Block on German funds for the GEF in FY 2012 lifted
(submitted by Guenter Mitlacher, RFP for Europe, GEF NGO Network)
In the last 3 months, the GEF NGO Network and WWF Germany have successfully persuaded Germany to lift its April block of 2012 funds for the GEF Trust Fund, which was instigated by the United States having only paid 70% of its annual installment to the GEF. As a consequence and adhering to the Federal Budget Act, Germany had to block its overdue payment. Through discussions with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Budget Committee of the German Parliament, as well as written communication to the State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance, we were able to initiate the block being lifted. On June 13, 2012, the Budget Committee decided to repeal the block, so that Germany’s pledge of EURO 86.75 million can now be used for projects in developing countries. WWF US and TNC are undertaking further efforts to persuade the U.S. Congress to fully pay their pledged GEF funds so that such situations can be avoided in the future.