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Progress made on future direction of Global Environment Facility

October 18, 2017

H.E. Dr. Gemedo Dalle Tussie, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of Ethiopia, and Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, during GEF-7 second replenishment meeting that took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on October 3-5.

The 2nd replenishment meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund (GEF-7) was held earlier this month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, discussing the future direction of the GEF to tackle the drivers of environmental degradation.

The two-day meeting opened October 4 with a keynote address by Dr. Gemedo Dalle, Minister of the Environment for Ethiopia, who highlighted his country’s sustainable development plans, and “commitment to support the vison and objectives of the GEF”. 

The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Dessalegn, also shared his views on issues of global environmental actions and financing in a special “GEF edition” of UN Environment’s Our Planet magazine that was distributed to participants.  In his article, the prime minister emphasized the importance of global action and coordination.

In the same magazine, Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, wrote,To get on the right path to a better, safer future, we need to work together on common and systemic solutions, and address the drivers of environmental change. It’s increasingly clear that the GEF cannot afford to stand still.”

In her opening address to the Addis meeting, Ishii recognized Ethiopia for its leadership on the global sustainable agenda and noted growing threats to the environment including recent extreme weather events that have caused immense human suffering. “The challenge is huge, so we must aim high,” she said.  “GEF-7 is an opportunity to show the world what kind of things we can do together.”

Negotiations of the GEF’s four yearly replenishment, this year known as GEF-7, is under way and will continue through to June 2018.  The meeting in Addis Ababa, which ran from October 4-5, 2017, is the second of four meetings scheduled where participants have an opportunity to review GEF performance, evaluate progress, assess future funding needs, and agree on a financing framework.

The Addis meeting included presentations and discussion on GEF’s proposed new programming direction, which includes possible new “impact programs” to enhance GEF’s integrated work, and engagement with the private sector.  A wide range of policy issues linked to GEF work on results, targets, resource allocation and knowledge management was also discussed.

The GEF Independent Evaluation Office presented its findings of the sixth overall performance study of the GEF (OPS6). GEF implementing agencies, including The World Bank, UN Development Program, Conservation International and UN Environment gave an update on their work on sustainable cities, commodities and mercury.  

The meeting included a keynote address from Anne Désirée Ouloto, Minister of Public Health, Environment, and Sustainable Development for Cote d’Ivoire, where she announced Cote d’Ivoire’s intention to become a donor to the GEF Trust Fund.

Closing the meeting, Naoko Ishii thanked donors for their guidance, “overall support for the GEF,” and noted that she was “pleased to hear we are moving in the right direction.”

The meeting was co-chaired by Naoko Ishii and Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Vice President of Development Finance.  The World Bank is the trustee of the GEF Trust Fund.

For more information and meeting documents GEF-7 Replenishment