SUMMARY OF THE 47TH MEETING OF THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT FACILITY COUNCIL

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
in collaboration with the Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Volume 192 Number 12 – Sunday, 2 October 2014

SUMMARY OF THE 47TH MEETING OF THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT FACILITY COUNCIL

28-30 OCTOBER 2014

The 47th meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council convened in Washington, DC, US, from 28-30 October 2014, at World Bank headquarters. Representatives of governments, international organizations and civil society organizations (CSOs) attended the three-day meeting, which also included the 17th meeting of the Council for the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). The meetings were preceded by consultations with CSOs on 27 October.

GEF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairperson Naoko Ishii opened the Council meeting and introduced the agenda. The Council elected Winston Thompson (Council member for Fiji, Cook Islands, Indonesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu) as Co-Chair of the meeting. On the first day of the 47th meeting of the GEF Council, the GEF announced the addition of a 15th GEF Agency: Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (FUNBIO). On Wednesday morning, the Council observed a minute of silence in memory of the President ofZambia, Michael Sata, who passed away the previous day.

In addition to conducting a dialogue with the Executive Secretaries of four conventions served by the GEF and the Chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP), the Council considered agenda items on, inter alia: Annual Monitoring Review; Results-based Management Action Plan; GEF-6 Non-Grant Instrument Pilot and Updated Policy for Non-Grant Instruments; Improving the GEF Project Cycle; the Country Support Programme Implementation; Gender Equality Action Plan; Progress Report on the Pilot Accreditation of GEF Project Agencies and Timeline for Further Discussion of Accreditation; Progress Report of the GEF Independent Evaluation Office Director; and Stocktaking of Integrated Approach Pilots Preparation. The Council approved a Work Program that consists of 15 project concepts, with total resources equal to US$190.74 million.

The LDCF/SCCF Council convened for its 17th meeting on 30 October, and adopted, inter alia, a Work Program for the SCCF that comprises six project concepts, with total resources amounting to US$31.883 million, including SCCF project financing and Agency fees. Switzerland announced that it was sending CHF 1 million for the LDCF and CHF 1.25 million for the SCCF. Norway announced a recent contribution of NOK 22 million to LDCF and NOK 15 million to SCCF. Ireland announced a commitment of 900,000 Euros to the LDCF, and Belgium announced a forthcoming contribution of 12 million Euros to the LDCF. The US announced that it had transferred US$27.2 million to LDCF in September, more than it had originally pledged.

At the conclusion of the meetings, the LDCF/SCCF and GEF Councils reviewed and approved the Joint Summary of the Chairs of the respective meetings, and CEO and Chairperson Ishii closed the meeting.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GEF

This summary highlights the discussions and decisions reached at the 47th meeting of the GEF Council and the 17th meeting of the LDCF/SCCF Council.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was created in 1991 as a result of mounting concern in the preceding decade over global environmental problems and in an effort to formulate financing responses to address these problems. The GEF operated in a pilot phase until mid-1994. Negotiations to restructure the organization were concluded at a GEF participants’ meeting in Geneva in March 1994, where representatives of 73 countries agreed to adopt the GEF Instrument.

The GEF organizational structure includes an Assembly that meets every four years, a Council that meets twice a year, a Secretariat, and the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP). The Evaluation Office was created in 2003. The GEF Assembly has convened five times: 1-3 April 1998 in New Delhi, India; 16-18 October 2002 in Beijing, China; 29-30 August 2006 in Cape Town, South Africa; 25-26 May 2010 in Punta del Este, Uruguay; and 28-29 May 2014, in Cancun, Mexico.

The organization’s main decision-making body is the GEF Council, which is responsible for developing, adopting and evaluating the GEF’s operational policies and programmes. It is comprised of 32 appointed Council members, each representing a constituency (i.e., a group of countries, including both donor and recipient countries).

The GEF is funded by donor nations, which commit money every four years through a process called the GEF replenishment. Since its creation in 1991, the GEF Trust Fund has been replenished by US$2.75 billion (GEF-1), US$3 billion (GEF-2), US$3.13 billion (GEF-3), US$3.13 billion (GEF-4) and US$4.34 billion (GEF-5). In April 2014, the Trust Fund was replenished by US$4.43 billion from 31 donor countries (GEF-6).

The GEF administers the LDCF and the SCCF, and provides secretariat services to the Adaptation Fund established by the parties to the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The GEF also serves as a financial mechanism for a number of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs): the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Minamata Convention on Mercury. GEF work also focuses on sustainable forest management, international waters and ozone layer depletion.

GEF funding has been channeled to recipient countries through “GEF Agencies,” which included 14 organizations prior to the 47th meeting of the GEF Council: the UN Development Programme (UNDP); the UN Environment Programme (UNEP); the World Bank; the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO); the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO); the African Development Bank (AfDB); the Asian Development Bank (ADB); the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD); the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); World Wildlife Fund, Inc. (WWF-US); Conservation International; International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). On the first day of the 47th meeting of the GEF Council, the GEF announced the addition of a 15th GEF Agency: the Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (FUNBIO).

40TH MEETING OF THE GEF COUNCIL: This meeting convened in Washington, DC, US, from 24-26 May 2011. At this meeting, Council members agreed to, inter alia, broaden the GEF Partnership under Paragraph 28 of the Instrument for the Establishment of the Restructured GEF (GEF Instrument), which establishes criteria and accreditation procedures for allowing new entities into the Partnership during a pilot phase. Related to this decision, the Council agreed on provisional policies on environmental and social safeguards and a policy on gender mainstreaming. Council members also agreed to approve the arrangements for the operation of the Nagoya Protocol Implementation Fund (NPIF), which was established based on a proposal and an initial contribution by Japan.

41ST MEETING OF THE GEF COUNCIL: This meeting convened in Washington, DC, US, from 8-10 November 2011. Council members discussed options for engaging with the private sector, approved a revised strategy for programming GEF-5’s private sector funds, and requested the Secretariat, in consultation with the multilateral development banks, to present to the Council a detailed paper outlining clear operational modalities for private sector engagement. Council members adopted a Work Program that reflected the needs and views of 99 beneficiary countries. Council members also adopted a decision asking the Secretariat to organize a meeting of biodiversity-related conventions with the CBD Secretariat to facilitate the coordination of priorities for inclusion in the GEF-6 programming strategy. The Council approved provisions on how a policy on environmental and social safeguards should be applied to existing GEF Agencies and GEF Project Agencies.

