The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council Consultation meeting with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) took place on 24 October 2016, the day before the opening of the 51st meeting of the GEF Council. The CSO consultation included a dialogue with the GEF CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii, and discussions on: strengthening CSO engagement in the GEF; the role CSOs play in the GEF through the GEF-CSO Network; and CSOs’ vision for the seventh replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund (GEF-7).
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web coverage from the GEF Council Consultation Meeting with CSOs, 51st GEF Council Meeting and 21st Meeting of the LDCF/SCCF Council. In addition, IISD Reporting Services has published a summary report in HTML and PDF.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Francis Dejon
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Session 1: CSO Dialogue with GEF CEO and Chairperson
Essam Nada, GEF-CSO Network, opened the Consultation, noting recent changes in the Network, its current lack of financial resources and its engagement in the update of the GEF Public Involvement Policy (PIP). Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, highlighted two challenges facing the GEF in the coming months: helping countries integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Agreement on climate change into more holistic national development plans; and catalyzing transformational change in key economic and social systems, such as energy, transport and cities. She also urged discussing with CSOs their role in GEF-7.
In response to questions from CSOs, Ishii: stressed the importance of bringing ministers together at the national level to work on GEF projects; addressed concerns about the GEF providing sufficient funding to the Small Grants Program (SGP); and noted that as the Green Climate Fund (GCF) is now up and running, the GEF can play a bigger role in developing pilots that the GCF can scale up.
Essam Nada, Chair of GEF-CSO Network, opened the GEF Council consultation with CSOs
Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, addresses CSOs
Session 2: Strengthening CSO Engagement in GEF: Policies and Guidelines in Practice
This session included a panel discussion on the output and recommendations from the working group on the GEF PIP, co-moderated by Victor Kawanga, GEF-CSO Network, and Simone Lovera-Bilderbeek, Global Forest Coalition.
Bruce Jenkins, consultant, outlined the main recommendations of the PIP review, including: applying stakeholder engagement requirements to all GEF projects; requiring stakeholder engagement plans; facilitating and strengthening access to GEF project information; and developing a plan to revise the PIP.
Lucy Mulenkei, Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group (IPAG), emphasized that the IPAG’s priority for the PIP is the identification of indigenous peoples as a separate group with rights.
Stefan Marco Schwager, Switzerland, noted that further information is needed to know whether relevant PIP guidelines also require updating.
Tanyaradzwa Mundoga, Zimbabwe, said CSOs need to be reengineered to address representation and funding issues.
Geeta Batra, Independent Evaluation Office (IEO), urged that the updated PIP take into consideration IEO recommendations on gender and indigenous peoples.
Dominique Kayser, World Bank, outlined the Bank’s efforts to strengthen engagement with citizens for improved results.
Jean-Yves Pirot, IUCN, said the PIP should be more prescriptive and contain clear procedural guidance for the involvement of stakeholders.
Essam Nada, GEF-CSO Network, emphasized acceptance of the PIP by the entire GEF community.
In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed, inter alia: the need to empower local groups to directly manage and implement projects; adequate involvement of indigenous peoples; lack of tracking of meaningful public involvement; possible stakeholder participation in project steering committees; processes to ensure real-time stakeholder monitoring of project development; and the possible role of whistle blowers in project implementation.
Dais during the session on strengthening CSO engagement with the GEF (L-R): Victor Kawanga, Vice Chair, GEF-CSO
Lovera-Bilderbeek, GFC; Bruce Jenkins, Consultant; Tanyaradzwa Mundoga, GEF Council
Zimbabwe; Lucy Mulenkei,
of the GEF Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group (IPAG); Geeta Batra,
Evaluation Office (IEO);
and Dominique Kayser, World Bank
Moderators of the session on strengthening CSO engagement with the GEF Victor Kawanga,
and Simone Lovera-Bilderbeek, GFC
A view of a presentation by Bruce Jenkins, Consultant
Essam Nada, Chair of GEF-CSO Network
Session 3: GEF-CSO Network and Vision of CSOs Role in GEF
During this session, CSOs formed five breakout groups to discuss their role in the GEF through engagement in the GEF-CSO Network in response to the IEO’s recommendations on the Network’s review, including: creating a contemporary vision for the CSO Network within the new GEF architecture; improving engagement between the GEF Secretariat and CSO Network; and enhancing the relationship with GEF agencies.
The groups then reported back to the consultation meeting.
On the Network’s current role in relation to the GEF, they noted that CSOs provide a limited and voluntary monitoring and evaluation role nationally, and inform policy and decision making at the international level.
On additional roles the Network could take to strengthen its effectiveness, CSOs suggested they could: act as a cost-effective third party verification instrument for GEF projects; provide services in designing and implementing GEF projects; and act as advisors through a roster of experts.
On opportunities and barriers the Network faces to strengthening links with other GEF partners, they described the vast membership of the Network as both a barrier and an opportunity.
On how the GEF can better facilitate the work of the Network, the groups highlighted that the work of the GEF-CSO Network should be a regular agenda item at GEF Council meetings, and that a GEF financial mechanism is needed to guarantee the overhead of the Network, for instance through designating a percentage of medium- and full-size GEF projects to CSOs.
Breakout groups were formed to discuss the role of CSOs in the GEF through GEF-CSO Network
Session 4: CSOs' Vision for GEF-7
This session was co-moderated by Robert Bakiika, EMLI, Uganda, and Priscilla Achakpa, RFP West Africa, GEF-CSO Network. Ralph Sims, Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP), presented on the status of the GEF-6 focal area strategies and emerging issues STAP is considering, including: black carbon; building resilience to climate change; security of food, energy and water supplies; urbanization; environmental security; and ocean governance.
Andrew Deutz, The Nature Conservancy, US, discussed possible biodiversity priorities for GEF-7, including: mainstreaming â€œnature’s solutionsâ€ÂÂÂÂ to climate change mitigation and adaptation; greening gray infrastructure; growing green infrastructure; and addressing direct drivers such as freshwater biodiversity and wildlife trafficking.
Fiu Mutaese Elisara, Ole Siosiomaga Society, Inc. (OLSSI), Samoa, reflected on possible climate change priorities for GEF-7, including linkages with the SDGs, vulnerability indices for small island developing States (SIDS), the impact of trade agreements on the environment, and climate justice.
Bertrand Bhikarry, Environment Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago, discussed ideas for new GEF work on international waters, such as a global education program on the importance of oceans and a singular repository for all water-related data.
Bakiika called for GEF-7 to consider ways the GEF can leverage funds into the Land Degradation Neutrality Fund now under development by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
Dais during the session on CSOs' vision for GEF-7 (L-R): Priscilla Achakpa, GEF-CSO
Network, RFP West Africa; Robert Bakiika, EMLI, Uganda; Ralph Sims, STAP; Andrew Deutz, The Nature Conservancy; and Bertrand Bhikarry, Environment Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago