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Biodiversity Policy & Practice
Global Environment Facility (GEF) consultation meeting with civil society organizations (CSOs), 45th Meeting of the GEF Council, and 15th meeting of the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Special Climate Change Fund (LDCF/SCCF) Council

4-7 November 2013 | World Bank headquarters, Washington, DC, United States of America
Daily web coverage (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)
Summary Highlights of the Meeting

Participants at the 45th meeting of the GEF Council

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The forty-fifth meeting of the GEF Council met for its third and final day on Thursday, 7 November 2013, at World Bank headquarters in Washington D.C. Council members and their Alternates began the day in a closed session to consider the report of the Selection and Review Committee. The Council then confirmed the dates for the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 meetings of the Council, which will convene the week of 27 October 2014 and 1 June 2015, respectively.

Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, then opened the 15th meeting of the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) Council. The LDCF/SCCF Council discussed the progress report for the LDCF and SCCF and the work program for the SCCF. This Council approved a work program for $5.475 million. During the LDCF/SCCF Council meeting, Finland announced pledges equal to US$ 4.94 million for the LDCF and US$2.56 million for the SCCF.

During an afternoon session, the GEF Council approved the Joint Summary of the Chairs, which notes that total work program resources amounting to US$ 259.84 million were approved during the session, and closed the meeting at 1:52 pm.

Summary of the meeting in English (in HTML and in PDF format)

Visit the full ENB coverage for Thursday, 7 November 2013

L-R: Ramesh Ramankutty, GEF Secretariat; Co-Chairperson Margarita Perez Villaseñor; Naoko
, GEF CEO and Chairperson; and William Ehlers, GEF Secretariat
Ximena George-Nascimento, Chile
Samuel Dotse, GEF- NGO Network,
RFP West Africa
Maria Buss, Germany
L-R: Roland Sundstrom, GEF Secretariat; Rawleston Moore, GEF Secretariat; Robert Dixon, GEF Secretariat; Co-Chairperson Margarita Perez Villaseñor; Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson; and William Ehlers, GEF Secretariat
Atwa Hussein Atwa, Egypt
Mariano Muñoz, Spain
Ermira Fida, UNEP
Council session on LDCF/SCCF
Josceline Wheatley, UK
Christina Chan, US
Jukka Pyykko, Finland
Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, closed the meeting at 1:52pm
Video conference presentation by Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director
Libran Cabactulan, the Philippines
Nuritdin Inamov, Russian Federation
Jukka Pyykko, Finland
L-R: Co-Chairperson Margarita Perez Villaseñor; Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson; and William Ehlers, GEF Secretariat
Jim Willis, Executive Secretary, Basel,
Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary, UN
Convention to Combat Desertification
Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias,
Executive Secretary, Convention on
Biological Diversity (CBD)

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The forty-fifth meeting of the Council of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) convened on Tuesday, 5 November, at the World Bank offices in Washington D.C. The meeting was opened by GEF CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii who highlighted recent MEA activities, which she said indicate strong demand for GEF as an important player in the global environment. She welcomed Conservation International and WWF-US as two new GEF Project Agencies. The Council elected Margarita Perez Villaseñor (Council member for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela constituency) as Chairperson and adopted the agenda.

In the morning, the Council: considered Annual Monitoring Review FY 13: Part I; Annual Report on the Impact and Management Response; Progress Report on the Pilot Accreditation of GEF Project Agencies; and a Note on the Organization of the Fifth GEF Assembly.

In the afternoon, the Council addressed: the Progress Report of the GEF Evaluation Office Director, including the OPS6 Progress Report and Management Response; Mid-Term Evaluation of the System for Transparent Allocation of Resources and Management Response; Mid-Term Evaluation of the National Portfolio Formulation Exercise (NPFE) and Management Response; and the Progress Report on the GEF Project Cycle Streamlining Measures.

Summary of the meeting in English (in HTML and in PDF format)

Visit the full ENB coverage for Tuesday, 5 November 2013

L-R: Co-Chairperson Margarita Perez Villaseñor, Mexico; Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson; and William Ehlers, Team Leader, External Affairs, GEF Secretariat
Matthew Kotchen, US
Anyaa Vohiri, Liberia
Anton Hilber, Switzerland
Participants watching the proceedings via simultaneous television broadcast
L-R: Tim Kasten and Maryam Niamir-Fuller, UN Environment Programme

Monday, 4 November 2013

CSO Consultation Summary: Faizal Parish, GEF NGO Network Central Focal Point, opened the GEF Council Consultation Meeting with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on Monday, 4 November 2013, noting it’s strategic timing, coming at the end of GEF 5 and the middle of GEF 6 replenishment discussions.

Session 1: CSO Dialogue with the GEF CEO and Chairperson: Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, discussed the GEF 2020 strategy and emphasized that it is important to have a long-term strategy encompassing an environmental degradation driver-focused approach. She welcomed Conservation International and WWF-US as two new GEF Project Agencies. Responding to questions, Ishii acknowledged that, inter alia: a driver-focused approach could be implemented with limited financial resources; and on SDGs, the GEF is following the discussion and subscribes to the concept even though the SDGs are not mentioned explicitly in the GEF 2020 strategy. CSOs asked what the GEF is doing to address the issues that some implementing agencies are having with meeting standards on Indigenous Peoples and noted that protected areas efforts need to take into account the full informed consent of Indigenous Peoples, among other questions.

