59th Meeting of the GEF Council

4–12 December 2020 | Online

Global Environment Facility - GEF


The 59th Meeting of the GEF Council took place from 7-11 December 2020 as a virtual event, in line with continued health and safety measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This five-day meeting was the second GEF Council meeting to be held virtually due to the pandemic.

Delegates also convened as the 29th meeting of the Council for the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) on 10 December 2020 to discuss programmatic, budgetary, and other issues. The Council meeting was preceded by a consultation with CSOs on the topic, “The Application of Traditional Knowledge by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, Stewards of the Global Environment,” on 4 December 2020.

The Council, which is the GEF's main governing body, comprises 32 Members appointed by constituencies of GEF member countries (14 from developed countries, 16 from developing countries, and two from economies in transition). Council Members rotate every three years or until the constituency appoints a new Member. The Council meets twice a year to develop, adopt, and evaluate the operational policies and programs for GEF-financed activities. The Council also reviews and approves the work program (projects submitted for approval), making decisions by consensus.

The 59th meeting of the GEF Council was presided over by the new GEF Chairperson and CEO, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez (Costa Rica), who was appointed at the 58th meeting to lead the GEF for the coming four years. The Council heard, among other reports, the report of the Chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel, the report of the Working Group on Governance, the report of the Selection and Review Committee, and the report on GEF Agencies’ compliance with the GEF’s Minimum Fiduciary Standards.

The Council also considered the evaluation of GEF engagement in fragile and conflict-affected situations, and evaluations of: GEF interventions in artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector; the role of medium-size projects in GEF Partnership knowledge management; and knowledge management in the GEF.

Other items considered by the 59th GEF Council meeting included:

  • The Eighth Replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund;
  • The GEF’s Private Sector Engagement Strategy;
  • The Work Program for GEF Trust Fund;
  • The GEF Evaluation Policy 2019;
  • Update on the Nagoya Protocol Implementation Fund;
  • COVID-19-related operational issues and application of the Cancellation Policy; and
  • Relations with the Conventions and Other International Institutions.

IISD, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin Meeting Coverage, provided daily digital coverage and a summary report from this event. 

Final report

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Negotiating blocs
Least Developed Countries