GEF Council Considers 2020 Strategy, GEF-6

gefcouncilmeeting27 May 2014: The 46th meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council convened immediately prior to the 5th meeting of the GEF Assembly. The Council considered, inter alia, the long term strategy for the GEF, co-financing policy, the GEF-5 Work Program, and the Work program and budget of the GEF Independent Evaluation office. Agenda items specific to the sixth replenishment period of the GEF Trust Fund (GEF-6) included a proposal for the System of Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR) for GEF-6, implementation arrangements for the GEF Small Grants Programme, and a summary of the negotiations of the Sixth Replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund.

The Council meeting took place in Cancún, Mexico from 25-27 May 2014, in parallel with over forty side events covering sustainable transport, illegal wildlife trade, protected areas and various other issues. The 5th meeting of the GEF Assembly will be held following the Council meeting, from 28-29 May 2014.

Opening the meeting, Naoko Ishii, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chair of the GEF, said the $4.4 billion in pledges from 31 countries for the GEF-6 replenishment, the largest replenishment to date, represented a “significant success.” Ishii also introduced the draft document of the GEF 2020 Strategy, noting that it offers a goal beyond four-year funding cycles and enables the GEF to contribute effectively to the global discussion on environmental issues in the context of international sustainable development and climate change agendas.

Policy, operational, and review issues were prominent on the agenda, with items considering: annual monitoring and review; an annual performance report of 646 completed projects, which found that projects in Africa, Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and fragile states were less likely to achieve satisfactory performance than projects in other areas; and an annual country portfolio evaluation report that gave biodiversity and multi-focal projects lower than average ratings than for other focal areas. The Council also discussed relations with the Conventions and other international institutions, an update on the Nagoya Protocol Implementation Fund, and a report of the Chair of the GEF Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP).

Among the Council's decisions were the appointment of Juha Uitto (Finland) as the new Director of the GEF's Independent Evaluation Office and the decision to convene the second meeting of the GEF Council in 2015 from 20-22 October 2015.

The Civil Society Organizations (CSO) Forum and the 16th Meeting of the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Special Climate Change Fund (LDCF/SCCF) Council took place in parallel with the GEF Council Meeting, on 27 May 2014. At the close of the meeting, GEF CEO Ishii noted that an important transition from GEF-5 to GEF-6 had been made over the three day meeting. She also observed that GEF2020 is a living document, providing a reference point for future discussion. [46th meeting of the GEF Council Website] [GEF Assembly Website] [GEF Press Release on Sustainable Transport Side Event] [IISD RS coverage of 5th meeting of the GEF Assembly, 46th meeting of the GEF Council, and videos of side events]