GEF Proceedings 5.2.00

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					Proceedings of the
First Assembly of the
New Delhi
1–3 April 1998
AFGHANISTAN ■ ALBANIA ■ ALGERIA ■ ANTIGUA & BARBUDA ■ ARGENTINA                                              ■   ARMENIA      ■    AUSTRALIA ■ AUS-
TRIA ■ AZERBAIJAN ■ BAHAMAS ■ BANGLADESH ■ BARBADOS ■ BELARUS                                                ■   BELGIUM          ■ BELIZE ■ BENIN ■


HONDURAS       ■   HUNGARY    ■   INDIA   ■   INDONESIA          ■   IRAN (I.R.)   ■   IRELAND      ■   ISRAEL    ■   ITALY   ■   JAMAICA      ■   JAPAN   ■


PARAGUAY   ■   PERU   ■   PHILIPPINES     ■   POLAND     ■   PORTUGAL         ■    ROMANIA      ■   RUSSIAN FEDERATION                ■   SAINT LUCIA
■   SAINT VINCENT & GRENADINES                ■   SAMOA      ■   SENEGAL     ■    SIERRA LEONE           ■   SLOVAK REPUBLIC           ■   SLOVENIA        ■

SOLOMON ISLANDS ■ SOUTH AFRICA ■ SPAIN ■ SRI LANKA ■ ST. KITTS AND NEVIS ■ SUDAN ■ SURINAME                                                                ■

SWAZILAND ■ SWEDEN ■ SWITZERLAND ■ SYRIA ■ TANZANIA ■ THAILAND ■ THE F.Y.R. OF MACEDONIA                                                                   ■

TOGO ■ TONGA ■ TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO ■ TUNISIA ■ TURKEY ■ TURKMENISTAN ■ TUVALU ■ UGANDA                                                                     ■




THAILAND   ■   THE F.Y.R. OF MACEDONIA              ■   TOGO         ■   TONGA     ■   TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO                ■   TUNISIA      ■   TURKEY      ■

■BANGLADESH ■ BARBADOS ■ BELARUS ■ BELGIUM ■ BELIZE                                     ■   BENIN ■ BHUTAN ■ BOLIVIA ■ BOTSWANA ■
Proceedings of the
First Assembly of the
New Delhi
1-3 April 1998

        reated in 1991, the Global Environment Facility forges international cooper-
        ation and finances actions to address biodiversity loss, climate change,
        degradation of international waters, and ozone depletion within the context
of sustainable development. Related activities addressing land degradation are also
eligible for GEF funding. By mid-1998, GEF had allocated $2 billion to more than
500 projects in 119 countries and generated $5 billion in cofinance.
   GEF’s system of governance, a Council representing 32 constituency groups and
an Assembly of all 164 member states, balances the interests of participants, empha-
sizes transparency, and promotes participation by non-governmental groups and
the private sector.
   In April 1998, 119 governments, 16 international organizations, and 185 non-
governmental organizations met in New Delhi for the first GEF Assembly. The spirit
of this gathering of GEF “shareholders” was extremely positive. In plenary sessions
and panels, constituency meetings and press conferences, participants agreed that
GEF has come a long way in a short time. They also agreed that it has far to go to
apply the many lessons it has learned.
   This consensus is reflected in the New Delhi Statement with which we begin this
report, issued by the Assembly at the conclusion of its three-day meeting.
   Finally, in the words of one country representative…
   “….however efficient the GEF may be, however fit the organization, it will not
succeed except as part of the widest global effort.”
   These proceedings of the first GEF Assembly are dedicated to that proposition.

                                                 Mohamed T. El-Ashry
                                                 Chief Executive Officer & Chairman

  For more information, please contact the GEF Secretariat.
  Write to:     Global Environment Facility
                1818 H St. NW
                Washington, DC 20433 USA
  Call: 1.202.473.0508 Fax: 1.202.522.3240 On the World Wide Web:

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

The New Delhi Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Inaugural & Opening Session . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Plenary Reports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Statements by Representatives. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

Panel Highlights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169

     Note to readers: Opening session statements are presented in chronological order. Statements by
     country representatives are in alphabetical order and appear as provided to the GEF in the lan-
     guage in which they were presented. Panel highlights are based on transcript excerpts and notes
     from rapporteurs.
New Delhi Statement
Divider page photo: Endangered biodiversity, South Africa by Anders Ekbom (World Bank)
The New Delhi Statement
of the First GEF Assembly

The Assembly of the Global Environment Facility,                Acknowledging further the excellent work of the Scien-
                                                                tific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) in provid-
Having met for the first time in New Delhi from April
                                                                ing strategic advice and in reviewing projects;
1-3, 1998,
                                                                Welcoming the Second Replenishment of the GEF
Expressing its utmost appreciation to the Government
                                                                Trust Fund of US$2.75 billion which will enable the
and people of India for hosting the Assembly and for
                                                                GEF to continue its successful efforts to promote global
their generosity, hospitality and the excellent arrange-
                                                                environmental goals and sustainable development;
ments made available to all participants;
                                                                Taking note of Council’s decisions and drawing, as
Taking note of the views expressed by Representatives
                                                                appropriate, upon analyses and recommendations
of GEF participant states at this Assembly;
                                                                from the Study of GEF’s Overall Performance, the Study
Recognizing that the GEF is the multilateral funding            of GEF Project Lessons, the GEF Project Implementation
mechanism dedicated to promoting global environ-                Review, and the CEO’s Report on the Policies, Operations
mental protection within a framework of sustainable             and Future Development of the GEF;
development by providing new and additional grant
                                                                Agrees that for the GEF to meet its deepening poten-
and concessional funding;
                                                                tial and fulfill its multiple missions:
Recognizing also that its beneficiaries are all people of the
                                                                1. GEF should remain a facility at the cutting edge,
globe, and that the need for the GEF is even greater
                                                                   innovative, flexible and responsive to the needs of
as we enter the new millennium given the state of
                                                                   its recipient countries, as well as a catalyst for other
the global environment and of underdevelopment;
                                                                   institutions and efforts.
Stressing that the GEF is a unique and successful
                                                                2. GEF activities should be country-driven and efforts
example of international cooperation that offers
                                                                   should be strengthened to achieve country owner-
lessons for other endeavors;
                                                                   ship of GEF projects. To achieve this,
Affirming the significant role of the GEF in supporting
                                                                   a. GEF activities should be based on national prior-
the objectives of agreed global environmental con-
                                                                      ities designed to support sustainable develop-
ventions and protocols, such as the Convention on
                                                                      ment and the global environment;
Biological Diversity, the UN Framework Convention
on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, the                      b. GEF should develop and implement a strategy
Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol on                        for greater outreach and communication which
Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, and the UN                   targets GEF’s multiple constituencies, with a view
Convention to Combat Desertification;                                 to enhancing global awareness of the global envi-
                                                                      ronment and the GEF, and should increase con-
Acknowledging the significant progress that has been
                                                                      sultations with non-governmental organizations
made by the GEF, its implementing agencies (UNDP,
                                                                      (NGOs) and local communities concerning GEF
UNEP and the World Bank), and the Secretariat, in the
four years since the restructuring in its organization
and management, in establishing its institutional and              c. GEF should develop and implement an action
operational framework, and in supporting developing                   plan to strengthen country-level coordination
countries and countries with economies in transition                  and to promote genuine country ownership of
in their efforts for global environmental improve-                    GEF-financed activities, including the active
ments and in implementing the Rio conventions;                        involvement of local and regional experts and
    community groups in project design and imple-           seek to better define the linkages between land
    mentation.                                              degradation, particularly desertification and defor-
                                                            estation, and its focal areas and to increase GEF
3. GEF should increase efforts towards ensuring the
                                                            support for land degradation activities as they
   sustainability of the global environment benefits
                                                            relate to the GEF focal areas.
   generated by GEF financing and should act as a
   catalyst to bring about longer-term coordinated        9. GEF implementing agencies should promote mea-
   efforts with other funders for capacity building          sures to achieve global environmental benefits
   and training.                                             within the context of their regular programs and
                                                             consistent with the global environmental conven-
4. GEF should streamline its project cycle with a view
                                                             tions while respecting the authority of the govern-
   to making project preparation simpler, transparent
                                                             ing bodies of the implementing agencies.
   and more nationally-driven.
                                                          10.GEF should build strong relationships and net-
5. GEF should undertake longer-term planning and
                                                             works with the global scientific community, espe-
   multi-year support programs with a view to maxi-
                                                             cially with national scientists and scientific institu-
   mizing global environmental benefits.
                                                             tions in recipient countries.
6. While recognizing the importance of the principle of
                                                          11. GEF should promote greater coordination and co-
   incremental costs for the GEF, its definition should
                                                              financing of its activities from other sources,
   be made more understandable. GEF should make
                                                              including bilateral funding organizations, and
   the process of determining incremental costs more
                                                              should expand opportunities for execution of
   transparent and its application more pragmatic.
                                                              activities by those entities referred to in paragraph
7. GEF should be a learning entity and should                 28 of the Instrument, in particular the Regional
   strengthen its monitoring and evaluation functions         Development Banks and non-governmental orga-
   and increase efforts to disseminate lessons learned        nizations.
   from its experience in implementing its portfolio of
                                                          12. GEF should strive to mobilize additional resources
   projects and to stimulate the transfer and adoption
                                                              from both public and private sources. The GEF, as
   of new technologies by recipient countries.
                                                              a platform for technological change, should also
8. In consultation with the Secretariat of the UN Con-        explore new opportunities for private sector part-
   vention to Combat Desertification, GEF should              nerships as well as private-public joint ventures.
Declaración de Nueva Delhi formulada
en la Primera Asamblea del FMAM

La Asamblea del Fondo para el Medio Ambiente              organización y administración en el establecimiento de
Mundial,                                                  su estructura institucional y operacional y en su labor
                                                          de respaldo a los países en desarrollo y con economías
Habiéndose reunido por primera vez en Nueva Delhi
                                                          en transición en sus esfuerzos por lograr mejoras en el
del 1 al 3 de abril de 1998,
                                                          medio ambiente mundial y en la aplicación del conve-
Expresando su más profundo agradecimiento al Gob-         nio y las convenciones de Rio de Janeiro;
ierno y al pueblo de la India, anfitriones de la Asam-
                                                          Reconociendo, además, la excelente labor desempeñada
blea, por su generosidad y hospitalidad y por los exce-
                                                          por el Grupo Asesor Científico y Tecnológico (STAP)
lentes preparativos y servicios puestos a disposición
                                                          como fuente de asesoramiento estratégico y en el exa-
de los participantes;
                                                          men de los proyectos;
Tomando nota de las opiniones expresadas por los rep-
resentantes de los Estados participantes en el FMAM       Acogiendo con beneplácito la segunda reposición de los
presentes en esta Asamblea;                               recursos del Fondo Fiduciario del FMAM, por valor de
                                                          US$2.750 millones, que permitirá al FMAM continuar
Reconociendo que el FMAM es el mecanismo de finan-        sus exitosos esfuerzos para promover las metas relativas
ciamiento multilateral dedicado a promover la protec-     al medio ambiente mundial y el desarrollo sostenible;
ción del medio ambiente mundial en el marco de un
desarrollo sostenible otorgando recursos financieros      Tomando nota de las decisiones del Consejo y recur-
nuevos y adicionales en forma de donación y fondos        riendo, en caso necesario, a los análisis y recomenda-
concesionarios;                                           ciones del Estudio sobre los resultados globales del
                                                          FMAM, el Estudio sobre las enseñanzas aprendidas de los
Reconociendo también que sus beneficiarios son todos      proyectos del FMAM, el Examen de la ejecución de los
los habitantes del planeta y que el FMAM es todavía       proyectos del Fondo para el Medio Ambiente Mundial y el
más necesario al acercarse el nuevo milenio, en vista     Informe del Funcionario Ejecutivo Principal sobre las
de los actuales problemas del medio ambiente mundi-       políticas y operaciones del FMAM y su evolución futura;
al y del subdesarrollo;
                                                          Conviene en que, para que el FMAM pueda hacer reali-
Subrayando que el FMAM es un ejemplo singular y           dad su creciente potencial y cumplir sus múltiples
fecundo de cooperación internacional que permite          misiones:
extraer enseñanzas para otras iniciativas;
                                                          1. El FMAM debería seguir siendo una entidad de
Afirmando la importante labor de respaldo realizada por      avanzada, innovadora y flexible, que responda a
el FMAM en pro de los objetivos formulados en las            las necesidades de los países receptores, y un catal-
convenciones, convenios y protocolos aprobados sobre         izador de actividades y esfuerzos por parte de otras
el medio ambiente mundial, tales como el Convenio            instituciones.
sobre la Biodiversidad Biológica, la Convención Marco
de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Cambio Climático y el     2. Las actividades del FMAM deberían ser propuestas
Protocolo de Kyoto, la Convención de Viena y el Pro-         o ser emprendidas por iniciativa de los países, y
tocolo de Montreal sobre las sustancias que agotan la        deberían redoblarse los esfuerzos para que los
capa de ozono y la Convención de las Naciones Unidas         países se identifiquen con los proyectos del
de lucha contra la desertificación;                          FMAM. Para ello,

Reconociendo el notable progreso que ha hecho el            a. las actividades del FMAM deberían basarse en
FMAM, sus organismos de ejecución (el PNUD, el PNU-            prioridades nacionales que tengan por objeto
MA y el Banco Mundial) y la Secretaría durante los cua-        respaldar los programas en pro del desarrollo
tro años transcurridos desde la reestructuración de su         sostenible y el medio ambiente mundial;
  b. el FMAM debería formular y poner en práctica           sus funciones de vigilancia y evaluación, así como
    una estrategia para ampliar los contactos y las         sus esfuerzos por diseminar las enseñanzas recogi-
    comunicaciones con los diversos grupos de países        das en la ejecución de los proyectos en cartera, y
    representados, con miras a lograr una mayor sen-        fomentar la transferencia y adopción de nuevas tec-
    sibilización global con respecto al medio ambi-         nologías en los países receptores.
    ente mundial y al FMAM; además, debería inten-
    sificar las consultas con las organizaciones no       8. En consulta con la Secretaría de la Convención de
    gubernamentales (ONG) y las comunidades                  las Naciones Unidas de lucha contra la desertifi-
    locales en lo que respecta a sus actividades;            cación, el FMAM debería tratar de delimitar más
                                                             claramente los vínculos existentes entre la
  c. el FMAM debería preparar y poner en práctica            degradación de tierras, sobre todo la desertifi-
     un plan de acción para fortalecer la coordi-            cación y la deforestación, y sus esferas de activi-
     nación a nivel de los países y para fomentar una        dad, e incrementar su respaldo a las actividades
     auténtica identificación de éstos con los obje-         para combatir la degradación de tierras en la
     tivos de las actividades financiadas por el FMAM,       medida que guarden relación con dichas esferas
     que incluya la participación activa de expertos         de actividad.
     nacionales y regionales, así como de las agrupa-
     ciones comunitarias en el diseño y la ejecución      9. Los organismos de ejecución del FMAM deberían
     de los proyectos.                                       promover la adopción de medidas destinadas a
                                                             lograr beneficios para el medio ambiente mundial
3. El FMAM debería intensificar sus esfuerzos tendi-
                                                             en el contexto de sus programas de trabajo ordi-
   entes a asegurar la sostenibilidad de los beneficios
                                                             narios y que sean compatibles con los convenios y
   para el medio ambiente mundial generados con
                                                             convenciones sobre el medio ambiente mundial,
   sus actividades de financiamiento; asimismo,
                                                             sin menoscabo de la autoridad de los órganos rec-
   debería actuar como catalizador para la realización
                                                             tores de los organismos de ejecución.
   de esfuerzos coordinados a más largo plazo con
   otras entidades que aporten financiamiento para
                                                          10. El FMAM debería establecer relaciones y redes más
   fines de creación de capacidad y capacitación.
                                                              sólidas con los círculos científicos internacionales,
4. El FMAM debería racionalizar el ciclo de los proyec-       sobre todo con científicos e instituciones científi-
   tos con miras a simplificar la preparación de éstos,       cas de los países receptores.
   aumentar su transparencia y tomar más en cuenta
   las iniciativas nacionales.                            11. El FMAM debería promover una mayor coordi-
                                                              nación y cofinanciamiento de sus actividades con
5. El FMAM debería emprender una planificación a              otras fuentes, incluidas las organizaciones de
   más largo plazo y programas de apoyo de varios             financiamiento bilaterales; además, debería ampli-
   años de duración con el objeto de multiplicar los          ar las oportunidades para una mayor participación
   máximos beneficios para el medio ambiente                  en las actividades por parte de las entidades a las
   mundial.                                                   que se hace referencia en el párrafo 28 del Instru-
6. Si bien se reconoce la importancia que reviste para        mento, sobre todo los bancos regionales de desar-
   el FMAM el principio de los costos incrementales,          rollo y las ONG.
   su definición debería resultar más fácilmente com-
                                                          12. El FMAM debería redoblar sus esfuerzos para movi-
   prensible. El FMAM debería tomar medidas para
                                                              lizar recursos adicionales de fuentes tanto públicas
   que el proceso de determinación de los costos
                                                              como privadas. El Fondo, actuando como platafor-
   incrementales sea más flexible y su aplicación más
                                                              ma para el cambio tecnológico, debería explorar
                                                              también nuevas oportunidades para establecer
7. El FMAM debería ser una entidad de adquisición y           alianzas con el sector privado y para realizar opera-
   difusión de conocimientos, y debería intensificar          ciones conjuntas con los sectores público y privado.
Première Assemblée du FEM
Déclaration de New Delhi

L’Assemblée du Fonds pour l’environnement mondial,         tionnel et l’appui aux efforts déployés par les pays en
                                                           développement et les économies en transition pour
Réunie pour la première fois à New Delhi du 1er au 3
                                                           améliorer la protection de l’environnement mondial
avril 1998,
                                                           et appliquer les Conventions de Rio;
Exprimant sa profonde gratitude au Gouvernement et
                                                           Rendant hommage à l’excellence du travail réalisé par
au peuple de l’Inde pour avoir accueilli l’Assemblée et
                                                           le Groupe consultatif pour la science et la technologie
les remerciant vivement de leur générosité et des dis-
                                                           (STAP), qui fournit des conseils stratégiques et exam-
positions remarquables prises à l’égard de tous les par-
                                                           ine les projets;
                                                           Se félicitant de la Deuxième reconstitution des ressources
Prenant note des points de vue exprimés à l’Assemblée
                                                           de la Caisse du FEM à hauteur de 2,75 milliards de dol-
par les représentants des États participant au FEM;
                                                           lars, ce qui permettra au Fonds de continuer d’oeuvrer
Reconnaissant que le FEM est le mécanisme de finance-      efficacement à la réalisation des objectifs de protection
ment multilatéral qui a pour mission de promouvoir         de l’environnement mondial et de développement
la protection de l’environnement mondial, dans le          durable;
cadre d’un développement durable en fournissant des
                                                           Prenant note des décisions du Conseil et s’appuyant,
ressources nouvelles et supplémentaires à titre gra-
                                                           autant que de besoin, sur les analyses et les recom-
cieux ou à des conditions libérales;
                                                           mandations découlant du Bilan global du fonction-
Reconnaissant également que l’action du FEM profite à      nement du FEM, de l’Étude des enseignements des projets
tous les habitants de la planète et qu’elle répond plus    du FEM, de l’Examen de l’état d’avancement des projets
que jamais à une nécessité, à l’aube du nouveau mil-       du FEM et du Rapport du Directeur général sur les poli-
lénaire, compte tenu de l’état de l’environnement          tiques, les opérations et l’avenir du FE;
mondial et de la situation de sousdéveloppement;
                                                           Convient que pour donner toute la mesure de ses
Soulignant que le FEM constitue un modèle éprouvé et       moyens grandissants et accomplir ses multiples mis-
unique en son genre de coopération internationale          sions :
qui pourrait servir d’exemple à d’autres actions;
                                                           1. Le FEM doit rester un organisme à la pointe du
Soulignant aussi l’importance du rôle joué par le FEM         progrès, novateur, souple et attentif aux besoins de
dans l’aide qu’il apporte à la réalisation des objectifs      ses pays bénéficiaires, tout en étant le catalyseur
des conventions et protocoles sur l’environnement             d’autres institutions et d’autres initiatives.
mondial, tels que la Convention sur la diversité
                                                           2. Les projets du FEM doivent être entrepris à l’initia-
biologique, la Conventioncadre des Nations Unies sur
                                                              tive des pays et un plus grand effort doit être fait
les changements climatiques et le Protocole de Kyoto,
                                                              pour que les pays s’identifient pleinement à l’ac-
la Convention de Vienne et le Protocole de Montréal
                                                              tion menée. À cette fin,
relatif à des substances qui appauvrissent la couche
d’ozone, et la Convention des Nations Unies sur la            a. Les activités du FEM doivent correspondre à des
lutte contre la désertification;                                 priorités nationales servant la cause du développe-
                                                                 ment durable et de la protection de l’environ-
Reconnaissant les progrès considérables accomplis par
                                                                 nement mondial;
le FEM, ses Agents d’exécution (PNUD, PNUE et
Banque mondiale) et son Secrétariat au cours des qua-         b. Le FEM doit mettre au point et exécuter une
tre années écoulées depuis sa restructuration, en ce             stratégie plus large d’information et de commu-
qui concerne son mode d’organisation et de gestion,              nication pour toucher ses multiples partenaires,
la mise en place de son cadre institutionnel et opéra-           afin de sensibiliser davantage le monde à la pro-
     tection de la planète et à l’action qu’il mène, et       projets et d’encourager le transfert et l’adoption de
     doit davantage consulter les organisations non           nouvelles technologies par les pays bénéficiaires.
     gouvernementales (ONG) et les populations
                                                            8. En consultation avec le Secrétariat de la Conven-
     locales sur ses activités;
                                                               tion des Nations Unies sur la lutte contre la déserti-
   c. Le FEM doit élaborer et exécuter un plan d’action        fication, le FEM doit s’efforcer de mieux définir les
      visant à renforcer la coordination au niveau             liens existant entre le secteur de la dégradation des
      national et à encourager les pays à s’investir           sols, en particulier la désertification et le déboise-
      réellement dans les activités qu’il finance, notam-      ment, et ses domaines d’intervention, et d’ac-
      ment sous la forme d’une participation active            croître son soutien aux activités menées dans ce
      d’experts locaux et régionaux et de groupes com-         secteur, dans la mesure où de tels liens existent.
      munautaires à la conception et à l’exécution des      9. Les Agents d’exécution du FEM doivent encour-
      projets.                                                 ager l’adoption de mesures visant à une meilleure
3. Le FEM doit redoubler d’efforts pour assurer la             protection de l’environnement mondial dans le
   pérennité des effets positifs sur l’environnement           cadre de leurs programmes ordinaires et conformé-
   mondial obtenus grâce à ses financements et jouer           ment aux conventions relatives à l’environnement
   un rôle moteur pour susciter des actions coordon-           mondial sans porter atteinte aux pouvoirs de leurs
   nées, à plus long terme, avec d’autres bailleurs de         organes de direction.
   fonds en vue de renforcer les capacités et de dis-       10. Le FEM doit établir des relations étroites et des
   penser la formation nécessaire.                              réseaux solides avec la communauté scientifique
4. Le FEM doit alléger le cycle de ses projets afin de          mondiale, en particulier avec les chercheurs et les
   simplifier le travail de préparation, le rendre plus         instituts de recherche des pays bénéficiaires.
   transparent et le faire davantage piloter par les        11. Le FEM doit promouvoir davantage la coordination
   pays bénéficiaires.                                          et le cofinancement de ses activités par d’autres
                                                                organismes, notamment dans le cadre bilatéral, et
5. Le FEM doit procéder à une planification à plus
                                                                offrir davantage de possibilités d’exécution de ses
   long terme et entreprendre des programmes d’aide
                                                                projets aux entités visées au paragraphe 28 de l’In-
   pluriannuels en vue d’obtenir le maximum d’effets
                                                                strument, en particulier aux banques de développe-
   positifs sur l’environnement mondial.
                                                                ment régionales et aux organisations non gou-
6. Tout en reconnaissant l’importance du principe du            vernementales.
   surcoût pour le FEM, il faut en simplifier la défini-
                                                            12. Le FEM doit s’efforcer de mobiliser des finance-
   tion. Le FEM doit assouplir son mode de calcul du
                                                                ments supplémentaires auprès de sources tant
   surcoût et l’appliquer de façon plus pragmatique.
                                                                publiques que privées. En tant que vecteur du
7. Le FEM doit être une source de savoir, renforcer ses         changement technologique, il doit également
   fonctions de suivi et d’évaluation, et s’efforcer plus       rechercher de nouvelles possibilités de partenariats
   activement de diffuser les enseignements tirés de            avec le secteur privé et d’associations entre les
   l’expérience qu’il acquiert en exécutant ses divers          secteurs public et privé.
Inaugural and
Opening Session
Divider page photo: Icebergs, Chile by Curt Carnemark (World Bank)
Statement By Yashwant Sinha
Finance Minister of India