42ND MEETING OF THE GEF COUNCIL: This meeting convened in Washington, DC, US, from 5-7 June 2012. The Work Program adopted at this meeting was the largest presented to the Council to date, with 84 stand-alone project concepts and two programmatic approaches amounting to US$667.26 million in GEF project grants. The LDCF/SCCF Council convened for its 12th meeting on 7 June, and approved decisions on: the Joint Work Program for the LDCF/SCCF; the FY2012 Work Plan and Budget for the Evaluation Office under the LDCF and SCCF; and the Administrative Budget for the LDCF and SCCF for Fiscal Year 2013. Pledges and contributions were announced by Australia (AUS$15 million) and Finland (US$5 million).

43RD MEETING OF THE GEF COUNCIL: This meeting convened in Washington, DC, from 13-15 November 2012. The Council approved decisions on, inter alia: relations with conventions and other international institutions; proposed framework for a financial mechanism for the future mercury convention (what would become the Minamata Convention) and draft operational programme for mercury; financial projections for GEF-5 programming options; and the Work Program, which amounted to US$174 million and benefited 63 countries. The LDCF/SCCF Council convened for its 13th meeting on 15 November and adopted, inter alia, a Work Program amounting to US$28.54 million for the SCCF and US$1.87 million for the LDCF. Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden announced new contributions to the LDCF and SCCF amounting to US$80.8 million.

44TH MEETING OF THE GEF COUNCIL: This meeting convened from 18-20 June 2013 in Washington DC. The Council approved decisions on, inter alia: relations with conventions and other international institutions; the progress report from the Director of the GEF Evaluation Office; the annual monitoring review; the report of the selection and review committee; the Work Program and budget of the GEF Evaluation Office; the GEF Business Plan and Corporate Budget for the 2014 fiscal year; the Fifth Overall Performance Study and Management Response (OPS5); and the Work Program, which amounted to US$369.82 million. On 20 June, the 14th meeting of the LDCF/SCCF Council approved a Joint Work Program comprising four project concepts and two programmatic approaches, and requested total resources of US$19.8 million for the SCCF and US$25.03 million for the LDCF. In addition, the funds were bolstered by pledges amounting to US$129 million for the LDCF and US$69.2 million for the SCCF.

45TH MEETING OF THE GEF COUNCIL: This meeting took place from 5-7 November 2013 in Washington DC. The Council considered, inter alia: the progress report on the pilot accreditation of GEF Project Agencies; the mid-term evaluation of the System for Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR); the mid-term evaluation of the National Portfolio Formulation Exercise; an update on the GEF-6 replenishment; a review of GEF Agencies on their application of environmental and social safeguards and gender mainstreaming; and an update on the development of the GEF2020 strategy. The GEF Council also approved a Work Program amounting to US$259.84 million.

46TH MEETING OF THE GEF COUNCIL: This meeting took place in Cancún, Mexico, from 25-27 May 2014. The GEF Council adopted decisions on, inter alia: Long-Term Strategy for the GEF – GEF2020; Proposal for the STAR; Co-financing Policy; the main findings and recommendations from the Annual Performance Report; and the Work Program. The meeting included the 16th meeting of the LDCF and SCCF. The CSO Forum was held on Tuesday 27 May.

CSO CONSULTATION: A GEF Council CSO Consultation took place on 27 October 2014, in Washington, DC. Participants focused on four topics: a dialogue with the GEF CEO; gender mainstreaming and public involvement in GEF projects; the work of the GEF-CSO Network; and CSO engagement in GEF-6. For IISD RS’ summary of the proceedings, see http://www.iisd.ca/gef/council47/27oct.html.

REPORT OF THE 47TH MEETING OF THE GEF COUNCIL

On Tuesday, 28 October 2014, Naoko Ishii, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chair of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), opened the 47th meeting of the GEF Council. She highlighted that, as a result of the GEF’s sixth replenishment (GEF-6), the Facility has more resources, a strategy that will lift the GEF’s work to new heights, and a strong policy agenda. She stressed that the coming year is critical for the GEF because it will involve: intensive work to reach a climate agreement by the end of 2015; discussions on the post-2015 development agenda; and the first year of implementing GEF-6. She emphasized the need for GEF-6 to get off to a strong start, and said several Council agenda items will help in this regard, including the discussions on results-based management (RBM), a new project cancellation policy, and the non-grant instrument pilot. Ishii also emphasized the need for countries to establish their priorities for the new cycle in order to get a strong start on GEF-6, and said this process was already well underway in many countries. Ishii also announced that she has decided to reorganize the GEF Secretariat into two departments: one on programming, and one on policy and operations. 

Winston Thompson (Fiji; Council member for Fiji, Cook Islands, Indonesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu) was elected Co-Chair for the 47th meeting of the GEF Council.

In the brief discussion on the Provisional Agenda (GEF/C.47/01.Rev.01), a Council member noted that the Small Grants Programme (SGP) was not on the agenda and asked to be able to address it either as a separate item or under an existing item. It was agreed that the SGP could be discussed under agenda item 17, “Other Business.” The Provisional Agenda was adopted without amendment.

ANNUAL MONITORING REVIEW (AMR) FY14: PART I

On Tuesday Omid Parhizkar, Secretariat, introduced the Annual Monitoring Review (AMR) FY 14: Part I (GEF/C.47/04), noting that the first part of the AMR presented each year to the autumn Council meeting contains a macro-view of the portfolio under implementation, while Part II presented to the spring Council meeting offers an analysis of outcomes, experiences and lessons learned. He said this AMR analyzes GEF-5 project approvals through fiscal year 2014, and indicates that there were more multifocal projects during GEF-5 than GEF-4.

Recalling the objective of making the first year of GEF-6 strong, a Council member pointed out that only 4% of projects were approved during the first year of GEF-5. Other Council Members suggested: using performance indicators related to the time between Project Identification Form (PIF) approval and submission to the CEO, and the time between CEO approval and first disbursal; evaluating the time from the first PIF to first disbursement; including cumulative expected results; developing joint agency programs in addition to multifocal area programs; and examining why some areas, such as technology transfer under climate, sustainable forest management and the Cartagena Protocol, did not use all of the allocated funding. A Council Member noted that gender balance has not yet occurred at the senior levels of the GEF. Another Council Member recalled the CSO proposal to have an annual meeting among focal points and CSOs, and inquired about options to support this proposal.

