L-R: William Ehlers, GEF Secretariat; Co-Chair Peter Elder, Australia; GEF CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii; and Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank, and GEF-7 Replenishment Co-Chair
On Sunday, 24 June 2018, the 54th meeting of the Council of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) opened in Da Nang, Viet Nam. In her opening remarks, Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, commented on the “long and difficult” negotiations of the seventh replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund (GEF-7), but highlighted that through the negotiations, GEF-7 now has a number of policies to guide its implementation. She expressed hope that the Facility would be more effective and efficient during the GEF-7 period, and noted that the GEF Assembly, scheduled to be held later in the week, would be a useful platform to “kick start” GEF-7 implementation.
Peter Elder, Australia (Council Member for Australia, New Zealand, and Republic of Korea), was elected Co-Chair of the meeting.
In the morning, Ishii presented the Summary of the GEF-7 Replenishment Negotiations, highlighting the agreement of a replenishment of US$4.1 billion, attributing the decreased replenishment compared to previous years to currency fluctuations, among other issues.
Key highlights of Day One included discussions on, inter alia:
the Seventh Replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund (GEF-7), which has been considered at four replenishment meetings from March 2017 to April 2018;
the GEF Gender Implementation Strategy, which aims to mainstream gender in the design, implementation, and evaluation of GEF programmes and projects;
the updated co-financing strategy, with a new overall co-financing ratio of 7:1;
the GEF Partnership, where delegates considered whether to defer to the 55th Council meeting, a decision on the application of a 30% ceiling on the GEF’s share of an Agency’s portfolio;
updating the System for Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR); and
the 2019 GEF Business Plan and Corporate Budget, approving a corporate budget from the GEF Trust Fund of US$27.971 million.
In the evening, participants attended a reception hosted by the GEF Secretariat.
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