       consider it a great honour and privilege to wel-        It is only then that our coming generations would
       come you all to this august gathering, the first        not blame us for having done precious little when
       ever meeting of the Global Environment Facility.        the opportunity was available. In our country, our
       You have come from far and near, from all parts         saints and sages, our forefathers and the generations
of the globe, taking time off from your otherwise very         preceding them have all been environmentally very
busy schedules. This speaks volumes of your commit-            conscious. We have a strong tradition of worshipping
ment to the cause of preservation of environment.              rivers, trees, mountains and other manifestations of
Some of you have already been deliberating upon the            mother nature. But somewhere on the way, we have
subject for the last few days, and I am sure the next          faltered and paid the price for this.
three days are going to set the agenda and lay the road           However, it is a matter of great satisfaction that our
map on how this movement is going to move ahead                Government, our judiciary, our NGOs, our students
in the future. I do not wish to prejudge our delibera-         and general populace have all started taking a very
tions, except to state that we must all strive to make         keen interest in this subject which is of profound
GEF as responsive, as flexible and as efficient as possible.   importance to all of us. With this commitment, the
    I don’t wish to preach to the priests. However, I          future is definitely going to be promising, and, if I
would like to take a couple of minutes to share with           may say so, our tomorrows are going to be better
you some thoughts which concern even an environ-               than our yesterdays. We would like to work in tan-
mentally lay person. Nature has given us an environ-           dem with you all so that we can share our experi-
ment which is pure and pristine. However, spiraling            ences and learn from our mistakes.
population growth, accelerated industrial activity, and           On our part, I can unambiguously and unequivo-
if I may say so, our greed and impatience have brought         cally state that the Government of India is strongly
us to a situation where the entire ecosystem and the life      committed to improving the lives of the millions of
support systems are severely damaged; some portions            our citizens living below poverty levels. They have to
of it irreversibly and irreparably. If appropriate and         be an integral part of all our plans for economic
urgent steps are not taken, then there is a distinct possi-    advancement and environmental protection, or both
bility of annihilation of life on earth, the only known        the goals will be jeopardised. I am aware that if we
planet supporting life on it. I do not want to raise a         squander our natural patrimony—the huge moun-
scare, but the fact remains that a really large number of      tains, the great rivers, the vast plains, the deep
plant and animal species are already extinct. It may           forests, the soils, the cities and the villages of India—
sound a cliché, but the truth is that we have not inher-       we doom all of us to eternal misery and poverty. Our
ited this earth from our forefathers but in fact borrowed      Government is committed to striving for rapid eco-
it from our children and coming generations.                   nomic development and environmental improve-
    What is required from all of us—rich or poor,              ments in a mutually reinforcing framework.
strong or weak, developed or developing—is a con-                 I do not want to take more time, as I am conscious
certed effort at preservation of environment. If each          that you must be anxiously waiting to know what
one of us today takes a step in this direction, however        the Honorable Prime Minister has to say on this occa-
small, we would decidedly go a long way in not only            sion. It is my privilege to invite the Honorable Prime
preserving but also regenerating life support systems.         Minister to share his thoughts with us this morning.
Statement by Aral Bihari Vajpayee
Prime Minister of India

      am happy to address you on the occasion of the          forms, between plants and animals and between
      inauguration of the first ever Assembly meeting         nature and man. The balance of five basic elements,
      of the Global Environment Facility. It is indeed        the panchtatva—air, water, fire, the earth and the
      fitting that the first Assembly meeting of this         sky—has to be restored.
international cooperative venture should be held in              Based on our experience and understanding of global
the developing world and that too in India.                   environment, we realise today that sustainable develop-
   The twentieth century has witnessed major devel-           ment at the national level cannot be pursued in isola-
opments which have had momentous impact not                   tion. Quality of life of nations today, as also in the
only on the lives of human beings but also on planet          future, depends to a very large extent on the policies
earth. These include an unprecedented growth in               and actions that the fellow nations of the world pursue.
population and in consumption, rapidly increasing             Against this background, new partnerships have to be
urbanization, dramatic changes in the global eco-             established for conservation and sustainable develop-
nomic system and the revolution in communication              ment while ensuring equitable distribution of technolo-
technology. As we are poised on the threshold of the          gy and social advancement. Promoting these partner-
third millennium, we have become increasingly                 ships requires making the most of the diverse repertoire
aware that the process of development—including               of knowledge, skills, perceptions and assets belonging
industrialization and economic growth—have come               to a wide cross-section of nations and societies.
at a huge cost to society, to the environment and to             When we analyse the nature of pollutants, we find
our very future.                                              that both affluence and poverty contribute to their
   In some ways, it is ironic that some of the achieve-       high levels. The problems of the industrialized and
ments of the twentieth century themselves pose the            the developed world stem from their high levels of
challenges for the twenty-first century. With almost six      economic activity and consumption. The degenera-
billion people inhabiting this earth, and the global          tion of forests and natural resources in the develop-
GDP approaching 30 trillion dollars, the pace of              ing countries, on the other hand, can be attributed
human and economic activity is putting pressure on            largely to the lack of resources and alternative sources
global life support systems. We witness the depletion         of energy and income generation. The strategies to
of non-renewable natural resources, the continued             tackle these two distinct causes therefore need to be
destruction of life-sustaining forests and illegal interna-   significantly different. In the case of the rich and
tional trade in protected species of flora and fauna.         developed world, the issues can be best handled by
There is an on-going depletion of our planet’s biologi-       setting stringent emission norms and limits on pollu-
cal treasures and the threat of an acceleration in global     tants and by enforcing these stringent norms and
warming and in the greenhouse effect. In short, there         limitations. However, for the developing and under-
is a rapid globalization of environmental destruction.        developed world, the best approach would be to put
The environmental impact of human activity is no              in place an incentive structure that would encourage
longer restricted to man-made national boundaries.            conservation and discourage the scavenging of
   The problems of environmental degradation call             nature, without compromising economic develop-
for more than scientific and technological solutions.         ment and rapid alleviation of poverty. For the devel-
They require the re-establishment of environmental            oping countries, we should make concerted efforts to
ethics and values practiced in traditional societies,         facilitate and promote adoption of environment-
with economic development based on these issues.              friendly techniques of production and also undertake
India, as one of the traditional societies, believed in       far greater measures to disseminate information
the integrity and sacredness of nature, pervading             about the ill effects of polluting forces.
peace as the ultimate purpose of all existence and               As part of international efforts to contain the ill
activity. The age-old philosophy of co-existence is not       effects of environmental degradation and to encour-
one merely for co-existence of human beings, but it is        age sustainable development, nations have put in
in fact a basic premise of all living beings and of har-      place several ecological treaties like the Montreal Proto-
mony within the cosmos. The delicate balance of               col, the Framework Convention on Climate Change,
nature has to be restored, even as we have to ensure          the Convention on Biodiversity, the Convention to
complementarity and co-existence of different life            Combat Desertification, etc. Although much atten-
tion seems to be focused on climate change, global                The Government of India is committed to rapid
warming and the ozone layer, very little is being done         and sustainable development, which we believe is the
to address the environmental problems facing poor              surest way of improving the living standards of our
societies, whether it be paucity of clean drinking             people and eradicating the curse of poverty from our
water or poor sanitary conditions.                             nation. We see strong complementarity between the
   Let me reiterate that if we are committed to suc-           goals of economic development and improvement in
cessfully addressing the challenges of sustainable             the environment. We must never forget that abject
development, and hence of environmental conserva-              poverty, and all that goes with it, is the worst blight
tion, then it will require an international movement           on our planet’s environment.
the like of which has never been seen before. It will             I would like to mention here that India has been
require effective integration of the sporadic efforts          in the forefront of voicing the developing nations’
being made by the different players whether they be            concerns over environment protection and sustain-
international organizations, national governments,             able development on various international plat-
or non-governmental organisations; whether busi-               forms. For example, it was an Indian prime minister
ness and the forces of development, or environmen-             who put forward this new agenda in the first global
talists and the forces of conservation.                        environmental summit in Stockholm in 1972. Since
   Most important, however, will be the need to make           then, my country has been consistently champi-
environment protection a people’s movement—with                oning this cause.
the close participative involvement of the local com-             Naturally, the imperative of sustainable develop-
munities, governmental bodies, NGOs, international             ment has found a strong resonance within the coun-
bodies like the GEF, industry and various economic ser-        try, too. As we have indicated in our National Agenda
vice providers. History has shown that all good ideas          for Governance, we will continue with economic
begin to make the desired impacts only when they               reforms, strengthen macroeconomic stability, and
become mass movements. It is high time environment             devote special attention to the development of infra-
protection be made a national and international peo-           structure, agriculture and education. We firmly
ple’s movement. It is in the self-interest of the nation       believe that more and better education, especially at
states, and in the larger interests of the world we live in,   primary and secondary levels, is a crucial pre-requi-
that we leave behind a better world for our children.          site for both rapid economic development and a
   Since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, many interna-              more informed and effective social and legal frame-
tional business leaders have taken the lead in urging          work for preserving and improving our environment.
the business community to be environmentally more                 We are convinced that in areas such as education,
sensitive and responsive.                                      rural infrastructure, water resources management and
   The presence of all of you ladies and gentlemen at          land use, Government can and must articulate an
this first-ever Assembly meeting of the Global Envi-           effective combination of social expenditures, appro-
ronment Facility is very heartening and speaks of              priate incentives and realistic regulatory systems to
your commitment to the cause that we address                   jointly serve the goals of rapid, broad-based develop-
together. During the post-Rio phase, GEF is one of the         ment and environmental improvements. We propose
instruments that has emerged to give effect to various         to establish effective legal frameworks for the protec-
Rio agreements. The restructuring of the GEF in 1994           tion of the environment and to unveil a comprehen-
has given confidence in the vitality and responsiveness        sive National Environment Policy to harmonize the
of this institution. As the GEF is a unique expression         demands of development and environment and to
of partnership forged at Rio between the North and the         balance the needs of the present and the future.
South, between the UN system and the Bretton                      The principle that poverty alleviation and economic
Woods system, it would be our collective endeavour to          development are the first priorities of developing
sustain and strengthen it as an effective instrument           countries must continue to be the guiding factor for
of cooperation for promoting sustainable development.          all international cooperation. The GEF has built on
   The imperative of sustainable development places            this principle to begin implementation of sustainable
a common responsibility on rich as well as developing          development goals within its area of concern. It
nations to concentrate their R&D efforts on three              deserves our full and unanimous support through
immediate projects: (1) an all-out effort to harness           adequate and timely contribution from all those that
renewable sources of energy on a large scale and at            provide such contributions, and through efficient
lower or comparable costs, (2) development and                 and meaningful use of GEF resources by those who
commercialization of new materials, and (3) across-            receive them.
the-board introduction of energy-saving techniques                We are proud to be partners in the establishment,
and management practices. After all, energy saved is           evolution and growth of GEF. Amongst the recipient
energy produced.                                               countries, India is one of the largest contributors to
the GEF replenishment, and we have contributed             er parts of India and see the richness of our culture
more than any of the other recipient donors.               and heritage.
   I welcome you to this Assembly meeting in New              I declare the Assembly open and wish you success
Delhi and hope that you have a very pleasant stay,         in your deliberations towards refining GEF as an
and you go back with fond memories of your visit. I        effective collaborative instrument for achieving our
also hope that some of you will find time to visit oth-    mutually cherished goals.

Statement by Mohamed T. El-Ashry
Chief Executive Officer and Chairman,
Global Environment Facility

              n behalf of the GEF, its member coun-        awareness, a sense of urgency will develop to pursue a
              tries, its Council, and the heads of its     sustainable development path for the benefit of cur-
              implementing agencies, I want to express     rent and future generations. The GEF is on the cutting
              sincere thanks and appreciation to you       edge of this global learning experience. We don’t
for honoring us with your presence this morning,           have all the answers, but we are a catalyst for universal
and to the Government and people of India for host-        participation and innovative programs. We are help-
ing the first GEF Assembly in such a magnificent, yet      ing to show the way. So it is fitting that we hold our
warm and friendly, manner.                                 first Assembly in this place, on behalf of all people
   This is a special occasion, a milestone in our young    and the fragile planet we call home.
organization’s short history, and we are very happy
that you and our distinguished guests from India              Welcome to the first shareholders meeting—the
could share it with us today.                              GEF Assembly. Yes, you are GEF’s shareholders, a total
   That the first GEF Assembly is in India is no coinci-   of 164. It is your Facility and you should nurture it so
dence. India has been a leader in the GEF, from its        that it can continue to provide you with the services
restructuring in 1994 to the successful replenishment      you need to protect the global environment and pur-
efforts just completed. And I was very pleased to          sue sustainable development for a long time to come.
note, Mr. Prime Minister, in a short summary of your          There are many people who have dedicated them-
policies, the inclusion of this priority: “encouraging     selves to making the GEF what it is today. They work,
people’s participation in the environment.”                tirelessly, in our implementing agencies, the Secretariat,
   For that is why we are gathered here in this Assem-     and the other GEF units. They serve with distinction
bly, to highlight not just how far we have come, but       on our Council and are our hard-working counter-
also how far we have to go to educate, enable, and         parts at the Conventions on Biodiversity, Climate
engage people everywhere in protecting the global          Change, Desertification, and Ozone Depletion.
environment and promoting sustainable develop-                To meet its potential and fulfill multiple missions,
ment. This has been our common mission since the           the GEF has had to evolve from its pilot form into a
Earth Summit in 1992, whether we represent govern-         more representative, participatory, transparent, effec-
ments, business, the scientific community, people’s        tive, and strategic organization. It now serves the two
organizations, or the press.                               Rio Conventions, and it has gained sufficient confi-
   I am told that the Hindi name of this fine confer-      dence from the international community to earn a
ence center means “house of science.” No matter            new replenishment of $2.75 billion. The new replen-
where we live, scientific discovery and informed           ishment will enable the GEF to continue its efforts to
action are central to protecting the global environ-       promote global environmental goals and sustainable
ment and improving people’s livelihoods. During the        development and to support the objectives of agreed
last quarter century, we have reached a common             global environmental conventions and protocols,
global understanding of the fundamental threats to         such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the
earth’s ecological balance. At the dawning of a new        UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and
century, we can only hope that out of an increasing        the Kyoto Protocol, the Vienna Convention and the
Montreal Protocol, and the UN Convention to Com-            and close the hole in the ozone layer? It will take
bat Desertification.                                        people like you and millions of others—thinking and
   It is fashionable to speak of partnerships. But so       acting differently, leading the way. And others, inter-
often these are rhetorical exercises in the name of         nalizing the lessons and replicating the success stories
minor agendas. The GEF partnership is real. It is the       many times over. While we build on the success of
product of many communities—government and                  the past, let us rise above some early preoccupations.
non-government, large and small—merging their                  Too often in the past, we have apportioned respon-
efforts.                                                    sibilities. In the future, let us share the benefits of
   Many groups have made major contributions over           new opportunities in environmentally friendly tech-
and above the funds they supply, shaping the com-           nologies and approaches.
mon agenda and supporting its implementation.                  From formulas for new and additional resources,
Even in financial terms alone, the partnership is sub-      we can move beyond—to wider windows for invest-
stantial: In the working relationships we have, in over     ing in global environmental progress.
500 projects in 119 countries, and with $2 billion in          Instead of bogging down on incremental costs of
grants allocated by GEF, $5 billion more was commit-        individual items, we can foster whole new markets.
ted by our partners to integrate the global environ-           Instead of just making the polluter pay, let us build
ment into sustainable development.                          sustainable livelihoods and facilitate joint ventures.
   The Secretariat just completed a very telling analy-        Instead of just learning lessons of the past through
sis of who made that $5 billion commitment. I am            monitoring and evaluation, let us shape the future
very pleased to say that the top source was counter-        with a learning culture.
part funding from the recipient governments them-              Our fates are all intertwined. Don’t we owe it to
selves. I believe this demonstrates their very real         each other, to our children and their children, to com-
commitment to and ownership of the Global Envi-             bine forces and ensure a sustainable future on earth?
ronment Facility and its work.                                 I would like to close with two headlines I saw
   In second place are the development assistance           recently. The first reads: “The flames are huge like
institutions, who, again, invest funds on behalf of         sails—an ecosystem is being destroyed.” Never before
governments. Together these two groups account for          within memory has the Amazonian rainforest near
roughly two-thirds of all GEF co-financing.                 the Yanomami Indian reservation been on fire. What
   In third place: businesses have also made substan-       set it off ? Three months of no rain and a 20,000 square
tial commitments. That contribution would rise if we        mile savanna fire blazing nearby.
were to harness fully the power of the private sector          The second headline concerns people living on
and support the widespread transfer of clean tech-          England’s eastern coast. “Rising sea threat to homes.
nologies at the necessary levels.                           Insurance premiums set to soar as research shows
   As important as these figures are, the success of the    flood risk due to global warming.”
GEF must be measured by its outcomes and not by                No one, no matter how isolated or how industrial-
the financial inputs. For we know that $2 billion or        ized, is exempt from global environmental problems.
even $20 billion would not be enough to fulfill our         As we reach out to communities, to the media and
mission. A project here, a project there, may help a        other constituencies, let us give them the good news
few people for awhile. But our business is global, and      as well, and encourage them to spread it far and wide.
its strategies must look to the long term.                     By taking up a common agenda, and working
   What will it take to truly protect our biological her-   together, we can make this a more hopeful and a more
itage, avoid the devastation climate change could           secure world. Your GEF stands ready to assist each of
bring, sustain the soils and waters that give us life,      you and the entire global community in this endeavor.
Statement by James Gustave Speth
Administrator, United Nations Development Programme

