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GEF Assembly and Council Convene: US$3.13 Billion Replenishment Approved

28 August 2006: A Special Meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council has approved a Fourth GEF replenishment, with 32 governments agreeing to contribute US$3.13 billion to finance environmental projects over the next four years. The Council also agreed on the governance of the climate change funds, specifying, inter alia, that decisions of the Council concerning the operations of the Adaptation Fund be taken by consensus among all Council members representing participants that are parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The Council meeting, which concluded many months' negotiations on the replenishment issue, was held on 28 August 2006, in Cape Town, South Africa.

Immediately after the Council meeting, the Third GEF Assembly convened, also in Cape Town, from 29-30 August. Representatives of 176 countries that are currently members of the GEF reviewed the Facility's policies and operations, meeting in Plenary and in a series of roundtables and panel discussions.

During the opening Plenary, Monique Barbut, GEF's new CEO, highlighted GEF's priorities for each of its focal areas, while GEF partners presented conclusions and results of projects' implementation. Delegates took note of reports on the GEF Trust Fund and the Third Overall Performance Study of the GEF and on enhancing partnerships through NGO engagement. During the subsequent discussion, participants raised concerns over the provision of funding for land degradation and desertification, and the application of the new Resource Allocation Framework (RAF). On the RAF, many delegates noted their concerns about limitations with regard to innovation, inequitable distribution of resources across countries and focal areas, and a lack of a long-term vision. Some donors, however, praised the RAF for allocating resources on a strategic basis, and for increasing transparency of operations and results.

The RAF was also addressed in one of the three High-level roundtables; the other two focusing on market-based mechanisms for financing global environmental conventions, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. [IISD RS Coverage of the GEF Assembly] [GEF Press Release, 28 August 2006] [GEF Council Documents] [GEF Assembly Documents]