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  GEF-CSO Consultation Meeting, 1 June 2015

(prepared by IISD with input from GEF-CSO Network)

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council consultation meeting with civil society organizations (CSOs) took place on Monday, 1 June 2015, at World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC, US. The event gathered approximately 100 participants to focus on three topics: a dialogue with the GEF CEO; strengthening CSO engagement in the GEF; and knowledge management in the GEF. Just after the close of the consultation, the first meeting of the new Working Group on Implementation of the GEF Public Involvement Policy (PIP) convened, involving members of the GEF CSO Network, the GEF Secretariat and the GEF Council.

The day-long CSO Consultation took place immediately before the 48th meeting of the GEF Council, which will convene at the same venue from 2-4 June 2015. Click here for the agenda.

SESSION 1: CSO DIALOGUE WITH GEF CEO

Faizal Parish, Central Focal Point (CFP), GEF-CSO Network, co-moderated the first session with Rosa Maria Vidal Rodriguez, Network Regional Focal Point (RFP) Mesoamerica. GEF CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii said the keys for the GEF to deliver on GEF6 and GEF2020 are country ownership, knowledge management (KM), and finding ways to deliver on the 2020 strategy in ways that innovate, integrate and catalyze.

Responding to questions, Ishii said: the GEF wishes to incorporate the KM component into all project cycle stages; the GEF is interested in exploring how it can be a global conduit to knowledge on sustainable development; the GEF is trying to ensure effective implementation of the Public Involvement Policy (PIP) guidelines; national entities have to do more in building CSO capacities to participate in projects; and the GEF is interested in receiving information on specific projects that might adversely affect Indigenous Peoples (IP), and where projects are found to violate GEF safeguards, money would not be disbursed.

Yoko Watanabe, GEF Secretariat, added that the GEF Secretariat is: exploring how to ensure more government dialogue with the IP community about GEF projects; considering how to build on the pioneering work of the Small Grants Programme (SGP) in IP capacity building; and discussing with other international funds how they work with IP, what lessons can be learned and what existing synergies and partnerships are available.

SESSION 2: STRENGTHENING CSO ENGAGEMENT IN GEF

This session was co-moderated by Maria Leichner, RFP South America, and Essam Nada, RFP North Africa. Faizal Parish suggested the model of convening CSO consultations prior to GEF Council meetings could be used by emerging financial institutions, such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Faizal Parish, the Central Focal of GEF-CSO Network gave a short overview of the current CSO engagement in the GEP highlighting the opportunity and the challenges. He als shared the current steps taken by the Network to enhance the work of the Network, including the development of the Network's strategic plan and the change in the governance structure. 

Delfin Ganapin, GEF SGP, highlighted a role for building the legitimacy of CSOs, noting that their advocacy work will be enhanced if they have experience with implementation. He introduced new initiatives, including “Communities Connect” (CC+), fellowship initiatives, and “Grantmaker+,” and said the objective is to move beyond ad hoc consultations to work with CSOs as direct implementers.

Yoko Watanabe, GEF Secretariat, said a gender expert had been added to the Secretariat to implement the gender action plan, and the KM project will include a gender element.

Orissa Samaroo, Conservation International (CI), presented an overview of CI’s work with local communities and indigenous peoples. She said CI’s development of PIFs includes work to ensure that safeguard screening is done, and she suggested that attention to human rights should be incorporated into all GEF projects.

Fiu Elisara, Ole Siosiomaga Society Incorporated, discussed CSO engagement in Climate Investment Funds (CIF). He said the designated CSOs who participate in CIF are called “observers,” but they are able to contribute to the discussions on agenda items. He said there is no funding for CIF observers to engage with their own constituencies.

Liane Schalatek, Heinrich Böll Foundation North America, discussed CSO engagement in the GCF, noting that there are only two CSO observers and two private sector observers, one from the North and one from the South for each category. She said there are small, issue-based groups that are trying to engage with the Secretariat, but there is no formal consultation process. She said the GCF should consider a SGP-type program.

Lucy Mulenkei, Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group (IPAG), discussed IPs’ engagement. She noted that IPAG has engaged in other processes, including the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the IUCN World Parks Congress, to ensure people are aware of the guidelines.

Among the ideas raised in the subsequent discussion were: building on the SGP experience in gender mainstreaming; consideration of attendance by the GEF Secretariat and the IPAG members at the 8th session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Geneva in July 2015; work to improve participation of CSOs and IP in GCF work; work to get CSOs on national delegations to the Paris Climate Change Conference; and the need to define effective monitoring mechanisms to ensure that PIP implementation is delivering the expected results.

Click on the following to view the speaker's powerpoint  :

SESSION 3: KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN GEF (PART 1)

Patricia Turpin, RFP Caribbean, and Ramon Cruz, RFP North America, co-moderated the panel. Elwyn Grainger-Jones, GEF Secretariat, discussed the GEF KM paper, stressing that it is just an interim step, and that KM will always be a challenge for a mechanism as broad and diverse as the GEF. He said the GEF is trying to incentivize KM in all its work, and it is forming a team of people to work on KM across the GEF Partnership. In response to a question, Grainger-Jones said the GEF is considering putting out platforms that can be used by the widest number of users, rather than trying to prejudge demand.

Martin Sneary, IUCN, said ICUN had found that in order for KM to succeed, one needs to make information easily available to the people who need it, when they need it, in a way that is easy to consume, in a context that is relevant to them, using language that resonates with their own work, and in a manner that instills confidence that the information is accurate and reliable.

Nana Janashia, Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN), discussed the evolution of CENN's KM policy, principles and tools. Jonas Kemajou Syapze, Organization pour l'Environnement et le Developpement Durable (OPED), Cameroon, discussed how a small SGP project in Cameroon on mangrove management and women involved in aquaculture showed how the traditional knowledge gained could be scaled up and used elsewhere.

Click on the following to view the speaker's powerpoint  :

SESSION 4: KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN GEF (PART 2)

During the second part of the discussion on GEF KM, Priscilla Achakpa, RFP West Africa, and Victor Kawanga, RFP Southern Africa, GEF-CSO Network, co-moderated a discussion on the KM experience and strategy of the World Bank, SGP and the Global Forest Coalition.

Dominique Kayser, World Bank, discussed the Bank’s evolution from a “knowledge bank” to a “solutions bank” with regard to knowledge, noting that the Bank is now focusing more on connections and application of knowledge. She highlighted the value of incentivizing and nurturing efforts to move tacit knowledge “upwards” to make it more explicit in data, information, documents, records and files.

Ana Maria Curreau, GEF SGP, discussed SGP’s KM efforts, including its Communities Connect+ concept. She said KM in SGP is about the communities keeping the know-how of a topic alive by sharing what they know, building on it and adapting it to their own use.

Mrinalini Rai, Global Forest Coalition/IPAG, said indigenous and traditional knowledge (TK) should be better researched, recognized and applied, but the KM system should include repositories of lessons, case studies, and best practices while respecting intellectual property rights for TK. She also said indigenous peoples should participate in the proposed interagency KM working group.

Click on the following to view the speaker's powerpoint  :

 

SUMMARY AND CLOSING

Faizal Parish, GEF-CSO Network Central Focal Point, briefly summarized the day’s discussions. He closed the meeting at 3:29 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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