             s celebrations marking the Golden Jubilee      resources decimating entire marine food chains and
             of Indian Independence unfold this year,       spreading pollution into surrounding international
             we must pay tribute to the generous spirit     waters. The inseparable link between the goals of the
             and environmental awareness of the Indi-       GEF and UNDP’s mandate of poverty alleviation is
an people. With India’s participation in the prepara-       nowhere more apparent than here.
tion and adoption of environmental conventions, in             In the seven years of GEF operations at UNDP, one
the founding of the GEF and in the ongoing dialogue         central principle has become clear—protection of the
on sustainable development, we are especially proud         global environment must be integral to the develop-
of being here today.                                        ment of healthy local economies. We cannot separate
   It is a great privilege for me personally to join this   environmental protection and sustainable development.
distinguished group. I had a hand, while president of       Growth and prosperity will only be possible when they
the World Resources Institute, in launching the GEF         are supported by all the interdependent elements of a
as a strategic alliance of United Nations and Bretton       sound and fully functioning global environment. And
Wood institutions for a new governing structure             the environment, in turn, will not survive unless we
whose mission is nothing less than finding ways to          hasten the end of mass poverty and better manage the
secure the future. It does my heart good to see what        growth process for sustainability. We must work togeth-
has been accomplished under the leadership of the           er to make these linkages clear— crystal clear—to all.
GEF Council and participants through the commit-               As the implementing agency dedicated to building
ment, dedication and trust of a global network of           the human and institutional capabilities required to
governments, civil society stakeholders and staff of        face this momentous challenge, UNDP stands com-
all the GEF family. We are proud at UNDP of having          mitted to the GEF tripartite partnership. Yet the com-
been an active GEF partner since its creation.              mitment to environmental sustainability begins at
   Representatives serving on the GEF Council, and          home. We at UNDP are taking far-reaching steps to
those participating in this first Assembly, are guiding     incorporate global environmental concerns into all
the GEF toward its full potential with an inclusive, bal-   facets of UNDP operations.
anced, yet rapid decision-making process. The many             First, I am requesting an assessment of our Country
successes to date in protecting ecosystems and interna-     Cooperation Frameworks—the very foundation for
tional waters, and in addressing climate change and         UNDP assistance on a country basis—in order to
ozone depletion, testify to these efforts. But the chal-    identify global environmental impacts and opportu-
lenge remains huge, with the future for all societies       nities. This would thus integrate the global environ-
very much in the balance. I pay tribute to the coun-        ment throughout UNDP from the ground up. This is
tries for successfully concluding the replenishment of      one aspect of our commitment to mainstreaming. Yet
the GEF to continue addressing this challenging task.       I wish to highlight that while the Country Coopera-
   It is appropriate that this first GEF Assembly is        tion Frameworks agreed on with the countries have
being held in 1998—the International Year of the            environment and sustainable development as a prior-
Ocean. The challenge of protecting this great com-          ity, they address first and foremost national priorities.
mon heritage of humankind illustrates the interrelated         Next, we are instituting a system that will track the
nature of the four GEF focal areas, and it underscores      biodiversity, climate change, and international waters
GEF’s inseparable link with local sustainable liveli-       components of all UNDP projects to ensure better
hoods. Although the coastal zone is expected to bear        coordination of our activities, to facilitate informa-
the largest burden of future population growth, rising      tion sharing, and to mobilize co-financing.
sea levels and more frequent storms due to global              A third major initiative is already ongoing: by the
warming could have devastating effects on these pop-        end of this year, nearly 100 country office operational
ulations and on the biodiversity that supports them.        staff will have received intensive, on-the-job GEF
Warming of ocean water temperatures has also been           training at UNDP headquarters. Improved capacity is
associated with a general decrease in the productivity      already evident in more than 130 country offices to
of marine life. Diminished ozone protection is a factor     assist not only with the GEF, but with all country-lev-
in the catastrophic bleaching of coral reefs. We have       el issues that impact the global environment.
seen the haphazard development of coastal zone                 There is no doubt that we need to promote stronger
linkages between national development priorities and       ble of withstanding climatic extremes without irriga-
global environmental goals. UNDP will be a strong          tion and agro-chemical support.
partner with you in this vital effort.                        The UNDP–GEF portfolio also includes over 100
   There are some 250 full-size, GEF Council-approved      enabling activities that are providing countries with
projects currently in the UNDP portfolio. I’d like to      the financial and technical assistance needed to fulfill
review a few highlights. Right here in India, there are    their obligations under the Convention on Biological
11 projects focusing on a wide array of sectors and        Diversity and the United Nations Framework Conven-
regions. Climate change projects are promoting small       tion on Climate Change. In addition to fulfilling Con-
hydroelectric systems, harnessing biomass and bio-         vention obligations, enabling activity projects help
methane, and assessing investment and policy               countries to mainstream global environmental assess-
options. Major biodiversity projects are being prepared    ments into their national development strategies.
for the coral reef ecosystems of the Andaman and              UNDP is especially proud to be the implementor of
Nicobar Islands, for strengthening of the Gulf of Man-     the GEF Small Grants Programme, through which
nar Biosphere Reserve, and for an ambitious effort to      more than 1,000 community-based projects in 44
manage the buffer zones surrounding a large network        countries have been funded to date. Here in India, for
of protected areas. India is also receiving enabling       example, 24 projects ranging from protecting the
activity support for both the Convention on Biological     Olive Ridley sea turtles to the promotion of agro-
Diversity and the Convention on Climate Change.            forestry among rural communities demonstrate that
   I am particularly pleased to report to you that UNDP,   you can effectively address global environmental prob-
as part of its ongoing efforts towards capacity build-     lems by taking action at the community level.
ing, will provide support from its core resources for         Overall, our portfolio of initiatives cleared by the
the establishment of a Global Environment cell in          GEF Council as of the end of calendar year 1997 com-
the Ministry of Environment and Forests.                   bines $570 million in GEF funding with $256 million
   In Eastern Europe, UNDP-GEF is the lead imple-          in co-financing for a total value of $826 million. The
menting agency in a major effort to protect and restore    goal of all of these initiatives is to enhance the human
the vast Black Sea Basin, which includes the ecologies     capacity to utilize the information, knowledge and
of the Danube and Dnieper Rivers. In the Arab world,       technology necessary to halt global environmental
an irreplaceable fresh water resource for a wide variety   degradation while simultaneously generating income-
of local and migratory species—the Azraq Oasis in Jor-     producing options for the poor and marginalized.
dan—has been brought back to life by a project execut-     These same human and institutional capacities are
ed through a national NGO. I am pleased to report          also crucial to managing the rapidly increasing flow of
that in at least 73% of UNDP–GEF projects, NGOs are        private investment directed at developing countries—
actively participating in their development and/or         which has tripled since the beginning of GEF opera-
implementation. This illustrates UNDP’s commitment         tions and now amounts to $245 billion per year. If
to mobilize a large number of stakeholders and execut-     this private investment is to complement our efforts
ing agencies to the UNDP–GEF portfolio. New proce-         to protect the global environment and build sustain-
dures for project execution by NGOs, along with the        able livelihoods, we must ensure that trained human
new medium-size projects initiative, will promote even     resources, backed by well-equipped institutional sup-
greater participation.                                     port, are prepared to meet the challenge.
   Recent work programmes reflect an increasingly             This first GEF Assembly provides an unprecedented
synergetic relationship between UNDP, UNEP and the         opportunity for a dialogue on the successes and short-
World Bank. One good example involves all three            comings of the GEF’s first six years. We are engaged in
implementing agencies and all the countries of Cen-        nothing less than an endeavour to ensure the sustain-
tral America who will assemble a biological corridor of    ability of life on earth, and the prosperity of its inhab-
reserves and parks linking North and South America.        itants, rich and poor. I look forward to participating in
In Brazil, a partnership with the World Bank is build-     this dialogue and contributing to a renewed collective
ing the world’s first commercially viable energy plant     commitment to strengthening the GEF and carrying
powered by gasified biomass. In China and Asia, sev-       forward its work into the 21st century.
eral large projects are under preparation that could          I promise you that GEF will remain a highest priori-
allow those countries to leap directly to technologies     ty for UNDP, and that we will continue to strengthen
that do not emit greenhouse gases. Several initiatives     our commitment to the original notion that led to the
in the biodiversity focal areas are moving into the pro-   innovative creation of this tripartite agreement. Build-
ductive landscape with the goal of food security. One      ing upon the respective strengths of the three partners,
excellent example can be found in Africa, where grass-     we will continue to serve, through GEF, the recipient
roots farmers are receiving support for the conserva-      countries in addressing global environmental issues
tion of genetic resources vital to breeding crops capa-    while advancing towards sustainable development.
Statement by Klaus Toepfer
Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme

     am deeply honored by this opportunity to                stantly explore the frontiers of economic growth in
     address the first Assembly of the Global Envi-          ways in which the natural base creates opportunities
     ronment Facility in this historic city of Delhi.        for human activities. The growth that we look for
     This city is symbolic of a unique culture and           must be economically, environmentally and socially
ethos. Not only is the Indian civilization ancient and       sustainable. To achieve this, we need innovative and
has shown impressive continuity. The Indian civiliza-        unconventional technological solutions. We need to
tion also has an especial characteristic, and that is        learn from indigenous knowledge and take the best
that it has thrived on diversity. This has given this        of cutting-edge technology. We need to forge partner-
country a world view which looks at all humanity as          ships on environmentally sound technological devel-
one family. It has given India the capacity to absorb,       opments and their application, between regions of
to assimilate, and to synthesize the best influences         the world, between public and private and civil soci-
from wherever they come without losing its identity.         ety. This is real implementation of environmental
   The generous offer of the Government of India to          objectives.
host this event is a testimony of the leadership role
played by India as a bridge between people, conti-           GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT FACILITY
nents, civilizations, cultures and religions of the world.   The establishment of the Global Environment Facili-
                                                             ty was a decisive step forward in mobilizing “new and
INDIRA GANDHI’S REMARKS AT STOCKHOLM                         additional financial resources” to assist the transition
More than 25 years ago, at the historical United             to sustainable development in developing countries.
Nations Conference on, Human Environment at                  Its governance structure was designed to be a bridge
Stockholm, we heard Mrs. Indira Gandhi forcefully            between the United Nations bodies involved with the
state that “the environment cannot be improved in            environment and development and the Bretton
conditions of poverty.” She said that, “Unless we are        Woods institutions.
in a position to provide employment and purchasing              So far, the GEF has been a success story. The donor
power for the daily necessities of the tribal people         community deserves our gratitude for its generous
and those who live in or around our jungles, we can-         contributions to the GEF. I hope that they will con-
not prevent them from combing the forest for food            tinue to give GEF the financial support it deserves to
and livelihood; from poaching and from despoiling            achieve its goals. I must also congratulate Mohamed
the vegetation. How can we speak to those who live           El-Ashry for his excellent stewardship of GEF during
in villages and slums about keeping the oceans, the          this period.
rivers and the air clean when their own lives are cont-         As a partner in this global endeavor, the United
aminated at the source?”                                     Nations Environment Programme has tried to prove
                                                             that this machinery can be used to promote sustain-
URGENT NEED FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH:                             ability and integrate the environmental dimension
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT                                      on a global level. We can prove that win-win strate-
No one would hold that the less developed countries          gies are viable and that they must be grasped.
should remain condemned to perpetual underdevel-
opment. The legitimate developmental needs of peo-           ELEMENTS OF UNEP’S NEW PROFILE
ple cannot be denied by using arguments for envi-            I have been the Executive Director of UNEP for a little
ronmental concern. The natural resources of Mother           more than seven weeks now. But even as I stand
Earth are limited. But at the same time, adverse envi-       before you, I can tell you that the credibility of UNEP—
ronmental impact, to a certain degree, is reversible by      over the last 25 years—as the environmental voice of
human effort. This, in fact, is what sustainable devel-      the UN system has been built on the foundations laid
opment is all about, and to make it clear, it is first of    by my illustrious predecessors. I would like to take this
all development.                                             opportunity to salute them: Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Dr.
   All human beings have an equal right to use natural       Mostafa Tolba and Maurice Strong.
resources in a sustainable way to enable them to pur-           But I am convinced that despite UNEP’s excellent
sue economic development. We must not resign to              achievements in the past—particularly in the area of
perceived limits of growth. We must instead con-             conventions, protocols and the regional seas—UNEP
must increasingly strive to provide better means for       particularly focusing on them as efficient and cost-
bringing emerging environmental issues and prob-           effective tools for the implementation of multilateral
lems of international and regional significance to the     environmental agreements. In this regard, UNEP is
attention of the global community. In this way I also      prepared to take a decisive follow-up to the Kyoto
intend to profile UNEP in the GEF process.                 Protocol.
   The challenge before UNEP is to integrate short-           There is also a great need to single out the interde-
term and medium-term environmental concerns                pendencies and synergetic effects of the Conventions
with its long-term objectives of providing a sustain-      and to better coordinate actions which are crucial keys
able environment for all.                                  for effective implementation of our multilateral
                                                           agreements. This is an important obligation for UNEP
IMMEDIATE ACTIONS                                          as the implementing agency for several environment
We must prove that we are capable of taking immedi-        Conventions. UNEP will avoid duplications and incom-
ate action in the GEF also. Recently, the Secretary        patible regulations on issues addressed by more than
General of the United Nations asked me to develop a        one Convention.
coordinated international response to the forest fires
raging in South East Asia, and the agenda I have pro-      LONG-TERM PRIORITIES
posed was well received at the UN Administrative           In the long term, UNEP will focus its work on envi-
Coordination Committee. Tomorrow I will be meet-           ronmental issues resulting from urban settlements,
ing with President Suharto of Indonesia to discuss         water issues, development of economic instruments
this issue. These forest fires may turn out to be one of   such as the clean development mechanism, and the
the greatest ecological disasters of the last decade of    chemicals agenda which includes negotiating and
the millennium. I am pleased to state that the GEF         implementing the prior informed consent procedure
has proved to be flexible enough to provide funds for      and further work on persistent organic pollutants.
this project.                                                 In the area of the urban environment, Habitat and
   We also need to learn from lessons offered by the       UNEP are already utilizing more and more the syner-
El Niño phenomenon. If we can see these crises as a        gies between the two organizations to address envi-
challenge today, we may one day look at them as            ronmental problems that result from urbanization:
useful warnings for something we managed to avoid.         water pollution, habitat loss, deforestation and car-
Early warning systems, priority setting and the devel-     bon-emitting energy use.
opment of information concerning hot spots and                However, we have yet to fully realize the tremen-
environmental catastrophes to alert nations of             dous potential for the ecological efficiency of cities,
potential conflicts over common shared resources           combined with economic and social efficiency, and
are the areas which will be UNEP’s area of focus in        we have to make use of this potential.
the short term.                                               Urban development provides important opportu-
                                                           nities for sustainable development because cities and
MEDIUM-TERM FOCUS                                          major agglomerations have the ability to support
In the medium term, UNEP is determined to further          large numbers of people within a limited space with a
develop and improve its leadership role in forging         high degree of technical and economic efficiency.
political consensus on emerging environmental prob-        Therefore, we must overcome the diseconomies of
lems and in the development of political instruments.      scale. We must achieve sustainability in our mega-cities.
This is an area in which UNEP has had its most out-           Indeed, since cities are the loci of most consump-
standing successes in the past. We must build on the       tion and production, I believe that the GEF should
foundations of the experience gained in the develop-       play a pivotal role in helping to meet the challenges
ment and implementation of the Montreal Protocol,          of sustainable settlement structures.
the Regional Seas Programmes, the Convention on               We are giving prime importance to water issues
Biological Diversity, the Basel Convention, CITES and      not only as an essential component of peace policy
the Lusaka Agreement—to name just a few.                   but also its conservation as a vital natural resource.
   UNEP will also develop innovative economic              We are also building on the outcomes of important
instruments and practice their use to foster more          Conferences on Water held in Harare, the 1st Peters-
uniform standards and practices among nations. In          burg roundtable held in Bonn and the International
this regard, we have proposed the establishment of a       Conference on Water and Sustainable Development
joint UNEP/UNCTAD Intergovernmental Panel on               in Paris. These conferences recognized UNEP’s work
Economic Instruments for Environment Policy. It            in promoting the integrated management of fresh-
will promote and address modalities for the use and        water basins and requested UNEP to play a major
application of economic instruments for environ-           role with other organizations in water issues and
mental management and sustainable development,             provide an early warning system for input to envi-
ronmental diplomacy. I believe that a new GEF              strengthen these further. We will focus on promoting
operational program on freshwater issues could be          partnerships between governments and the represen-
envisaged, and UNEP stands ready to assist in its          tatives of civil society and the private sector. UNEP’s
preparation.                                               joint statements with the banking and insurance sec-
   In the implementation of the chemicals agenda,          tor are only the first steps in the implementation of
countries will sign the legally binding international      this joint agenda. UNEP will further strengthen its
convention on trade in dangerous chemicals and pes-        forum for dialogue and partnership with business
ticides later this year in Rotterdam. This legally bind-   and industry.
ing Instrument on Prior Informed Consent Procedure            UNEP recognizes the important role of civil society
on Certain Hazardous Chemicals in International            organizations in achieving the objectives of the GEF.
Trade has important synergies with biodiversity. The       The pathway of medium-sized projects is an opportu-
first meeting of the International Negotiating Com-        nity for GEF to benefit from the wealth of the experi-
mittee for the adoption of an International Conven-        ence of the NGO community.
tion on Persistent Organic Pollutants will be held in
Montreal in July of this year.                             UNEP’S COOPERATION WITH GEF
   Sustainable development demands access to state-        According to the Nairobi Declaration, UNEP has a
of-the-art “clean” technologies, as these have a strate-   mission to set the global environmental agenda, pro-
gic role in increasing the capabilities of developing      mote the coherent implementation of the environ-
countries, both to protect the environment as well as      mental dimension of sustainable development within
to alleviate poverty. To develop technologies and          the United Nations system and serve as an authorita-
products that are resource and energy conserving, we       tive advocate for the global environment. UNEP acts
are focusing on the development of cleaner technolo-       as the steward for the environment. UNEP uses GEF
gies in partnership with industry and business.            resources to support the global dialogue in the focal
   UNEP’s focus will also be on strengthening the link     areas and to develop innovative mechanisms for the
between science, management and policy. UNEP will          international community.
network with the scientific community and translate           UNEP cannot measure its success in the field of the
that knowledge into policy and make the results            environment by its share of financial resources to
available to all interested stakeholders. One example      implement GEF projects, but rather by the imple-
is the way STAP has played an important role in pro-       mentation of its mandate assisted by the support it
moting scientific and technical quality control in the     receives from GEF.
GEF, and I am pleased to announce that the Council            The subject of ensuring global sustainable develop-
has endorsed the reconstituted STAP for the second         ment and environmental protection is a vast one.
phase of the GEF.                                          Instead of reciting a list of problems and prospects, I
   The challenge before us is to better mobilize the       thought I would highlight some of the main points
wider scientific and technical community. I believe        of concern to UNEP.
that one of the core missions of UNEP is in informa-          Despite the difficulties of implementing the vision
tion exchange on policies and technologies. This is        of the Rio Summit, the last five years have vindicated
sometimes referred to as playing a clearinghouse func-     the basic validity of our larger vision. It calls for plac-
tion, leading to knowledge building for investment         ing the human being at the very heart of the develop-
choices and to technology cooperation and transfer.        ment process. It calls on us to alter our consumption
                                                           and production patterns in our pursuit of sustainable
PARTNERSHIPS                                               development. It is a vision that calls for harnessing
These elements of UNEP’s new profile will require          the best of science and technology to the needs of
building synergies and partnerships with govern-           the people, particularly the poorest.
ments, United Nations agencies, the private sector            At this point, it might be appropriate to reflect on
and the civil society as well as regional institutions     the wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi: “The earth provides
and secretariats.                                          enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every
  We have, as an implementing agency of the GEF,           man’s greed.”
promoted partnerships between developing and                  Let the wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi guide us in
developed countries through sharing of knowledge as        our common road to sustainable development for the
well as transfer of technology and skills. We will         benefit of present and future generations.
Statement by Caio K. Koch-Weser
Managing Director, World Bank

       welcome this opportunity to address such a dis-          Here in India for example, a $26 million GEF grant
       tinguished audience at this first meeting ever of     has helped to raise the country’s capacity to produce
       the GEF Assembly                                      wind power from 30 to 700 MW over the last five
         On behalf of Jim Wolfensohn, President of the       years.
World Bank Group, I offer the World Bank Group’s                In Indonesia, $75 million of Bank and GEF funds
appreciation to the Government of India for hosting          are financing the largest single photovoltaic solar
this important event.                                        homes system project in the world, expected to reach
   I am delighted to see here not only an impressive         200,000 homes.
number of delegations from governments participating            Third, GEF grant resources are helping us strengthen
in the GEF but also a large number of representatives        partnerships that are important for global environmen-
from NGOs, the science community and international           tal management.
institutions.                                                   In the Lake Victoria Basin, a GEF project has promoted
   We meet at a time when governments are renewing           collaboration between three riparian governments,
their commitments to preserving the global commons.          enhanced the dialogue between government and non-
I refer of course to the recent meeting in Kyoto and the     government parties, and coordination between the
completion of the second replenishment of the GEF.           three GEF implementing agencies.
   I would like to use this opportunity today to tell           The Conservation Trust Funds that GEF is supporting
you that the World Bank Group remains fully com-             in countries such as Brazil, Uganda, and Peru are
mitted to playing its part in a strong GEF. In particu-      empowering local communities to take actions that
lar, I would like to make three points:                      serve their welfare interests and the global environment.
■ While partnering with the GEF, we have learned                What are the main lessons that we have learned,
important lessons.                                           and how are we putting them to use? Perhaps the
■ Building on these lessons, our program to help             most important lesson is that actions that help the
countries address the global environment is expand-          global environment often enhance national sustain-
ing rapidly. This offers new opportunities for effective     able development and reduce poverty.
use of GEF funds.                                               For example, the sustainable use of biodiversity in
■ Lastly, a strong GEF rests on strong partnerships.         rural or marine landscapes supports the production
We will work to strengthen them.                             of food.
                                                                Projects designed to reduce greenhouse gas emis-
THE BANK-GEF PARTNERSHIP                                     sions help safeguard health by improving local air
Let me start by reflecting briefly on what the World         quality.
Bank Group has accomplished.                                    While our developing country partners have rati-
   First, we have made the GEF dollar go further by          fied the global environment conventions, action pri-
using our capacity to catalyze public and private funding.   orities are, however, less clear cut.
   For every dollar of Bank-GEF assistance, there is an         “Win-win” opportunities of the kind I just men-
associated dollar of IBRD and IDA resources, and two         tioned must be vetted against the many other com-
additional dollars of co-funding from elsewhere.             peting claims that developing countries face.
   Also, for every GEF dollar invested with the help of         And where global gains incur local costs, it is diffi-
the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World       cult to imagine strong action by developing countries
Bank Group’s affiliate which invests in private sector       without assistance. Hence, the rationale for GEF and
projects, we expect to mobilize between 5 and 10 dol-        other financing mechanisms.
lars of private investment.                                     Our challenge is to help assess global impacts from
   In all, World Bank Group management has                   local actions, evaluate options for reducing such
approved 84 projects in 75 countries, involving over         impacts, and include them in our dialogue with
$800 million of GEF resources and another $800 mil-          developing country partners on development pro-
lion of IBRD and IDA funds.                                  grams and projects that we support through conven-
   Second, using GEF resources we have accelerated the       tional loans or credits, or GEF grants.
transfer of new technologies to our developing country          The developing portfolio of Bank-GEF projects
partners, particularly in the area of renewable energy.      clearly shows closer integration of GEF-funded activi-
ties in sectoral development programs. However, in         jointly and experience under GEF, is now exploring
meeting the challenge of mainstreaming the global          the establishment of a Prototype Carbon Fund (PCF—
environment, we need to become more active and             formally referred to as the Carbon Investment Fund).
keep you informed of progress on a number of fronts.          The PCF would provide a mechanism whereby
   Where significant global environmental issues           buyers and sellers of carbon offsets can efficiently
relate to development, they are to be addressed in our     invest in a pool, or fund, of carbon offset projects
country assistance strategies.                             which would stimulate the transfer of technologies
   Through dialogue with country partners, we are          and sharing of cost savings with developing countries
expanding our collaborative sector reviews to identify     and economies in transition.
options and costs for reducing global environmental           Some have expressed concern that such a mecha-
impacts.                                                   nism might jeopardize future GEF support for climate-
   We are committed to strengthening our research on       friendly investments.
the links between economic development and global             First, let me assure you that the Bank intends to fully
environmental issues, as well as the technical skills of   honor its commitment to channel GEF resources for
our staff and the knowledge base at their disposal.        eligible investments.
   The GEF experience has also taught us that we              Also, the GEF and the World Bank Group have
need to develop operational flexibility to work with       agreed on how to collaborate closely in moving for-
new partners.                                              ward on the establishment of the initial Carbon
   GEF has challenged us to develop more flexible          Investment Fund.
procedures to fast-track medium-sized projects and be         We view GEF and PCF funding of climate-friendly
responsive to the needs of the NGOs. We have               investments to be complements rather than substitutes.
responded to this challenge well, as we shall demon-          Next, the World Bank Group and the GEF are col-
strate in one of the Assembly workshops.                   laborating to expand our efforts in renewable energy.
   Finally, we have learned that GEF’s special role and       The objective is to develop a large-scale program of
governance structure inevitably result in additional       renewable energy investments that will increase the
transaction costs. Working with the GEF Secretariat,       competitiveness of new and climate-friendly tech-
we have acted to minimize them.                            nologies for solar, wind and biomass energy.
   By associating GEF operations with IDA or IBRD             To this end, GEF is considering earmarking annual
assistance, GEF projects require about half as much        resources for eligible investments with the World
staff time to prepare as Bank projects.                    Bank Group, ensuring a leveraging ratio of GEF to
   We have harmonized the review process and docu-         non-GEF resources that increases over time.
mentation for GEF projects with the new Bank stan-            Turning to the area of biodiversity conservation, I
dards, and mainstreamed GEF portfolio management           would like to highlight two additional Bank initia-
and business planning.                                     tives which could generate important opportunities
   Since 1993, we have doubled the volume of trans-        for GEF funding.
actions without increasing our coordination costs.            The first one concerns Market Transformation
                                                           Initiatives for the forestry and marine industries.
THE WORLD BANK’S GLOBAL                                    These initiatives seek to inject environmental values
ENVIRONMENT PROGRAM                                        in the marketplace to drive ecologically sustainable
Building on these lessons and the capacity created         resource use.
through our GEF involvement, Jim Wolfensohn,                  In both cases, the World Bank Group works with
speaking at UNGASS in New York last June, outlined         the private sector and NGOs to examine modalities
a plan of action for the World Bank Group in five          for accelerating investments in independently verifi-
specific areas in support of the global environment.       able sustainable industry practices in countries or
This plan, which can only be implemented through           regions where forest or species loss is a major concern.
partnerships with many of you, addresses climate              GEF resources will help to remove barriers to the
change, biodiversity, ozone depletion, desertification,    adoption of such practices.
and the water crisis.                                         The second initiative is the WWF-Bank Global
  This is not the time for a complete progress report.     Alliance on Forestry, which Jim Wolfensohn
But let me highlight some of our major initiatives in      announced at UNGASS last year.
the areas of climate change and biodiversity where            To meet a set of conservation targets, the Bank and
the relationship to GEF is most important.                 the WWF, joining with others, will work with
  The Kyoto Conference established the principle of        governments, the private sector and civil society to
market-based mechanisms to help cut greenhouse gas         accelerate ongoing and initiate new programs in forest
emissions. Following this, the World Bank Group,           conservation and management. Priority will be given
building on its program on activities implemented          to areas that are most important for biodiversity.
   Exciting news of early results on the ground comes         date as a GEF implementing agency.
from Brazil, where the alliance is working to support            Equally important is the cooperation between
the Brazilian Government’s newly announced commit-            GEF’s three implementing agencies. Together with
ment to create up to 25 million hectares of protected         UNDP and UNEP, we have taken important steps to
areas in the Amazon region. Here, there is a real poten-      secure closer collaboration and coordination in GEF
tial for substantial GEF business linked to a Bank loan.      pipeline development, country dialogue, as well as in
                                                              project design and implementation.
STRONG PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GLOBAL                               Finally, as GEF matures, we intend to deepen our
ENVIRONMENT                                                   partnerships with multilateral and regional develop-
This quick review has illustrated the strategic impor-        ment institutions as executing agencies. Indeed, our
tance of partnerships for global environmental man-           collaboration with the Asian Development Bank is
agement. Indeed, our own capacity to support a                already getting off the ground.
strong GEF depends on the partnerships that we
build and maintain.                                           CONCLUSION
   Our most important partnerships involve our                In closing, let me congratulate the Government of
client governments. Increasingly, and by necessity,           India and Mohamed El-Ashry and his team and other
these partnerships embrace the private sector and civil       partners for making this first Assembly of the GEF
society, including NGOs. We accept the challenge to           happen.
work with all these partners to build global environ-            The program they have prepared for us over the
mental objectives into national development agendas.          next three days is full and rich. I wish you all well in
   In this context, let me stress that an effective part-     your endeavors to effectively consider the accom-
nership between the private sector and GEF is                 plishments of the Global Environment Facility as you
required, if we are to solve global environmental             review its policies and operations.
problems. We believe that IFC is well placed to help             We cannot relent in our efforts to save the global
forge such a partnership. We see IFC playing an               commons. They will determine the future of the plan-
increasingly important role as we execute our man-            et and the quality of life it affords all of mankind.