The Secretariat noted that country choice is involved in the final determination of projects and programs. For older projects, it was noted that it is worth asking whether they are still relevant.

Decision: The Council welcomed the overall finding that the GEF portfolio under implementation in FY14 performed satisfactorily across all focal areas, and welcomed the first disbursement analysis in the management effectiveness section.

RESULTS-BASED MANAGEMENT (RBM): ACTION PLAN

On Tuesday, Elwin Grainger-Jones, GEF Secretariat, presented the document Results-based Management: Action Plan (GEF/C.47/05). He highlighted that the purpose of the Action Plan is to review and improve corporate RBM to pursue the GEF2020 strategy and to achieve the objectives of GEF-6 by managing better for results. He said the Action Plan builds on existing work, including the GEF 2010 Action Plan, but that major challenges require a new and fresh approach, including ways to capture multiple benefits more clearly.

During the ensuing discussion, Council Members emphasized, inter alia: authenticity and reliability of the data used; the need for capacity building for some countries on new GEF tracking tools; harmonization of RBM with existing implementing agencies and country systems to avoid duplication of reporting; inclusion of socio-economic status to allow for impact on gender; and integrating communication tools to ensure effective knowledge sharing.

Several Council Members highlighted the need for more emphasis on land degradation, and some noted the need to ensure alignment of the RBM with the Gender Equality Action Plan. Council Members also proposed a more ambitious time schedule for the Action Plan.

In response, the Secretariat assured Council Members that land is important and noted that it is referred to in the three integrated approach programs (IAPs). On communication and knowledge sharing, the Secretariat said the generation of better results will demonstrate multiple benefits and that the Secretariat is mindful of not “reinventing the wheel” in seeking information, but will work to enhance existing partner frameworks to improve knowledge sharing.

On financial support for work on RBM, Ramesh Ramankutty, GEF Secretariat, noted that funding is already allocated under the previous budget increase. On harmonization, the Secretariat said the responsibility for day-to-day monitoring of projects rests with GEF agencies. On training, he said appropriate training and support will be provided to agencies.

Decision: The Council welcomed and approved the Action Plan and requested the Secretariat to report on progress of implementation at the next Council meeting in June 2015.

GEF-6 NON-GRANT INSTRUMENT PILOT AND UPDATED POLICY FOR NON-GRANT INSTRUMENTS

On Tuesday, Claus Astrup, GEF Secretariat, presented a document outlining the implementation modalities for the US$110 million set aside as part of GEF-6 for the pilot to expand the use of non-grant instruments (NGIs) and proposes an update of the GEF policy for NGIs (GEF/C.47/06). Astrup explained that, as the Secretariat was preparing the modalities for the pilot called for by GEF-6 to leverage capital from the private sector and assess the demand for NGIs for the public sector in GEF recipient countries, it realized that the existing policy was out-of-date because, inter alia, it did not account for newer Agencies and did not address use of NGIs by public sector recipients. 

During the discussion, several Council Members stressed the importance of careful selection of the recipients for the pilot, and underscored the need for a strong associated communications strategy and careful monitoring and evaluation. Several stressed the need to be extra careful in engaging the public sector. Several members urged using NGIs outside of the traditional thematic focus of climate, such as chemicals and biodiversity. Some asked whether the blending of NGIs would be allowed with funds from national allocations under the STAR. A few Council Members expressed concern about the Secretariat’s capacity to handle the complexity of NGIs. One Council Member suggested that the Secretariat report back to the Council in one year on how the pilot is proceeding, so the Council can make any mid-course corrections that might prove necessary.

David Rodgers, GEF Secretariat, responded that: blending NGIs with grants is feasible and encouraged and covered under the policy; discussions with Agencies led the Secretariat to believe that the proposed two-phase approach is the best way to entice the public sector to come into the pilot; the Secretariat strongly agrees on the need for monitoring and evaluation, especially regarding the management of payments of principal, interest, fees or other reflows of funds, which was one of the rationales for revising the policy. William Ehlers, GEF Secretariat, noted GEF actions to advise countries of the pilot and planned communication activities associated with the NGI pilot.

Decision: The Council approved the implementation modalities for the NGI Pilot, and approved the updated NGI Policy with an effectiveness date of 1 November 2014.

IMPROVING THE GEF PROJECT CYCLE

On Tuesday, Grainger-Jones presented the document Improving the GEF Project Cycle (GEF/C.47/07). He emphasized that the actions outlined in the report represent only one step in the process of constantly improving the GEF project cycle. He explained that, while the document also reported on the implementation status of the eight project cycle streamlining measures appr Yasemin Biro oved by the Council in 2012 and on the pilot harmonization of procedures between the GEF Secretariat and the World Bank, most Council Members were likely to be most interested in the proposal for updating the cancellation policy and the proposal for eight measures to refine the programmatic approach. He reminded that the cancellation policy proposal stemmed from a Council request, and outlined recent Secretariat efforts to analyze the factors that lead to delays as well as ways to help countries reduce the current project backlog. He explained that the cancellation policy was necessary to “avoid having half a billion dollars sitting in the bank” when it could be used elsewhere. As for the proposed eight changes to improve programmatic approach modality, he explained these were necessary to stem and reverse the programmatic approach’s drop in share of the GEF portfolio from 32% to 12%.

Regarding the proposed cancellation policy update, Council Members: urged that countries be well notified in advance; asked for a review of the policy’s impacts post-implementation; cautioned that the one-year extension in exceptional circumstances should be used sparingly and only for truly exceptional circumstances; suggested that countries be allowed to resubmit projects that have been cancelled; requested further research on the reasons for delays in the project cycle; suggested regular Secretariat reports to the Council on the status of project approval and cancellation times; and suggested providing more than just one warning of possible cancellation in six months.  Some Council members also said the 18-month rule for triggering cancellation should be applied to all projects currently in the pipeline.

Regarding the proposed changes in the programmatic approach, several Council Members voiced concern about the proposed change in Agency fee rules. On the procedural harmonization pilot, several Council members suggested extending it to other Agencies, particularly UNDP.

