On Tuesday, 7 June 2016, Naoko Ishii, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), opened the 50th meeting of the GEF Council, noting that it marks the GEF’s 25th anniversary. Describing 2016 as the year of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change, she called for a solution to the problem of the global commons, and introduced the agenda. Caroline Leclerc (Canada) was elected Co-Chair for the 50th meeting of the GEF Council.
Before commencing discussion on the agenda items, Remi Allah-Kouadio, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Côte d’Ivoire, addressed the Council, stating that GEF resources to fight climate change, poverty, insecurity, ignorance and other challenges need to be enhanced, and expressing his country’s commitment to being a GEF donor.
During their first substantive discussion of the 50th meeting, the GEF Council heard an update on GEF2020 and discussed future directions for the GEF. CEO Ishii presented an update on the GEF2020 strategy, which was approved in 2014. She said that, although it is still too early to detect tangible results on the ground, it is possible to capture some early lessons. She said key issues for discussion include: emerging lessons from new initiatives such as Integrated Approach Pilots and how these could be drivers and catalyzers for further growth; the GEF’s role in the rapidly changing environmental financing landscape and the GEF’s value proposition and complementarity with other funds and mechanisms; the GEF’s focus on resilience and integrating it into all operations; and the effectiveness of the delivery machinery. Council members proceeded to discuss the GEF’s strengths and weaknesses, highlighting the need for the GEF to be bold in thinking about its future direction and implementation of the GEF2020 strategy.
Additional agenda items discussed on the first day of the Council’s 50th meeting included: the GEF corporate scorecard and results-based management action plan; monitoring agency compliance with GEF policies; the establishment of a trust fund and programming directions for the “Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency;” future directions for accreditation, and the GEF project and program cycle policy. During the evening, GEF Council participants attended the GEF 25th anniversary commemorative reception.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web coverage from the GEF Council Consultation Meeting with CSOs, 50th GEF Council Meeting and 20th Meeting of the LDCF/SCCF Council. In addition, IISD Reporting Services has also produced a summary video of the event, which is available in HTML and PDF format.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Francis Dejon
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View of the opening plenary session of the GEF 50
Co-Chair Caroline Leclerc, Canada
L-R: Omid Parhizkar, Christine Roehrer, and Elwyn Grainger-Jones, GEF Secretariat
L-R: Claus Pram Astrup, Elwyn Grainger-Jones, and Gustavo Fonseca, GEF Secretariat
Juha Uitto, Independent Evaluation Office (IEO)
Roland Sundstrom, GEF Secretariat
L-R: Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO
and Chairperson; Co-Chair Caroline Leclerc, Canada; and William Ehlers, GEF
wearing straw hats courtesy of the UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme
L-R: Chizuru Aoki, GEF Secretariat; Gustavo Fonseca, GEF Secretariat; and Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO
L-R: Geeta Batra and Juha Uitto, IEO
Participants inquiring at the various booths at the GEF 50 exhibtion area
Photos from the CEO Lunch with Council Members and Alternates
L-R: Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO
and Chairperson, with Li Yong, Director-General, UN Industrial Development
Allah Kouadio, Minister of Environment and Development,
Photos from the GEF 25th Anniversary Gala
Participants at the GEF 25th Anniversary Gala at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History