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Aug 29      
Aug 30      


Third GEF Assembly 2006

29-30 August 2006 | Cape Town, South Africa

Highlights from Tuesday, 29 August

Opening Ceremony
GEF Assembly delegates were welcomed with music and dance from the Western Cape Province
Trevor Manuel, South Africa 's Minister of Finance, Ebrahim Rasool, Premier, Western Cape, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Deputy President of South Africa, and Monique Barbut, GEF CEO
Marthinus van Schalkwyk , South Africa's Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, opened the third GEF Assembly, highlighting that South Africa is known for its cultural diversity and for having the third highest level of biodiversity in the world.


Trevor Manuel, South Africa 's Minister of Finance, was elected Chair of the third GEF Assembly.

Statements by GEF Partners

Dorothy Manuel, Central Focal Point, GEF NGO Network, urged the GEF to devise a policy for indigenous peoples.
Statements on behalf of Constituencies and Ministerial statements
Tomas Novatny, Deputy Minister for Enivironment, Czech Republic, representing the constituency of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Luxembourg, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Turkey, called for increased integration of GEF activites. Yong Li, Vice Minister of Finance, China, called for GEF's increased role in tackling invasive alien species and ensuring the sharing of benefits from genetic resources. Ruchira Kamboj, Head of Indian High Commission, Cape Town, representing Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, argued that the reduction in some countries' contributions to the GEF runs contrary to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
Press Conference: "Development under Climate Threat" and launch of World Bank report "Managing Climate Risk-Integrating Adaptation into World Bank Group Operations"
Steen Lau Jorgensen, Director, Social Development, World Bank, Warren Evans, Director, Environment Department, World Bank, and Kristyn Schrader, World Bank
Side Event: Panel Discussion: Third Overall Performace Study (OPS3) of the Global Environment Facility
Roberto Dobles, Minister of Environment and Energy, Costa Rica, commented on the GEF country portfolio evaluation of his country, which indicated that: GEF support to Costa Rica has been relevant to domestic environmental progress but it could increase its contribution to global environmental benefits; and that more projects are needed in the areas of land degradation, climate change, clean transportation and mangrove swamps.
Mark Wagner, OPS3 Team Leader, summarized the findings of the Study and reported on activities carried out since its completion. He outlined OPS3 recommendations that have been addressed in programming for GEF-4, including: improving the strategic direction of focal area programs; developing focal area indicators; moving toward a country portfolio focus with multi-stakeholder input; strengthening information management; and clarifying the roles of GEF partners.
Side Event: Enhancing Partnerships Through NGO Engagement GEF
Mathambo Ngakaeaja, Working Group of Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa (WIMSA)(left), provided a brief history of negotiations undertaken by the San Bushmen to protect their traditional knowledge via the establishment of access and benefit-sharing agreements. He explained that successful access and benefit-sharing negotiations require: involving all stakeholders; establishing equal relationships between parties; capacity building; and the spirit of compromise. Libasse Ba, Environmental Development Action in the Third World (ENDA), described a programme, being undertaken in Senegal , Mali , Guinea Bissau Tanzania , India and Nepal , which aims to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation, takes a participatory approach, raises awareness and builds capacity in communities. Gustavo Alanis Ortega, Mexican Centre of Environmental Law, detailed legal instruments available to Mexicans for challenging the government or private entities that affect the environment. To ensure a healthy environment, he argued, there must be: strong laws; effective institutions; an informed citizenry; and organizations with the courage to use the law.
Side Event: Devilvering Global Environmental Benefits in Sub-Saharan Africa Through Community-Based Investments, Partnerships and Regional Integration-How the GEF is Working with Africa
Salvator Nimubona, Agricultural Rehabilitation and Sustainable Management Project, Burundi, introduced the project, which aims to reduce poverty by restoring and protecting the environment through sustainable land management practices. He outlined how actions were being taken to reduce deforestation and erosion in addition to preserving carbon sinks.
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