GEF 45th Council Meeting, 1-7 November 2013
The 45th GEF Council Meeting was held in Washington DC from 4 – 7 November 2013. This meeting was important as a number of key decisions were made including approving a work program totaling $238 million, expanding the roster of GEF Partner Agencies, and additional pledges for the LDCF/SCCF Funds. In addition key discussions were held on the 5th Overall Performance Study (OPS5) of GEF and the draft of the long term GEF Strategies (2020 GEF Strategy).
GEF-NGO Network organized a range of meetings in Washington DC in association with the 45th GEF Council as follows:
1 November - Meeting of GEF-NGO Network Coordination Committee (CC)
The CC meeting was attended by thirteen out of the sixteen currently elected Regional focal points and one Indigenous Peoples Focal Points. The meeting discussed a range of matters including the status and development of network membership, strengthening the operation of the Network, and preparation for GEF-CSO consultation and the GEF Council meetings. Among the important results were:
- Finalising the plans to complete review of the GEF Public Involvement Policy (PIP);
- Fine tuning the proposal on cross cutting capacity building with combination of country and regional activities;
- Confirming the plans for the CSO’s forum during the 5th GEF Assembly;
- Reviewing progress by the Network RFPs/IPFPs;
- Establishing various Network Sub-Committees to facilitate work between CC meetings.
2 November (all day) 3 November (afternoon) - Workshop on the Public Involvement Policy (PIP)
The workshop on GEF Public Involvement Policy (PIP) was attended by 30 CSOs. The workshop discussed the progress and constraints in implementing the GEF Public Involvement Policy and gave recommendations on the refinements or improvements for future enhancement of the policy or development of associated guidelines. Breakout groups discussed the implementation status, possible enhancements of existing policy and identification of the key contents for the guidelines.
Breakout groups on 3 November discussed the public involvement in GEF programmes, including the proposed amendments to the GEF Public Involvement Policy, indicators for assessment of CSO involvement and the development of guidelines for GEF agencies/government/CSO.
3 November (morning) - Preparatory meeting for the GEF-CSO consultation
This meeting was attended by 37 representatives from CSOs and the meeting discussed and reviewed some of the key issues on the agenda of the 45th GEF Council meeting, namely,
1. Draft 2020 GEF Long-term Strategy
2. Organisation of Fifth GEF Assembly
3. Work Program
4. Review of GEF Agencies on Environmental and Social Safeguards and Gender Mainstreaming
5. Evaluation of OPS5 on CSO engagement
The meeting also discussed GEF NGO Network matters including membership development, network operation and the development of an MSP for civil society capacity development as well as the preparation for the GEF Council-CSO consultation on 4 November.
4 November - GEF Council-CSO Consultation
This meeting was attended by more than 120 representatives from civil society, GEF Council members GEF Agencies and the GEF Secretariat. The meeting included a one hour dialogue between civil society and the GEF CEO and two panel sessions to discuss the enhancement of CSO engagement in GEF and the vision and long term strategy plan for GEF2020 Strategy. The meeting, especially the afternoon panel was very interactive with active inputs from Council members, GEF agencies as well as CSOs. To view the detailed report of the meeting, together with the presentations [click here].
Among the major outcomes from the meeting are :
- A commitment from the GEF CEO to work more closely with the network to update and strengthen GEFs Public Involvement Policy.
- Agreement to highlight partnership between GEF and Civil society at the upcoming GEF Assembly in May 2014.
- Recognition by the evaluation office of the higher impact of CSO led projects on local outcomes and sustainability compared to non-CSO led projects.
- Agreement that the GEF 2020 long term strategy should be revised to take into account comments from the Network and other stakeholders and that the role of CSOs would be strengthened in the future work of GEF.
- Announcement that WWF-US and Conservation international have been appointed as new GEF agencies and that this may lead to more opportunities for CSO engagement in GEF.
- Agreement that GEF would work to implement the recommendations of the GEF Advisory Group on Indigenous Peoples that met before the council.
- Support from a number of council members to strengthen the role of CSOs in the work of GEF.
- Recognition that further work was needed by existing GEF agencies to fully comply with GEF minimum requirements for environmental and social safeguards
To view the report by IISD, click here.
5-7 November - 45th GEF Council Meeting
Around 30 CSO representatives observed the GEF Council sessions by rotation and eight formal network position papers/statements were presented to the council on the agenda items as follows :
- Note on the Organization of the Fifth General Assembly (Presented by Maria Leichner, RFP South America)
- Progress Report of the GEF Evaluation Office Director, including the OPS5 Progress Report and Management Response (Presented by Shree Maharjan, Asian Indigenous Peoples' Pact)
- Relations with the Conventions and other International Institutions (Presented by Tcharbuahbokengo N.F.I.N.N., RFP Central Africa)
- Review of GEF Agencies on Environmental and Social Safeguards and Gender Mainstreaming (Presented by Mussab Anees, Live & Learn Maldives)
- Update on GEF-6 Replenishment (Presented by Guenter Mitlacher, RFP Europe)
- GEF2020 Strategy (Presented by Kakhaber Bakhtadze, RFP Eastern Europe & Central Asia)
- Work Program (Presented by Shree Maharjan, Asian Indigenous Peoples' Pact)
- LDCF/SCCF meeting (Presented by Samuel Dotse, RFP West Africa)
The Council formally welcomed Conservation International and WWF-US as the GEF Project Agencies. The Council approved the work programme, which amounts to US$238 million including an initial project to be routed through WWF-US. Deliberations on the policy and finding for the GEF6 cycle beginning July 1, 2014, are continuing, with decisions by donors on the funding replenishment to be made in early 2014 and put before the gathering of the GEF Assembly of member nations in Mexico in May for final endorsement. The Network urged the GEF and its donors to respect the relevant convention directions and significantly increase the level of funding in GEF6 compared to GEF5. The need for GEF to take a multi-stakeholder and partnership approach in its 2020 Strategy was emphasized which many Council Members supported. The LDCF/SCCF Funds received additional contributions of $5 million to the LDCF and $2.7 million to the SCCF during the meeting, adding to the total funds received over the past 10 years which amounting to US$1.1 billion.
View the joint summary of the Chairs of the Council.
The next GEF Council will be held prior to the 5th GEF Assembly in 2014 as follows:
- GEF Council Meeting, 25-26 May 2014
- CSO Forum, 27 May 2014
- GEF Assembly, 28-29 May 2014