Highlights and images for 17 December 2019

United States of America

Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson (left), confers with GEF Secretariat staff members.

Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, opened the 57th meeting of the GEF Council, highlighting the GEF’s role in “navigating” the needed “massive, unprecedented” systems change, underpinned by scientific findings and economic benefits. Warning about the “huge costs of inaction,” she called for a multi-stakeholder coalition of national and subnational governments, businesses and citizens to transform the energy, food and city systems. She also suggested using “super year 2020” to set a nature target, similar to the 1.5°C climate goal, and identifying ways to achieve it.

The GEF Secretariat presented the GEF Monitoring Report 2019, which includes a “deep dive” on the GEF Small Grant Programme (SGP). Council Members welcomed the Report, identifying several areas for improvement and seeking clarification on, among other things, the governance of the SGP and the low performance rating of certain focal areas.

Council Members considered a proposed updated policy on minimum fiduciary standards. Discussion focused, in particular, on numerous suggestions made by many Council Members for strengthening language on when and how the Council is informed of any potential issue with regard to compliance with the standards. Following proposals to establish an audit committee for review of compliance, in the context of Agencies’ sensitivities about confidentiality, several members undertook to draft terms of reference for such a committee, for later consideration.

The Council discussed the first report assessing compliance by the 18 implementing Agencies with the GEF’s minimum standards on environmental and social safeguards, gender equality and stakeholder engagement, including 14 Agencies’ action plans for coming into full compliance. Council Members adopted a decision asking the Secretariat to update future Council sessions on progress in implementing the plans of action.

The Secretariat presented a report on improving the durability of GEF investments, suggesting four elements to incorporate into the design and implementation of projects and programs. The Council adopted a decision welcoming the analysis and agreeing on follow-up steps suggested by the Secretariat.

Council Members also heard a report of the Chairperson of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP).

Participants listen to Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, elaborating on the GEF’s role in navigating transformational change.

Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson

Gillian Guthrie, Jamaica, was elected Co-Chair of the 57th GEF Council meeting.

L-R: William Ehlers, GEF Secretariat; Gillian Guthrie, Jamaica, Co-Chair of the 57th GEF Council meeting; and Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson

Matthew Haarsager, Council Member, US

Zhongjing Wang, Council Member, China

Adriana Leticia Flachier Troya, Council Member, Ecuador

Maxi Louis, GEF-CSO Network

Aparna Subramani, Council Member, India

Stefan Schwager, Council Member, Switzerland

L-R: Graciela Miret, Council Member, Paraguay; Kordula Mehlhart, Germany; and Anar Mamdani, Council Member, Canada

Peter Elder, Council Member, Australia

Yoshiko Motoyama, Alternate Council Member, Japan

Comlan Awougnon, Council Member, Togo

Carola Van Rijnsoever, Council Member, the Netherlands

Pradeep Kurukulasuriya, UN Development Programme, responds to questions from Council Members.

Tobias Von Platen-Hallermund, Alternate Council Member, Denmark

Rachna Ramsurn, Council Member, Mauritius

Feturi Elisaia, Samoa

Marita Olson, Council Member, Sweden

Akhteruzzaman Sano, Chair, GEF-CSO Network, addresses Council Members

Gustavo Fonseca, GEF Secretariat

Ariuntuya Dorjsuren, Council Member, Mongolia

Françoise Clottes, GEF Secretariat

Maria Dakolias, World Bank and Legal Adviser to the GEF

Participants view a slide from the presentation by Rosina Bierbaum, STAP Chair, showing the newly discovered Aphrodite fish.

L-R: Christopher Whaley, STAP Secretary, and Rosina Bierbaum, STAP Chair

Participants from the GEF-CSO Network confer on the sidelines of the 57th GEF Council Meeting.

Ariuntuya Dorjsuren, Council Member, Mongolia, exchanges views with participants from WWF US.

L-R: Giovanni Reyes, Philippine Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (ICCA) Consortium, is interviewed by Sarah Wyatt, GEF Secretariat.

L-R: Yibin Xiang, CBD Secretariat, with Elizabeth Mrema, Acting Executive Secretary, CBD Secretariat

L-R: Rachna Ramsurn, Council Member, Mauritius, with Susan Waithaka, GEF Secretariat


All ENB photos are free to use with attribution. For the 57th Meeting of the GEF Council, please use: Photo by IISD/ENB | Francis Dejon.

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