Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, Gillian Guthrie, Co-Chair of the 57th meeting of the GEF Council, and GEF Secretariat staff members review the Joint Summary of the Chairs.
On Thursday morning Council Members approved the Memorandum of Understanding between the Conference of the Parties Serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol and the GEF Secretariat regarding services to the Adaptation Fund Board, with minor amendments.
Council Members selected the topics for discussion during the next GEF Council Consultations with civil society: “The Application of Traditional Knowledge by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, Stewards of the Global Environment," to be discussed at the 58th meeting of the Council in June 2020, and “Enhancing Climate Resilience and the Role of Civil Society, Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples,” to be discussed at the 59th meeting of the Council in December 2020.
GEF Council Members also convened as the 27th meeting of the Council of the LDCF/SCCF, and adopted an LDCF Work Program comprising nine projects, with resources amounting to USD 59.95 million for the LDCF, including project grants and Agency fees.
During a pledging session for the LDCF, Dirk Wouters, Belgian Ambassador to the US, announced his country’s pledge of EUR 15 million to the Fund for new projects. Council Members from Sweden, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany reaffirmed their governments’ pledges made earlier in 2019.
Following approval of the Joint Summary of the Chairs for both the GEF Council and the LDCF/SCCF Council, GEF CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii closed the meeting at 11:52 am.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web coverage, video coverage, and a summary report from the 57th GEF Council Meeting, GEF Council Consultation Meeting with CSOs, and 27th Meeting of the Council for the LDCF and SCCF. The summary report is now available in HTML and PDF.
On Wednesday morning the GEF Secretariat presented the Work Program, amounting to USD 588.5 million, including two Impact Programs on sustainable cities and on food systems, land use and restoration, as well as the first three Non-Grant Instruments and the first dedicated GEF-funded initiative that will focus entirely on indigenous peoples. The Secretariat noted that the Work Program will almost fully achieve GEF-7 targets regarding marine protected areas and land restoration and will contribute substantially to meeting targets regarding emissions of greenhouse gases and persistent organic pollutants.
After seeking a number of clarifications and offering comments about specific elements and projects, Council Members approved the Work Program, which will benefit 87 recipient countries, including 25 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and 24 small island developing States (SIDS).
Council Members considered a report by the GEF Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) on its December 2019 Semi-Annual Evaluation of the GEF, and on a methodological approach for post-completion verification. They acknowledged the IEO’s progress cited in the report and, following an exchange of views and suggestions for improvement, endorsed the draft post-completion verification methodology.
The GEF Secretariat presented, and Council Members generally welcomed, a proposed Private Sector Engagement Strategy. Many Council Members felt it would benefit from a redrafting, to provide further clarification and greater detail, and several Members requested more time for consultations about the proposed Strategy to bring their constituencies on board. Some Members called for a detailed implementation plan to be proposed to the Council. A decision was adopted, calling for the Secretariat to present a revised strategy at the June 2020 Council meeting, taking into account Council Members’ comments and broader consultations, and to present an implementation plan no later than the December 2020 Council meeting.
Council Members also considered the Strategic Country Cluster Evaluation of the SIDS, and heard updates by the Executive Secretary of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the acting Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Chair of the Open-Ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and the Ozone Secretariat.
Revised draft decisions on minimum fiduciary standards and the GEF Monitoring Report 2019 were adopted after brief discussion.
Participants listen to Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, elaborating on the GEF’s role in navigating transformational change.
L-R: William Ehlers, GEF Secretariat; Gillian Guthrie, Co-Chair of the 57th GEF Council meeting; Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson; Gustavo Fonseca, GEF Secretariat; and Claude Gascon, GEF Secretariat
Ben Green, Council Member, UK
Anar Mamdani, Council Member, Canada
Rob Wing, Alternate Council Member, US
Yoshiko Motoyama, Alternate Council Member, Japan
Juha Uitto, Director, IEO, presents the IEO's Semi-Annual Evaluation Report.
L-R: Narges Saffar, Council Member, Iran, confers with Rachna Ramsurn, Council Member, Mauritius.
Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson (left), confers with GEF Secretariat staff members.
Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, opened the 57th meeting of the GEF Council, highlighting the GEF’s role in “navigating” the needed “massive, unprecedented” systems change, underpinned by scientific findings and economic benefits. Warning about the “huge costs of inaction,” she called for a multi-stakeholder coalition of national and subnational governments, businesses and citizens to transform the energy, food and city systems. She also suggested using “super year 2020” to set a nature target, similar to the 1.5°C climate goal, and identifying ways to achieve it.
The GEF Secretariat presented the GEF Monitoring Report 2019, which includes a “deep dive” on the GEF Small Grant Programme (SGP). Council Members welcomed the Report, identifying several areas for improvement and seeking clarification on, among other things, the governance of the SGP and the low performance rating of certain focal areas.
Council Members considered a proposed updated policy on minimum fiduciary standards. Discussion focused, in particular, on numerous suggestions made by many Council Members for strengthening language on when and how the Council is informed of any potential issue with regard to compliance with the standards. Following proposals to establish an audit committee for review of compliance, in the context of Agencies’ sensitivities about confidentiality, several members undertook to draft terms of reference for such a committee, for later consideration.
The Council discussed the first report assessing compliance by the 18 implementing Agencies with the GEF’s minimum standards on environmental and social safeguards, gender equality and stakeholder engagement, including 14 Agencies’ action plans for coming into full compliance. Council Members adopted a decision asking the Secretariat to update future Council sessions on progress in implementing the plans of action.
The Secretariat presented a report on improving the durability of GEF investments, suggesting four elements to incorporate into the design and implementation of projects and programs. The Council adopted a decision welcoming the analysis and agreeing on follow-up steps suggested by the Secretariat.
Council Members also heard a report of the Chairperson of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP).
Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, is interviewed for #GEFlive.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council Consultation with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) took place on 16 December 2019, at World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC. It was organized in collaboration with the GEF CSO Network, the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP), the Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group (IPAG) and the GEF-funded Global Wildlife Program (GWP) led by the World Bank. Participants discussed how civil society can engage in the GEF’s proposed Private Sector Engagement Strategy and how the Strategy can enable more meaningful engagement within the GEF architecture at global, regional and country levels. They also focused on issues related to combating the illegal wildlife trade, such as the role of communities in the management of conservation areas and in law enforcement, and the benefits of a wildlife economy for local communities.
Akhteruzzaman Sano, Chair, GEF-CSO Network, stressed CSO willingness to work with governments and the GEF, suggested that future CSO consultations invite government ministers and address resilience and indigenous peoples’ knowledge, and called for establishing a capacity-building baseline before GEF-8.
GEF CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii emphasized the importance of multi-stakeholder coalitions to promote the massive economic transformation needed to respect planetary boundaries. Responding to interventions, she expressed hope that the Council would approve the proposed inclusive conservation initiative, denoted CSOs as key actors on the ground which can help design sustainability in GEF projects, and called for mainstreaming resilience into all GEF projects and programs.
Ornela Cuci, Alternate Council Member for Albania, stressed the importance of supporting sustainable capacity building at the university level and making projects results-oriented.
Participants wait for the GEF Council consultation with civil society organizations to begin.
Akhteruzzaman Sano, Chair, GEF-CSO Network
Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson
L-R: Lalit Mohan, Convener, GEF-CSO Network Secretariat; Akhteruzzaman Sano, Chair, GEF-CSO Network; Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson; and Pilar Barrera Rey, GEF Secretariat
Lucy Mulenkei, Chair, Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group
Giovanni Reyes, Philippine Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (ICCA) Consortium
Dil Raj Khanal, Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal
Divya Khandal, Dhonk, India
George James Wambura, Community Wildlife Management Areas Consortium, Tanzania
Ornela Cuci, Alternate Council Member, Albania
L-R: Ariuntuya Dorjsuren, Council Member, Mongolia; Stefan Schwager, Council Member, Switzerland; and Lauren Céline Naville Gisnås, Council Member, Norway
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