Grainger-Jones responded that the Secretariat: felt that some flexibility in the application of the extension was necessary, but would keep the matter under review; will conduct further analysis of delays and share it with the Council in 2015 once it has been more defined; would be open to adding a second warning of imminent cancellation two months before the deadline; and felt that all eight proposed changes in the programmatic approach, including the fee change, were necessary to reverse the decline in this modality’s share of the portfolio.

Decision: The Council approved the updated Cancellation Policy as proposed in document GEF/C.47/07 and set out in Annex 2 to that document. It also approved the revised Programmatic Approach modality as proposed in the same document. The Council further requested the Secretariat to provide the next Council meeting with an analysis of the stock of projects approved before the 46th meeting of the Council that are delayed more than 18 months from PIF/Council approval to CEO endorsement, and to provide recommendations on how to address the issue, including possible modalities for inclusion in the updated Cancellation Policy.

THE COUNTRY SUPPORT PROGRAMME (CSP) IMPLEMENTATION

On Wednesday, CEO Ishii chaired the session onThe Country Support Programme Implementation (GEF/C.47/08). She introduced the document, noting that the CSP aims to provide targeted support to recipient countries, particularly with regards to building capacity of countries’ GEF focal points, Convention focal points and civil society as well as for resource programming.

One Council Member reiterated the need to improve the CSP through an Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) evaluation that looks at factors that encourage or discourage countries from taking advantage of the opportunities afforded under the CSP. Several Council Members recommended familiarization seminars for new operational focal points (OFPs). Council Members requested a table of activities comparing the costs of CSPs under GEF-5 and GEF-6 to better understand the additional costs required. Several also requested an evaluation of the activities.

The Secretariat responded by assuring the Council that the table of activities will be developed as an information note to be made available at the next Council meeting. He said the additional workshops will provide flexibility and ensure that constituents and focal points can meet as needed and without limitation under the allocation of workshops.

Decision: The Council approved the proposal for the Secretariat to execute the CSP and directed the Trustee to set aside US$23 million in GEF Trust Fund resources for use by the Secretariat to fund the CSP, which it specified would comprise the following elements:

  • Support for National Portfolio Formulation Exercises (NPFEs): US$2.4 million;
  • Multi-stakeholder dialogues: US$2 million;
  • GEF Workshops: US$12 million (ECWs US$10 million; other workshops US$2 million);
  • Constituency Meetings: US$5 million;
  • GEF Introduction Seminars: US$1.2million; and
  • Pre-Council Meeting for Recipient Country Council Members/Alternates: US$0.4 million.

GENDER EQUALITY ACTION PLAN

On Wednesday, CEO Ishii chaired the session on the Gender Equality Action Plan (GEAP) (GEF/C.47/09) and introduced Yoko Watanabe, Senior Environmental Specialist and Gender Focal Point, GEF Secretariat, and Elwin Grainger-Jones, GEF Secretariat. Grainger-Jones referred to management commitment to GEAP as a strong point in operationalizing the mainstreaming of gender in GEF policy and programming, and emphasized the Secretariat’s commitment to improving staff capacity by enhancing expertise on gender. Watanabe introduced the document, which she said provides a concrete road map to implement the GEF Policy on Gender Mainstreaming. She noted that the road map contains five key elements, namely: project cycle, programming and policies, knowledge management, RBM and capacity development.

Council Members deliberated on the key elements and sought clarification from the Secretariat on references to a “gender anchor” under capacity development within GEAP. . Some Council Members recommended inclusion of a footnote that highlights the specific arrangements for this reference. One Council Member reminded the Secretariat to ensure gender consideration in country projects and not just at the institutional level. A Council Member urged the GEF to provide funding and technical support on mainstreaming in-country activities. Clarification was sought on the determining factors of “gender-relevant” projects by the GEF. One Council Member stressed gender, diversity and inclusion as an important grouping, and urged specific, tailored actions regarding these three issues. Council Members further suggested: specific markers within GEF-6 should ensure support for the GEAP; support for women’s organizations to participate in the environment sector should be provided; a literature review of gender mainstreaming in other conventions and agencies should be undertaken; and a functioning inter agency working group to achieve targets should be established.

The Secretariat clarified that the first step is to decide on staff capacity and human capability required to implement the GEAP, and assured Council Members that the Secretariat intends to bring in additional external expertise. Ishii noted that the “anchor” reference refers to a function that is evolving. Watanabe added that the GEF has not specified the criteria to determine the gender relevance of projects. She said the GEF has drawn from different methodologies from other organizations. She said that efforts are in place to identify thematic areas for planned knowledge products.

Decision: The Council adopted the GEAP and approved its implementation, on the understanding that the relevant sections will be updated to clarify that the Secretariat will be creating a gender anchor function with gender-specific expertise. As a matter of high priority the Secretariat will bring in external gender-specific expertise to help develop a long-term solution to establish capacity in the Secretariat, and is to provide an update of progress at the 48th GEF Council Meeting in June 2015. The Council recognized the collaboration among the Secretariat, Agencies, related MEAs, CSOs and other partners in the development of the GEAP and requests that this engagement continue in GEAP’s implementation.

CONVERSATION WITH THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARIES OF THE CONVENTIONS – RELATIONS WITH THE CONVENTIONS AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

On Wednesday, Co-Chair Winston Thompson introduced four speakers in the conversation with Executive Secretaries: Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions; and Fatoumata Keita Ouane, Executive Secretary of the Minamata Convention. GEF CEO Ishii introduced the session and the document Relations with the Conventions and Other International Institutions (GEF/C.47/03), and stressed the importance of having the executive secretaries address the Council. She highlighted that it would be Figueres’ first address to the Council.

Figueres congratulated the GEF on its “unique” and “pioneering” role in integrating the environmental agenda into national economies during the past 20 years, and in servicing different conventions. On the GEF’s role within the climate agenda, she outlined three points. First, to continue investment in adaptation, demonstrating the different ways in which the GEF has successfully worked in the area and providing lessons learned to the rest of the financial world. Second, to assist in national policy integration for low carbon societies, to ensure that small island developing states (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs) are not left behind due to the technology and financial support needed for such a transition. Third, she encouraged the GEF to work hand-in-hand with the Green Climate Fund (GCF), sharing the GEF’s experience from the last 20 years for the GCF to take to larger scale. She referred to the complementary role of the GEF and GCF, noting they are “two sides of the same coin.”

