Third GEF Assembly Bulletin

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Third GEF Assembly 2006

29-30 August 2006 | Cape Town, South Africa

Highlights from Wednesday, 30 August

GEF CEO/Chair Monique Barbut with Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Roundatble 1: Market Mechanisms for Financing Global Environmental Conventions

Klaus Töpfer, UNEP's former Executive Director and Germany's former Minister of Environment (left), elaborated on: the risk-sharing prospect of linking official development aid with private investment; the opportunity to increase private investment by making developing country terms of trade more favorable through intervention by the World Trade Organization; and the ability to make developing country markets more favorable through certification schemes.

Mohammed Valli Moosa, Eskom Chairman and Achim Steiner (right)


Mohammed Valli Moosa, Eskom Chairman (left), discussed opportunities for and obstacles to implementing market-based mechanisms for financing environmental conventions. He suggested that market forces per se are not capable of making environmental conventions work, and because the environment is a public good, the principle responsibility for its protection lies with the State. He stressed that the private sector will protect the environment when it is profitable to do so, noting the success of transfrontier parks due to the promise of tourism-related revenue.

Co-Chairs Thomas Kolly, Switzerland (center) and Klaus Töpfer, former UNEP Executive Director


Roundatble 2: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaptation



Steen Jorgensen, the World Bank, and Co-Chairs Corrado Clini, Director General , Italy 's Ministry of Environment and Territory, and Elizabeth Thompson, Minister of Energy and Environment of Barbados



Elizabeth Thompson, Minister of Energy and Environment of Barbados (left)

Al Binger, University of the West Indies (right), underscored the vulnerability of small island developing States (SIDS) to climate change and highlighted contributing factors, including high energy prices due to low economies of scale, and dependence on increasingly variable weather patterns in the agricultural and tourism sectors.

Steen Jorgensen, the World Bank, outlined three issues central to Africa's climate change agenda: increasing energy production; mitigation; and adaptation. He emphasized that Africa requires new technology and skills to increase its energy production and investments, and that adaptation must be targeted at the local level.



Feng Gao, UNFCCC Secretariat (left), said money, technology and public policy must go hand-in-hand in combating climate change and outlined efforts being taken in China 's energy sector to address climate change.


Morocco (left) said that when reviewing the resource allocation framework (RAF) in two years, the GEF should take account of States' vulnerability and urged countries to honor their pledges under the Marrakesh Accords. Brazil (right) did not favor a change in the GEF's focus toward addressing mitigation activities at the global level, arguing the focus on action in OECD countries is correct and requires intensification.

Roundtable 3: Identifying National Priorities and Allocating Resources to Enhance Results at the Country Level

Co-Chairs Li Yong, China 's Vice Minister of Finance, and Roger Ehrhardt, Canadian International Development Agency (left)

Noting that the concept of the RAF is not unique to the GEF, Ramon Fernandez, Ministry of Finance of France, said it represents a fundamental reform that will impact on the GEF's operations and to which the executing agencies will have to adapt. Trieu Van Be, Vice Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Vietnam, outlined his country's experience in identifying national environmental priorities, notably through a steering committee involving the ministries of foreign affairs, finance, planning, agriculture, and natural resources and the environment.

Closing Plenary

Finance Minister Trevor Manuel presides over the closing plenary
Side Event: Cape Town: A City Planning for the Future hosted by City of Cape Town Desmond Tutu Peace Centre
Archbishop Desmond Tutu during the side event on the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre
Dan Vaughan, Executive Director, Desmond Tutu Peace Centre (right), provided an overview of the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre
Press Conference  


Trevor Manuel, South Africa 's Minister of Finance (right), noted concerns raised by some delegates about: defining an agenda for reforming the GEF; the amount and allocation of resources under GEF-4; the need for a vulnerability index under the RAF; and adequate funding for CCD-related activities.


GEF CEO/Chair Monique Barbut: noted the importance of compromise among the members of the GEF “family”; said that if the GEF becomes the financial mechanism for the Adaptation Fund, there may be more activity in this area; and explained the allocation procedures for activities under the GEF focal areas.

Signing of agreement by Ministers of Environment from South Africa, Angola and Namibia on the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME)
Miscellaneous Photos
IISD Reporting Services Team
Left to right: Ingrid Barnsley, writer, Australia; Xenya Cherny, writer/team leader, Russia; Asheline Appleton, writer, Kenya; James Van Alstine, writer, United States of America; Tallash Kantai, logistics coordinator, Kenya; Elisa Morgera, writer, Italy; Harry Jonas, writer, United Kingdom; and (seated in front) Leila Mead, digital editor, United States of America

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