washington, DC, US, from 11-13 June 2019, at World Bank headquarters. Representatives of governments, international organizations, and civil society organizations (CSOs) attended the three-day meeting, which also included the 26th 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 10 June, which included a dialogue on plastics pollution. Participants highlighted practical experiences and lessons learned with regard to the production, consumption, and waste management of plastics, as well as opportunities to engage with the public and private sectors in contributing to solutions at different stages of the plastics life cycle. At the conclusion of the consultation, the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) presented a publication titled, ‘Plastics and Circular Economy: Community Solutions.’ [IISD RS Coverage of GEF Council 56th Meeting] [GEF Website]


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