Dias discussed progress made under the CBD and reflected on outcomes of COP 12, as related to the conclusions of the fourth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO 4). He discussed decisions on: health and biodiversity; guidance on management of risks associated with invasive alien species; and marine biodiversity, including on priority actions to achieve Aichi Target 10 for coral reefs, the review of regional workshops for describing ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs), and key threats, including anthropogenic underwater noise and ocean acidification. He noted challenges in promoting synergies between biodiversity and sustainable development at the national level, and said the GEF can play a critical role in promoting integrated and mainstreaming approaches by assisting countries in increasing capacity on resource mobilization, and developing customized solutions in integrating biodiversity in sustainable development.

Payet expressed appreciation for GEF-6 increasing the importance of chemicals in the portfolio and for going beyond persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and moving toward a broader framework on chemicals. He noted the GEF’s role in helping Stockholm Convention parties to develop their National Implementation Plans (NIPs), but asked the GEF to consider ways to help them implement their NIPs, particularly for LDCs and SIDS. Noting that the adoption of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) would give more relevance to the GEF’s work, he urged the GEF to take an active role in promoting an integrated, multi-stakeholder approach to the SDGs that includes chemicals and wastes, with strong, measurable targets and an emphasis on generating co-benefits. He also underscored the importance of capacity building, and urged the GEF to help find ways to better demonstrate the long-term economic value it brings.

Ouane thanked the GEF for its funding to help start Minamata Convention implementation and outlined some of the ways the funding is being used, including for regional and subregional workshops emphasizing early implementation measures, national mercury assessments that will provide baselines for action, and drafting of NIPs. She noted that 26 assessment and NIP projects are already underway, with 12 more in the pipeline, and said they involve cooperation from five UN agencies and several of the chemical/waste regional centers. She stressed the importance of synergies and the GEF’s role in promoting synergistic thinking and approaches, not just between Minamata and other chemicals and waste conventions, but also with the three Rio Conventions. She also emphasized the importance of capacity building and the linkages with sustainable consumption and production.

During the discussion, Council Members emphasized: the need for complementarity between GEF and GCF; the need to include land carbon in the climate agreement; the need for a more muscular GEF; the need for closer interaction between the GEF Secretariat and the convention secretariats; the frequent lack of clear guidance for GEF from the convention Conferences of the Parties; the need for better coordination of the many financial streams for climate change; and developing common indicators that can be used to reduce the reporting burden for the conventions. Several Council Members asked for more detailed information on Secretariat interactions with the Stockholm and Minamata Conventions in the next report to Council, as well as discussion in the next report highlighting key issues under active discussion by convention bodies that may affect the GEF.

Figueres responded that the three Rio Conventions overlap substantially on land use, land quality and water, so they should focus on improving synergies, including in reporting, in those areas. Dias said that, while there is progress on promoting synergies among the Rio Conventions on land use and ecosystem restoration, much more needs to be done. He noted that the UN will focus on indicators even more as part of the post-2015 development agenda, and cautioned against establishing “too many similar but different indicators,” creating unnecessary tracking and reporting burdens. He urged going beyond simply creating awareness among civil society to actually trying to promote responsible consumption. Ouane said the upcoming Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee session of the Minamata Convention should provide more guidance for the GEF on its role as the financial mechanism. She also mentioned a special UNEP program aimed at improving the implementation of the chemical conventions, which she said “will go to the heart of the question of capacity building and institutional strengthening” regarding chemicals management. GEF CEO Ishii said the Council concern about complementarity between GEF and the GCF will likely be dispelled immediately once the GCF becomes operational, since the secretariats of both have been cooperating toward that end.

Decision: The Council welcomed the report and requested the Secretariat for future Council meetings to provide highlights of the key issues of relevance to the GEF that were discussed at the meetings of the conventions and the decisions taken thereon. The Council further requested the Secretariat to include in future reports the table with responses to the guidance from the COPs of all conventions for which the GEF serves as a financial mechanism. The Council also requested the GEF network to continue to work with recipient countries to reflect the guidance and national priorities in their GEF programming and activities.

PROGRESS REPORT ON THE PILOT ACCREDITATION OF GEF PROJECT AGENCIES AND TIMELINE FOR FURTHER DISCUSSION OF ACCREDITATION

On Tuesday, Yasemin Biro, Secretariat, presented the Progress Report on the Pilot Accreditation of GEF Project Agencies & Timeline for Further Discussion of Accreditation (GEF/C.47/10). She briefed the council on the status of the first round, noting that four applicants namely, WWF-US, Conservation International (CI), International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) have completed Stage III by signing Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with the Secretariat and Financial Procedures Agreements (FPAs) with the Trustee, and have now become fully functioning GEF Project Agencies. She noted a total of 14 Partner Agencies: three Implementing Agencies, seven Executing Agencies and four Project Agencies. She announced the addition of Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (FUNBIO) as an accredited GEF Agency. She said the Secretariat proposed postponing further discussion on accreditation until after an evaluation of the pilot is completed in 2017.

Several Council Members expressed concerns with the proposed timeline and requested accelerating the process to encourage more applications for accreditation, however others reiterated the need for a “robust” and sound process that ensures the entry of credible organizations. Council Members said the GEF should examine similar mechanisms such as the Adaptation Fund and the GCF for ways to speed up the accreditation process.

Council members requested that two papers be submitted, one on lessons learned from the process and a second on value added and concrete benefits of newly accredited agencies. Some Council Members discussed the business model for working with other agencies, noting the need to explore other ways of partnerships outside of accreditation.

The CEO summarized the requests of the Council Members for a two phased approach, an evaluation of the process using lessons learned and a discussion or conversation of a future business model.

Decision: The Council noted the status of the Stage II reviews conducted by the Accreditation Panel to date and welcomed the decision to approve FUNBIO’s progression from Stage II to Stage III. It requested the IEO to initiate an evaluation of the GEF accreditation process, and to present the evaluation findings at the June 2015 Council Meeting. The Council also requests the Secretariat to present a paper for discussion at the Octoberber 2015 Council Meeting regarding possible directions on accreditation in the context of the evolving GEF business model.