Statement by Nitin Desai
Undersecretary-General for Economic and
Social Affairs, United Nations

      t is a particular privilege for us to be here in this   1972, where she drew that link between poverty and
      country for this event. The philosophical tradi-        pollution in words that are now a part of the envi-
      tions of this country involve a deep belief in          ronmental canon. India’s development plans have
      the underlying unity not just of all forms of life      spoken about resource conservation, pollution pre-
but also of all forms of matter; a belief that is reflect-    vention, environmental impact and sustainable
ed in the ethical principles that this tradition postu-       development long before these matters received
lates for the relationship of humans to nature. At a          attention in the global development dialogue. India
more immediate level, for many decades now, India             has also been the home of mass movements for envi-
has been at the forefront of the global environmen-           ronmental protection; activist groups that have
tal movement. The application of the principle of             mobilized public opinion and raised awareness; vol-
ahimsa, non-violence, to the relations of humans to           untary associations that have promoted sustainable
nature was a central element in the social and eco-           land, water and forest management at the local level;
nomic philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi. More than a               and a vast network of scientific and professional
quarter century ago, the then Prime Minister of               capacities directly linked to sustainable develop-
India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, was among the very few             ment. Looking closer at the purposes of this meet-
world leaders who chose to attend the first world             ing, let us also remember that India was amongst the
conference on environment held at Stockholm in                first of the developing countries to join the GEF in
its early pilot phase. Hence, for all of these reasons, it   tion. Each one of these elements is an important
is truly appropriate that this historic first Assembly       change in the standard framework of development
of the GEF should be held here.                              cooperation.
   May I also take this opportunity to convey my sin-           The GEF is a partnership between all the countries
cere appreciation to the leaders of the three organiza-      of the world to meet global ends. The activities that it
tions responsible for establishing the GEF, namely,          supports serve not just the interests of the recipient
the World Bank, UNDP and UNEP. May I also recog-             countries but global interests in which the contribut-
nize at this, the first Assembly of the GEF, the pio-        ing countries also have a stake. Hence the need for a
neering role of their predecessors Mr. Conable, Mr.          governance structure that seeks to reflect this mutuality
Draper and Dr. Tolba. But the one person we have to          of interest, a structure that must be made to work
thank most particularly is Mohamed El-Ashry, who             because we will have need for this sense of partner-
with his team, has nurtured this institution from its        ship in many other areas in future. Every member of
infancy to what we could describe as its coming of           GEF, regardless of whether it is a net contributor or a
age ceremony.                                                net recipient, must have a sense of ownership about
   Over the next few days, the GEF will be described         the policies that govern its operation.
in a variety of ways. From my perspective, as the               There is yet another reason for ensuring this sense
Undersecretary-General responsible for Economic              of ownership. The support provided by the GEF and
and Social Affairs, I would like to see the GEF as the       the other international institutions is but a small part
expression of a new form of development coopera-             of what needs to be done to tackle the environmental
tion. Let me explain this further.                           problems in the GEF mandate. The bulk of the effort
   For quite some time now, practically every institu-       has to be supported by national resources, and these
tion involved in the management of development               will only be forthcoming if the government and peo-
has been trying to identify the role of public policy        ple concerned feel that the policies they are imple-
and, within that, its own role in a world moving             menting are theirs and not imposed through some
rapidly towards a globalised and interdependent mar-         form of aid conditionality.
ket economy. As governments leave more and more                 This need for a sense of ownership within the GEF
to the market for ideological or practical reasons, the      structure is closely linked to the second innovative
guiding principles for public policy have to be pro-         element—the clearly defined role of the COPs of the
vided by objectives that by common consent cannot            Conventions in providing policy guidance to the GEF.
be left to the market. The management of the envi-              I spoke earlier about mutuality of interests as the
ronment is one such concern because it involves              basis of the GEF. But mutuality of interest has to be
externalities that cannot be managed except through          defined mutually and this can only be done through
public interventions in the market. I put it to you          a democratic political process involving all countries
that the GEF is an expression of this compulsion at          on an equal footing. This is what the UN does best
the global level. The assistance that it seeks to mobi-      and this is what is reflected in the COPs of the Con-
lize and transfer is not in any sense charity or an          ventions and other processes like the Commission on
unrequited transfer, but a necessary form of support         Sustainable Development and the UNEP Governing
for actions that deliver not just national but global        Council. The link that the GEF mechanism provides
benefits. In this sense, GEF is a new form of develop-       between these political processes and its operating
ment cooperation based squarely on the notion of             policies represents a form of democratic guidance for
global externalities and ecological interdependence.         development cooperation that also will be needed
As the role of government changes, many spheres of           more and more in future.
development cooperation may shift from the public               The third element of innovation that I draw your
to the private sphere, but environmental manage-             attention to was the close partnership of the World
ment will remain a public responsibility and contin-         Bank and the United Nations in this venture. The
ue to require public resources at the national and           three principal implementing agencies of the GEF
international levels.                                        bring together complementary competencies—the
   The GEF also points the way ahead in its modali-          World Bank’s experience in the mobilization and dis-
ties of implementation. What I am referring to here is       bursement of development finance; the UNDP’s long
the structure of the GEF Council which has been set          experience in capacity building and its formidable
to secure a balance of influence between the con-            field machinery; and UNEP’s capacity to mobilise
tributing countries and programme countries, the             scientific and technical knowledge, support negotiat-
role of the conference of parties of the Conventions         ing processes and act as the environmental con-
in providing guidance and partnership between the            science of the UN. This too is the way of the future,
World Bank and the United Nations, acting through            as the UN and other parts of the international system
UNDP and UNEP, in the processes of implementa-               are called upon to tackle issues that will require effec-
tive linkages between policy-making and operational          cooperation based on a true partnership driven by a
processes; between economic, social and environ-             negotiated consensus. I would urge all countries, those
mental concerns; between financial, technical and            that are net contributors and those that are net recipi-
logistical expertise.                                        ents, to approach their work in this spirit.
   I have dealt with this vision of GEF as a new                Let me, therefore, conclude by stressing that the
approach to development cooperation because I                importance of the GEF goes beyond the amounts
believe that your deliberations on the next phase of         that it disposes and the objects that it serves. It is also
GEF should be guided by the fact that the success that       an attempt to define a modality of development
attends your effort will have a broader impact on the        cooperation that is more suitable for an interdepen-
future of North-South relations. Your work will deter-       dent and democratic world.
mine whether we can move from development cooper-               I look forward to the continued success of this ini-
ation driven by conditionalities based on the wisdom         tiative and the replication of its underlying philoso-
that is current amongst a few experts, to North-South        phy in other areas of development cooperation.

Statement by Michael Zammit Cutajar
Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change

          his first session of the GEF Assembly is a time    the way for private investment in projects that will
          to take stock of the significant achievements      contribute to national and global sustainable develop-
          of this institution and to put down markers        ment. This role can be fulfilled not only by imple-
          for its further evolution.                         menting demonstration projects but also by enhanc-
                                                             ing the conditions for such investment. Improved
THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE GEF                                  access for host countries to technology information
The achievements of the GEF have been impressive.            and assessment would strengthen their capacity to
■ The GEF has been able, through successive replen-          select the right investments for their development
ishments, to mobilize significant financial resources        needs. Investors, for their part, need better information
for action to protect the global environment. The level of   on the risks of climate change and the opportunities
the second replenishment gives cause for satisfaction        for profitable investment in its mitigation. These sub-
and will ensure the continued vigour of the Facility,        jects are under consideration in the UNFCCC process.
provided that timely contributions are made in accor-        ■ The GEF has understood the importance of support
dance with convention commitments. The full extent           for capacity building in developing countries and in
of the potential for funding through the GEF has yet         countries with economies in transition. This too is an
to be learned. In the area of climate change, this will      important foundation for private investment. A pro-
become known as developing countries submit their            ject of particular importance to the UNFCCC is that
national communications indicating their plans, pro-         which will provide technical support to developing
grammes and preferred areas for projects.                    countries in preparing the national communications
■ The GEF has developed pragmatic operational                required by the Convention. We note with satisfac-
strategies, responsive to guidance from conventions.         tion that the project has finally been included in the
Particularly noteworthy in this connection has been          GEF work programme at the recently concluded
the development of a pragmatic approach to the issue         Council. We also note the remarks in the evaluation
of incremental costs, which is simple in theory but          of the GEF’s overall performance concerning the
complex in practice and could have become a bottle-          enabling activity programme and are ready to work
neck for the operation of the Facility. Guidance from        with the GEF Secretariat and the implementing agen-
the conventions is a continuing process; updating and        cies to improve this aspect of GEF’s activities.
fine tuning will be needed from time to time.                ■ Finally, the GEF has proven responsive to the
   In the area of climate change, Convention guidance        need to expedite the development, consideration and
could aim to enhance the role of the GEF in opening          approval of projects. The GEF mechanism is inher-
ently complex and can be cumbersome. The smooth              mechanisms for Annex I parties to achieve emission
flow of the project cycle needs constant attention.          reductions “offshore” at least cost; these mecha-
                                                             nisms—defined by articles 6 (joint implementation—
ACTION BY THE UNFCCC                                         JI), 12 (the “clean development mechanism”—CDM)
From the side of the UNFCCC, actions have been taken         and 17 (emissions trading)—will create new markets
recently or are under way that concern the relation-         and new ways of doing business.
ship between the Convention and the GEF.                     ■ Through its economic instruments, the Kyoto Protocol
■ COP 3 adopted the Annex to the Memorandum of               should generate substantial new flows of private cap-
Understanding on the determination of funding nec-           ital. This is a key point for this Assembly. These new
essary and available for the implementation of the           mechanisms, especially those that are project-based (JI
Convention. This is the final step in the process of orga-   and CDM), will only make sense if they attract private
nizing relations between the conference of the parties       capital, with publicly-funded institutions playing at
and the GEF with respect to funding. The annex pro-          most a pump-priming role. Seen in this way, the
vides a methodology for joint determination by the           mechanisms are not competitors for the scarce devel-
conference of the parties and the GEF Council of future      opment cooperation funds on which the GEF and
replenishment needs in the climate change area.              other multilateral financial institutions rely.
■ The Convention bodies should conclude this year               When the Protocol will enter into force is a matter
their review of the status of the GEF as the operating       for political guesswork. A good guess may be 2001. In
entity of the financial mechanism of the Convention.         the years before entry into force, work will go ahead
Given the time frame established in article 11.4 of          on the small print of the Protocol, including the
the Convention, it is expected that COP 4, to be             design of the new mechanisms, so that the Protocol
held next November in Buenos Aires, will conclude            may get off to a prompt start.
the review of the GEF and make a determination of               I shall be making a presentation on the Kyoto Pro-
its definite status. I sincerely hope that consensus         tocol tomorrow afternoon in a side event. For now,
will be reached on this matter, if possible at the           let me mention three points which may have an
eighth session of the Subsidiary Body for Implemen-          impact, sooner or later, on guidance from the Con-
tation in June.                                              vention to the GEF.
■ A decision should also be made this year on the            ■ The GEF will perform the same functions under
process for considering national communications by           the Protocol as it does under the Convention. Article
developing country parties. This may generate further        11 of the Protocol envisages that the entity or enti-
guidance to the GEF from the Convention.                     ties entrusted with the operation of the financial
                                                             mechanism of the Convention shall perform the
THE IMPACT OF THE KYOTO PROTOCOL ON THE GEF                  same functions under the Protocol. The successful
Of course, the main recent outcome of the work of            conclusion of the review of the GEF by the
the Convention bodies is the Kyoto Protocol, adopted         Convention parties will therefore confirm the GEF in
by consensus last December. The Protocol is a signifi-       its Protocol functions.
cant step towards the Convention’s objective of stabi-       ■ The Protocol will give rise to fresh guidance to the
lizing concentrations of greenhouse gases at safe levels.    GEF from the Convention parties. Article 10 of the
■ The Kyoto Protocol will have a substantial environ-        Protocol spells out some aspects of the commitments
mental impact. This committed Annex I emission               undertaken in the Convention by all parties, including
reduction of 5.2% below 1990 levels by the period            developing country parties. In due time, this elabora-
2008–2012 represents a cut of some 29% when com-             tion will be reflected in guidance from the Convention
pared with projections of emission trends from Annex I       to the entity or entities operating the financial mech-
parties in the absence of the binding commitments            anism. Article 10 adds specificity to the content of
that the Protocol contains. Further steps towards the        national and regional climate change programmes,
Convention’s goal will have to follow in due time, pro-      including sectors to be covered, and to the content of
gressively and equitably involving those non-Annex I         national communications. It emphasizes adaptation
parties (developing countries) with a capacity to con-       (technologies, measures and methods), as well as steps
tribute to achieving it.                                     to encourage the transfer of or access to environmen-
■ The Protocol will also have an important economic          tally sound technologies. Support for research and sys-
impact. First, it is a building block of an emerging         tematic observation and for education, training and
international climate regime that, through its impact        public awareness is also underlined.
on technological innovation, efficiency standards and        ■ The Protocol requires the establishment of national
consumption patterns in energy and transport, will           systems for estimating emissions, according to guide-
influence the global markets of the 21st century. Second,    lines set by the parties. This requirement for “emis-
the Protocol enables the establishment of market-based       sions accounting” applies to Annex I parties. It is stip-
ulated as a precondition for acquiring credits through     to be established in all countries. This underlines the
joint implementation and may also be a factor in the       importance already attached to capacity building and
credibility of the other new mechanisms. Some Annex I      indicates that it is likely to be an element of growing
parties that are economies in transition will need help    importance in the future GEF work programme.
in building and maintaining these national systems;           To conclude, the GEF is an essential member of the
this could be a new task for the GEF. Looking ahead,       family of institutions that make up the “climate
this feature of the Protocol signals the likelihood that   change partnership.” The UNFCCC Secretariat looks
the emerging climate regime will require such systems      forward to further constructive cooperation.

Statement by Calestous Juma
Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity

      t is a distinct honour for me to address the first   in motion measures to implement the Convention at
      meeting of the Assembly of the restructured          the national level. I am pleased to note that the GEF
      Global Environment Facility. I am very pleased       has played a central role in the rapid transition of the
      to associate the Secretariat of the Convention       Convention from the phase of agenda setting to
with this event and to congratulate you on the suc-        national implementation.
cessful completion of the replenishment negotia-              The expanding cooperation between the Conven-
tions. The success of these negotiations and the           tion and the GEF is underscored by the effective execu-
achievements so made by the GEF as the financial           tion of the enabling activities by the GEF and its imple-
mechanism for key international conventions reaf-          menting agencies (the World Bank, the United Nations
firms the commitment of governments to responding          Development Programme and the United Nations
to global environmental challenges through appro-          Environment Programme). The Convention Secretariat
priate institutional innovations.                          has received over 80 national reports from parties and
   This meeting comes at a critical moment in the          governments, most of which have been prepared with
partnership between the Convention on Biological           GEF funding. This unprecedented level of compliance
Diversity and the Global Environment Facility. This is     with the reporting requirements of the Convention
your first and last meeting this century. Your resolu-     demonstrates the strong commitment of parties and
tions will undoubtedly influence the future of biodi-      governments to the Convention. A review of these
versity financing in the next century, and we look         reports shows that most parties have already intro-
forward to strengthening our cooperation in meeting        duced the necessary institutional arrangements for
the objectives of the Convention.                          implementing the Convention at the national level.
   The Convention on Biological Diversity is the cen-         Support from the financial mechanism has proved
terpiece of the international community’s efforts to       to be one of the most critical elements in the evolu-
protect and sustainably use the earth’s greatest riches—   tion of the Convention. The availability of financial
the diversity of life. The Convention was opened for       resources from the GEF has generated the momen-
signature on 5 June 1992 during the United Nations         tum needed to advance implementation of the Con-
Conference on Environment and Development held             vention. The GEF has allocated up to US$418 mil-
in Rio de Janeiro, and entered into force on 29 Decem-     lion to biodiversity activities in the last three years.
ber 1993. Since then, 171 countries and one regional       Over 100 parties to the Convention are receiving
economic organization have become parties to the           financial support from the GEF to prepare their
Convention.                                                national biodiversity strategies and action plans.
   The first meeting of the conference of the parties         The relationship between the Convention and the
set in place the institutional mechanisms provided         GEF has evolved and matured in an effective manner,
for in the Convention, which included the designa-         as evidenced by the Memorandum of Understanding
tion of the GEF as the institutional structure to imple-   between the Council and the conference of the parties.
ment the financial mechanism on an interim basis.          The GEF has exhibited remarkable flexibility for a
   The second meeting adopted initiatives to opera-        funding institution through restructuring itself to
tionalise the Convention, and the third meeting put        meet the increasing expectations of parties and by
adapting its policy and operational practices to the            From the perspective of the Convention Secretariat,
challenges it has faced.                                    it is clear that there is an urgent need to move beyond
  When the conference of the parties designated the         the question of which institution should be designat-
GEF as the interim financial mechanism of the Con-          ed to implement the financial mechanism of the
vention, only 95 parties had deposited their instru-        Convention. The challenge that faces us today is
ments of ratification to the Convention. That number        how to improve the effective functioning of our
has increased to 172; the number of eligible recipient      respective institutions.
parties has nearly doubled.                                     In doing so, we will seek to work closely with the
  I would like to express my sincere appreciation to        GEF and would like to welcome, for the consideration
the Council, the GEF Secretariat and the three imple-       of the conference of the parties to the Convention,
menting agencies for their commendable efforts to           specific proposals on how we can strengthen our
promote the implementation of the Convention at             cooperation and enhance our ability to meet the
the national level.                                         objectives of the Convention.

