Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, opened the 55th meeting of the GEF Council on Tuesday morning, 18 December. She highlighted that this would be the first Council meeting since conclusion of the seventh replenishment of GEF (GEF-7), and therefore commences a new phase for the GEF. She stressed the need to urgently address global environmental challenges, citing recent scientific reports that reveal that “we are not winning the war against global degradation.” She also highlighted: the increased enthusiasm for adaptation, including the growing interest of the private sector in the adaptation agenda; the GEF’s commitment to work with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to build a coalition for a successful adoption of a post-2020 framework; and the role that GEF-7 can play in catalyzing transformational changes for food and land use systems, sustainable cities, and the energy transition, while protecting key biomes. She looked forward to the Council’s efforts during the three-day meeting to discuss ways to improve the GEF’s efficiency, transparency and safeguards, in order to deliver results as soon as possible.Also on Tuesday, Abdul Bakarr Salim, Sierra Leone, was elected Co-Chairperson of the meeting, and Council Members proceeded through agenda items on: Annual Portfolio Monitoring Report 2018; Policy Measures to Enhance Operational Efficiency, Accountability and Transparency; Updated Policy on Environmental and Social Safeguards; Updating the GEF’s Minimum Fiduciary Standards Related to Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism; Harmonizing the Rules and Requirements for all Agencies; and Work Program.At the close of the day, the Council adopted the first Work Program of GEF-7, which comprises 18 projects in 25 recipient countries, and amounts to US$157.8 million, including GEF project financing and Agency fees. The Work Program is expected to leverage US$819.7 million in co-financing.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage from the 55th Meeting of the GEF Council. In addition, IISD Reporting Services has published a summary report of the meeting in HTML and PDF.
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GEF Council Member Gabriel Yorio Gonzalez, Mexico