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GEF STAP Recommends Improved Monitoring of Eco-Certification Impacts on Environmental Indicators

November 2010: The Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) published an advisory document on "Environmental Certification and the Global Environment Facility," summarizing the evidence base for eco-certification initiatives in generating global, national, regional and local environmental benefits, as well as evidence related to the socioeconomic impacts on participants.

The paper highlights that the evidence base provides, at best, weak evidence for the hypothesis that certification has positive socioeconomic or environmental impacts. It thus recommends that GEF investments in certification should be made in projects deliberately designed to evaluate the environmental impacts of the certification program. Such design should not just monitor the status and trends of environmental indicators, but also allow credible inferences on whether the program is contributing to changes in the status and trends of the indicators. [The Advisory document]