One CSO urged retaining transportation as a specific funding area. CEO Ishii replied that a driver-focused approach ensures that effective entry points are taken to address urban programming, including transportation.

Session 2: Enhancing CSO engagement in GEF: Policy and Guidelines in Practice. Andrew Velthaus, GEF, reviewed a study of compliance with the Environmental and Social Safeguards and Gender Mainstreaming policies by GEF Agencies. He noted that many Agencies met all or most of the standards. Recommendations presented in a discussion of a Review of the GEF Policy on Public Involvement (PIP) included calling for the GEF to set clear minimum standards for public involvement that will be mandatory for all projects, and for clear stakeholder engagement plans and formal mechanisms for documenting and exchanging good practice. Robert van den Berg, GEF Evaluation Office, reflected on the future of CSO engagement in the GEF and outputs from the fifth Overall Performance Study (GEF/OPS 5). He highlighted that, on full size projects, a sufficient number of CSOs are involved in execution and implementation, but for medium sized projects engagement is declining. He also highlighted difficulties in keeping track of CSO engagement due to a lack of clear definition of CSOs. Lucy Mulenkei, GEF Indigenous Peoples (IPs) Advisory Group, presented on progress in implementing guidelines on IPs, noting that approximately 160 medium and full size projects involve IPs, while 15% Small Grants Programme (SGP) involve IPs.

Responding to a question on whether CSO engagement is adding value, van den Berg observed that projects involving CSOs in real engagement are considerably more successful, especially in achieving long-term impacts. He said that PIP had relevance and value and hoped that the review process would enhance this.

Session 3: Interactive dialogue on the future strategic role of GEF: Andrew Steer, President, World Resources Institute, offered the opening remarks, noting that there have been many great GEF projects, but the problem is that they have not been transformative. He suggested asking tougher questions regarding impact and whether the GEF is getting the leverage that it should, and spending “so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Claus Pram Astrup, GEF Secretariat, provided an overview of the GEF2020 Strategy, feedback to date and the next steps. He said comments on the GEF2020 Strategy have included: are we moving too fast towards dealing with root causes?; are we moving away from our key obligations under the conventions?; how does GEF2020 fit with GEF 6?; can we really make a difference on drivers?; and what about specific GEF focus areas, like gender, adaptation, and others?

A panel of GEF Council members followed by a panel of GEF Agency representatives then offered their impressions of the GEF2020 strategy. Panelists noted a continuing role for the GEF in climate finance, despite the creation of other climate funds. One speaker suggested that the GEF could focus on biodiversity and ecosystems in the next four years, given that climate change is on the radar screen of policy makers and the private sector. Another speaker suggested investing in knowledge creation, documenting knowledge and using it in projects. Another panelist said it was worth asking if GEF is transformative enough and the need for a precise analysis of CSO engagement. Other issues raised included: the need for GEF funds to match ambitions and for modalities to enable GEF to “find its feet” and “revitalize itself”; GEF’s comparative advantage in having well established capacities to do multi-focal work; and the need to address hidden drivers including market and institutional failures. A CSO panel member emphasized specific CSO concerns on the Strategy, highlighting the need for a realistic balance of drivers and a focus on global demand, among other elements.

In summary, Parish highlighted panelists’ comments, including its discussion of the GEF’s comparative advantage, experience in introducing innovation, and ability to create synergies and a “linked-up” approach.

Summary of the meeting in English (in HTML and in PDF format)

Visit the full ENB coverage for Monday, 4 November 2013

Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, addressing the CSO Dialogue
L-R: Victor Kawanga, GEF- NGO Network, RFP Southern Africa and CSO Consultation Co-
Moderator, consulting with Faizal Parish, GEF- NGO Network, Central Focal Point and CSO Consultation
Claus Pram Astrup, GEF Secretariat
Andrew Steer, World Resources Institute (WRI)
L-R: L.K. Atheeq, GEF Council Member, South Asia; Margarita Perez Villaseñor, GEF Council Member, Mexico; Session Co-Moderator Esam
, GEF-NGO Network, RFP Northern Africa; Session Co-Moderator Faizal Parish, GEF- NGO Network, Central Focal Point; Maria Buss, GEF
Focal Point, Germany; Stefan Marco Schwager, GEF Council Member, Switzerland
Shree Kumar Maharjan, Deputy-
Secretary General, Asia Indigenous
Peoples Pact
Massimo Buonomo, Friends of Kyoto
Delfin Ganapin, Global Manager, GEF
Small Grants Programme (SGP)
Albert Deterville, Office of the UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights
Fiu Mataese Elisara, GEF- NGO
Network, the Pacific
Carlos Manuel Rodriguez Echandi,
Conservation International
L-R: Session Co-Moderators Mohamed Abdel Raouf, GEF-NGO Network, RFP West Asia and Mrinalini Rai,
GEF Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group
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