PROGRESS REPORT OF THE GEF INDEPENDENT EVALUATION OFFICE (IEO) DIRECTOR

On Wednesday, Co-Chair Winston Thompson moderated the presentation of the Progress Report of the GEF Independent Evaluation Office Director (GEF/ME/C.47/01). Juha Uitto, Director, GEF IEO, emphasized the demand for evaluative evidence among the GEFs partners, and said the office conducts its evaluations using the best possible approaches and methods. He said the IEO is pushing the frontiers of evaluation, using counterfactuals, remote sensing and GPS, among other tools and techniques, to conduct path-breaking evaluations. He called attention to the 2nd International Conference on Evaluating Climate Change and Development, which his office is organizing in November. He also noted that the IEO is: developing the methodology to include gender dimensions in IEO evaluations; advising the GEF Secretariat on results-based management; working on knowledge management with the GEF Agency evaluation offices, STAP and the GEF Secretariat; and consulting with the GEF-CSO Network.

During the discussion, several Council Members suggested that the IEO should evaluate the GEF-CSO Network’s role in the work with the GEF. Council Members also suggested that the IEO should: work with recipient countries to enhance their evaluation capacities; guard the independence of the Office and not shy away from delivering bad news, as it strengthens the organization; and include gender in the IEO’s work program. The GEF-CSO Network called attention to their recent report, titled Review of the GEF Public Involvement Policy, and said they were pleased that a group would be tasked with implementation of the public involvement guidelines and policy.

Uitto recognized the importance of evaluation capacity development, noted the need to include gender and CSO participation in all IEO work, and pledged to use the best possible data and approaches.

Decision: The Council took note of the directions outlined in GEF/ME/C.47/01 and authorized the IEO Director to further develop the work program with guidance from the Council and in consultation with GEF stakeholders, for approval by the Council at its meeting in 2015.

REPORT OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL ADVISORY PANEL (STAP)

On Tuesday, Rosina Bierbaum, Chair, STAP, presented the Report of the Chairperson of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (GEF/STAP/C.47/Inf.01). She highlighted aspects of the STAP work program, STAP’s contribution to the GEF project cycle and to the IAPs, knowledge management, and STAP’s engagement with GEF-related conventions.

Bierbaum noted that, in addition to more “traditional” STAP demand-driven knowledge products, the new work program focuses on the IAPs as well as a small number of key cross-cutting initiatives and emerging issues, such as climate resilience, knowledge management, green chemistry and environmental security and cooperation. On STAP’s contributions to the IAPs, she said this will likely include: development of indicators and metrics of success; analysis of case studies or examples to provide ideas for program design and intervention; and modelling and analytical support useful for the theory of change that should guide project and program design. On STAPs ongoing work, she said STAP continues to encourage the development of a more robust framework for GEF projects to account for and incorporate climate risks in project design as a first step to build climate resilience. 

Some Council Members recommended a midterm review of projects prior to GEF-7. Others reiterated the critical role that the GEF plays in supporting capacity building activities on monitoring mercury in the environment in-country. Council Members also discussed the importance of capturing traditional knowledge and ensuring sufficient scientific and technology transfer on climate change and other issues. In response, Bierbaum said that, although STAP welcomes mid-term reviews, it does not have the capacity to conduct project reviews.

WORK PROGRAM

On Wednesday, Gustavo Fonseca, GEF Secretariat, presented the Work Program (GEF/C.47/11), recalling that the GEF-6 programming period opened on 30 July 2014 and noting that it currently draws primarily on resources carried over from GEF-5 period. He explained that the Work Program consists of 15 project concepts, totaling US$177.79 million in GEF financing and US$790 million in co-financing, supporting 22 of the 31 GEF focal areas and other corporate objectives included in the GEF-6 Programming Directions document approved by the Council. He pointed out that the Work Program would benefit 53 countries, including 33 LDCS and 17 SIDS.

Several Council members raised specific concerns about specific projects, and one expressed opposition in principle to several, but said it would not stand in the way of their approval.  Several Council Members stressed the need for projects to take into account the guidance of STAP before being endorsed by the CEO. Another Council Member asked if the project for the Finance and Technology Transfer Centre for Climate Change (FINTECC) would be developed in harmony with the UNFCCC’s Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN). Another expressed concern at the low level of participation by Africa in the Work Program.

Fonseca responded that the concerns about harmonizing with the CTCN and taking STAP guidance into account both would be resolved before the projects received CEO endorsement. He added that the inclusion of a special component for Africa in the chemicals programming, together with the food security project focused on Africa, should substantially increase Africa’s share of the project portfolio going forward.

Decision: The Council approved the Work Program comprising the 15 projects, subject to comments made during the 47th Council Meeting and additional comments that may be submitted in writing to the Secretariat by 6 November 2014. Regarding two projects, one in Tajikistan on conservation and sustainable use of the Pamir Alay and Tian Shan ecosystems for snow leopard protection and sustainable community livelihoods, the other on upgrading small hydropower capacity in China, the Council requested the Secretariat to arrange for Council Members to receive final project documents and to transmit to the CEO within four weeks any concerns they may have prior to the CEO’s endorsing the project document for final approval by the GEF Agency.

 The Council found that each PIF approved as part of the work program may be endorsed by the CEO for final approval by the GEF Agency, provided that the final project documents fully incorporate and address the Council’s and the STAP reviewer’s comments on the Work Program, and that the CEO confirms that the project continues to be consistent with the Instrument and GEF policies and procedures. Final project documents are to be posted on the GEF website after CEO endorsement. If there are major changes to the project scope and approach since PIF approval, the final project document shall be posted on the web for Council review for four weeks prior to CEO endorsement.

STOCKTAKING OF INTEGRATED APPROACH PILOTS PREPARATION

On Wednesday, Gustavo Fonseca, Secretariat, presented an oral report on this item and updated Council Members on the three IAPs. He explained that the IAP on “Taking Deforestation out of Global Commodity Supply Chains” focuses on the environmental footprint of products, in particular the production of commodities such soy, beef and palm oil which are responsible for some 80% of tropical deforestation worldwide.

Fonseca said the second IAP, on “Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa,” targets agro-ecological systems where the need to enhance food security is linked directly to opportunities for generating global environmental benefits. He reminded the Council that the programme promotes the sustainable management and resilience of ecosystems and their different services (land, water, biodiversity, forests) as a means to address food insecurity. He said natural capital in ecosystem services are not frequently considered in climate change vulnerability assessments.

