GEF Council Consultation Meeting with CSOs
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council Consultation with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) took place on 16 December 2019, at World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC. It was organized in collaboration with the GEF CSO Network, the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP), the Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group (IPAG) and the GEF-funded Global Wildlife Program (GWP) led by the World Bank. Participants discussed how civil society can engage in the GEF’s proposed Private Sector Engagement Strategy and how the Strategy can enable more meaningful engagement within the GEF architecture at global, regional and country levels. They also focused on issues related to combating the illegal wildlife trade, such as the role of communities in the management of conservation areas and in law enforcement, and the benefits of a wildlife economy for local communities.
CSO Dialogue with the GEF CEO
Akhteruzzaman Sano, Chair, GEF-CSO Network, stressed CSO willingness to work with governments and the GEF, suggested that future CSO consultations invite government ministers and address resilience and indigenous peoples’ knowledge, and called for establishing a capacity-building baseline before GEF-8.
GEF CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii emphasized the importance of multi-stakeholder coalitions to promote the massive economic transformation needed to respect planetary boundaries. Responding to interventions, she expressed hope that the Council would approve the proposed inclusive conservation initiative, denoted CSOs as key actors on the ground which can help design sustainability in GEF projects, and called for mainstreaming resilience into all GEF projects and programs.
Ornela Cuci, Alternate Council Member for Albania, stressed the importance of supporting sustainable capacity building at the university level and making projects results-oriented.
GEF's Private Sector Engagement Strategy
Maria Leichner, Vice Chair, GEF-CSO Network moderated a panel on the GEF’s proposed Private Sector Engagement Strategy.
Matthew Brian Reddy, GEF Secretariat, highlighted: how to transform markets; the evolution of and increasing expectations on the private sector; engaging the private sector on product innovation and sourcing; increasing private sector ambition and commitments; and structuring its delivery on these to increase accountability.
Yoko Watanabe, GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP), described the SGP’s approach, including stocktaking, case studies on good practices, and strategy development and operationalization. She cited SGP work on scaling up and developing civil society capacity, and announced a new SGP publication on community wildlife conservation.
Ariuntuya Dorjsuren, GEF Council Member for Mongolia, described the Global Opportunities for Long-term Development in Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Programme (GEF GOLD) in Mongolia to improve economic development and sustainable consumption of natural resources by engaging multiple stakeholders to develop similar goals on co-benefits and co-contributions.
In ensuing discussion, Lalit Mohan, Regional Focal Point, South Asia, CSO Network, stressed dividing responsibilities among stakeholders and contributing to existing multi-stakeholder dialogues. Reddy highlighted varying opportunities for private sector involvement depending on country conditions, institutions, and industry sectors. Watanabe stressed strengthened networks for better coordination.
CSOs and the Sustainability of GEF Funded Projects
Sonja Sabita Teelucksingh, GEF Secretariat, shared a framework for, and key factors that influence, the durability and sustainability of GEF-funded projects. She highlighted four aspects of the framework which should be incorporated throughout the project cycle: a theory of change, a multi-stakeholder process, stakeholder involvement, and adaptive learning.
During ensuing discussion, CSO representatives highlighted key successes in enhancing durability of projects on community-based natural resource management and wildlife conservation, including: building an adaptive management model; obtaining local communities’ consent during project initiation and throughout implementation; engaging the private sector; providing alternative livelihoods; educating women and youth; and ensuring all actors have defined roles and benefit from projects’ added value.
Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade: A Civil Society Perspective
This session opened with a video discussing Gorongosa National Park’s conservation model involving the local community in Mozambique. Steven Broad, Executive Director, TRAFFIC, said illegal wildlife trade results from overexploitation driven by demand. He suggested enlisting local communities as the first line of defense, showing benefits from managing instead of exploiting wildlife, and modifying and reducing consumer demand.
Kaddu Sebunya, CEO, African Wildlife Foundation, discussed Africa’s wildlife trade, raising several questions for consideration, including how to: involve and empower local communities and CSOs; improve enforcement against illegal wildlife trade; mainstream conservation into Africa’s development agenda; and involve youth, who constitute 60% of Africa’s population.
Two roundtables convened on: the role of communities in the management of conservation areas and in law enforcement; and the benefits of a wildlife economy for the local communities.
In the first roundtable, moderated by Mujon Baghai, Mujon Baghai Consulting, Maxi Pia Louis, NACSO, Namibia, suggested working with communities on efficient monitoring and anti-poaching strategies that provide them with co-benefits. John Kamanga, SORALO, Kenya, highlighted the role of communities as the custodians and stewards of wildlife.
Patricia Turpin, Environment Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago, described a co-management plan for five newly established protected areas and called for scaling up law enforcement.
Aili Kang, WCS Asia Program, called for extending project duration to build trust and collaborating with communities for measurable impact.
Elisson Wright, Global Wildlife Program, World Bank, introduced the second roundtable. He highlighted that the private sector can create, influence and scale up markets, and called for linking products to paying consumers.
Leonidas Nzigiyimpa, Conservation and Community of Change, Burundi, described a project that has improved the quality of coffee and livelihoods while protecting chimpanzees, noting that protecting one umbrella species can also bring other values.
Clara Sierra, ASOCAIMAN, Colombia, described a project providing benefits to former crocodile hunters for monitoring the species, which increased crocodile numbers by 200% in 20 years.
Divya Khandal, Dhonk, India, highlighted the success of Tiger Watch in reforming a tiger poaching tribe through training community members in native crafts.
Rodgers Lubilo, Zambia CBNRM Forum, said human-wildlife conflict must be addressed by giving local communities rights and added value from wildlife protection.
In ensuing discussion, participants said long-term solutions require generational change, through increasing incentives and education, and urged government approval of autonomous community utilization of income from wildlife. Moderator Wright stressed that poverty cannot be criminalized.
Other discussions focused on benefits for women and youth, land use planning to reduce conflicts, scaling up projects and individual benefits, and support to communities not benefiting otherwise.
Rosie Cooney, Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP), summarized the discussion, noting that illegal wildlife trade is “big, complex and harmful,” will get worse, and must be stemmed by empowering and benefiting communities through inclusive wildlife management. Participants then watched a video of a GEF project in Uruguay, and Leichner thanked all participants for the active dialogue.