Third GEF Assembly Bulletin

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Third GEF Assembly 2006

29-30 August 2006 | Cape Town, South Africa

Highlights from Monday, 28 August

Cape Town International Convention Center

NGO Forum
Session 1: Impact of Land Degradation on People's Livelihoods and the Enivornment-Strategies for Sustainable Land Management
Addressing the NGO Forum, Monique Barbut, GEF CEO/Chair, called on participants to: work for innovative solutions; engage with the private sector; and view the RAF as empowering for countries.

Fatima Jibrell, Executive Director, Horn Relief, and winner, 2002 Goldman Environmental Award (left), presented on combating desertification in the Horn of Africa. She highlighted: impacts of charcoal production and export on desertification in Somalia; low international awareness about drought and pastoralism in Somalia; and the impacts of the international arms trade on the Somali people. Jonathan Davies, IUCN (center), stressed the need to take a broad view of the causes of desertification, noting that positive environmental outcomes might follow from upholding mobility, protecting the rights of pastoralists, and enabling customary institutions. Khadija Razavi, Executive Director, Center for Sustainable Development and Environment (CENESTA) (right), highlighted issues that the GEF Assembly should consider, including: increasing the profile of men in the gender agenda; allocating more resources at the local level; and the accountability of the private sector.


NGO Forum Moderator Rex Horoi, Executive Director, Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International (left), underscored the need for constructive dialogue between policy-makers and civil society. Noel Maxwell Oettlé, Rural Programme Manager, Environmental Monitoring Group (EMG) (right), emphasized the need for being creative and taking into account local knowledge when addressing SLM issues.

Session 2: The Climate Change and Energy Challenge

Session Moderator Leslie Walling, Executive Director, Caribbean Conservation Association (CCA) (left)

Richard Worthington, Earthlife Africa, Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Project Coordinator (center), discussed South Africa 's future energy options. He demonstrated that investing in clean energy reduces the country's contribution to climate change, is cost effective, creates jobs and reduces poverty. Questioning whether GEF grants will provide social and economic justice, Annie Sugrue, Southern Africa Coordinator, Citizens United for Renewable Energy and Sustainability (CURES) (right), highlighted the disconnect between political and financial will in South Africa for developing renewable energy programmes.


Djimingue Nanasta, ENDA Tiers Monde (left), stressed the link between energy and climate security and called for a new development paradigm to promote energy efficiency and facilitate adaptation. Emad Adly, Arab Network for Environment and Development (RAED) (center), described lessons learned from Egypt 's experience of the GEF Small Grants Programme. He noted the importance of, inter alia : dialogue between policy-makers and grassroots organizations; localized “win-win” approaches to global issues; capacity building; and private sector engagement.

Session 3: Biodiversity-Moving from Debate to Action?
Willem Van Riet, Peace Parks Foundation, South Africa (right), illustrated how transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) seek to manage environmental and cultural resources across borders while fostering sustainable economic development, regional peace and stability. Participants discussed the need to address: equity between States and communities; benefits to indigenous peoples; and an integrated ecosystem approach in developing TFCAs. Van Riet outlined three phases in negotiating TFCAs: political acceptance in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding; project planning leading to a treaty; and donor funding for implementation.
Session Moderator Felipe Villagran, MERO LEC A.C.
Lucy Mulenkei, Indigenous Information Network (right), called on the GEF to review its protected areas policy vis-à-vis indigenous peoples, following the CBD COP-8 recommendations.

Dorothy Manuel, Central Focal Point for the GEF NGO Network (left)

Marianna Sell, Deputy Director, Ipanema Institute (center), illustrated policies and actions for mainstreaming women into Brazil 's water management and policy. Johannes Chigwada, ZERO (right), discussed capacity strengthening for civil society in the least developed countries on adaptation to climate change in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Africa.


Maria Leichener, Executive Director ECOS Corrientes Foundation (left) and Miguel Reynal, WWF (right), presented on civil society involvement in planning and establishing the GEF-funded Reserva Provincial del Iberia, the largest protected wetland in Argentina . Simone Lovera, Campaign Coordinator, Global Forest Coaltion (center), discussed social impacts of markets in environmental services.

In closing the event, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner (far right) urged civil society to: remain engaged in the international environmental discourse; reassess its future role in the GEF and other international processes; and develop new ways of thinking about existing dilemmas.

Forum on Sustainable Land and Water Management: A GEF Agenda for Combating Environmental Degradation and Promoting Sustainable Livelihoods

David Dent, Director, World Soil Information Center (left), highlighted: engagement of local communities in decision-making; technology required to effectively address land degradation; and existing information gaps. Zarar Adeel, Director, United Nations University (center), illustrated a conceptual framework for knowledge management in SLM, recommending inclusion of human well-being and poverty reduction. Forum Co-Chairs Ratan Lal, Professor of Soil Science and Director, Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, Ohio, US, and Gunilla Bjorklund, Director, GEWA Consulting, Sweden (right)


Co-Chair Gunilla Bjorklund (left); Gregoire de Kalbermatten, Deputy Executive Secretary, UN Convention to Combat Desertification, stressed that land and water issues present an opportunity for the GEF, noted regional implementation as a key element of the CCD, and supported the land degradation strategy developed for GEF-4.

Mobilizing Science and Communities to Combat Land Degradation: Role of Knowledge Management and Indicators for Optimizing Impact: Co-Chair Bjorklund (left) and Moderators Maryam Niamir-Fuller, Principal Technical Advirsor, UNDP, and Michael Stocking, GEF Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel
High-Level Roundtable
Facilitator Len Berry, Director, Florida Center for Environmental Studies (left), and Co-Chairs Mark Mwandosya, Minister of Environment, Tanzania (center), and Helen Esuene, Minister of Environment, Nigeria
Noting that 80 percent of the country's population is rural, Laurent Sedogo, Minister of Environment, Burkina Faso, outlined national measures to combat land degradation, emphasizing that it is a long-term process that requires political leadership and the involvement of all stakeholders.
Multilateral Collaboration in Sustainable Land Management
Frank Pinto, Executive Coordinator, UNDP (center), supported pastoralism as the best type of land use in drylands, and encouraged the use of innovative financing mechanisms such as payments for ecosystem services.
Warren Evans, World Bank, underscored the need to better understand climate change impacts when discussing SLM.
Bindu Lohani, Asian Development Bank, reported on the Bank's activities on SLM.
Opening Press Conference
GEF CEO/Chair Monique Barbut announced that during the morning session, the GEF Council endorsed the new replenishment of the GEF at US$3.13 billion. She said climate change is the most pressing global issue and should be tackled at all levels.
Martin Mokonyama, Deputy Director General for Transport, South Africa (left), explained how the government is using the 2010 Football World Cup as an opportunity to implement a low emissions transport system. Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director (right), argued that the 2006 Football World Cup has set a high environmental standard but that it can be improved upon. He urged South Africa to engage with the private sector in fostering innovation.
Opening Reception: Kirstenbosch Gardens

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