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13 November   HTML version PDF format
Forty-first Meeting of the Global Environment Facility Council

7-10 November 2011 | Washington, DC, United States of America

Highlights for Wednesday, 9 November 2011
Chair Monique Barbut, Global Environment Facility (GEF) CEO
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Biodiversity Policy & Practice
The 41st meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council continued its work on Wednesday. In the morning, the Council discussed the GEF Minimum Fiduciary Standards: Separation of Implementation and Execution functions in GEF Partner Agencies and asked clarifications about legal responsibility in the case of direct access to GEF funds; practical arrangements within the GEF agencies to implement the separation of functions; and the terminology, as “implementation” and “execution” have very similar meaning. Later in the morning they reviewed the Work Program, recognizing the importance of: mainstreaming climate adaptation in project design; co-financing of projects through private business participation; small-grants programmes; transparency; and greater non-governmental organizations' (NGOs) participation.

In the afternoon the Council discussed Criteria for the Establishment of Trust Funds within the GEF, with some members expressing support for the standing fund with multiple windows under strict criteria, and several others questioning the establishment of such a fund. They also discussed and welcomed the adoption of a new Policy on Agency Minimum Standards on Environmental and Social Safeguards, with many members recognizing that the Policy should be a “living document” that will have to change and adapt over time. Many members welcomed the opportunity to mainstream safeguards into GEF projects as more agencies are involved. An NGO representative welcomed the Policy but lamented that minimum standards such as Involuntary Resettlement might be inapplicable under some circumstances.

The day ended with a discussion on GEF Administrative Expenses. The report, introduced in the morning, provoked an intense and lengthy discussion with 24 Council Members intervening and three Implementing Agencies (IAs) making statements. All Members supported the need for efficiency, with some emphasizing maintaining the value of the services provided by the IAs while striving for cost reduction. Several Members noted that the 60% increase in the new replenishment would justify a cut in the corporate activities fees. The Council requested the Secretariat to establish a working group comprised of Council Members, the GEF Secretariat and GEF agencies, to review the fee structure with a view to decreasing the total costs and presenting a proposal for a new fee policy at the June 2012 Council meeting.
The dais during the morning session.
Hideaki Imamura, Japan
Nuritdin R. Inamov, Russian Federation
Gregoire Nkeoua, Congo
Leander Treppel, Austria
Javed Talat, Pakistan
Maryam Niamir-Fuller, UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
Mary Barton-Dock, World Bank
Andrew Velthaus, Global Environment Facility (GEF)
Council members during the meeting.
Silvia Merega, Argentina
Anton Hilber, Switzerland
Asa Andrae, Sweden
Daniel J. Gustafson (left), UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
L-R: Lucia Senofonte, Italy, and Co-Chair Monique Barbut, Global Environment Facility (GEF) CEO, during informal consultations.
Josceline Wheatley, United Kingdom
Marit van Zomeren, Netherlands
Eric Bjørnebye, Norway
Rithirak Long, Cambodia
François-Xavier Duporge, France
Karine Siegwart, Switzerland
Raúl Pinedo, Panama
Paul Samson, Canada
Beatriz Escolar (left), Spain
Tatiana Degai Raipon (left), Indigenous Peoples representative

Reception hosted by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
Monique Barbut, Global Environment Facility (GEF) CEO
Árni Mathiesen, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Bruce Dunn, Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Cristián Samper, Director, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Around the venue
Support staff
Delegates before the start of the session.

Stands around the venue.

Delegates enjoying lunch.
Daily web coverage (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)
Related Links
GEF resources
*Forty-first meeting of the GEF Council documents
*Forty-first meeting of the GEF Council provisional annotated agenda
*C.41 work program submitted for Council approval

IISD RS resources
*IISD RS coverage of the Fortieth Meeting of the GEF Council, 24-26 May 2011, Washington, DC, United States of America
*IISD RS coverage of the Fourth GEF Assembly, 24-28 May 2010, Punta del Este, Uruguay
*IISD RS coverage of the Third GEF Assembly, 29-30 August 2006, Cape Town, South Africa
*IISD RS coverage of the Second GEF Assembly, 16-18 October 2002, Beijing, China
*IISD RS coverage of the First GEF Assembly, 1-3 April 1998, New Delhi, India
*Biodiversity Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing International Biodiversity Policy
*Sustainable Development Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of International Activities Preparing for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development
*SIDS Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
*Climate Change Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing Global Climate Change Policy
*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
*African Regional Coverage
*Latin America and Caribbean Regional Coverage
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