Statement by K. Madhava Sarma
Executive Secretary, Secretariat for the Vienna Convention
and the Montreal Protocol (Ozone Secretariat)

               zone is a poisonous gas of 3 oxygen          ACTION BY UNEP
               atoms. It is very rare in the atmosphere,    UNEP took up the issue of ozone depletion in 1976,
               three molecules out of 10 million. Nine-     and a meeting of experts on the ozone layer was con-
               ty percent of ozone is in the upper          vened in 1977. A Coordinating Committee of the
atmosphere (stratosphere) between 10 and 50 km              Ozone Layer, in cooperation with the World Meteoro-
(6–30 miles) above the earth.                               logical Organization was set up to periodically assess
   The ozone layer absorbs most of the harmful ultravi-     ozone layer depletion. In 1981, inter-governmental
olet-B radiation from the sun and completely screens        negotiations for an international agreement to phase
out the lethal UV-C radiation. This shield of ozone layer   out ozone-depleting substances (ODS) were initiated
is one of the factors in protection of life on earth.       and culminated in the conclusion of the Vienna Con-
   If the ozone layer is damaged, more UV-B will            vention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer in
reach the earth. More UV-B means more skin cancers,         March 1985 and the Montreal Protocol on Substances
more eye cataracts, less yield from plants, less produc-    that Deplete the Ozone Layer in September 1987.
tivity from the seas, damage to plastics, etc.                 The overall purpose of the Vienna Convention is
   In 1970, Professor Paul Crutzen pointed to the pos-      to encourage research, monitoring of chemicals,
sibility of nitrogen oxides from fertilizers and from       including CFCs, and to promote cooperation and
supersonic aircraft depleting the ozone layer. Then, in     exchange of information. The Convention provides
1974, Professors F. Sherwood Rowland and Mario J.           for parties to undertake measures to protect human
Molina identified CFCs as ozone depleters. The three        health and the environment against human activities
scientists received the Nobel Prize for chemistry in        that modify the ozone layer and to cooperate through
1995 for their pioneering work on ozone depletion.          research and systematic observation of the ozone layer.
                                                               The Montreal Protocol’s main thrust is to gradually
THE OZONE-DEPLETING CHEMICALS                               reduce and finally phase out both production and
CFCs (or more generally, halo-carbons) were discovered      consumption of all ozone-depleting substances. The
in 1928. They were considered “wonder gases,” having        Protocol provided for revision on the basis of periodic
a long life, being non-toxic, non-corrosive, nonflamma-     scientific and technological assessments. On the basis
ble and versatile. The use of these chemicals increased     of such assessments by leading experts, the Protocol
rapidly from the 1960s for many uses—aerosols, air          has been adjusted four times—in London in 1990,
conditioning, refrigeration, solvents, foams, fire fight-   Copenhagen in 1992, Vienna in 1995 and Montreal
ing, soil, storage and structural fumigation.               in 1997—to bring forward the phase-out schedule of
ODS. It has also been amended three times to add           ODS where other, more environmentally suitable
new controlled substances to the list and introduce        alternatives are not available. HCFCs were critical in
other control measures related to ODS.                     meeting the early CFC phase-out goals, but are gener-
   As of 20 February 1998, the ozone agreements had        ally considered much less important for new equip-
been ratified by countries as follows: Vienna Conven-      ment available in the medium and long term.
tion, 166 parties; Montreal Protocol, 165 parties; Lon-       The phase out of methyl bromide is a more diffi-
don Amendment, 120 parties; and Copenhagen                 cult issue. This is partly because it concerns agricul-
Amendment, 77 parties.                                     ture and also because alternatives are less easily avail-
   At present, there are 95 chemicals controlled by the    able. The major use is in agriculture, mainly for
Protocol grouped as: chlorofluorocarbons: CFCs;            fumigation to control pests and weeds. Such treat-
halons, hydrobromofluorocarbons—HBFCs; other               ment is often required by importers of agricultural
fully halogenated CFCs, carbon tetrachloride, 1,1,1        products. Some countries have already subjected the
trichloroethane-methyl-chloroform, hydrochlorofluo-        chemical to controls because of concerns about its
rocarbons: HCFCs; hydrobromofluorocarbons: HBFCs           toxicity, much before the concern about its ozone-
and methyl bromide.                                        depletion potential became an issue.

Developed countries: Phase out of halons by 1994.          The parties to the Montreal Protocol established at
Phase out of CFCs, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chlo-      their second meeting (June 1990) a financial mecha-
roform and HBFCs by 1996. Phase out of methyl bro-         nism which included a Multilateral Fund. The pur-
mide by 2005. Phase out of HCFCs by 2030.                  pose of the Multilateral Fund is to enable developing
   Developing countries: Phase out of HBFCs by 1996.       countries to implement their commitments under
Phase out of CFCs, halons and carbon tetrachloride         the Montreal Protocol. The Fund pays the agreed
by 2010; methyl chloroform and methyl bromide by           incremental costs to be incurred by developing coun-
2015; HCFCs by 2040.                                       tries for the phase out of their ODS consumption and
                                                           production. It is administered by an Executive Com-
TECHNOLOGIES                                               mittee of 14 countries, chosen by the parties to the
   The success of international efforts to protect the     Protocol every year, seven from developing countries
ozone layer has been made possible because science         and seven from developed countries.
and industry have been able to develop and commer-            The UNDP, UNEP, UNIDO and the World Bank are
cialize alternatives to ozone-depleting chemicals.         the implementing agencies of the Fund. UNEP main-
Developed countries ended the use of CFCs much             tains a clearinghouse of information and assists in
easier and earlier than was originally anticipated.        training, setting up national ozone units, preparation
   Not-in-kind substitutes have proved particularly        of country programmes, networking and preparation
important in the electronics sector. The foam-blow-        of refrigerant management plans. It has assisted over
ing sector has made use of water, carbon dioxide and       100 countries so far. The other implementing agen-
hydrocarbons, as well as HCFCs. The refrigeration          cies plan and implement investment projects to
and air conditioning sector has largely used HCFCs         phase out ozone-depleting substances.
(which are low ozone depleters) as alternatives, but          The main achievements of the Multilateral Fund are:
new equipment is increasingly using non-ozone-             ■ As of December 1997, nearly 89 percent of 1991–
depleting hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), ammonia and           1996 assessed contributions has been paid as well as
hydrocarbons—as in, for example, the “greenfreeze”         67 percent of the 1997 contributions. A large portion
domestic refrigerator.                                     of outstanding contributions are from countries
   Consumers have used recycling of halons to pro-         recently classified as economies in transition.
vide extra time to develop substitutes for halons for      ■ The Executive Committee has approved 86 country
fire fighting. Other extinguishing agents such as car-     programmes, covering the estimated production of
bon dioxide, water, foam and dry powder are now            68,950 ODP tonnes and the consumption of 152,600
widely used. Alternative approaches, such as good fire     ODP tonnes of controlled substances.
prevention practices, use of fire-resistant materials      ■ So far, the Executive Committee has approved more
and appropriate designs for buildings have signifi-        than 2,000 projects and activities with a planned
cantly reduced the need for halon systems, and total       phase out of 96,460 ODP tonnes of controlled sub-
phase out was achieved smoothly by 1994.                   stances and 12,940 ODP tonnes in the production
   Phase out efforts in industrialized countries are now   sector, and allocated US$729.82 million for their
concentrating on HCFCs and methyl bromide. Parties         implementation in 111 Article 5 countries.
to the Montreal Protocol are mandated to ensure that       ■ The Committee has allocated more than US$18
HCFCs are used only as direct replacements for other       million for setting up ozone offices, US$68 million
for technical assistance and training programmes, and       depletion so far. In 1985, the British Antarctic team
US$39 million for the preparation of country pro-           discovered massive losses of ozone (“ozone hole”)
grammes and project proposals.                              over the continent. The land area under the depleted
                                                            areas increased steadily to more than 20 million square
GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT FACILITY                                 kilometres in the early 1990s and has been varying
GEF had been established by the world community to          between 20 and 25 million square kilometres since.
assist the developing countries on four global environ-     In the Antarctic spring of 1997—i.e., August–Novem-
mental issues—ozone depletion, climate change, biodi-       ber 1997—the area of the ozone hole exceeded 24 mil-
versity and international waters. GEF assists in projects   lion square kilometres (more than twice the area of
and activities for phasing out ozone-depleting sub-         Europe). It covered some populated areas of the South-
stances in Eastern European countries with economies        ern Hemisphere. Scientists hold the cold atmosphere
in transition which are not eligible for assistance from    over Antarctic and the polar stratospheric clouds
the Multilateral Fund since they are not recognized as      responsible for the ozone hole. The ozone layer over
developing countries. These countries have experi-          the Arctic has no “hole,” but depletion of up to 30
enced many problems in their transition to market           percent over the last few years has been observed.
economy and have found it difficult to implement the        The depletion over Europe and other higher latitudes
Protocol. US$111 million has been sanctioned by GEF         varies between 5 percent and 30 percent.
to assist the following countries—Belarus, Bulgaria, the       The scientists also observe constantly the abun-
Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, the Russian Federa-        dance of ozone-depleting substances in the atmos-
tion, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine—to implement           phere. They have reported that, thanks to the Mon-
the Protocol. The implementing agencies of GEF pro-         treal Protocol, the growth rates of many CFCs are
jects are UNDP, UNEP and the World Bank.                    going down, though the absolute quantities are
                                                            increasing. The atmospheric abundance of some
RESULTS OF THE PROTOCOL                                     CFCs (CFC-11, CFC-113, carbon-tetrachloride and
The results of the Protocol in the last ten years have      methyl chloroform) is declining. The abundance of
been startlingly good and have been hailed by many          CFC substitutes is growing. The scientists have calcu-
as a shining example for solving other global envi-         lated that these observations are consistent with the
ronmental problems. The total consumption of CFCs           assumption that the Montreal Protocol is working.
was about 1.1 million tonnes in 1986. By 1996, this         Even though the Protocol is working well to reduce
had come down to about 160,000 tonnes. The con-             the consumption of ozone-depleting chemicals, the
sumption of the industrialized countries which stood        long life of chemicals released in the past will keep
at about a million tonnes in 1986 has been completely       the depletion going for a few more years. The scien-
phased out but for a consumption of 11,000 tonnes           tists predict that the ozone layer will begin healing
for essential uses approved by the Parties. The devel-      only by the year 2000, and we can expect the healing
oping countries have increased their consumption by         to continue if the Protocol is fully implemented. The
about 30 percent in the last 10 years, as permitted by      full recovery will be effected by the year 2050.
the Protocol but, considering the high rates of eco-           The growth rates of halons, used in fire fighting,
nomic growth in many of the developing countries            have not decreased, even though new production has
recently, it should be admitted that the Multilateral       been phased out in 1994, since the halons in existing
Fund has succeeded in preventing undue rise in the          fire-fighting equipment get emitted whenever there is
consumption of CFCs. Developing countries will              a fire. This is worrying, since bromine contained in
begin the implementation of their control measures          halons is fifty times more efficient than chlorine of
in July 1999 and phase out thereafter. Of the 120           CFCs in depleting ozone. The parties to the Protocol
developing countries, about 20 countries account for        have requested the concerned expert panel of the
more than 90 percent of the consumption of devel-           Protocol to explore the implications of decommis-
oping countries. Of these 20, key countries like            sioning the existing halons systems and destruction
Argentina, Chile, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Repub-      of the halons therein.
lic of Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Syrian
Arab Republic, Thailand and Venezuela have already          FUTURE CHALLENGES
started their reduction of consumption in 1996.             While the Protocol has been hailed as an extraordi-
                                                            nary success so far, there is no room for complacency.
STATUS OF THE OZONE LAYER                                   There are still some challenges to be faced.
Atmospheric scientists in USA, Europe, Japan and many
other countries have been observing the ozone layer         NON-PARTIES
for many years now. The ozone layer over the Antarc-        There are still 23 countries which have not ratified
tic, measured since the early 1980s, showed steady          the ozone treaties. It is true that these are very small
countries whose consumption of ODS is negligible,            be estimated accurately but is perhaps in the region
but it is in the interest of these countries to ratify the   of about 30,000 tonnes.
agreements.                                                     The seriousness of this problem has been realized
                                                             by the parties. Countries such as the United States are
COUNTRIES WITH ECONOMIES IN TRANSITION                       taking stringent action against these smugglers by
The implementation of the Protocol from 1989 has             imprisoning them and fining them heavily. The Euro-
unfortunately coincided with massive changes in the          pean Union recently introduced tough controls. The
political and economic systems of the former Soviet          parties have also mandated that each party should
Union and Eastern European countries. The instability        have a licensing system to import or export CFCs.
in these countries until recently made implementa-           This makes it easy for the Secretariat to compare the
tion very difficult. As a result, the Russian Federation     figures and inform governments regarding the source
and a few other countries admitted in 1996 that they         of illegal CFCs. The World Bank is also raising $25
will be unable to follow the phase-out time-table.           million from donors to buy off the production facili-
They have, however, promised to complete the phase           ties in the Russian Federation and to close them down
out by the year 2000, if sufficient assistance is forth-     by the year 2000. This problem is one which will be
coming. The parties to the Protocol considered non-          cured by the closure of the factories throughout the
compliance by these countries and recommended                world, but, meanwhile, the parties and the Secretariat
assistance by the Global Environment Facility, which         will take all possible steps to minimize illegal trade.
has given the assistance and has so far disbursed $111
million to 11 countries in this region. These countries      METHYL BROMIDE
accounted for a consumption of about 150,000                 Methyl bromide is an insecticide used for fumigation
tonnes in 1986. It has fallen significantly to about         of soils structures and storage. Most of the use is in
20,000 tonnes in 1996. It is hoped that these coun-          soil fumigation for high-value crops. This chemical,
tries will complete their phase out by the year 2000.        apart from being an ozone depleter, has many other
                                                             toxic properties. Some countries like the Netherlands
ILLEGAL TRADE IN CFCS                                        have banned its use because of these other toxic
The major problem which arose in the last few years          properties. The parties to the Montreal Protocol
is the problem of illegal trade. There are many factors      understood its significance as an ozone depleter only
which contribute to this problem. All new CFCs are           in 1992, and the developing countries have accepted
now banned in all the industrialized countries. How-         a phase-out schedule only in 1997. The total world
ever, there are millions of pieces of equipment which        annual consumption of methyl bromide is about
use CFCs still in service. Alternatives to CFCs have         70,000 tonnes, most of it in the industrialized coun-
been developed to service this equipment (car air            tries. At present, it is used only in a small number of
conditioners, etc.) whenever the CFCs leak out. How-         countries and only in high-value crops. However,
ever, some consumers consider the alternatives cost-         only 77 countries have ratified the Copenhagen
lier. Also, the parties to the Protocol have permitted       Amendment of 1992 which introduced controls of
the use and trade of recycled CFCs to maintain the           methyl bromide. The other countries of the world
existing equipment, and it is difficult to distinguish       have not accepted controls on methyl bromide.
between new and recycled CFCs. The production of             There is considerable danger, therefore, that the con-
CFCs is continuing in many countries. In industrial-         sumption of methyl bromide could spread to more
ized countries, the production is continuing to meet         countries and to more uses than at present. The chal-
their essential uses and to supply developing coun-          lenge before the parties is to stop this in time. Many
tries as permitted by the Protocol. The developing           alternatives are emerging for methyl bromide in vari-
countries are allowed to produce subject to controls         ous uses, and the Multilateral Fund has taken up a
only from 1st July 1999. Hence, they have increased          $30 million programme to demonstrate these alterna-
their production. Countries such as the Russian Fed-         tives in developing countries.
eration are continuing production in non-compli-
ance with the Protocol but have promised to phase            WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF THERE WERE
out by the year 2000. Also, in the United States, the        NO MONTREAL PROTOCOL?
market price of CFCs is very high due to a high tax.         The ozone-depleting chemicals had reached a level of
All these factors contributed to some traders illegally      consumption of 1.1 million tonnes in 1986—about 1
exporting new CFCs to the industrialized countries           million tonnes in the developed countries and the
either in the guise of recycled substances or in the         rest in the developing countries. Quicker growth in
guise of export to developing countries. The profits         the consumption of these chemicals was due to their
are said to be higher than those obtained by export-         many desirable characteristics, including a long life.
ing cocaine. Obviously, the total illegal trade cannot       These chemicals are used in goods such as air condi-
tioners and refrigerators, and the demand for these       In 1987, there was considerable uncertainty about
goods galloped in developing countries from the           the extent of the ozone depletion, its adverse effects
1980s in step with their rapid economic growth. It has    and availability of alternative technologies. The
been calculated that the global consumption would         ozone-depleting chemicals were used in many indus-
have reached about 3 million tonnes in the year 2010      tries and were considered irreplaceable. In order to
and about 8 million tonnes in the year 2060.              deal with this uncertainty, governments took a small
   The depletion of the ozone layer from 1980 is about    step first of a partial phase out and involved the sci-
5 percent per decade. The increased consumption           entific community to advise them periodically on the
would have resulted in a 50 percent depletion of the      further steps needed to protect the ozone layer and
ozone layer by the year 2035.                             on the availability of alternate technologies. Four times
   The implications of this increased ozone depletion     so far in the last 10 years, the governments changed
would have been horrendous. There would have              the Protocol in accordance with such scientific
been nearly 19 million cases more of nonmelanoma          advice. For the first time, the scientific community
skin cancer up to the year 2060 and 3 million more        has a front seat in environmental negotiations.
cases up to 2030. There would have been nearly 1.5           One more lesson of the Protocol is in promoting uni-
million more cases of melanoma skin cancer by the         versal participation, including of the developing coun-
year 2060. The number of eye cataracts would have         tries in the Protocol, by recognizing “common and dif-
increased by about 130 million cases by the year          ferentiated responsibility.” It was realized early that it
2060—about 50 percent of this in developing coun-         requires global participation to protect the ozone layer.
tries. There are many other unquantifiable effects        While the developing countries had a small share of
such as loss of immunity, adverse impact on animals,      the consumption in 1986 (and hence little responsibili-
lower productivity of crops and damage to aquatic         ty for ozone layer depletion), their increasing consump-
ecosystems including fishing and degradation of plas-     tion would have nullified the efforts of the industrial-
tics. There has been a study by the Government of         ized countries to phase out these chemicals. The
Canada which calculated that, while the world would       adverse impacts would have been felt by all. It was also
ultimately spend many billions of dollars in changing     realized that the developing countries may not have
to ozone-safe technologies, the benefits would exceed     the skills, technologies or resources to implement the
these costs many times.                                   Protocol in time. Hence provision was made for a grace
                                                          period, technology transfer and the Multilateral Fund.
LESSONS OF THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL                          The developed countries alone contribute to the Fund,
There are many lessons of the Montreal Protocol           while the Fund—administered by a committee of 14
which can be applied to solving other global environ-     members—is equally divided between developing and
mental issues.                                            developed countries. These steps resulted in almost all
   The first lesson is the application of the “precau-    the countries committing themselves to the protection
tionary principle.” When governments acted in 1985        of the ozone layer.
and 1987, there had been no actual damage to human           Another lesson is the integration of science, eco-
health proved to be caused by ozone depletion. How-       nomics and technology both in devising the control
ever, governments heeded the advice of the scientists     measures and in implementing them. The assessment
that if they waited longer for a 100 percent proof, the   panels of the Protocol, with experts from all areas
ozone layer would have been destroyed to such an          including industry, have provided expertise to the
extent as to cause serious adverse consequences, and      parties to take informed decisions. The involvement
these consequences would have continued for many          of industry ensured development of cheap and effec-
decades. The lesson, therefore, is to take action in      tive alternatives.
time to prevent damage rather than wait until the            The evolution of the Protocol has proved the use-
damage has been proved by which time the damage           fulness and indispensability of UNEP. UNEP provided
would have been great and irreversible.                   the platform for countries with differing points of
   The Protocol mandated specific time tables for         view to come together. It organised the scientific
every country to phase out their profitable “wonder”      assessments which not only identified the problem
chemicals. This signaled to the industry that these       but also provided options to solve the problem. In
chemicals have no future and led to development of        the early 1980s, even when governments lost inter-
alternatives quickly. This “technology forcing” accel-    est, UNEP persisted until consensus was achieved. It
erated the phase out. The Protocol created markets        is continuing to work on the issue both as a Secretariat
for the alternatives.                                     and as a clearinghouse for information. Its activities
   Another important lesson of the Protocol is how to     help more than a hundred governments to imple-
act on an issue when there is no scientific certainty.    ment the Protocol.
Statement by Hama Arba Diallo
Executive Secretary, Secretariat of the Convention
to Combat Desertification

