Stories by Mohammed Kandi, with agency report
Countries that participated in the 46th Council of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Cancun launched the new GEF2020 strategy and approved a $230 million work programme that, together with previous investments during 2010 -2014, will total $3.7 billion, directed towards the protection of the global environment.
These and other decisions taken by the Council provide the foundation for the next four years of actions (GEF-6) by the GEF and its partners to work with countries to address urgent global environmental problems relating to climate change, biodiversity loss, desertification and land degradation, management of international waters, management of forests for multiple benefits, and protection against dangerous chemicals and wastes.
In fact, council members endorsed the draft strategy, but some raised the need for more prominent references to several issues, including: the socio economic benefits associated with environmental action and how the Strategy would link to the post-2015 development agenda; private sector engagement; the involvement of key ministries, to ensure environmental policies and programmes are mainstreamed; and innovative financing approaches.
Looking ahead, the GEF Council also welcomed the new GEF2020 strategy to guide GEF into the future. The strategy puts a focus on addressing the drivers of environmental degradation, using new instruments to engage the private sector, working to achieve impact at scale, and creating synergies with existing and new development partners. The Council also welcomed two new partners: the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), bringing the number of implementing partners to 14. DBSA is also the first national project agency to be accredited to the GEF.
The three-day meeting brought together over 500 representatives of Governments, Implementing Agencies, International Organizations and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). The meeting included the 16th meeting of the Council for the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF).
Nigerian delegation was led by the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Malam, accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Rabi Jimeta, GEF Operational Focal Point, Mr. D. M. Dauda and other delegates drawn from the Ministries of Environment and Finance, GEF Project Coordinators, Project Consultant and representatives of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
The GEF Assembly is one of the governing bodies of the GEF in which representatives of the 183 member countries participate. It meets once every four years to review, evaluate GEF policies, operations and membership. The Assembly considers and approves proposed amendments to the GEF Instrument.
Nigeria was the only country, apart from the host country, that participated fully at the fifth GEF Assembly’s exhibition among the 183 member states ,which afforded the nation to showcase her success stories and achievements over the past years in the implementation of GEF funded projects, shared knowledge on the peculiarity of Nigeria and how GEF support has made a difference at all levels, demonstrated the linkages between the different ranges of project sizes and the existing strong partnerships with our partners that have contributed to the successes experienced.
The DG UNIDO, Mr. Li Yong assured the role of UNIDO in promoting green growth in industries, noting that it has recently adopted a new mandate to make sustainability central to industrial development.