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GEF, STAP, IEO come together for global science gathering

February 12, 2016

“Science and technology is fundamental for effective decision making,” said Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson.  “To meet the challenges facing the global environment, and to contribute to the sustainable development goals, the GEF is promoting holistic and integrated approaches,” she said.  “Those approaches should be firmly grounded on rigorous scientific analysis and world-class experience rooted in the best possible science.”

Thousands of leading scientists, engineers, educators, policymakers, and journalists gather together each year to discuss recent developments in science and technology at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The Global Environment Facility (GEF), its Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) and Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) are participating in this year’s meeting that has the theme of “Global Science Engagement” and international collaboration.  They will also share a booth at the forum which runs from February 11 to 15, 2016.

“Science and technology is fundamental for effective decision making,” said Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson.  “To meet the challenges facing the global environment, and to contribute to the sustainable development goals, the GEF is promoting holistic and integrated approaches,” she said.  “Those approaches should be firmly grounded on rigorous scientific analysis and world-class experience rooted in the best possible science.”

In addition to valuable networking opportunities, the AAAS meeting provides access to renowned speakers, exciting scientific panels and discussion, and access to cutting edge advancements in science worldwide.

A key challenge is innovation in environmental finance to support transformational change the GEF’s role in supporting delivery of the the Sustainable Development Agenda. Cutting edge science provides the rational for what the GEF does in this space. STAP connects the academic and the practitioner world to bring the latest science to the GEF,said Dr. Rosina Bierbaum, head of STAP.

The joint booth in the public exhibition area showcases publications that highlight recent developments in the GEF such as the GEF Strategy 2020 and financing of integrated approaches addressing drivers of environmental degradation.

The GEF IEO will feature its recent impact evaluation of the GEF support to protected areas worldwide. “This comprehensive evaluation is an example of collaborative work we have done with scientific community which, among other partners, involved NASA, the Global Land Facility of the University of Maryland, the Institute of Development Studies, the IUCN WCPA-SSC Joint Task Force on Biodiversity, and the National Commission of Biodiversity and Knowledge in Mexico,” said Dr. Juha Uitto, GEF IEO Director.

A variety of STAP research reports and advisory documents will be available.

Dr. Rosina Bierbaum, STAP Chair and AAAS Fellow, will address the AAAS symposia on sustainable development goals co-organized by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). Her talk will highlight GEF-supported Integrated Approach Pilots as examples of groundbreaking innovations in environmental finance to support transformational change in delivering the Sustainable Development Agenda. 

The STAP is an advisory body to the GEF, with the mandate to provide objective, strategic scientific and technical advice on policies, operational strategies, projects and programs.  The STAP is supported by a Secretariat provided by UNEP, which also acts as its liaison with the GEF.

The GEF IEO is responsible for undertaking independent evaluations that involve a set of projects, usually focused on focal areas, institutional issues or cross-cutting themes. It also supports knowledge sharing. The IEO works independently from the GEF Secretariat and reports directly to the Council.