       t is my great honor and pleasure to be invited to   that the GEF shall operate in four focal areas—namely
       address this landmark gathering. I would like to    climate change, biological diversity, international
       thank His Excellency, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee,     waters and ozone layer depletion. Under this princi-
       Prime Minister of India, and his Government for     ple, the GEF can finance projects aimed at combating
hosting this meeting so graciously. I would also like      land degradation, desertification or drought as far as
to congratulate the GEF Secretariat upon its strenuous     they relate to the four focal areas. The instrument for
efforts to make this meeting a success. In this respect,   the restructured GEF, which provides for four focal
I would like to acknowledge the able leadership            areas, was agreed upon prior to the adoption of the
demonstrated by Mr. Mohamed El-Ashry, Chief Exec-          CCD in June 1994. It has therefore played a role in
utive Officer and Chairman of the GEF, and I would         differentiating the CCD from other conventions in
like to join others in paying a tribute to him.            the GEF framework. Such a structural principle has
   The GEF has served over the past seven years as an      served to maintain a discipline in the operation of
innovative multilateral financing mechanism. It is         the GEF. On the other hand, it cannot be denied that
aimed at providing new and additional concessional         such a principle has also imposed a certain degree of
financial resources for meeting the incremental cost to    constraint in mobilizing or channeling financial
achieve global environmental benefits. The collabora-      resources for activities aimed at combating land
tion among three implementing agencies—namely,             degradation and promoting sustainable use of land
the World Bank, the UNDP (United Nations Develop-          based resources. In the GEF operational programs
ment Programme) and the UNEP (United Nations               published in June 1996, the component of addressing
Environment Programme)—also exemplifies its inno-          issues related to land degradation and arid and semi-
vative character. Its membership has increased now         arid land management are stated as a part of the key
up to 162 countries. I would also like to congratulate     GEF operational programs. While a considerable
countries contributing to the GEF upon the conclu-         number of GEF projects include a certain degree of
sion of the negotiation on the second replenishment        components to address land degradation issues, con-
which amounts to 2.75 billion dollars. This will           cerns have been occasionally expressed over the lim-
indeed help maintain and enhance the momentum              ited portfolio of the GEF for projects which address
for taking greater care of our planet and assist devel-    land degradation issues, and calls for increasing its
oping countries and countries with economies in            portfolio of land degradation are becoming vocal. I
transition in implementing required policy measures        am grateful to note that a first GEF project which
at the local and national levels and mobilizing addi-      squarely addresses land degradation issues in Senegal
tional financial resources.                                and Mauritania entitled Biological Diversity Conser-
   It is worth noting that the prototype of the restruc-   vation through Participatory Rehabilitation of Degraded
tured GEF actually stems from the agreement in             Lands was approved by the GEF Council yesterday
Chapter 33 of Agenda 21 adopted at the 1992 Rio            and will now be in the process of implementation. I
Earth Summit or the UNCED (United Nations Con-             sincerely hope that this will trigger an increase in the
ference on Environment and Development). In this           GEF portfolio for projects that address land degrada-
respect, I would like to stress that the same interna-     tion issues. In this respect, I call for a close coopera-
tional instrument, Agenda 21, in calling for the estab-    tion between the CCD, the CBD, and the UNFCCC
lishment of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Com-         Secretariats in identifying activities which would
mittee in its Chapter 12, paragraph 40, gave birth to      meet the requirements and objectives of the three
the Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD).            Conventions and can be supported by the GEF.
The restructured GEF and the CCD trace their origins          Land degradation is caused or accelerated by cli-
to Agenda 21. However, the GEF has not been desig-         matic irregularities or natural disaster as well as
nated as a full-fledged financing mechanism for the        human-induced activities. Land degradation occa-
CCD unlike for the United Nations Framework Con-           sionally leads to desertification which would have
vention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) or for the              multiple impacts on the global environment such as
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Article 2        climate change, the loss of biodiversity and the avail-
of the instrument for the restructured GEF stipulates      ability of water. Let me now elaborate a little more on
multiple impacts of land degradation and desertifica-      world is susceptible to desertification. On the other
tion on the global environment.                            hand, these drylands hold crop species which are
   At the Third Session of the Conference of the Par-      resistant to drought and disease. Such species are,
ties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate             however, also faced with the danger of extinction due
Change held in Kyoto last year, the Kyoto Protocol         to poor land use practices which lead to vegetation
was adopted to set forth, in its Article 3, epoch-mak-     destruction and soil loss. Here again, appropriate land
ing commitments for industrial countries as well as        use practices are quite essential for preserving biologi-
countries with economies in transition to reduce           cal diversity, maintaining sustainable food produc-
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 1990 levels by         tion and alleviating poverty.
5.2% on average between 2008 and 2012. This com-              Fresh water is a critical component of the global
mitment remains one of the critical challenges which       environment of our planet. Fresh water, which is
the international community needs to overcome at the       already unevenly distributed around the world, has
turn of the next millennium. Further technological         been running short due to the increasing demands
advancement as well as policy reforms are required to      for water. Water shortage has been becoming more
achieve substantial reductions of GHG emissions.           serious. The high cost of introducing technologies to
Related to the commitments for reducing GHG emis-          convert sea water to fresh water still prevents their
sions, it is also important to note that pursuant to       wider application. The rapid growth in water demand
paragraph 3 of Article 3 of the Kyoto Protocol, enhance-   stems from the increasing reliance on irrigation to
ment of sinks of GHGs such as afforestation and            achieve food security. It should be noted, however,
reforestation can be considered as an offset for GHG       that most of the water drawn for irrigation just drains
emission reduction commitments and subtracted              away in most developing countries due to inappro-
from the committed amount of emission reductions.          priate water management policies and practices. Dis-
Furthermore, paragraph 4 of Article 3 states that addi-    torted water supply at the country and sub-regional
tional human-induced activities related to changes in      levels further accelerates land degradation and pro-
GHG emissions and removals—for instance, through           gresses desertification. Appropriate water supply poli-
carbon sequestration in agricultural soils, land use       cies and water management practices, particularly
changes and forestry categories—may be subtracted          those aimed at increasing efficiency of water use, need
from the committed amount of emission reductions,          to be implemented. Such policies are inextricably
although it is still subject to future negotiations.       interwoven with our efforts to combat desertification.
Growing carbon sinks is a critical part of policy mea-        The El Niño phenomenon also remains a serious
sures to meet the commitments for reducing GHG             concern. It has been causing floods in several arid
emissions.                                                 African and Latin American countries, at the same time
   Drylands are vast carbon reserves, and their poten-     causing drought in countries with a tropical climate. It
tial to be carbon sinks is significant. Such carbon        has been negatively affecting agricultural production
reserves do not normally participate in the carbon         in Latin American countries. All these events signifi-
flux in natural ecosystems. However, they will be          cantly deteriorate land conditions and encourage soil
released into the atmosphere in a large quantity           erosion and land degradation. Appropriate land man-
when dryland conditions are disturbed through fire,        agement policies are also important in mitigating the
pest outbreaks, storm and floods. The fluxes of car-       El Niño phenomenon.
bon into the atmosphere are even greater in the case          The United Nations Convention to Combat Deser-
of grasslands and cropped drylands, which contain a        tification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious
large quantity of carbon, are disturbed by aforemen-       Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa,
tioned external eventualities and shocks. This interre-    was adopted in June 1994 and came into force in
lation between carbon reserves of drylands and the         December 1996. Forty-seven percent of the land
fluxes of carbon into the atmosphere indicates the         space on this planet is arid land, 90% is susceptible to
importance of appropriate dryland management or            desertification and 20% has already been experienc-
even the potential of utilizing drylands.                  ing land degradation. Land area equivalent to Ireland
   Due attention has not yet been paid to the fact         turns into arid land every year, and 1.2 billion people
that appropriate dryland management does not only          are drawn into a vicious circle of environmental
help us in tackling climate change or global warming,      degradation, deepening poverty and deteriorating
but also in forging our efforts to preserve biological     health. And many developing countries, particularly
diversity. The preservation of biological diversity is     least developed countries, significantly lack the
essential not only because its loss is not recoverable,    capacity to tackle these issues. The CCD has been
but also because it enables us to keep our agricultural    considered as an innovative international framework
sector adaptable to changing climatic conditions and       for activities to combat desertification and drought,
eventualities. About 90% of drylands around the            and strengthen international cooperation for these
purposes. It advocates the promotion of a bottom-up          change, biodiversity and water management. We
approach involving local people and community-               have been making a great deal of progress in imple-
based organizations. It has now 124 parties as of            menting our work programmes for facilitating activi-
today, and about 150 parties are expected to attend          ties at the local, national, sub-regional and regional
the Second Session of the Conference of the Parties          levels. I really hope that at the upcoming COP2,
(COP2) to be held in Dakar, Senegal from 30 Novem-           many countries will assemble as parties to the CCD,
ber to 11 December this year. The CCD Secretariat            witness our progress and give us support and guid-
has been acting as a catalyst for mobilizing public          ance for making further progress. In this respect, I
and international support for achieving these objec-         would like to seek your leadership to those who have
tives in collaboration with the International Fund for       come from the countries which have not ratified or
Agricultural Development, UNDP, UNEP, FAO, WMO               acceded to the CCD, for enabling us to receive you
and other partners. The GEF is also one of our impor-        and your country representatives as members to the
tant partners. Our COP adopted a decision last year          CCD at the upcoming COP2. It will be the largest
calling for closer cooperation between the GEF and           international conference ever to be held in a sub-
the CCD, and I hope to further strengthen our part-          Saharan African country to discuss the issues of the
nership with the GEF in coming years. Our Secretari-         global environment and sustainable development. I
at will move from Geneva to Bonn, Germany, next              hope all of you can join us in ensuring the success of
year and be collocated with the Secretariat of the           our meeting.
UNFCCC. It will help us enhance our partnership                 Finally, I would like to stress once again the critical
with the UNFCCC. We will also continue to enhance            and multi-disciplinary nature of combating desertifi-
our partnership with the CBD and other Conven-               cation in our effort to protect the global environ-
tions to help one another achieve common objec-              ment. The CCD has organized a workshop from 3 to
tives. Through collaboration with our partners, the          5 tomorrow afternoon, Thursday, April 2, entitled
CCD will become a facilitator for combating desertifi-       Land Degradation and Its Multiple Implications for
cation and drought, and promoting sustainable use            the Global Environment, to discuss further these
of land based resources through its multi-disciplinary       issues. I hope you can attend our workshop and
nature and linkages, particularly with climate               share your experiences and wisdom with us.

Statement by Pier Villenga
Chair, Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel,
Global Environment Facility

      n this hall of science, it’s really an honor to have      In practice, our panel acts as the interface between
      the opportunity to address you and to talk             the global scientific and technical community and the
      about the findings of our 11-member scientific         GEF and the countries GEF works with. We work close-
      committee.                                             ly with the scientific bodies of the Conventions and
   The mission of our committee is to ensure that the        research bodies such as IPCC and also with internation-
GEF, the Council, the implementing agencies, and the         al organizations like ICSU, the Third World Academy,
countries get the best science and technology can pro-       and groups and bodies such as IUCN and Diversitas.
vide. Our position in here as a scientific committee is         Our work is described in the paper that is in your
unique in the world of multilateral and bilateral agen-      Assembly documents called “Highlights of STAP.” To
cies, and there is a reason. Many of the actions to safe-    illustrate our work, I will mention a few examples.
guard the global environment are based on only a par-           One of the issues we addressed at the request of the
tial understanding of the underlying natural and             GEF Council is renewable energies. What are the most
social processes. And it was decided from the outset         appropriate technologies, and under which condi-
that GEF should have a scientific committee to sup-          tions will they work? We identified the most promis-
port the overall strategy, to underpin the operational       ing ones, and we also calculated what it would need
programs, and to review the GEF projects.                    to introduce them in the market. And we have found
that the best way to give renewables a chance is to          global benefits and opportunities to generate GEF proj-
remove the barriers, including subsidies for fossil fuels;   ects in this field, and we helped the GEF to develop a
and, second, to engage the private sector and develop        number of projects in Africa.
an industry in renewables; and, finally, to introduce a          Let me finish by addressing one of the most chal-
financial facility to kick start the market—like the         lenging issues for the GEF. Many of the early environ-
GEF, but beyond that—at the national level.                  mental problems, like water pollution, air pollution,
   We concluded, indeed, that this will require some         and toxic waste, can be addressed by process technol-
money, some subsidies, but it will be much less than         ogy and biotechnology, and therefore, economic
ever invested in research and development on                 development and the environment can go hand in
nuclear energy.                                              hand. But for global environmental problems, this is
   Renewable energy is relatively straightforward, but       not as easy, as these environmental problems are
what about coal, especially in this country, India? At       caused by a major human interference in the primary
the request of the Council, the STAP, together with a        global bio-geochemical cycles, like the carbon cycle,
broad range of experts, has tried to clarify the coal        the nitrogen cycle, the water cycle, and the biodiver-
issue. Our first conclusion is that coal is so important     sity heritage and its dynamics. And we will really
that it should remain on the GEF agenda. There are,          require coherent transformation of the way we meet
indeed, excellent technological opportunities to             our needs in the field for water, food, energy, and
make coal cleaner. We uncovered a range of technical         land use, because the actions of all the global conven-
options to make the use of coal much cleaner and             tions, when it comes to programs and activities, it all
outlined a three-step strategy, and it starts with the       boils down to these cycles, and it boils down to
introduction of techniques that increase efficiency by       water, food, energy, and land use.
a factor of two and, meanwhile, reduce local air pol-            That’s why there is a continuous position for STAP
lution. And we further illustrated that, over time,          to ensure that the GEF activities in this field can be
decarbonated coal can provide the basis for a long-          coherent and can mutually support each other. In the
term and completely clean hydrogen economy.                  same way as GEF tries to find synergies in projects
   Then on biodiversity, we mobilized the scientific         that address local and global concerns, the scientific
community to help GEF to develop a strategy on sus-          community should bring together the knowledge
tainable use of biological resources, and our advice         about the natural system and the social system and
was put together with the scientists’ including the          bring together this knowledge to the benefit of better
Chair of the Scientific Bodies on Biodiversity Con-          practices in the way we meet our needs.
vention. We identified that there are, indeed, many              The final topic, and dearest to my heart, is learning
opportunities and examples of sustainable use prac-          through cooperation. For GEF as a whole and for
tices, like shell fisheries in Chile, wildlife manage-       STAP in particular, mobilizing the wider scientific and
ment in Africa and Asia, and mangrove management             technical community is one of the most powerful
systems in Malaysia. Beautiful examples.                     tools to guide our development in a sustainable direc-
   But one message is clear, and it’s not an easy one.       tion. And the CEO has encouraged STAP to mobilize
To enable sustainable use of biodiversity, a new             this community from the very start. STAP is doing its
approach is needed. While biodiversity protection            task, but we cannot do everything. We need the help
can be organized with just capital and management,           of the GEF focal points in all the countries to bring
sustainable use does require stakeholder involvement,        together the natural/social scientists and the technol-
and it requires skills, new incentives, and new institu-     ogy experts around the themes GEF is addressing.
tions to safeguard the biodiversity while using it.              I would like to say in parallel to this a very realistic
   On international waters, the STAP has developed           slogan on biodiversity which says, “Use it or lose it.”
the scientific and technical basis for a global interna-     It’s a popular but very true slogan for biodiversity. But
tional waters assessment. However, we concluded it           the same holds for the scientific community and the
should be done differently for waters than for cli-          technological community worldwide, and in particu-
mate, and we strongly advise that a global interna-          lar in developing countries. We talk a lot about capac-
tional waters assessment would start by regions and          ity building, but I have found there is a tremendous
would be developed bottom-up from the regions,               capacity out there. We just have to utilize it.
including the watersheds and the coastal seas. And I             So, as for biodiversity, it holds for scientific and
am happy that UNEP has picked up this idea and that          technical human capital. Use it or lose it. And I hope
the GEF has now approved this global international           that you will return from this Assembly to your coun-
waters assessment and will cofinance it.                     tries and call on your national scientific and techni-
   On land degradation, the STAP has helped the              cal community to assist you in identifying and pro-
implementing agencies and the scientists from this           moting projects and practices that help the goals of
convention to combat desertification to clarify the          the GEF.
Statement by Anil Agarwal
Director, Centre for Science and Environment

      consider it an honor to deliver this statement on   cultural issues. Therefore, GEF must be an institution
      behalf of the nongovernmental organizations. I      with a genuine learning culture. In order to do this,
      also feel privileged in doing so in my own home     we strongly believe that the monitoring and evalua-
      town, a city which has had a long history, one      tion program of GEF should be strengthened, its
full of beauty, art, and architecture, but one which      institutional independence maintained, and civil
also faces major environmental challenges today.          society groups involved in its work in a more effec-
   The Global Environment Facility is one of the con-     tive and systematic manner.
crete results of the UN Conference on Environment            Our second point is that the GEF must do more to
and Development held in Rio in 1992. It still remains     ensure that global environmental concerns are inte-
the only multilateral mechanism which provides            grated into the non-GEF operations of its three imple-
financial support for projects that aim to deal with      menting agencies. By themselves, the resources of GEF
some of the most urgent global environmental prob-        are far too small to affect the current development tra-
lems facing humankind today.                              jectory of the planet. We believe that there should be
   There can, however, be no doubt that the 21st cen-     periodic detailed reporting on concrete steps under-
tury will have to see such a Facility built on the new    taken by the implementing agencies to mainstream
and more dynamic principles of global environmen-         the global environmental objectives of the GEF.
tal cooperation that the new century and the new             On our own part, we’re exploring the idea of estab-
millennium will demand. Instead of aid being the          lishing a new mechanism for dialogue on a regular
only principle underpinning this cooperation at a         basis with the implementing agencies to address
global scale, we may have to move toward sharing of       these mainstreaming issues related to the global
the benefits of global common properties, resources       environment.
like the atmosphere and the oceans, internalization          Our third concern is that the number of implement-
of environmental costs in the pricing of internation-     ing agencies needs to be expanded beyond the existing
ally traded commodities, and national liability for       three. We believe that the number of implementing
international ecological damage built on the “pol-        agencies should be expanded to increase the involve-
luter pays” principle.                                    ment of NGOs and community-based organizations.
   It was in 1972 that Barbara Ward had told the          We believe the GEF should be a place where the best
Stockholm conference that there is only one Earth.        project ideas and most promising implementers with
The need to share that Earth equitably, peacefully, and   genuine comparative advantage can compete.
sustainably has never been greater. Sooner or later,         Our fourth point is that the GEF should become a
multilateral financing mechanisms will have to be         mechanism to catalyze and support better funding
built on new and emerging principles of global inter-     cooperation and coordination among multilateral
national cooperation.                                     and bilateral funding agencies, supporting activities
   However, we do see the GEF in its current shape        with global environmental objectives. We argue that
and form as an important step forward. Recognizing        a funding coordination dialogue process for the glob-
the importance of GEF in nudging the world towards        al environment should be established. In addition,
a sustainable world, nongovernmental organizations        we believe that there is a need to evaluate in depth
from various countries who make up the GEF–NGO            which of the various funding modalities used until
network have presented this Assembly with a state-        now have been most effective in order to understand
ment entitled “The GEF in the 21st Century: A Vision      which of these modalities should be given higher pri-
for Strengthening the Global Environment Facility.”       ority for GEF programming, with the aim of improv-
The statement draws on the experience of NGOs in          ing overall GEF effectiveness in the future.
interacting with GEF at many levels and makes sever-         Among the modalities that need to be considered
al key recommendations for strengthening and              in greater detail are national environmental funds,
improving the performance of GEF.                         endowments and trusts, enterprise programs, expan-
   Our first point is that the resolution of the issues   sion of small and medium grants, concessional or
we’re dealing with is going to be a very challenging      contingent loans to help start projects with negative
task. Resolution of environmental problems must           incremental costs, debt conversion options, micro
take into account the related social, economic, and       credit programs, etc.
   A key message of the Rio Conference was the impor-       the programs of different environmental conventions.
tance of the civil society in sustainable development. I       It is impossible, I submit, to de-link local environ-
can’t think of any other UN conference which empha-         mental problems from global environmental issues.
sized this more. Building partnerships was a key to the     When does biodiversity conservation stop being a
sustainable development process: that is, partnerships      local environmental issue, deeply connected with
between the government agencies, research institu-          the livelihoods and knowledge of innumerable poor
tions, the private sector, NGOs, and communities. GEF       rural communities of the world, and when does it
is focusing mainly on government institutions and           start becoming a global issue is very difficult to say
underemphasizing the role of small local NGOs and           or define.
community groups, and the role of small and medium             Carbon sequestration activities, so important for
grants needed to support their activities.                  controlling climate change, are deeply related to land
   The role of NGOs as a watchdog on GEF projects,          use systems, environmental regeneration, and local
especially where there are negative social impacts,         livelihoods built around agriculture, forestry, and pas-
also needs to be appreciated, supported, and formal-        tureland management. It is, therefore, critical that GEF
ized to the extent possible and necessary.                  play a key role in integrating the local with the global.
   But apart from the strengthening of the GEF, there          Unfortunately, the concept of incremental cost,
is a need to look beyond the current narrow mandate         which has not yet been defined satisfactorily, has cre-
of the GEF. It is a sad fact that the post-Rio period has   ated both conceptual and practical problems in
seen a fragmentation of the global environmental            bringing about this integration. It is now necessary—
agenda rather than the development of a strong, well-       and I would submit this to the distinguished dele-
coordinated global program. The GEF as an institution       gates—to re-evaluate the value of this concept and
should play a greater role in developing an integrated      discard it, if necessary.
global environmental agenda in the years to come.              We see the GEF as an important outcome of the
   The key message of the Rio Conference was not            Rio Conference, but we also want to see it grow and
environmental conservation, but sustainable develop-        evolve into a truly 21st century institution which is
ment. Therefore, GEF has to be an agency that partici-      built on the strength of the civil society, democracy,
pates in and promotes the development of a global           and transparency; an institution that is financed on
sustainable development program. For the South, too,        the basis of the use and misuse we make of the envi-
the challenge of the environment is essentially the         ronment as global consumers; also an institution that
challenge of sustainable development.                       can see sustainability as much from the eyes of the
   The world is today struggling to implement two           poor and the marginalized as from the eyes of those
equally critical global action programs, namely, the        who have it all.
Rio Agenda and the Copenhagen Agenda. But each                 Learning to live with nature is not possible without
program is following a separate track. The GEF can-         learning to live with each other as human beings.
not allow the global environment to become an iso-          The 21st century poses a very challenging task, but
lated issue. On the contrary, it should play a key role     let me say that NGOs across the world sincerely join
in the integration of the Rio and Copenhagen Agen-          me in the hope that the GEF will become even
das, with a focus on world poverty, including its deep      stronger to meet this challenge.
relationship with the ongoing processes of environ-            We urge the participating governments in this
mental change.                                              Assembly to give GEF the visionary mandate it truly
   In fact, many global environmental issues, like cli-     needs to meet the challenge. We also sincerely hope
mate change, biodiversity, and desertification, are         that the recommendations of the NGO Panel will be
deeply connected with the problem of global poverty.        included in the final report of this august Assembly
In addition, there is a need for greater synergy between    and our views will be seriously considered.
Plenary Reports
Divider page photo: Fishermen, Indonesia by Carl Gustav Lundin (World Bank)
Statement by Jarle Harstad
Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator,
Global Environment Facility

       t’s a privilege and a great pleasure to me to pre-   was the first overriding and overall study of the
       sent to you the monitoring and evaluation            restructured GEF. An independent evaluation of GEF’s
       function of the GEF, and particularly the main       pilot phase was completed in 1993. The main audi-
       product of this year. That’s the study of GEF’s      ence for the study, in addition to the GEF Council, is
overall performance.                                        the participants at this Assembly.
   I’ll say a few words about the monitoring and eval-         The terms of reference were made after a long
uation function of the GEF first before I come to the       process of consultation between the implementing
study.                                                      agencies and the Convention Secretariats, the NGOs,
   Monitoring and evaluation was based on the               the countries, and also Council members. It was
implementing agencies’ existing systems up to 1996          early realized that since the majority of GEF projects
when a position was created in the Secretariat; moni-       were relatively new, with an average time under
toring and evaluation is a shared responsibility with-      implementation of about three years, that it would
in the implementing agencies and the GEF Secretariat        be difficult to analyze and get good data on the
at the moment.                                              impact on the global environment of our efforts.
   We have designed a framework for the monitoring          Instead, we chose to focus on how well GEF has been
and evaluation work which comprises the develop-            structured, institutionalized, and was poised for an
ment of M&E policies, various systems, and method-          effective performance as a financial mechanism for
ologies. We are performing monitoring. That’s an            the Conventions.
annual review of the total active portfolio. We are            The issues—for evaluation were, firstly, the provi-
doing project reviews, implementation completion            sion of resources—GEF’s role in catalyzing the provi-
reviews, project evaluations, program and cross-cutting     sion and leveraging of resources for global environ-
evaluations, and also overall performance studies—the       mental efforts.
one which will be presented in today’s session.                A second set of issues was at the country level. GEF
   It’s important in the GEF to have a vigorous and         had been assigned the role of assisting developing
comprehensive monitoring and evaluation program             countries’ efforts to fulfill responsibilities under the
for several reasons. Particularly, we are working here      two Rio Conventions, and it was important to us to
in new areas where there is not a lot of experience,        see how well GEF was structured at the country level
and we need to ascertain and find out better ways of        and to get more information on the sustainability of
achieving global environmental objectives. We need          efforts, contribution by stakeholder groups, and other
also to be innovative and to reap experience as we try      ways of assisting the countries.
out new modalities and new ways of planning and                A third set of issues was the extent to which effec-
implementing projects.                                      tive cooperation mechanisms and procedures had
   We also need to share experience across a large          been established among the GEF Secretariat, the
number of organizations and with a large number of          implementing agencies, the Scientific and Technical
actors, whether in the implementing agencies, the           Advisory Panel, the Convention Secretariat, and other
Secretariat, in the countries, among NGOs, or other         cooperating partners.
actors. And the main purpose of our work is, first and         The fourth set of issues was programming issues.
foremost, accountability to the countries and to the        To what extent had GEF been able to operationalize
shareholders and to all interested parties; to let moni-    Convention guidance and Council decisions? We
toring and evaluation be part of decisionmaking; and        had a primary focus on the operational strategy and
also, lastly, but not least, to share lessons and           the operational programs and examined to what
improve our work as we get experience.                      extent these documents and these guidelines were
   The overall performance study was started in the         effective in addressing the criteria and the priorities
beginning of 1997 at the request of the Council; this       for the GEF.
   The fifth set of issues was product cycle issues: to       pleted in the beginning of February this year.
what extent were systems in place for product prepa-             Before we started the study, the Council encour-
ration and development for project implementation,            aged me to appoint a Senior Advisory Panel to ensure
monitoring, and evaluation, including assessment of           that the study was done as a completely independent
the implementing cost.                                        exercise and also to guide the study team. The eight
   The last issue was to what extent had GEF followed         members of the Senior Advisory Panel had varied
up the recommendations of the independent evalua-             backgrounds; Mr. Swaminathan is the Chairman of
tion that was done on the pilot phase.                        the Panel, and he will address this later today.
   All this will be addressed by the two speakers who            The follow-up of the evaluation was discussed by
will follow my introduction. We selected a study team         the Council yesterday, and it has been agreed that
with a team leader, Gareth Porter, and altogether, about      the GEF Secretariat, after discussions with imple-
25 national and international consultants from all            menting agencies and in consultation with the Secre-
over—from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and also East-         tariats of the Conventions in Rio and other actors,
ern Europe. It was important to us that these people          will present a paper with recommendations for fol-
were deemed to be fully independent and could exer-           low-up of the evaluation at the October meeting of
cise a sound judgment without fear of favor and that          the Council.
they had sufficient and good insights into the various           We have asked more countries that were visited
focal areas and had different scientific backgrounds.         during the study to provide comments. We have
   The team used all available information, written           received about 25 comments up to now, but we are
material, interviews with all the key players, and, above     still eager to have more comments from those coun-
all, visits to ten countries (Brazil, China, Egypt, India,    tries, and also from other countries. And these can be
Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Poland, Russian Federation,         sent to us at the address which you’ll find on several
and Zimbabwe). In addition, local consultants had             publications or also can be sent to us on the Internet.
interviews with officials and stakeholders in Argentina,      We have a newsletter at the entrance where the Inter-
Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Jordan, Philippines, and Viet-     net address is given, and we are very keen to receive
nam. And this created a vast amount of data which             comments and viewpoints from the audience here
were analyzed during the autumn; the report was com-          and, indeed, from every concerned party.

