The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council Consultation with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) took place on 10 June 2019, at World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC, US. Participants discussed, among other agenda items, a proposed new paradigm of GEF-CSO partnership as an effective tool for more meaningful engagement of civil society and community-based organizations within the GEF architecture, and practical experiences and lessons learned regarding the production, consumption and waste management of plastics.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage, video coverage, and a summary report from the GEF Council Consultation Meeting with CSOs, 56th GEF Council Meeting, and 26th Meeting of the LDCF/SCCF Council. The summary report is now available in HTML and PDF.
During the morning CSO Dialogue with GEF CEO Naoko Ishii, Akhteruzzaman Sano, Interim Chair, GEF-CSO Network, called for creation of a CSO-government dialogue platform within the GEF. CEO Ishii noted growing global attention, including from the GEF, to biodiversity loss and the need for a systematic response to key drivers, proposing a multi-stakeholder coalition. During discussion, participants stressed: life cycle solutions to address plastics production; post-project resilience; funding to address plastic contamination in all areas at all levels, scaling from local action to legislative change; and communities’ vulnerability to corporations’ environmental damage.
Akhteruzzaman Sano, Interim Chair of GEF-CSO Network
CSO Dialogue participants
Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson
Pilar Barrera Rey, GEF Secretariat
Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, receives a product sample from a GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) project on plastic waste from Shri Imtiaz Ali, Sarthak, India.
Gado Bemah, Science et Technologie Africaines pour un Développement Durable (STADD), Togo
Maria Leichner, Fundación ECOS, Uruguay
Saint-Jérôme Sitamon, Maison de l'Enfant et de la Femme Pygmées, Central African Republic
Nguavese Tracy Ogbonna, Women Environmental Programme, Nigeria
Civil Society Contributions to Higher Results and Impact
Moderator Sydah Naigaga, Regional Focal Point, West Africa, CSO Network, emphasized CSOs’ many roles and their challenges with funding and capacity. Kathryn Stoddard, Earth Day Network, presented the proposed paradigm for GEF-CSO partnership. She praised the GEF's willingness to move towards more systemic multi-stakeholder engagement as a step "in the right direction. Ariuntuya Dorjsuren, Council Member for Mongolia, reviewed discussions on national CSO-government dialogue at a recent national-level GEF extended constituencies workshop.
Yoko Watanabe, Global Manager, GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP), highlighted the SGP’s commitment to “Three Is” (innovation, inclusion and impact) and Saint Lucia’s work on a solar-powered desalinator and sargassum bio-fertilizer.
Laura Bermudez, Operational Focal Point, Colombia, reported on her country’s community-led initiatives on biodiversity conservation, agrobiodiversity and climate change adaptation, highlighting partnerships with government and private stakeholders across value chains.
Juha Uitto, Director, Independent Evaluation Office, addressed the CSO Network’s added value for increasing benefits after projects end. He stressed evaluation of efforts to scale up, encouraging CSOs to show proof of concept and enter the policy dialogue.
Ensuing discussion focused on, inter alia: influence of political contexts on success; evaluation beyond projects’ lifetimes; attribution of results to the GEF through counterfactuals; linking CSO efforts across countries; and intellectual property protection.
Participants also discussed proposed themes for CSO consultations with the GEF Council during 2020, including: chemicals; land degradation; project resilience; knowledge management; and the economics of gender mainstreaming for development.
L-R: Sydah Naigaga, Regional Focal Point, Eastern Africa, GEF-CSO Network, and Sana Taktak Keskes, Regional Focal Point, North Africa, GEF-CSO Network
L-R: Juho Uitto, Director, Independent Evaluation Office (IEO); Kathryn Stoddard, Earth Day Network; and Ariuntuya Dorjsuren, Council Member, Mongolia
Yoko Watanabe, Global Manager, GEF SGP
Laura Bermudez, Operational Focal Point (OFP), Colombia
Maria Leichner, Fundación ECOS, Uruguay, and Akhteruzzaman Sano, Interim Chair of GEF-CSO Network, moderated the morning's discussions on proposed themes for CSO consultations with the GEF Council during 2020.
Thelma Munhequete, Igniting Africa
Linghui He, Toxics-Free China
Ann Kloulechad-Singeo, Ebiil Society Inc., Palau
Hasani Williamson, Zero Waste, Antigua and Barbuda
L-R: Shri Imtiaz Ali, Sarthak, India, and Prabhjot Sodhi, UN Development Programme (UNDP), India
Plastic Pollution: How Do We Tame This Menace? Solutions from CSOs, Government, and the Private Sector
In the afternoon, participants attended a panel session on plastic pollution that sought to identify solutions from CSOs, government, and the private sector.
