On the second day of their 63rd Meeting, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council reviewed and approved the first Work Program of the 8th replenishment of the GEF (GEF-8), which comprises eight projects and programs with total resources amounting to USD 64.7 million, representing 1.3% of the total GEF-8 funds.
Claude Gascon, GEF Secretariat, presented on “The GEF-8 Work Program” noting its modest size is due to countries initiating their internal planning processes for GEF-8 investments. He highlighted that the proposed work program:
- allocates, among others, 46% of funds to the biodiversity focal area and 32.1% to chemicals and waste; and
- benefits 37 recipient countries, including nine Least Developed Countries and 12 Small Islands Developing States.
Some Council Members called for a more balanced allocation of resources across focal areas and regions, and others queried why only four of the 18 GEF Agencies are represented in the Work Program. The Secretariat cautioned that this Work Program is only the first under GEF-8 and its size and the concentration of Agencies should not be considered as representative of GEF-8, underlining that more projects and programs from a variety of regions and covering the core areas in a more balanced way will be adopted in the near future.
The Council also considered the Report on Lead Agency Selection Process for the Integrated Programs (IPs), covering the selection of leads and co-leads for the implementation of 11 IPs under GEF-8 to tackle the drivers of environmental degradation and advance systems transformation through an integrated approach. Mohamed Bakarr, GEF Secretariat, detailed the selection process and reported on the final selection of the leads and co-leads for 10 of the 11 IPs, noting that the selection of leads for the Clean and Healthy Ocean IP is still underway. Council members welcomed the transparency of the process and the report, and discussed the selections. Some Council Members requested that the Secretariat share information from the Agencies’ proposals on their co-leading arrangements, roles, responsibilities, accountability and ways to ensure coherence across the entire program. After bilateral consultations, the GEF Secretariat reported that a document summarizing the concepts for each IP and the role of co-leading Agencies will be shared in early January 2023, together with the call for expressions of interest to be launched for countries to participate in the IPs. The Council subsequently endorsed the selection of IP leads and co-leads.
Lastly on Tuesday, the Council considered the Third-Party Review of Agency Compliance with GEF Minimum Standards, with a presentation by Jonathan Caldicott, GEF Secretariat, who reported that the Review determined that all 18 GEF Agencies were found to be in overall compliance, with a few minor exceptions. He said the proposed remedies for partial compliance are as contained in GEF policies and require developing action plans to address partial compliance. He added that three Agencies are still in the process of self-assessment and review, with expected completion within the next few weeks.
Regarding the UN Development Programme (UNDP) second self-assessment and third-party review, he reported that these had found UNDP in full compliance with GEF policies.
Following review of the report and findings, the Council, among other things:
- requested the GEF Agencies found not to be fully compliant in all components to prepare time-bound Action Plans to address any gaps identified by the Review; and
- decided that the additional requirements related to UNDP should continue to be reviewed after Council has considered the additional UNDP self-assessment and review planned for 2023.
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