Statement by Gareth Porter
Team Leader, Study of GEF Overall Performance

       t’s a great honor to be invited as team leader         did not cover which would have been of greater inter-
       and, on behalf of the study team, to address           est to you. So I apologize in advance for the necessity
       the first Assembly of the Global Environment           of having to select from approximately 30 issues those
       Facility.                                              that would be of greatest interest.
   In the very brief time that I have, it’s not going to be      First, to the overview. Our overall conclusion at the
possible to give you any sense of the full range of           end of the report is an attempt to bring together the
issues that we studied, the findings that we made, and        various strands of the report and to come up with a
the recommendations that we provided in the study.            final summing up that would give a sense of how we
So what I will do is to give you a very brief overview of     viewed the performance of the GEF since its incep-
the conclusions of the study, sort of our summing up,         tion, particularly, of course, during the GEF-1 period.
if you will, of a great mass of detail about a very large     In as many cases as possible, we tried to base our
number of issues. And then I will provide a sort of brief     judgment of GEF performance by performance dur-
overview of the team’s findings and recommendations           ing GEF-1 and the pilot phase.
on a selected few issues which it seemed to me might             Now, obviously, it’s only in certain instances that
be of greatest interest to this Assembly. Of course, my       we could make that kind of comparison. But in our
judgment on that is certainly subject to your approval        overall conclusion, the team highlighted those areas
or disapproval. If you have had a chance to look at the       where it felt there had been the most significant
study, you may find that there are other issues that I        achievements of the GEF. Those included, first of all,
rapidly creating new institutional arrangements,           of the project cycle is the stage of project preparation
developing the operational strategy and operational        by the implementing agencies and the recipient
programs, and approaches to programming in the             country working together. And, of course, it’s also
four focal areas which we felt were adequate. With, I      clear that the recipient countries are the primary
think, one exception, we did not make specific rec-        force in project preparation in that they have primary
ommendations regarding programming. And, finally,          responsibility for project preparation.
the advancement of stakeholder participation in GEF           So we didn’t specifically come forward with a rec-
projects, which we also felt was a significant accom-      ommendation for how the longest part of the project
plishment of the GEF.                                      cycle could be shortened. We felt that that was a larger
   The team also found that the GEF had been rela-         issue which we were not able to provide any specific
tively successful in leveraging cofinancing for GEF        recommendation on.
projects. That was an area which we judged a success          The second issue which I think might be of partic-
and that it had some positive impacts on policies and      ular interest to the Assembly is that of incremental
programs in the recipient countries through its pro-       cost calculations. The team looked at this issue from
jects, although we found that it was impossible to         two distinct angles: first, whether the process of cal-
provide any kind of quantitative measure of this suc-      culating incremental costs has been sufficiently
cess—to say that a particular percentage of GEF proj-      understood, whether the concept is understood,
ects, in fact, have a positive impact on policies and      whether the methodologies have been understood
programs in the recipient countries. So this was one       sufficiently by recipient countries to permit them to
of those areas where it had to be a very impressionis-     participate actively in the process; and, secondly, how
tic and qualitative judgment of success.                   effective the calculation of incremental costs has
   On the other hand, in its summing up, the team          been as a programming tool for the GEF.
found that one of the areas in which the GEF had not          With regard to the first of these two aspects of the
been as successful and where we felt that much more        problem, the study team found that although some
needed to be done was in the area of mainstreaming         agencies of some recipient countries have participated
the global environment and the implementing agen-          actively in the process of incremental cost calculation,
cies. There were several other areas which we found        for most of the relevant agencies in most countries,
also needed more work, including the strengthening         incremental costs are assumed to be calculated by the
of the focal point system in recipient countries,          implementing agency exclusively. In other words, the
specifically the operational focal points; improving       recipient countries have not been actively involved at
the process of calculating incremental costs; better       all in that process.
planning for the financial sustainability of GEF proj-        The team recommended, therefore, that a working
ects; shortening the length of the project cycles; and     group representing the GEF Secretariat and the imple-
raising awareness of the GEF and of global environ-        menting agencies should, in consultation with Con-
mental issues in the recipient countries.                  vention Secretariats, develop simpler, more straightfor-
   Now, again, time does not permit a complete             ward guidance and communication for recipient
review of all the issues that we analyzed, and so I will   country officials, and also a strategy for increasing their
go briefly one by one through seven of the issues that     involvement in the process of estimating those costs—
we made findings about and provided recommenda-            a strategy which would presumably involve training of
tions for.                                                 some sort for recipient countries in being able to partic-
   The first is the issue of the project cycle. The team   ipate in the process of calculation of incremental costs.
found that there have been some improvements in               With regard to the second issue—that is, whether
the project cycle by implementing agencies. Specifi-       the incremental cost calculations have been an effec-
cally, the World Bank and UNDP have taken steps to         tive means of programming for the GEF—the team
shorten their project cycles—by combining the              found that there had been a noticeable improvement
preparation of the project brief and the final project     in the incremental cost sections of project briefs sub-
document in the case of the UNDP, and by moving            mitted to the GEF between 1995–96 on the one hand
the submission of project briefs to the GEF upstream       and 1997 on the other. And this judgment was based
at an earlier stage of development of the project pro-     on an examination of the project documents which
posal in the case of the World Bank.                       were submitted to the GEF during those two time
   Although the team recommended that the GEF              periods; the criterion that we used specifically to
Secretariat accept a range of cost estimates in project    examine that question was the degree of transparency
briefs rather than only a single cost estimate at that     and detail in the discussion of incremental costs in
stage of development of the project in order to            the project briefs.
encourage the World Bank to maintain a shorter pro-           So the team did find that there had been significant
ject cycle, the team also found that the longest stage     improvement, although, of course, that did not mean
that there were not still a number of cases, a number      team, the team found that serious financial planning
of instances, in which project briefs do not deal ade-     for post-GEF sustainability, financial sustainability,
quately with incremental costs in the sense that there     appears in less than half the proposals. We found
are flaws, or may be flaws in the methodology.             that there was a serious problem here, that project
   The team also looked at another aspect of this          proposals still do not, for the most part, deal accu-
question, which was whether there had been any pat-        rately with the problem of financial sustainability
tern, any general pattern, of inflation of incremental     beyond GEF funding.
costs in the process of the calculation by the imple-          We found that biodiversity projects are much more
menting agencies and, to the extent that it did occur,     likely to encounter serious problems of financial sus-
by the recipient countries.                                tainability than climate projects, for the primary rea-
   The team failed to find any evidence that there was     son that the climate projects are more often able to
a systematic inflation of incremental costs in which       drawn on private sector financing and that that
implementing agencies and recipient countries coop-        becomes then part of the planning for financial sus-
erated to get more out of the GEF than was objectively     tainability.
warranted for the project. We had encountered some             The team recommended that the GEF Secretariat
suspicion that this might be the case, and we certainly    and implementing agencies should require that proj-
did not find evidence to that effect.                      ect proposals contain a more thorough assessment of
   With regard to the focal point system, the study        options for achieving financial sustainability than
team examined the degree to which the GEF has been         has been required thus far.
able to establish a focal point system in recipient            With regard to the issue of new and additional
countries that coordinates the activities of govern-       resources, the team was asked to look into the ques-
ment agencies in regard to GEF projects and also dis-      tion of whether or not the GEF’s resources are truly
seminates information sufficiently to relevant stake-      new and additional. The team found, however, that
holders. And here the team found that although most        the concept of new and additional resources has not
operational focal points have been able to do some         been defined by the international bodies that have
coordination among the relevant agencies of their          agreed on the concept in a way that allowed the
government, in some cases they have not been able to       team to make such a judgment—that is, a judgment
carry out the coordination function adequately, either     about whether the GEF’s funding is, in fact, new and
because mechanisms for coordination are not yet            additional to existing funding for development in
firmly and permanently established or because, in          any fashion.
some instances, of institutional weaknesses of the             The team recommended that the GEF Council
focal point.                                               address the need for a clearer definition of the con-
   Particularly, we found that this was a problem          cept of new and additional resources, a definition
where the focal point was an environmental ministry        that would include the indicators that should be used
or agency which may be weaker politically than other       to measure additionality—for example, what specific
agencies that it is asked to coordinate with. We found     kinds of spending should be included in the concept
that to be a systematic problem.                           of new and additional. It was not clear to us what we
   The team also found that information on the             should consider to be included within the scope of
GEF is often not getting out to all relevant stake-        that concept; and, also, what should be the baseline
holders. This was a particular problem that needs to       for comparing the current spending with a base year,
be addressed.                                              if that is, in fact, part of the basis for the definition.
   The team recommended, therefore, that the GEF               The team also recommended as a way of advanc-
Secretariat and implementing agencies should broaden       ing new and additional spending for the GEF and for
the existing project development workshops by              the global environment that donor countries should
involving the focal points as much as possible in plan-    seriously consider separating budget lines for the GEF
ning and executing those workshops and by focusing         from budget lines for development cooperation in
more specifically on coordination and information dis-     their national budgets.
semination functions of the operational focal points.          Another issue that the team examined was the
   The next issue that I want to briefly address is the    question of leveraging of additional financing for
financial sustainability of the projects. The issue here   GEF projects from non-GEF sources. The team looked
was whether the project documents—the plans, and           into the degree of leveraging of resources that has
proposals for projects—adequately dealt with the sus-      taken place in conjunction with GEF projects, recog-
tainability of those projects after the funding from       nizing that the GEF represents a relatively small fund
the GEF was completed.                                     and that, in order to realize its effectiveness to the
   Based on its examinations of project documents          maximum, it must leverage funds from other institu-
for 17 projects in the 10 countries visited by the         tions for the same and similar objectives.
   The team found that a significant additional            the same criteria to all three implementing agencies
amount of money has been leveraged, and as I said          because they were so different in the resources they
earlier, this was regarded as one of the significant       had available and in other organizational attributes,
achievements of the GEF. We found that this leverag-       institutional attributes, which bore on what criteria
ing had taken place particularly through World Bank-       were relevant in judging their success in mainstream-
associated projects. These have been an effective          ing the global environment in their work. The team
mechanism for leveraging additional financing.             selected the following criteria for each of the three
   The team, however, could not provide a quantita-        implementing agencies:
tive estimate of the precise amount of leveraging that        For the World Bank, cofinancing of GEF projects,
had been achieved by the GEF. The team found that          lending for global environmental projects in their
one problem in conjunction with this issue of lever-       regular portfolio, staff incentives for working on the
aging is that the GEF has not produced an opera-           GEF, the integration of global environment into sec-
tional definition of financial leveraging that allows it   toral lending strategies, and, finally, programming on
to distinguish financing that is genuinely leveraged       the basis of the global environment. Some of these
from financing that is not.                                criteria lent themselves to a quantitative analysis, and
   The team itself put together a definition—a more        we tried to provide that to the extent that we could;
strict definition, more rigorous definition—of finan-      others, of course, required a more qualitative assess-
cial leveraging, which defined that term as financing      ment of the progress made or the success achieved in
for activities that benefit the global environment and     mainstreaming according to the particular criteria.
which would not have been spent for such purposes             With regard to the UNDP, the team selected the
in the absence of the GEF project. And with this           following four criteria: first, cofinancing of associated
more rigorous definition, the team found that actual       projects; second, funding for non-GEF projects that
financial leveraging was significantly less than what      provide global environmental benefits; third, integra-
has been claimed—that is, what has been claimed in         tion of GEF and global environment into country
specific project documents and in overall totals that      cooperation frameworks; and, fourth, staff incentives
have been provided about GEF cofinancing with the          for working on GEF.
implicit or explicit claim that this represented finan-       Finally, with regard to UNEP, we found that most of
cial leverage.                                             the criteria that we had applied to the other two imple-
   This finding was based on an analysis of a sample       menting agencies were not really appropriate because
of 18 GEF projects approved by the GEF during calen-       of resource constraints and because UNEP is already
dar year 1997 on which project documents were              devoted in its central mandate to global environment
available. It was based on that sample that we judged      exclusively. The team, therefore, decided to focus on
that there has been significantly less financial lever-    two criteria for mainstreaming: first, staff incentives for
aging than was claimed in documents.                       work on GEF projects; and, second, adherence to the
   The team recommended, therefore, that the GEF           principle that GEF projects should be in addition to
adopt a more rigorous definition for leveraging and        regular implementing agency programming.
that it apply that more rigorous definition in its own        Now, I do not have time, unfortunately, to go into
publications and that it require that implementing         our findings under each of these criteria for each of
agencies also apply that definition in their docu-         the implementing agencies. I invite you to come to
ments about cofinancing for the GEF.                       the workshop tomorrow when we’ll have more time
   The final issue that I want to discuss is mainstream-   to go into depth on this subject. But let me sum up
ing the global environment by the implementing             our findings by saying that we found that in none of
agencies in their work.                                    the three implementing agencies was the main-
   The team was confronted here with a very compli-        streaming of the global environment adequate,
cated problem of methodology. The first issue was          according to the criteria that we had used and the
whether it would merely look at cofinancing as the         findings that we made looking at all of those criteria.
measure of mainstreaming by the implementing               Now, that did not mean that there were not some
agencies or whether it would define mainstreaming          areas where one or the other of the implementing
in a much more detailed, multifaceted way. The team        agencies had not made progress, which we recog-
felt that it would not really be doing a thorough job      nized, but that the overall pattern we found was that
of analyzing this problem if it did not attempt to         they had not made adequate progress in mainstream-
construct a more detailed, multifaceted definition of      ing the global environment.
mainstreaming.                                                This should give you a very broad overview and
   The team decided that it would select a set of crite-   selected look at some of the issues we analyzed and
ria that were appropriate for each of the three imple-     made judgments on with regard to the success of
menting agencies. We found that we could not apply         the GEF.
Statement by M.S. Swaminathan
Chair, Senior Advisory Panel,
Study of GEF Overall Performance

             n behalf of the Senior Advisory Panel, I          In fact, as Mr. Porter rightly mentioned, in the case
             wish to make first two general comments.       of many biodiversity projects, many of them had
                First, we want to pay tribute to Mr.        been approved on the basis that they are hot-spot
             Gareth Porter and his team for the great       locations, they are endangered habitats, they are
dedication and attention to detail with which they          mega-biodiversity areas. Then you find after a few
made this study. One of the terms of reference to our       years after GEF that the money dries up.
group was whether the study is sufficiently indepen-           This is why we would like to endorse the point
dent. We came without reservation to conclude, yes,         made by the study team that every country should
it was completely independent.                              develop a strategy for sustainability. That means we
   That leads me to make a second tribute to Mr. Jarle      suggested some kind of an environmental consulta-
Harstad and his group in GEF. They are the ones who         tive group within the country, an environmental
commissioned the study, and I must pay tribute to           consultative group consisting of multilateral, bilateral
them, that they were totally open, transparent. In          donors, philanthropic organizations within the coun-
fact, large numbers of nongovernmental organiza-            try and globally. There may be business houses which
tions were consulted. It was on the Web. Comments           are interested in supporting environmental causes. So
were received at every stage from the time the terms        that there is a coordinated strategy within the coun-
of reference were developed to the time the first           try putting money for priorities.
report was presented last October at the workshop on           I think one point, again, made by Dr. Mohamed
the occasion of the GEF Council meeting.                    El-Ashry and every speaker this morning is that
   The second comment I wish to make on behalf of           national priorities and global priorities must overlap
the members of the Senior Advisory Panel is—to reiter-      in many respects; and, therefore, we would like you
ate a point made this morning—that the world needs          to give your consideration to the question of every
GEF, the world needs a multilateral funding mecha-          country developing a methodology by which there
nism for global ecological security. I myself in the com-   could be an environmental consultative group, a
mittee meeting compared it to the world food program        large broad-based headquarter group, which could
for food security, both cash and in-kind. Similarly, we     ensure sustainability of projects, sustainable fund-
do need a multilateral funding mechanism for global         ing, and financial leveraging of our additional funds
ecological security, and we feel GEF is fulfilling that     and so on.
purpose, and we hope with this Assembly this role will         In other words, then, the project posted for GEF
get further strengthened. With the comments which           should have a withdrawal strategy in terms of Global
were made this morning, we’re very encouraged.              Environment Facility funding, so that the project
   I would now like to make four specific comments          itself does not collapse.
in relation to the report. You will find also our brief        The second point I want to draw attention to is
report in the printed pages 102 to 105 of this report,      streamlining of procedures. Already mention has
so I am not going to go into them.                          been made of streamlining procedures. When you go
   But the first point which troubled us was also           through the report, you will find there are a number
where the report drew attention, namely, the long-          of recommendations. For example, how do we mini-
term sustainability of GEF-supported projects. The          mize transaction costs? We are putting money in the
very concept of incremental cost implies that the           name of the environment. How much of it really will
projects which are being found fit for GEF support          go to the environmental protection? How much real-
have not only local or national significance, but a lit-    ly goes for servicing and various other activities? How
tle larger than that, global, regional significance.        to minimize transaction cost?
   If we accept the fact that incremental cost is              Because of the growing disparity between national
because of the need to identify components of the           salaries and international salaries, we have recom-
project which are of global significance, then it is        mended that, by and large, wherever this is possible,
obvious that there has to be a long-term funding            national consultants, national experts must be uti-
mechanism for them. Is there life beyond GEF for            lized, so that one can optimize the benefits from the
these projects?                                             available funds.
   The other is the question of an incremental cost           ple’s participation are essential. Regulation alone
calculation. We endorse the recommendation that               will not help because now we know purely regulat-
there should be a working group set up by GEF to go           ed mechanisms are important, but on the other
into this question more carefully and to develop a            hand, they alone are not adequate. This is why larg-
mechanism which is transparent, which is under-               er participation of the people is needed—and the
standable, and which also, in my view, tries to high-         best way today is modern information technology
light the issue to the global community. The global           and the mass media, electronic media and the print-
significance of this project is very great. The incre-        ed media.
mental cost is really a warning bell. This money is              In order to provide credible information to the
needed in the larger interest of humankind.                   media, we have recommended that media resource
   The third point we have made in our report is to           centers be set up, maybe in some different languages,
raise the ceiling of small and medium-sized grants.           so that credible information—the lessons to be
Mention was made this morning that over 1,000 pro-            learned from different projects—be made available.
jects have done very well. Most of them have done                That brings me to a conclusion. I chair the govern-
very well under the small grant projects. They are fairly     ing board of a very large forestry project in a very
easy to operate and involve a broad spectrum of stake-        small country, Guyana, the old British Guyana. That
holders. Many of them are members of the civil society        government had the wisdom, 6 years ago, to provide
or local bodies and so on; therefore, you have a much         to the commonwealth nearly a million acres or
broader participation in the whole GEF exercise.              400,000 hectares of prime rainforest.
   We have recommended that the GEF Council                      The question asked was: everyone comes to our
might examine the question on the basis of the expe-          country. We have got the largest per capita debt.
rience gained, without losing the rigor of examina-           Eighty percent of our income goes to debt servicing.
tion of the projects, of raising the ceiling to the medi-     People say you don’t sell the trees, you don’t cut the
um-sized and small-sized projects. This might take            trees, manage the sustainability. What is meant by
care of a very large number of urgent requirements.           sustainable development? It is easy to put the prefix
   I talked about sustainability. I talked about stream-      “sustainable,” but what do you do in practice?
lining. The third question is strengthening partner-          Therefore, the conversion of the know-how and “to
ships and strategy. This is going to be very important.       do how” at the field level—this particular project
Mention has been made by almost every speaker this            was started with GEF support. The project is so
morning of the need for enlarged partnership, partner-        interesting.
ship with Convention Secretariats, partnership with              We were exceedingly worried about sustainability. I
the academic and scientific community, the major sci-         am happy to say at the meeting held in Brussels earlier
ence academies of the world, because many projects            this year, thanks also to the large support from the
we are considering in this area require a lot of scientific   Government of the United Kingdom, over $8.5 mil-
underpinning; therefore, the relationship with science        lion was pledged. It started with $3.5 million of GEF
and technological institutions is important.                  money. This is the kind of leveraging which can be
   We require large participation of members of the           done, but it required a lot of understanding, education,
civil society of nongovernmental organizations. We            awareness generation: that this is a project not just
require alliances with the media and with the busi-           important for Guyana, but important for the global
ness community.                                               community in terms of understanding how do you
   In the case of business and industry, this is an area      manage the transition from conservation purely by
where, as you know only too well, there are divergent         regulation to sustainable management, which implies
viewpoints: whether business helps the environment,           conservation plus sustainable and equitable use.
or, in many cases, creates problems. Therefore, we               This transition is what we want to bring about in
suggested that private sector involvement in the              biodiversity, the transition from purely regulatory
whole Global Environment Facility might be dis-               conservation to sustainable management. That means
cussed very critically at a workshop.                         conservation plus sustainable and equitable use.
   We had proposed that the Business Council for Sus-            It has been a privilege to be associated with this
tainable Development—and this morning, IFC was                exercise. I hope at this general Assembly, tomorrow’s
also mentioned. There could be a workshop in which            workshops, some of the points contained in this
some ground rules and guidelines could be developed.          report will be discussed a bit more because I think
   Lastly, we call it the information age, the role of        these provide some guidelines for the GEF, at least for
the media. Education, social mobilization, and peo-           the first decade of the new millennium.
Statement by Mohamed T. El-Ashry
Chief Executive Officer and Chairman,
Global Environment Facility

