The 55th GEF Council meeting addressed growing environmental challenges through its GEF-7 strategy. The Council meeting took place from December 18-20 at the Preston Auditorium of the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC. During her opening remarks to the Council, Ms. Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the GEF, noted that the GEF-7 strategy is centered on safeguarding the earth’s vital global environmental commons.
The Council, the GEF's main governing body, comprises 32 members appointed by constituencies of GEF member countries (14 from developed countries, 16 from developing countries and 2 from economies in transition). Council members rotate every three years or until the constituency appoints a new member. The Council, which meets twice annually, develops, adopts and evaluates the operational policies and programs for GEF-financed activities. It also reviews and approves the work program (projects submitted for approval), making decisions by consensus.
As requested by the GEF Council at its 54th meeting, the GEF consulted with representatives of civil society on the day preceding the Council meeting, These consultations included a dialogue on the issue of “Connecting environmental impact and gender equality”. This dialogue offered the opportunity to discover and learn directly from CSOs and Indigenous Peoples about their experiences addressing gender equality and women’s empowerment in environmental policies, programs, and projects.