The IAP on “Sustainable Cities,” he explained, addresses drivers of three trends of global environmental degradation: urbanization, rising middle class, and population growth. He elaborated on the urgency to integrate global environmental considerations and resilience into city management through planning, design and action.

Fonseca also briefed Council Members on the Global Consortium for Commodities, in which GEF, UNDP, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and others play a role, as a complementary platform to build on each other’s efforts. He referred to elements that supported knowledge management, capacity building and sharing lessons learned.

Council Members requested the Secretariat to prepare a briefing note on the IAPs and requested regular updates to the Council on the progress of the IAPs. Several Council Members requested elaboration of private sector engagement in IAPs and encouraged an innovative approach to this involvement.

The Secretariat informed the Council that a report on the IAPs would be available in March 2015.

REPORT OF THE SELECTION AND REVIEW COMMITTEE

The Council met in Executive Session on Thursday morning, 30 October, to consider the Report of the Selection and Review Committee (SRC).

Decision: The Council noted the GEF CEO/Chairperson and the IEO Director’s goals and objectives for FY15 and requested the SRC to undertake the performance evaluation for the CEO/Chairperson, as well as for the IEO Director, for Council review at its Meeting in October 2015. 

OTHER BUSINESS

William Ehlers, GEF Secretariat, noted that the dates for the next two Council meetings are 2-4 June 2015, and 20-22 October 2015. He said the proposed dates for the spring 2016 Council meeting are 7-9 June 2016.

In response to a query from a Council Member, Ehlers explained that the topic of the SGP had been removed from the Other Business agenda item because the Member requesting it had received answers to his concerns in sideline discussions with the Secretariat.

Decision: The Council decided to set the dates for its spring 2016 meeting as 7-9 June 2016.

REPORT OF THE LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES FUND (LDCF) AND SPECIAL CLIMATE CHANGE FUND (SCCF) COUNCIL MEETING

On Thursday morning, 30 October, GEF CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii opened the 17th meeting of the LDCF/SCCF Council, and highlighted increasing global attention and commitment to climate change adaptation. She said the GEF reaffirmed at the recent Climate Summit its commitment to supporting adaptation in vulnerable countries, and joined with partners in emerging alliances to advance access to climate information and to build resilience in cities. She noted that LDCF/SCCF projects are reaching US$1.3 billion and are supporting adaptation in 128 countries, including all LDCs and 33 SIDS, and are helping to reduce the vulnerability of more than 12 million people. She noted a strong project pipeline, but expressed concern that the momentum in support for adaptation would be in jeopardy unless contributions to the LDCF/SCCF are increased, and warned that having so many good projects ready for approval but awaiting funds makes it difficult for countries to plan ahead in their adaptation efforts.

Rishi Ram Ghimire, Embassy of Nepal, on behalf of the Chair of the UNFCCC Least Developed Countries Group, expressed LDC appreciation to the GEF CEO and Council for their continued support for the LDCF, which he recalled is the only fund dedicated to the priorities of LDCs. He said LDCs were pleased that the time needed to approve projects has decreased to 75 days and that contributions to the Fund have increased steadily over the years but he asked for further streamlining of the project cycle and expressed “deep concern” that the Fund is still far from the US$2 billion that the LDC Expert Group (LEG) estimates is needed to fully implement the priorities identified in national adaptation programs of action (NAPAs). He said LDCs also requested: further use of the programmatic approach rather than individual projects; full support for the implementation of the national adaptation plans (NAPs); and greater attention to the recommendations of the LEG, including regarding enabling activities.

The provisional agenda (GEF/LDCF.SCCF.17/01) was adopted without amendment.

PROGRESS REPORT FOR THE LDCF AND THE SCCF

On Thursday, Fonseca presented the Progress Report on the Least Developed Country Fund and the Special Climate Change Fund (GEF/LDCF.SCCF.17/03), noting key financial amounts relating to the LDCF as:

  • Total cumulative pledges to LDCF is US$ 915.16 million;
  • Total contributions received are US$872.63 million; and
  • NAPA implementation amounts to US$863.79 million on 120 projects in 47 LDCs.

He noted that the demand for funding exceeds available funds, with US$48 million being sought for six approved projects. Fonseca provided an update on SCCF finance, as:

  • Total cumulative pledges US$347.71 million;
  • Total received US$333.75 million; and
  • SCCF adaptation US$240.99 million for 57 projects.

He updated the Council on selected projects, such as the Rwanda land project, which assisted in the restoration of 2,500 hectares and promoted the adoption of sustainable land management practices by at least 10,000 land users in the highly vulnerable Gishwati-Mukura landscape. Two Council Members requested clarification on the status of approved projects awaiting funding, and the process observed when funds become available. Council Members discussed: increasing contributions by donors to the funds; inclusion of gender information in the report; and the value of sub-regional projects over national projects.

Decision:The Council welcomed the Progress Report and took note with appreciation of the progress made under the LDCF and the SCCF.

 WORK PROGRAM FOR THE SCCF

On Thursday the Secretariat presented the Work Program for the Special Climate Change Fund (GEF/LDCF.SCCF.17/04/Rev.01), which consists of six full-sized project concepts requesting SCCF project financing. The Secretariat said the work program represents innovative efforts to demonstrate and mainstream climate change adaptation in the management of rural settlements; improve urban and agricultural sectors’ climate resilience; mainstream ecosystem-based adaptation into public and private sector policies; enhance the adaptive capacity of the fisheries and aquaculture sector; and climate-proof the infrastructure of ports.

Decision: The Council approved the Work Program, which comprises six project concepts, subject to additional comments that would to be submitted in writing to the Secretariat by 13 November 2014. Total resources requested in this work program amounted to US$31.88 million, which includes SCCF project financing and Agency fees.

UPDATED RESULTS-BASED MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK FOR ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE UNDER THE LDCF AND SCCF

On Thursday, Roland Sundstrom, Secretariat, presented Updated Results-Based Management Framework for Adaptation to Climate Change under the LDCF and SCCF (GEF/LDCF.SCCF.17/05/Rev.1), outlining the ways in which the Secretariat will operationalize the revised results framework and related aspects of the Programming Strategy as a basis for enhanced RBM of climate change adaptation under the LDCF and the SCCF. He noted that the document presents: the final results framework of the GEF Adaptation Program for the period from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2018; the revised tracking tool and guidelines for climate change adaptation projects financed through the LDCF and the SCCF; and an initial approach to future AMRs of the LDCF and the SCCF. Council Members welcomed the streamlined RBM framework. One Council Member said her delegation had technical suggestions to fine-tune the framework and promised to forward those in writing to the Secretariat. Another Council Member urged continual updating of the framework based on feedback from users. A third asked why gender was reflected in the tracking tool but not explicitly addressed in the documentation about revision of the framework. A Council Member asked if there would be resources for training LDCs in the use of RBM and its tracking tool under the LDCF.