The session began with a video on the GEF’s work in this area. The Secretariat then introduced stage-setting presentations. Claude Gascon, GEF, spoke on the GEF’s goal to avoid 50,000 tons of plastic going into the ocean. Lauren Céline Naville Gisnås, Council Member, Norway, discussed Norway’s push for an international agreement, including financial support, to combat plastics pollution. Emily Woglom, Ocean Conservancy, highlighted the wide-ranging impacts of marine plastic pollution and called for moving to a global circular economy. Froilan Grate, Executive Director, GAIA Philippines, reported on community efforts in Asia to shift to zero waste.
Aminath Abdulla, Maldives Authentic Craft Cooperative Society, discussed efforts to reduce single-use plastics and persuade the Maldives government to ban certain plastics. Coletha Ruhamya, GEF Council member, Rwanda, discussed Rwanda’s plastic bag ban and move to ban other single-use plastics, stressing the role civil society can play in changing mindsets to affect the demand for plastics. Jennifer Ragland, Coca-Cola, summarized the company’s “World Without Waste” initiative. Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary, Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, explained how a recent amendment to the Basel Convention’s Annexes will change plastics trade. Other interventions from the floor highlighted the work of the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance and the Global Plastic Action Partnership, and invited CSOs to participate.
During ensuing discussion, participants focused on: awareness raising to achieve policy implementation; CSO engagement with the World Economic Forum; CSO-government collaboration to systematize waste flows and build traceability and circularity; skyscrapers for agriculture; and the need to use recycled materials, not simply recycle waste.
Participants then discussed concrete CSO, private sector, and government experiences in break-out groups on the three phases of the plastics lifecycle: production; consumption; and waste management.
Reports from the group discussions noted, inter alia: the variety of civil society roles; the need for criteria for redesigning plastics; the fact that consumers are demanding change; plastics as a health issue; the need for “sexy” alternatives to “unsexy” plastic products; civil society’s role in monitoring waste leakage; the different country contexts regarding plastics; and the benefits of partnerships between actors with different comparative advantages.
A panel on financing, moderated by Anar Mamdani, Council member, Canada, focused on private investment opportunities to address plastic pollution, and discussed perspectives from Multilateral Development Banks and other funders.
Rob Kaplan, CEO, Circular Capital, said his firm incubates startups and promotes blended finance in Asia on waste management and recycling. Dorothee Herr, IUCN, discussed efforts to develop bankable recycling projects on climate change and blue economy, underscoring the need for governments to create a proper enabling environment. Arun Abraham, Asian Development Bank (ADB), said ADB is looking to invest in integrated solid waste management incorporating circular economy principles, emphasize policy-based lending, and support market transformation in the plastics chain. Delphine Arri, World Bank, said the Bank is advising governments on policy reforms and developing partnerships involving plastics. David Antoniolli, CEO, Verra, discussed the Reduce Recover Recycle Initiative partnership with major companies to develop a corporate reporting standard to credibly measure and report a company’s plastic footprint in order to create an incentive to reduce it.
The ensuing discussion focused on: expanding project piloting from Asia to Africa and elsewhere; getting accurate data on sources and pathways to establish baselines; financing for plastic waste management; diverting plastic, metal, and organic waste from landfills into energy and other uses; and the possibility for Africa to leapfrog waste management to waste reduction.
GEF and GEF-CSO Network representatives delivered closing remarks, emphasizing the need to achieve a circular economy through actions ranging from grassroots community efforts to global agreements and calling for a “dynamic approach.”
Claude Gascon, GEF Secretariat
L-R: Lauren Céline Naville Gisnås, Council Member, Norway; Emily Woglom, Executive Vice-President, Ocean Conservancy; and Aminath Abdulla, Maldives Authentic Craft Cooperative Society
L-R: Froilan Grate, Executive Director, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives; Coletha Ruhamya, Council Member, Rwanda; and Jennifer Ragland, Coca-Cola
Breakout group on waste management
Breakout group on consumption
Breakout group on production
L-R: Anar Mamdani, Council Member, Canada; Dorothee Herr, Blue Natural Capital Financing Facility; David Antonioli, CEO, Verra; Delphine Arri, World Bank; Rob Kaplan, Founder and CEO, Circulate Capital; and Arun Abraham, Asian Development Bank
Publication Launch: Plastics and Circular Economy: Community Solutions
The GEF SGP and UNDP launched a report, “Plastics and Circular Economy: Community Solutions,” capturing SGP’s experiences and lessons learned on plastics management in the areas of chemical and waste management, international waters and biodiversity conservation.
Françoise Clottes, Director, Strategy and Operations, GEF Secretariat; and Pradeep Kurukulasuriya, Executive Coordinator, UNDP
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Specific funding for IISD Reporting Services coverage of the GEF Council Consultation Meeting with CSOs, 56th GEF Council Meeting, and 26th Meeting of the LDCF/SCCF Council has been provided by the GEF Secretariat