GEF: Financing environmental priorities: how recipient countries are taking centerstage in delivering GEF-7 strategy

 

 

Inclusive dialogue with stakeholders is increasing country ownership and helping to enhance the impact of programming in GEF’s new four-year funding cycle, known as GEF-7.

 

 

Over the last six months in more than 20 countries, government ministries, GEF implementing agencies, and other stakeholders including academics, the private sector and NGOs have gathered with representatives from the GEF Secretariat for country-driven consultations called National Dialogues. The dialogues are an opportunity for GEF recipient countries to reach a consensus with a vast array of stakeholders on the course forward in addressing pressing environmental issues.

 

 

During a typically two-day workshop, participants hear from the GEF about the funding priorities of the new GEF-7 strategy and key operational policies, as well as participate in engaging discussions on potential projects to be launched under the new allocations. 

 

 

The workshops are wide-ranging and include sessions to inform and validate national objectives, policies, and strategies; to provide insights on how to mainstream environment in national decision-making; and to incorporate the idea of natural capital accounting – or attributing value to environmental assets within a country and factoring that value into decisions related to the national economy.

 

 

“We have seen a very enthusiastic participation by the governments,” said Mohamed Bakarr, GEF’s Lead Environmental Specialist. In Togo, for example, the Government held a one-day workshop to prepare for the National Dialogue prior to the event. As an outcome of this internal consultation, the Government of Togo produced a document intended to facilitate the discussions at the upcoming National Dialogue.

 

 

“This enthusiasm”, he continues, “sometimes results in very ambitious proposals. But when we sit down to discuss, our goal is to come up with a promising and doable list of interventions based on countries’ national priorities through an inclusive process.” This inclusive process sometimes means an opportunity for local communities to voice concerns to national and sub-national governments, or for NGOs to speak to private sector firms looking to invest in sustainable projects in their area.

 

 

Though National Dialogues can be conducted at any time during the lifecycle of a funding period, early discussions are beneficial in establishing transparency and efficiency in the program design and implementation. These early planning sessions allow countries to refine their national priorities into well-informed strategies, and to hone ambitious ideas into a concrete list of results-oriented projects.

 

 

National Dialogues cover country priorities in all of the GEF focal areas - biodiversity, climate change, international waters, chemicals & waste, and land degradation. This time around, however, countries’ potential interest in the recently launched Impact Programs (IPs) was also on the agenda. In fact, with the deadline for formal submission of Expressions of Interest approaching, getting countries up to speed to apply for the GEF’s Impact Programs (IPs) on Food Systems, Land Use, and Restoration (FOLUR), Sustainable Cities, or Sustainable Forest Management has driven the majority of the dialogues to take place this early in the funding period.

 

 

While all recipient countries are eligible to apply for participation in the IPs, not all will meet the criteria. For the countries that have clear interest in joining the programs, adding this topic to the agendas means broadening the circle of people and groups invited to participate in the dialogues.

 

 

For example, with Sustainable Cities, the participating country would invite city mayors and representatives of the private sector to be involved in discussions. For FOLUR, institutions involved in agricultural production would be invited to attend. This enriches the conversations and adds new perspectives to the country program design.

 

 

Participation of countries like Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire presents high potential benefits for the work of the Impact Programs.

 

 

In Sierra Leone, where the urban transformation agenda has recently gained momentum through an energetic and passionate mayor in the capital city of Freetown, the National Dialogue was used to establish how the Sustainable Cities IP could support this effort. “The agenda to transform Freetown has created an opportunity for the country to tackle the many challenges of urbanization,” says Mohamed Bakarr, “so it was important for the dialogue to explore the possibility of prioritizing Sierra Leone’s participation in the IP in GEF-7.”

 

 

Similar inspiration to tackle tough issues through the IPs was seen in the case of Cote D’Ivoire.

 

 

Cote d’Ivoire together with Ghana are the biggest producers of cocoa in the world. While cocoa production is the main contributor to these countries’ economies, it is also the biggest driver of tropical deforestation in the Upper Guinea ecosystem of West Africa.

 

 

Without a decrease in the expansion of cocoa to preserve existing forest land, and increased efforts to reforest degraded areas in these two countries, the world could lose a large portion of this ecosystem forever.

 

 

Read more…

 

Go back

CBFP News

Linking local people's perception of wildlife and conservation to livelihood and poaching alleviation: A case study of the Dja biosphere reserve, Cameroon

This Paper examines how people's livelihoods and perceptions of wildlife are related to self-reported poaching(here defined as commercial bushmeat hunting) in 25 villages at the northern buffer zone of the Dja Biosphere Reserve, East Cameroon. Using a six-point Likert scale questionnaire among 263 households interviewed form March to June 2017, the following hypothesis were tested: (1) Households with positive perceptions of wildlife are less involved in poaching; (2) Positive perceptions of wildlife are linked to sustainable livelihood improvement of households; and (3) Sustainable livelihood improvement of households leads to poaching alleviation.

Read more …

Forest Watch May 2019: Will global deforestation finally be on the agenda at the EU elections?

To read: Global deforestation becoming one of the top issues in the European elections ; Commission presidency candidate says he would tackle human rights abuses in EU imports; Huge illegal forest trade deal in Democratic Republic of Congo: urgent EU action is required; Funders must rethink the false agro-industrial park solution...

Read more …

China in Cameroon’s forests: A review of issues and progress for livelihoods and sustainability

This report introduces the nature and scale of the issues involved, and how the China- Africa Forest Governance Project has engaged with them. It analyses the impact of Chinese-linked investments and companies on forests and livelihoods in the forest and non-forest sectors – agro-industries, mining and infrastructure. The report describes the efforts made through the project to improve policy and practice in China-Cameroon forest issues and outlines some ways forward.

Read more …

China to host World Environment Day 2019 on air pollution

Approximately 7 million people worldwide die prematurely each year from air pollution, with about 4 million of these deaths occurring in Asia-Pacific. World Environment Day 2019 will urge governments, industry, communities, and individuals to come together to explore renewable energy and green technologies, and improve air quality in cities and regions across the world.

Read more …

iucncongress2020-Host a session during the Forum

Organisations and individuals can propose hosting a session during the Forum of the IUCN World Conservation Congress. Hosting a session is an excellent opportunity to inform debate and drive conservation action on the issues that matter most to you or your organisation. The call for proposals will be open from 6 May to 17 July 2019.

Read more …

EU Communication (2019) on Stepping up EU Action against Deforestation and Forest Degradation

On 14 December, the European Commission published a Roadmap on the EU initiative on Stepping up EU Action against Deforestation and Forest Degradation. The Roadmap sets out the context and objectives of the initiative and the foreseen consultation, and was open for feedback until 15 January 2019 via this page....

Read more …

Summary of the Public Consultation Stepping up EU Action against Deforestation and Forest Degradation

The public  consultation  was  open  from 14 January  2019until 25 February  2019.  It  received  955 responses,  including  97  attachments.This summary  report presents the headline  results  from  the public consultation, under each section of the survey questionnaire.

Read more …

IISD- 2019 Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

Work continued apace on Thursday at the 2019 meetings of the Conferences of the Parties (COPs) to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) Conventions. On the penultimate day of the meetings, delegates convened in plenary in the morning to look into issues of joint concern, as well as work related to the Rotterdam Convention (RC).

Read more …

CBFP News Archive

2019

Forest Watch April 2019
Forest Watch March 2019