Overview on Global environ- ment faciltiy
The Global Environment Facil- ity (GEF) was established in 1991 to address global environmental issues with 183 member countries. The GEF is an independent finanical institu- tion providing grants for activities in the areas of biodiversity, climate mitigation, chemical and waste, in- ternational waters, land degradation and sustainable forest management, with 5 cycles of operation.
GEF projects are implemented by 14 organizations: United Nations Development Program (UNDP), World bank (Wb), United Nations Food and Agriculture organization (FAo), United Nations Industrial Development organization (UNI- Do), African Development bank (AFDb), Asian Development bank (ADb), European bank for Resto- ration and Development (EbRD), Inter American Development bank (IADb), International Fund for Ag- riculture Development (IFAD), De- velopment bank for South Africa (DbSA), World Wide Fund for Na- ture (WWF), International Union of Conservation for Nature (IUCN) and Conservation International (CI). Sci- entific and technical Advisory Panel provides scientific and technical sup- port to GEF policies and projects.
The GEF serves as a finan- cial mechanism for implement- ing Convention on biodiversity, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants, United Nations Convention on Desertification Combast and Minamata Convention on Mer- cury.
To coordinate GEF activities in Việt Nam, Ministry of Natu- ral Resources and Environment (MoNRE) has established a GEF steering committee and steering committee’s office. Headed by a MoNRE vice minister, the GEF steering committee has repre- sentatives from Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Planning and Investment, Finance, Agricul- ture and Rural Development, Industry and trade, and State bank of Việt Nam. other mem- bers are respresentatives from relevant Departments under MoNRE.
So far, Việt Nam has received 53 projects with a total fund of over 135 million USD. In ad- dtion, Việt Nam has partici- pated in 43 global and regional projects. The GEF projects have assisted Việt Nam in dealing with national issues and con- tributing to addressing global environmental issues.
The results of GEF in its 5th cycle (2010-2014)
Since the 5th cycle (2010- 2014) or GEF 5, the GEF has applied a System of transparent Allocation of Resources (StAR) for biodiversity, climate change and land degradation areas. In- ternational waters, chemicals and waste and sustainable for- est management are outside of StAR. Proposals under STAR request funding allocated for each country whereas proposal for non-StAR are processed on a ”first come first served” basis.
In the GEF 5, Việt Nam was allocated with 27.51 million USD, of which 12.12 million USD for biodiversity, 13.89 mil- lion USD for climate change and 1.5 million USD for land degra- dation. Through Wb, UNDP, UNDEP, UNIDo and ADb, Việt Nam succeed in securing 35.67 million USD for 16 proj- ects both under StAR and non- StAR. In addition, the country participated in other 10 global and regional projects with the total funding of 52 million USD, of which 10 million USD was allocated for activities in Việt Nam. UNEP and UNDP are the 2 main GEF implementing agencies for these global and regional projects.
To prepare for the development and mobilization of the GEF proj- ects, MoNRE has organized a se- ries of consultative workshops and seminars, as well developed a web- page on policies, procedures and experiences in developing GEF proposals. A handbook on guid- ance of GEF project development and implementation in Việt Nam has been published. Việt Nam’s ef- fort in GEF has been highly regard- ed by GEF Secretariate, agencies and member countries. Moreover, StAR disbursement for the GEF 5 was completed on time, contribut- ing to significant achievements of Việt Nam in GEF 5.
Orientations for the 6th GEF
Focal areas of the GEF 6 (July 2014 - June 2018) are: biodiversity, climate change mitigation, land degradation, chemicals and waste, international waters and sustain- able forest management. Propos- als will need to follow closely with GEF strategic objectives and programs as well as national priori- ties.
|Climate resilient - sustainable model for developing cities in future|
A new policy in the GEF 6 is that proposals will need to have significant scale of impact and present intersectoral and intergated approaches. Pilot in- tegrated approach projects are Sustainable Cities-local actions for global objectives, Removing deforestration from good suply chains, and Promoting sustain- ability and food security in Sub- Saharan areas.
In the GEF 6, StAR will be continued to be applied for bio- diversity, climate change and land degradation. Under StAR of the GEF 6, Việt Nam is al- located 26.04 million USD, of which 13.17 milion USD for biodiversity, 11.35 million USD for climate change and 1.52 for land degradation. Proposals un- der the topics of international wasters, chemicals and waste and sustainable forest manage- ment will be processed in a com- petative manner on a “first come first served” basis.
The GEF6 resources are important for Việt Nam to implement Convention on biodiversity, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Stockholm Convention of persistent organic pollutants, UN Convention on Combating against Desertificaiton and Minamata Con- vention on Mercury. The resources will also help to achivie objectives of environmental strategies and ac- tion plans as well as other directives and policies of the Party, National Assembly and Government.
To prepare for proposals in GEF 6, MONRE has held consul- tative meetings and dialogues with participation of various govern- ment agencies, GEF implementing agencies, NGO and private sectors. Priority areas and criteria have also been developed. A national dialogue was organized in October 2014 in Hà Nội with participation of over 100 representatives from line Ministries, GEF Secretariat, Wb, UNDP, UNIDO, FAO, NGOs, research institutions and universi- ties and enterprises. A list of priority areas was consulted and finalized with the following focuses:
Biodiversity conservation and sustainable use natural resourcesin biosphere reserves
Conservation and prevention of the wildlife declines
Effective financial mechanisms for ecosysem services
Climate-smart agriculture Preparation for climate change policy of post-2020
Sustainable and climate-resilient cities
Lead, mercury and PoP (Persistent organic pollutant) reduction
Electronic waste management
Waste recycling and treatment
Marine conservation and coastal wetland management
PEMSEA/CobSEA (The Part- nerships in the Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia/The Coordinating body on the Seas of East Asia)
Sustainable forest management
Supporting implementation of GEF conventions
In the GEF 5, Việt Nam has effec- tively used funding from StAR as well as made considerable effort in securing funding from non-StAR. These achievements are relatively high compared with other coun- tries in the region. This is thanks to close collaborations between MoNRE and other stakeholders, active participation in GEF forums and agenda, effective cooperation with GEF implementing agencies and effective GEF proposal devel- opment processes. However, some challenges have been identified, including limited available fund- ing, complex and time consuming GEF procedures, limited capacity of Vietnamese agencies and co-fi- nancing difficulties.
While international grant re- sources for environmental protec- tion for Việt Nam are declining af- ter becominga low-middle-income country, the GEF plays an impor- tant role in supporting environ- mental activities of the country. Therefore, it is neccesary to increase effectiveness of GEF mobilization and implementation through more proactive funding seeking and more rigorous monitoring and evaluation of GEF projects in Việt Nam.
Dr. Đỗ Nam Thắng
Global Environment Facility Operational Focal Point
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment