24 May 2021
Replenishment Negotiations Highlight GEF’s Unique Position to Address Inter-related Threats
Photo by Sasha Nazira on Unsplash
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The first meeting for GEF-8 took place in April 2021; negotiations are expected to conclude in March 2022.

Participants expressed an interest in further analyzing issues such as: the concentration of projects among Agencies, sustainability and measurement of results, risk management, and adequacy of GEF safeguards in respect of human rights and fragile and conflict-affected countries.

Negotiations for the eighth replenishment of the Trust Fund for the Global Environment Facility (GEF-8) are underway. They began following a decision by the GEF Council, at its 59th meeting in December 2020, requesting the Trustee, in cooperation with the Secretariat, to initiate discussions for GEF-8.

The first meeting for GEF-8 took place in April. The anticipated schedule for the negotiations provides for four meetings, with the fourth finalizing donor pledges in March 2022. The seventh meeting of the GEF Assembly is expected to endorse the Report on the Eighth Replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund at it meeting on 25-26 May 2022. The venue for the Assembly is still to be confirmed.

During the first meeting, which was held virtually from 22-23 April 2021, co-chair Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CEO and Chairperson, GEF, called attention to the GEF’s mandate, which spans major international agreements, and its unique position to lead on addressing inter-related threats to nature and human health. He called for a recovery that is “green, blue, clean, and resilient.” 

Akihiko Nishio, Vice President, Development Finance, World Bank, also co-chaired the meeting. He highlighted the importance of the first meeting in setting the tone and strategic direction for GEF-8 replenishment, and looked forward to participants’ inputs and guidance in shaping the strategic positioning, programming directions, and policy agenda for GEF-8.

The April meeting considered performance under GEF-7, based on the GEF Independent Evaluation Office’s (IEO) preliminary findings for the Seventh Comprehensive Evaluation of the GEF. The preliminary results indicate that over 80% of projects are satisfactory in terms of final outcome ratings, with a 62% sustainability rating, which is comparable to other agencies.

On programming priorities, participants discussed the proposed programming approach through Integrated Programs (IPs) complemented by Focal Areas, with speakers recognizing integration as a comparative advantage of the GEF.  

The co-chair’s summary of the first meeting indicates that participants supported proposed reforms to the STAR Framework and changes to the Country Support Program and Small Grants Program. They requested further analysis on: concentration among Agencies; sustainability and measurement of results; risk management; and adequacy of GEF safeguards in respect of human rights and fragile and conflict-affected countries.

The next GEF-8 meeting will take place from 29 September-1 October 2021. 

The minimum contribution amount of SDR 4.0 million (Special Drawing Rights, which is a currency basket consisting of fixed proportions of EUR, JPY, GBP, CNY and USD) is required for participating contributors in the GEF-8 replenishment discussions. Additional entities have been invited as observers, as follows:

  • five representatives from non-donor recipient countries representing Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe/Central Asia, Latin America, and the small island developing States;
  • two NGO/CSO representatives – one representing a donor country-based NGO/CSO and another representing a recipient country;
  • one representative of the private sector;
  • one representative from the Green Climate Fund Secretariat; and
  • one representative from the Adaptation Fund Secretariat.

Representatives of GEF Agencies and the conventions for which the GEF serves as a financial mechanism are also invited to attend the meetings as observers. [GEF-8 planning document] [GEF replenishment documents] [GEF press release on first meeting]

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