Country Portfolio Evaluation Report
Brazil’s participation in the GEF started during the GEF pilot phase in 1991. There are 45 national projects in the GEF Brazil portfolio, which together total $336 million with $ 1 billion of co-financing. In addition to national projects, Brazil participates in 14 regional and 21 global GEF projects, addressing all of the GEF focal areas, with the exception of land degradation. The Brazil Country Portfolio Evaluation (1991-2011) was completed in June 2012 and presented to the GEF Council the same month as a part of the Annual Country Portfolio Evaluation Report 2012 (ACPER 2012).
Results, Effectiveness and Sustainability
- The GEF helped pave the way for institutional capacity required for lasting environmental benefits in most focal areas. Also, GEF projects in Brazil often produce quality publications that have remained as leading national references in most focal areas.
- Multifocal area projects have always been present in the Brazilian portfolio, although they have only been recently classified as such.
- The engagement of the private sector varies in form and size across focal areas. GEF support has been particularly effective in engaging the private sector on climate change, and less effective in other focal areas.
- In the International Waters focal area there is evidence that GEF support contributed to strengthen Brazil’s commitment to regional cooperation.
- GEF support to Brazil’s South-South cooperation efforts has been minimal and informal at best.
- GEF support has been relevant to Brazil’s sustainable development agenda and environmental priorities, particularly in the areas of biodiversity and climate change.
- GEF support in Brazil is clearly nationally owned and country-driven.
- Co-financing levels are generally satisfactory and in line with GEF support and it is clear that this co-financing generates additional global environmental benefits.
- The GEF biodiversity portfolio in Brazil contains projects focusing on both sustainable use and strict protection. Whether a project focuses on sustainable use or strict protection appears to be linked more to the density of the surrounding population than biodiversity parameters.
- The GEF project approval process in Brazil is on average shorter than in other countries, but still perceived as too long by stakeholders.
- GEF agencies have worked independently from one another, without any clear overall coordination and/or synergies.
- Coordination among participating entities in concluded and ongoing GEF projects seems generally efficient. Several GEF projects foster collaborations between agricultural and environmental government institutions that were not coordinating with each other before.
- GEF projects tend to have an above-average M&E process when compared to similar projects funded by national sources. Periodic evaluations are carried out, and there are indications that adaptive management occurs. On the other hand, it has been observed that biodiversity projects consistently ignored biodiversity indicators during project execution.
- Moving from funding of Brazil’s SGP through the programme core resources to a national Full Size Project modality out of the STAR Brazil’s allocation has been slow and has shown characteristics of a learning-by-doing process.
To the GEF Council
- The burden of monitoring requirements for multifocal area projects should be reduced to a level comparable to that of single focal area projects.
- The GEF should implement a more robust information and knowledge management system to improve exchange of experiences amongst projects within each country and internationally. Such a system could serve as a tool to promote South-South cooperation.
- The GEF should promote and encourage exchange of experiences on monitoring and evaluation procedures, which is perceived by many stakeholders as one of the greatest challenges faced by projects.
- The Brazilian portfolio could explore new sources of financing and support more technology development and market transformation activities in order to induce greater environmental benefits in the long term.
- Brazil’s GEF Focal Point should promote exchange of experiences between projects implemented by different GEF Agencies.
Photo: the GEF Amazon Region Protected Areas Program (APRA). Pink Dolphins in Novo Arao; Photo Courtesy GEF