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  GEF 41st Council Meeting
The 41st GEF Council Meeting was held in Washington DC from 7 - 10 November 2011. This meeting was important as it discussed some of the key GEF activities which include adoption of a GEF Policy on Minimum Standards for GEF Agency Environmental and Social Safeguard and a strategy for private sector partnership in GEF5.
GEF NGO Network organized a range of meetings in Washington DC in association with the 41st GEF Council as follows:
5 November  - Meeting of GEF NGO Network Coordination Committee (CC) and 2nd Indigenous People (IPs) Task Force Meeting
The CC meeting was attended by twelve out of the fifteen currently elected Coordination Committee members and discussed a range of matters including the status and development of network membership, strengthening partnership with GEFSEC, strengthening the operation of the Network, and preparation for GEF-CSO consultation and the GEF Council meetings.
A 2nd IPs Task Force meeting for the development of an issues paper as an input to the proposed GEF Indigenous Peoples Policy was also held concurrently and attended by the three Network indegenous Peoples Focal Points and five other IP representatives and supported by a consultant. The meeting advanced the development of the IPs issue paper.  
6 November - Preparatory meeting for the GEF-CSO consultation
This meeting was attended by 37 representatives from CSOs and focused on two key issues –
1.       Environmental and Social Safeguards
2.       Enhancing Engagement with the Private Sector

 The meeting reviewed the policy papers for consideration at the 41st GEF Council and refined the draft network position papers for the 2 key issues. The meeting also discussed GEF NGO Network matters including the Network Report to GEF Council, membership development and IP Task Force. Breakout groups discussed the draft issue papers on Indigenous Peoples and the needs for revision of the GEF Public Involvement Policy. Click here for the agenda.


7 November -  GEF Council-CSO Consultation
This meeting was attended by more than 120 representatives from civil society, GEF Council members GEF Agencies and the GEF Secretariat. The meeting included a one hour dialogue between civil society and the GEF CEO and four panel sessions to debate key issues related to environmental and social safeguard standards, engagement with private sector and development of GEF Policy on Indigenous Peoples. The meeting also reviewed the longer-term financing requirements for convention implementation including the CBD, the Green Climate Fund and also for global action on chemicals.  Click here for the agenda and report.
8 – 10 November – 41st GEF Council Meeting
More than 25 CSO representatives observed the GEF Council sessions by rotation and six formal network position/statement papers were presented to the council on the agenda item on the Strategy for Enhancing Engagement with the Private Sector, GEF Policy on Agency Minimum Standards Environmental and Social Safeguards (Network's statement and IP's statement), GEF Work Program, Thematic Evaluation Report, Report of the Evaluation Office and Report of the STAP
The Network made a significant impact with its comments on the minimum standards for environmental and social safeguards. A revised paper on Environmental and Social Safeguard Standards was adopted incorporating many of the Network’s requests.  This will be a very key instrument in tracking the action of all existing GEF agencies and ensuring that any new GEF Agencies will have sufficient standards.
For the Work Program, the Network highlighted the poor inclusion of CSOs in the preparation of the programs and Project Identification Forms (PIFs) adopted by the council. The Council adopted the work programme Valued at US$4.6 billion including co-funding. Specific comments from the respective Network Regional Focal points on the lack of specified civil society involvement in a number of the projects and programmes have been forwarded to the respective GEF agencies for follow up and action. All the projects and programmes approved by the Council will now be developed into full project and programme designs in the next 6-18 months. It is important that Network members and regional focal points follow up with respective government departments and GEF Agencies to give input on CSO engagement. As a result of the intervention a number of GEF agencies have already approached the Network to discuss enhanced coordination in project and program development

 You can view the joint summary and the highlights of the Council’s Discussions.


The next council meeting will be held as follows:

  • GEF CSO Preparation Meeting, 3 June 2012
  • GEF Council CSO Consultation, 4 June 2012
  • GEF Council Meeting , 5-7 June 2012

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