Sundstrom responded that: the framework and associated tracking tool would remain subject to continuous improvement and that the Secretariat welcomed all technical comments and suggestions; the tracking tool spells out which specific units of measure should address gender, and the tool is integral to the results framework; and under the LDCF, GEF participates in many LDC training activities, including those regarding the use of RBM and tracking tools.

Decision:The LCDF/SCCF Council welcomed the updated framework as a basis for enhanced RBM of climate change adaptation under the LDCF and SCCF.

OTHER BUSINESS

A Council Member raised a recent letter from Transparency International (TI) scoring the LDCF and SCCF regarding anti-corruption measures, indicating generally strong scores but offering several recommendations for changes, including making reports more readily accessible on the GEF website, publishing anti-corruption rules and safeguards on the website, and clarifications regarding GEF sanctions that would be applied in cases where misconduct has been detected. She asked what the Secretariat’s plans were to follow up on the TI recommendations. Other Council members cautioned that, given the seriousness of the issue, responses should involve the Council, perhaps in a discussion at its next Meeting. Elwin Grainger-Jones, GEF Secretariat, said the Secretariat was still studying the TI document. He promised to share the Secretariat’s initial response with Council Members and that, once the Secretariat has had a chance to digest the report and its recommendations, it would report to the Council at its next Meeting, if deemed appropriate.

Switzerland announced that it was sending CHF 1 million to the LDCF and CHF 1.25 million to SCCF. Norway announced a recent contribution of NOK 22 million to the LDCF and NOK 15 million to the SCCF. Ireland announced a commitment of 900,000 Euros to the LDCF, and Belgium announced a forthcoming contribution of 12 million Euros to the LDCF. The US announced that it had transferred US$27.2 million to the LDCF in September, more than it had originally pledged.

JOINT SUMMARY OF THE CHAIRS AND CLOSING

On Thursday afternoon, 30 October, Council Members received a draft Joint Summary of the Chairs for both the GEF Council meeting and the LDCF/SCCF Council meeting, both of which included the decisions they had adopted during the meetings. Council Members requested the Secretariat to ensure that the highlights reflect several items that were discussed but not included in the decisions. The GEF Council and LDCF/SCCF Council adopted the Joint Summary of the Chairs.

Co-Chair Thompson thanked the Council for the opportunity to Co-Chair the 47th meeting of the GEF Council. CEO Ishii expressed gratitude to Thompson for his duties as Co-Chair, and she reflected on the guidance of the Council and noted the strong collaborative efforts between GEF and the GEF Agencies. She thanked the Council for their contributions, and closed the meeting at 12:05 pm.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

Sixth Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Mercury (INC 6): The intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC) on mercury will meet during the period between the date on which the Convention is opened for signature and the date of the opening of the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention to facilitate the rapid entry into force of the Convention and its effective implementation upon its entry into force. dates: 3-7 November 2014  location: Bangkok, Thailand  contact: Sheila Logan  phone: +41-22-917-8511  fax: +41-22-797-3460  e-mail: s[email protected]  www: http://www.mercuryconvention.org/Negotiations/INC6/tabid/3563/Default.aspx

Second International Conference on Evaluating Climate Change and Development: The GEF IEO, the Climate-Eval community of practice and partners are co-organizing this conference under the theme, “Tackling a Key 21st Century Evaluation Challenge.” Participants will exchange ideas and methods to evaluate climate change and sustainable development. Presentations will be under three streams: mitigation, adaptation and policy.  dates:  4-6 November 2014  location: Washington, DC, US  venue: International Finance Corporation Main Complex  phone: +1-202-473-4054  fax: +1-202- 522-1691  email: [email protected] www: https://www.climate-eval.org/events/2014-conference

73rd Executive Committee Meeting for the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol: This meeting will convene back-to-back with the 26th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP 26).  dates: 9-13 November 2014  location: Paris, France  phone: +1-514-282-1122  fax: +1-514-282-0068  e-mail: [email protected] www: http://www.multilateralfund.org/default.aspx

Substantive Informal Meeting on Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD): Three sessions in November will address the global context, financing across the three dimensions of sustainable development, and implications for sustainable development, including poverty eradication and inequality. dates: 10-13 November 2014  venue: UN Headquarters  location: New York City, US  www: http://www.un.org/pga/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2014/10/241014_financing-for-development.pdf

SETAC-STAP Global Mercury Working Group Meeting: The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) and STAP will hold this working meeting on the sidelines of the SETAC North America meeting’s set of sessions on mercury science. The meeting seeks to bring together those in the scientific and international agency community interested in mercury fate, transport and knowledge to see where they can be streamline data, methodologies, sharing, and improving overall the understanding the impacts of mercury with a view to informing mercury management policy. date: 13 November 2014  location: Vancouver, Canada  contact: Christine Wellington-Moore, Program Officer, STAP  email: [email protected]unep.org  phone: +1-202-974-1303  fax: +1-202-223-2004  www: http://vancouver.setac.org/

Joint 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Vienna Convention and the 26th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol: MOP 26 is scheduled to consider a several issues, including nominations for critical- and essential-use exemptions and other draft decisions forwarded from the OEWG.  dates: 17-21 November 2014  location: Paris, France  contact: Secretariat  phone: +254-20-762-3851  fax: +254-20-762-0335   e-mail: [email protected] www: http://conf.montreal-protocol.org/default.aspx  

Agro-ecosystem Resilience: Identifying Common Indicators: STAP, in collaboration with the GEF and the UNCCD and CBD Secretariats, will convene an expert workshop immediately following the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress to consider and refine a “procedure-based indicator of agro-ecosystem resilience” that can complement UNCCD progress indicators on land cover and productivity, and which can be shared with CBD as a measure of ecosystem resilience.  dates: 19-21 November 2014  location: Sydney, Australia contact: Guadalupe Duron, UNEP  email: [email protected] www: