By Minister Germán Edmundo Proffen, GEF Political Focal Point, Argentina
Being a member of the GEF is of paramount importance to Argentina. Since joining in 1994, Argentina has been a very active member of the GEF, including in the negotiation of its founding document.
Since becoming a member of the GEF, Argentina has developed a portfolio of 61 national and regional projects worth US$365,673,653 in GEF funding, with cofinancing amounting to US$1.07 billion. The GEF has also made a significant contribution to Argentina’s institutional framework, helping the country honor a number of commitments to environmental agreements to which Argentina is party, including the Third Communication on Climate Change and the National Biodiversity Strategy.
Owing to its multilateral nature and its ability to support activities that contribute to the fulfillment of commitments to major environmental agreements, the GEF continues to offer comparative advantages relative to other financing mechanisms.
We wish to underscore the important task carried out by the GEF in its mission to reverse some of the most worrying trends in the global environment. Against this backdrop, it is important to highlight the existing synergies between the environment and development, given that from this perspective, the GEF is providing an appropriate guide for long-term protection of the environment.
Mechanisms such as the GEF help bridge the implementation gap that exists in developing countries, owing to a dearth of financial resources and state-of-the-art technologies needed for a successful sustainable development strategy.
It is critical that the country allocation system (STAR) remain in place and that more resources be allocated in the future. The STAR is viewed as the appropriate system that allows each country to address the causes of environmental degradation in a manner that is consistent with its sustainable development priorities. These allocations must be determined on the basis of transparent indicators that demonstrate the performance and potential of countries with respect to achievement of environmental benefits that ensure the planet’s sustainable future.
Lastly, Argentina commends the GEF for its ongoing work on social inclusion, particularly with respect to gender and indigenous peoples, given that these are issues that contribute to the success of the projects and to sustainable development. In this connection, mention must be made of the importance of the Small Grants Programme, which has helped improve the quality of life of many Argentine citizens.