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UNIDO Workshop Prepares CIS Members for GEF-6

UNIDO28 March 2014: The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) convened an inception workshop aimed at sharing experiences in addressing environmental issues in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and informing CIS members of UNIDO's approach to projects funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to advance sustainable industrial development.

The workshop, held from 27-28 March 2014, supported UNIDO's project 'Regional (CIS) Capacity Building for Developing Programmes for Mitigation of Global Environmental Problems,' which aims to increase the capacity of CIS members to effectively access and leverage funding from multilateral institutions, in particular the GEF. The project was created in 2012 at the request of the Executive Committee and the Economic Council of the CIS.

Representatives of GEF operational focal points, UNIDO and member States gathered in Vienna, Austria, for the two-day workshop, which was primarily built around the themes of climate change mitigation, chemicals and waste. In her opening remarks, Olga Memedovic, Chief of the Europe and Newly Independent States (NIS) Programme, stated that the objectives were "to brief [participants] on the project objectives and planned activities; to establish working relations and lines of communication; and to provide information about the technical cooperation services of UNIDO in the focal areas of the [GEF]."

UNIDO briefed participants on completed and ongoing projects under the GEF. Further presentations provided details on UNIDO's strategies related to the sixth replenishment of the GEF (GEF-6) for a number of specific areas, namely: energy and climate change; industrial energy efficiency; renewable energy; environmental management; persistent organic pollutants (POPs); ozone depleting substances (ODS); and mercury. The briefings aimed to give participants a comprehensive overview of UNIDO's vision for the GEF-6 Cycle.

UNIDO noted that the next steps for its work with CIS member States are, inter alia: creating a Steering Committee; agreeing on regional focal areas of intervention; and organizing a regional training workshop.

Negotiations for the sixth replenishment of the GEF were concluded in April 2014. [UNIDO Press Release] [IISD RS Sources] [IISD RS Story on GEF-6]