Press Release

More GEF projects aim at a common objective

January 9, 2009

The 34th GEF Council approved $201.17 million for projects

WASHINGTON, DC - January 09, 2009 - The 34th Council approved $201.17 million for funding 37 new GEF projects, that were included in the work program. Fifteen of the projects proposals approved are in Biodiversity, eight in Climate Change, five in International Water, one in Land Degradation, while eight proposals are multifocal.


In response to the Council decision of December 2006 that calls for shifting the work program from being project-based to being program-based in line with GEF strategies and policies, 21 of the 37 projects are supporting a common theme and share the objectives of one of the GEF Programmatic Approaches (PAs) (for more details on projects and programs read the Joint Summary of the Council meeting).
The overall objective of the GEF Programmatic Approach is to secure a larger-scale and a more sustained impact on the global environment through partnerships between the country/-ies, and other partners (including NGOs, the scientific community or the private sector) and represents a commitment by the country/-ies to implement its priorities towards global environmental objectives. The adoption of medium and long-term Programs, based entirely on countries priorities, make possible to better plan the use of the resources while focusing on a manageable number of objectives.

During the 34th Meeting, the Council also endorsed the concepts and objectives of the 5 new programmatic approaches listed below:

a. GEF Strategic Program for West Africa: Sub-component on Biodiversity (Lead Agency: WorldBank)


The general aim general aim of the PA is to scale up biodiversity conservation in the region while capitalizing on socio-economic benefits from sustainable use of the biodiversity to support poverty alleviation and growth. Projects have been developed under three main priority areas:
• Poverty reduction among communities residing in and around protected areas,

• Mainstreaming biodiversity in production landscapes and sectors, and

• Consolidation of protected area networks.

b. GEF Strategic Program for West Africa Energy Component (Lead Agency: UNIDO)

The objective of the West Africa Program (Energy Component) is to promote practical, action-oriented projects with measurable outcomes to scale up investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency in the region. A total of 18 countries are included in the program.

c. Framework for Promoting Low Greenhouse Gas Emission Buildings (Lead Agency: UNDP)

This global program outlines a number of approaches aimed to promote low-energy and low-emissions buildings. The program will consist of about 30 national projects. Ten of them have been submitted (all by UNDP, two jointly with RDBs), six are in the process of submission (mostly by UNDP), and 15 more are under development (mostly by UNDP and some by UNEP).

d. Reducing Industry’s Carbon Footprint in Southeast Asia through Compliance with a Management System for Energy (Lead Agency: UNIDO)

This regional PA aims to promote sustainable energy efficiency improvement in the industrial sector through training at the level of systems, going beyond generic audits and simple equipment changes. The PA is composed of five national projects in Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam (MSP) and Malaysia. It will facilitate the introduction of energy management standards.

e. CBSP: Strategic Program for Sustainable Forest Management in the Congo Basin (Lead Agency: World Bank)

This PA will strengthen the protection and the sustainable management of forest ecosystems in the Congo Basin. The PA is consistent with the strategic objectives formulated in the GEF Biodiversity and Climate Change Focal Area Strategies as follows:

(1) conservation of key biodiversity areas by strengthening the regional network of protected areas,

(2) sustainable management and use of natural resources in the production landscape; and

(3) strengthening of the institutional and sustainable financing framework for sustainable ecosystem management.

The Program will also contribute to a long-term innovative finance architecture for sustainable forest management in the region by supporting payment schemes for ecosystem services, public-private partnerships and the establishment/strengthening of trust funds.

More information and documents on the 34th Council Meeting are available on-line.