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GEF Council Evaluates Reducing Fees, Discusses Private Sector Engagement

10 November 2011: During its 41st meeting, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council approved its work programme for the next year and initiated the search for a new CEO. The work programme includes 40 project concepts and nine programmatic approaches, including 11 for the biodiversity focal area, eight on climate change, two on international waters, 23 on land degradation, and five on persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

The GEF Council meeting convened from 8-10 November 2011, in Washington DC, US. Delegates approved a work programme of 40 stand-alone projects and nine programmatic approaches amounting to US$516.40 million. Council members also discussed the options for engaging with the private sector. While many welcomed collaboration with the private sector, they also shared concerns ranging from constraints on reflows and lack of guidance on the rules of engagement, to lack of operation modalities and clarity on the comparative advantages of GEF's engagement with the private sector.

Among several administrative decisions, the Council evaluated the GEF's administrative fees, expenses and project management costs and decided to establish a group of donors and recipients to prepare a proposal to reduce the total cost of the fee structure of GEF projects for the next Council meeting. The Council also approved minimum standards on environmental and social safeguards for GEF Agencies.

Council members also discussed strengthening relationships with other conventions and adopted a decision asking the Secretariat to organize a meeting of biodiversity-related conventions with the Secretariat to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to facilitate the coordination of their priorities for inclusion in the GEF-6 programming strategy.

During the 11th meeting of the Council for the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), which took place on 10 November in the morning, Council members approved the joint work programme and the Monitoring and Evaluation Policy. In addition to these two Council meetings, issues related to the GEF Council meeting were discussed during a consultation with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on 7 November 2011. [Chair's Summary] [41st GEF Council Meeting Website] [IISD RS Coverage] [GEF Press Release, 10 November 2011]