Participants listen to Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, during the 57th GEF Council Meeting.

58th Meeting of the GEF Council

2–3 June 2020 | Online

Global Environment Facility - GEF


Representatives of governments, international organizations, and civil society organizations (CSOs) came together in an online format for the 58th meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council to develop, adopt and evaluate the operational policies and programs for GEF-financed activities. Due to the coronavirus crisis, the Council met virtually for the first time. As a result, the session was cut to two days, the agenda was slimmed down and the customary prior consultation with civil society organizations (CSOs) was not held.

The Council meets twice a year and is the GEF’s main governing body. It comprises 32 Members appointed by constituencies of GEF member countries, and discusses and approves policies and programs to guide the GEF.

Perhaps the most important issue facing the 58th meeting of the Council was the appointment of the GEF CEO and Chairperson to lead the GEF for the coming four years. The Council considered a nomination proposed by its Selection and Review Committee.

This was the last Council session presided by Naoko Ishii, who led the GEF as CEO and Chairperson since 2012. During her tenure, the GEF undertook two replenishments, adopted its first long-term strategy, and moved to address the underlying drivers of environmental degradation and to catalyze systems transformation in energy, cities and food systems while protecting critical ecosystems. Ishii also promoted greater use of integrated approaches to environmental issues and GEF participation and leadership in multi-stakeholder platforms.

Other items considered by the 58th meeting included:

  • GEF’s Private Sector Engagement Strategy, which is proposed for Council approval;
  • The approach for the 7th Comprehensive Evaluation of the GEF;
  • The GEF Business Plan and Corporate Budget for FY21; and
  • The Work Program.

Unlike most Council sessions, this one did not hear separate reports from the Chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) and Independent Evaluation Office (IEO). It also did not convene a discussion session on relations with the international agreements that GEF serves as financial mechanism.

The 58th meeting of the GEF Council took place virtually, from 2-3 June 2020. Delegates also convened as the 28th meeting of the Council for the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Special Climate Change Fund (LDCF/SCCF) on 3 June 2020 to be updated on programmatic, budgetary and other issues.

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Negotiating blocs
Least Developed Countries