      t is my privilege to report to the Assembly this     ness. And like any new enterprise a few years down
      afternoon on the subject of the policies, opera-     the road, we are now learning from experience, improv-
      tions, and future development of the Global          ing our performance, expanding our services, and
      Environment Facility. My remarks draw upon           building new partnerships designed to accelerate the
the evaluation reports which are in your hands as          transition to sustainable development.
well as my own experience over these past few years.          Our collective strategy builds on the positive ties
You already have my written report and, over the           between development and the environment, while
next few minutes, I will only highlight key accom-         doing all we can to break the negative bonds between
plishments, challenges, and opportunities.                 economic growth and environmental degradation.
   Thomas Jefferson, in 1816, said that “laws and insti-   Instead of “business as usual,” we pursue alternative
tutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the      scenarios with positive outcomes for all by incorpo-
human mind. As [the human mind] becomes more               rating environmental values into all our priorities
developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are        and actions.
made, new truths discovered and manners and opin-             The Instrument for the Establishment of the
ions change, with the change of circumstances, institu-    Restructured GEF calls on us to be cost-effective as we
tions must advance also to keep pace with the times.”      tackle global environmental issues, to fund country-
   These words refer, in the first instance, to the new    driven projects and programs based on national pri-
democratic society he helped to create. But they are       orities, and to maintain sufficient flexibility to
equally true for our new entity, with a global environ-    respond to changing circumstances in order to
mental mission never before attempted.                     achieve its purposes. That we have done, as you heard
   Over the past seven years, the need for the GEF has     this morning from the Convention Secretariats.
become increasingly clear. The urgency for action to          The GEF has evolved to become a more broadly rep-
address the issues of biodiversity loss, climate change,   resentative, transparent, participatory, effective, and
international waters, and ozone depletion within the       strategic organization. All we need is to look around
framework of sustainable development is greater now        the room and consider the membership of 164 coun-
than ever before. At the same time, and despite growing    tries today as compared to 29 during the pilot phase.
affluence for many, there are enormous human prob-            Let me now give some examples of how we opera-
lems of widespread poverty and suffering, and a pattern    tionalized what some of you helped negotiate in 1994:
of economic growth that is worsening the disparity.           The GEF has developed an operational strategy and
   The good news is that our understanding of the          ten, soon to be twelve, operational programs to focus
solutions to these problems has advanced. How do           GEF activities and guide project design and imple-
we then put this wisdom to work for people and the         mentation in our four focal areas. The strategy and
environment?                                               programs respond to the guidance of the COPs of the
   The GEF was piloted in 1991 to earmark multilater-      two Conventions we serve—the Biodiversity and Cli-
al funds for global environmental benefits in the con-     mate Change Conventions.
text of sustainable development projects in develop-          We’ve strengthened GEF’s cross-cutting initiatives
ing countries and economies in transition. We help         combating land degradation, specifically deforesta-
to make that critical link between local and global        tion and desertification.
environmental challenges and between national and             We’ve invested $2 billion in 119 countries to support
international resources. That is because we recognize      over 500 enabling activities and full-scale projects that
that local, national, and global environmental prob-       are providing the scaffolding for sustainable develop-
lems have the same root causes. So, while our man-         ment now and in the future. Over the coming
date and objectives are global, our actions are local      months, with the GEF’s help, many more developing
and national.                                              countries will complete national plans and communi-
   When the GEF was restructured in 1994, we lost          cations called for in the Convention on Biological
no time laying the foundation for operations. Within       Diversity and the UN Framework Convention on Cli-
18 months, the GEF Council ensured that the walls          mate Change. You have already heard the Executive
were up, the roof was on, and we were open for busi-       Secretaries of the two Conventions report on that topic
this morning. These are important tools for integrating    mounting integrated ecological development pro-
climate and biodiversity concerns into country think-      grams across national boundaries in a way that brings
ing and planning and for identifying priorities which      public and private, national and local, forces together
can form the basis for our future funding and for for-     to pursue sustainable development.
mulating country assistance or cooperation strategies,        These are promising developments of which we
as well as longer term GEF support.                        can all be proud. However, the threats to and from
   We’ve developed principles for financing targeted       biodiversity loss, climate change, degradation of
research to serve as a basis for considering GEF fund-     international waters, ozone depletion, and land
ing of goal-oriented research that supports the GEF        degradation continue to grow. The GEF new replen-
operational strategy. To be even more cost-effective in    ishment is a major accomplishment, and we are
its own planning and assistance, the GEF has improved      extremely grateful for your support. However, we
budgeting and business planning procedures, particu-       must also recognize that our financial resources are
larly with regard to the out-years. We’ve established a    modest when compared with the challenges. Co-
high-quality monitoring and evaluation program             financing in amounts far beyond the current $5 bil-
with a number of important outputs already to its          lion total will be required in the new century ahead.
credit. We’ve pioneered trust funds to provide long-       So will a quantum leap in communication and an
term support to GEF objectives.                            ever-widening circle of participation.
   And non-governmental organizations (NGOs)                  While celebrating the achievements of the GEF,
play a key role in the design and implementation of        we have a responsibility to recognize and respond to
projects and in the development of policy frame-           the challenges ahead if the GEF is to continue to be
works at the local, national, and international levels.    in the forefront of addressing global environmental
The GEF is the one and only multilateral financial         issues. The evolutionary process the GEF took on
entity which not only permits NGO representatives          board in the early l990s must, in the new century,
in Council meetings but actively seeks their input in      encompass all governments, development institu-
advance. Why? NGOs put the global environment              tions, NGOs, and business, too. By strengthening the
on the map, and they continue to fuel international        linkages between and among all these partners, we
and community-based efforts toward sustainable             can ensure that the global environment will remain
development. About one-third of project ideas sub-         a top priority long after discrete projects end.
mitted by governments originate with non-govern-              Generating interest in and demand for participa-
mental groups, and a significant number of projects        tion in our work is absolutely necessary. But the
involve NGOs in design, planning, and/or imple-            promise will be false unless we speed up the process
mentation.                                                 by which good ideas get translated into results for
   Equally important to our success are those who          people on the ground. And so the GEF must continue
work in business, science, and technology. Energy          to streamline its project cycle with a view to making
policy and investment in global environment-friend-        project preparation simpler and more nationally dri-
ly technologies are key pillars for any climate change     ven, without abandoning high-quality standards.
strategy, and it is the private sector that is the key        Our first priority in this respect are the recipient
player in the technology transfer arena. In the GEF,       countries. The core notion of country-drivenness
we are keen on entering into bilateral and even trilat-    depends upon a dynamic system of focal points and
eral partnerships where our funds augment, not dis-        other key contacts, communicating information
place, private capital and where our interventions         about the GEF, channeling assistance, picking up
facilitate and catalyze demonstration projects with        feedback, and maintaining the dialogue we need if
significant replication potential. In more than 150        we are to truly be a learning as well as doing organi-
catalytic projects, the GEF is promoting state-of-the-     zation. In order to strengthen country ownership,
art technology: photovoltaics, biomass gasifiers, wind     country-level coordination, information dissemina-
power, geothermal energy, efficient industrial boilers,    tion, and public awareness-raising activities, the GEF
and improved lighting systems.                             must review and better define the intended results
   This technology benefits people in poor rural areas     and impacts of country-level involvement, including
as well as better off urban populations, giving them a     capacity building, training, outreach, and informa-
stake in development. And at the GEF, technology is        tion sharing.
more than hardware. It is also taking the right               Businesses, in particular, must be shown that we
approach for the right results. In the case of biodiver-   bring something unique to the table and that, together,
sity conservation, we have supported two comple-           we can produce progress for the economy as well as
mentary approaches, both of which focus on engag-          for the global environment. To do this, the GEF must
ing rural people as efficient resource managers.           explore new opportunities for private sector as well as
   More recently, the GEF has learned the necessity of     private-public partnerships and for examining the
obstacles that might exist to increasing support from        for sustainable development and for the effective
the private sector.                                          implementation of Agenda 21 and the global envi-
   Much of our work has depended on good science             ronmental Conventions are to be realized.
and outstanding scientists to date, but the GEF has a           The GEF has a story to tell. We’ve put the GEF on
long way to go to fully tap the potential of this part-      the map in terms of operational strategies, programs,
nership. In the future, the GEF must build strong            and projects. Now it’s time we made an impression in
relationships and networks with the global scientific        terms of the public’s understanding of our role and
community, and especially involve national scientists        mission. For it must be their mission, too.
in GEF work.                                                    Earlier, you heard reports on the independent
   We have made a good start at monitoring and evalu-        evaluations of the GEF and their findings and recom-
ation. This system is key, not just to measuring progress    mendations. In its meeting here yesterday, the GEF
and results, but also to achieving greater project quality   Council requested that the Secretariat, in coopera-
and effectiveness. To make it even more robust, the          tion with the implementing agencies, draw up an
GEF must build upon lessons drawn from both suc-             agenda and action plan responding to the findings
cess and failure. This will help our efforts to be a part    and recommendations of the evaluation studies.
of an expanding culture learning and teaching and            Over the next seven months, we will be bringing
practicing sustainable development.                          GEF operations up to speed, so to speak, with lessons
   The concept of incremental costs, while of key sig-       learned in the past and with opportunities waiting
nificance for the GEF and the Conventions, contin-           just ahead.
ues to be difficult to apply in practice, and we must           Let me close by saying that, as we approach and
take a fresh look at its definition and pragmatic            enter the new millennium, the GEF stands ready to
applications.                                                work with all of you, our 164 shareholders, as we take
   As you heard this morning from the heads of the           our collective enterprise to a new plateau on behalf of
implementing agencies, they have begun efforts to            global environmental sustainability. I, and the imple-
integrate global environmental objectives into their         menting agencies of the GEF, look forward to hearing
own work. But a lot more is needed if the aspirations        your feedback and ideas over the next two days.
                                  Statements by

       Right-hand page.
 Front of Divider Page
(Statements by Representatives)
      (Country Statements)
Divider page photo: Earth and sun (U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration)
Statement of Albania
Tatiana Kotobelli
Director, Committee of Environmental Protection,
Ministry of Health and Environment

           he political, economic and social changes         During recent years, new steps forward were taken in
           in Albania during the last years, the orienta-    this field, and, at the same time, the benefits of this
           tion toward market economy, the extension         cooperation were felt.
           of private activities, and the increase of for-      Also, Albania is a contracting party in several
eign investments put forward the necessity that envi-        important global, regional, and international conven-
ronmental protection be treated as one of the top            tions and protocols and their amendments, such as
priority issues and their solution be reviewed consis-       the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
tent with the experience of developed countries and          Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the
international standards by applying the important            Barcelona Convention on Protection of the Mediter-
principle of sustainable development.                        ranean Sea and its five Protocols, the Convention on
   The Committee of Environmental Protection,                Environmental Impact Assessment in Transboundary
within the structure of the Ministry of Health and           Context, and the Convention on Industrial Accidents
Environment, which also is the central body respon-          in Transboundary Context.
sible for environmental issues in the Republic of               Also we are making all the necessary arrangements
Albania, is showing a serious commitment in its              for ratification of the Vienna Convention and Mon-
efforts for solving old and present environmental            treal Protocol for the Protection of Ozone Layer, the
problems, and has succeeded in identifying environ-          Convention on Desertification, and the Convention
mental priorities and building the necessary institu-        on Air Pollution in Transboundary Context.
tional framework and a completed legal framework.               At present, we are working in order to implement
   Although Albania is a small country, the variety of       all the commitments that result from being a party to
environmental problems is as diverse as that of other,       such Conventions.
larger countries. That is why the mitigation or elimi-          Thus, Albania has been a member of GEF since
nation of the consequences of damages and pollution          1994 and of many environmental international orga-
of the environment by the previous regime and                nizations as well. As a financial mechanism providing
adverse impacts of economic and social activities            grants and concessional funds to developing coun-
require a concrete and continuous commitment.                tries for projects and activities to protect the world’s
   These commitments are addressed in the National           environment, GEF has been a great and important
Environmental Action Plan prepared on the basis of           help for Albania. In this context, the Government of
the National Environmental Strategy, which aims at           Albania very much appreciates GEF assistance in
the integration of environmental protection in the           providing financial support for implementation of
development programs of economic and social sec-             different projects.
tors. This action plan constitutes a detailed analysis of       The GEF/World Bank (WB) regional project on Lake
this strategy and has defined tasks for ministries and       Ohrid Conservation (US$4 million) since this year has
institutions whose activity has an impact on the envi-       been coordinated by the Environmental Protection
ronment and foresees organizational, administrative,         Committee of Albania. The objective is to develop a
legal and technical measures such as establishment of        sound and legal basis for joint management of Lake
the legal framework, institutional strengthening, pre-       Ohrid and protection by governments and peoples of
vention of erosion and rehabilitation of soil, reforesta-    neighboring countries such as Albania and the Feder-
tion, avoidance of industrial and urban pollution,           ated Republic of Macedonia; and also to promote cost-
good management of natural resources, investment             effective solutions to transboundary natural resources
for environment, information and public awareness.           management and pollution problems.
   The policy of isolation followed by the ex-Commu-            The GEF/WB project: Strategy and Action Plan for
nist regime deprived Albania of the international            Protection of Biodiversity in Albania (US$96,000) is
cooperation necessary for environmental protection.          in the first steps of implementation.
   The project will consist of field work and research      by the Albanian Government; and approved for
for better assessment of biodiversity values of the site,   funding by GEF, which has allocated a budget of
preparing the management plan for the whole area,           US$278,000. We very much appreciate the GEF and
and training staff from local and central levels in         UNDP assistance in this process.
coastal management, etc.                                       Finalization of this study will provide a clear view
   Albania, as a developing country and a non-Annex I       of the general situation in Albania, serve as a guide
party to the United Nations Framework Convention            for future actions in the field of climate protection,
on Climate Change since 1992, has shown great               and fulfill one of the commitments of Albania to the
interest in these treaty commitments.                       Convention.
   We appreciate the Kyoto agreement; however, it is           Regarding the Agenda to the first GEF Assembly, I
not designed to introduce any new commitment for            find the issues proposed very helpful and important.
developing country parties after the year 2000, taking      1. I especially find the Report on Policies, Actions and
into account the principle of common but differenti-           Perspectives of GEF Development very oriented
ated responsibilities between developed and develop-           and important. I very much appreciate the excel-
ing country parties.                                           lent work done in its preparation.
   In order to fulfill the commitments under this           2. I really support the idea of improving the commu-
Convention, despite the fact that we do not have               nication strategy of GEF in order to know better
potential sources of greenhouse gases, a project on            the GEF and its mission and criteria, and how to
Enabling Albania for Preparing the First National              access GEF resources. This strategy must be better
Communication in Response to Its Commitments to                targeted.
the United Nations Framework Convention on Cli-             3. In addition, I support the proposal of making the
mate Changes has already been proposed by the                  GEF basic documentation available in national lan-
Committee of Environmental Protection; endorsed                guages.

Statement of Algeria
Djamel Echrik
Inspector General for the Environment,
Interior Ministry

         a délégation algérienne saisit cette heureuse      problèmes socio-économique et politique majeur à
         opportunité pour remercier le Gouverne-            l’echelle mondiale, conditionne le développement
         ment et le peuple amis de l’lnde pour son          global, solidaire et durable de l’ensemble de nos pays
         hospitalité; elle saisit également cette oppor-    respectifs et l’avenir à terme de plusieurs centaines de
tunité pour adresser à Mr le Directeur Général et           millions de personnes.
Président du Fonds pour l’Environnement Mondial et             A ce titre et alors que les pays en développement
tous les organisateurs pour les efforts consentis pour      s’appliquent à préparer leur stratégie et plans
assurer le succès des travaux de la première Assemblée      nationaux de mise en oeuvre des’ différentes conven-
Générale du FEM qui se tient dans cette magnifique          tions et engagements internationaux y afférents, les
capitale qu’est New Delhi.                                  pays les plus nantis et industrialisés sont interpellés
   Cette Assemblée constitue un test révélateur de la       quant au respect de leurs engagements relatifs aux
détermination de toutes les parties à concrétiser les       renouvellement des ressources du Fonds ainsi qu’au
engagements et déclarations officielles en relation         transfert effectif des technologies écologiquement
avec les principes de la responsabilité collective mais     rationelles et adaptées.
différenciée des Etats, quant aux atteintes à l’environ-       Aussi, toute action internationale et/ou régionale
nement.                                                     doit intégrer les responsabilités communes et dif-
   En effet, la protection de l’environnement recon-        férenciées des Etats, leur capacités respectives et leurs
nue aujourd’hui, et à juste titre, comme étant l’un des     specificités économiques et sociales.
   Toute démarche doit être empreinte d’une                placée en ce mécanisme novateur, et de se rap-
approche rigoureuse et s’appuyer sur une contribu-         procher mieux et davantage de ceux qu’il est censé
tion plus significative des pays les plus développés et    aider et assister.
les plus riches, en adéquation avec le droit légétime         Par ailleurs, L’Algérie en tant que pays bénéficiaire
au développement et les besoins prioritaire en matiére     du FEM et ayant ratifié la convention sur la lutte con-
de croissance économique durables des pays moins           tre la désertification, réitère sa position vis-à-vis de
développés et/ou pauvres.                                  cette question essentielle qui touche notamment des
   L’Algérie a, depuis toujours, honoré ses engage-        pays démunis et en difficultés du continent africain,
ments, notamment, par la ratification des conven-          pour sa reconnaissance en tent qu’activité spécifique
tions internationales, particulièrement celles liées au    au sein du FEM.
FEM et par la mise en oeuvre des instruments                  Désireuse de participer utilement à l’enrichisse-
juridiques, institutionnels et économiques.                ment du document principal soumis à la premiére
   Aussi, elle insiste pour exprimer sa préoccupation      assemblée, à savoir le projet de reglement interieur et
devant la tournure que prennent les délibérations          consciente de l’importance de ce cadre juridique
durant certaines rencontres internationales tendant à      quant au bon fonctionnement de l’organe souverain
diluer les responsabilités historiques et transférer le    du FEM, en l’occurence l’Assemblée Générale, L’Al-
fardeaux vers les maillons les plus faibles de la châine   gérie, après examen dudit projet formule en annexe
des Nations confrontées à des contraintes et aspira-       quelques observations et propositions à cet effet.
tions fondamentales liées à leur développement                La délégation algérienne souhaite que les résultats
socioéconomique.                                           de cette premiére assemblée générale soient en
   En raison des espoirs suscités depuis sa création, le   adéquation avec notre communauté de destin et à la
FEM et particuliérement à travers ses trots agences        hauteur des enjeux et défis planétaires que posent les
d’execution se doit de repondre à l’attente légitime       problémes relatifs à la protection de l’environnement.

Statement of Argentina
Gerardo Biritos
Ambassador to India

         n primer termino, deseo expresar el               formación del Fondo para el Medio Ambiente Mundi-
         reconocimiento de mi gobierno por la              al y su posterior reestructuración en 1994. En la pre-
         amable hospitalidad extendida por el gobier-      sente ocasión, deseo renovar el compromiso de mi
         no y pueblo de la India a mi delegación y al      gobierno tendiente a un fortalecimiento de todas las
resto de los participantes en esta asamblea.               actividades del fondo, en el convencimiento de su rol
   Confiamos que la invitación cursada por la secre-       fundamental para que los países en desarrollo esten
taria del Fondo para el Medio Ambiente Mundial per-        mejor capacitados a hacer frente a ese desafio.
mitira arribar a conclusiónes de importancia para el          Las evaluaciónes efectuadas tanto a nivel interna-
tratamiento de las principales cuestiones ambientales      cional como en nuestro propio ambito nacional, per-
que afectan a nuestro planeta.                             miten tener una clara idea respecto de lo que el fondo
   La humanidad se enfrenta a un importante desafio,       ha sido hasta el presente y lo que debe ser su futuro
que se traduce en el esfuerzo de los países por armo-      funcionamiento.
nizar políticas orientadas a promover el desarrollo           En esta materia, créemos que la estrategia opera-
económico y social, con aquellas que apuntan a la          cional en las distintas áreas focales del fondo, basada
conservación de los recursos naturales y a la solución     en las políticas y los criterios de prioridad y elegibilidad
de los problemas ambientales. En otras palabras, este      adoptados, debera orientarse hacia el fiel cumplimien-
desafio tiene como objetivo alcanzar el desarrollo sus-    to de los objetivos propuestos para este mecanismo
tentable a nivel nacional.                                 financiero de cooperación internacional.
   El Gobierno Argentino ha participado activamente           La Argentina, no obstante ser un país recipiente,
en los procesos de negociación que condujeron a la         integra ademas el grupo de países donantes del fon-
do. Dicha participación es una pauta de la importan-           Las actividades que ha desarrollado el fondo hasta
cia que le asigna mi país a la labor de esta institución.   el presente en materia de diversidad biologica, estan
   En funcion de ello, quisiera destacar brevemente         principalmente orientadas a la conservación de
las actividades que se han realizado en mi país, vincu-     dichos recursos. Créemos que en esta nueva etapa es
ladas a las cuatro áreas focales del fondo:                 menester modificar la definición y práctica en torno a
■ Se encuentran en ejecución diversos proyectos de          dicha conservación, a fin de incluir el componente
diferentes alcances.                                        del uso sustentable.
■ Participamos en proyectos tanto regionales como              Los proyectos referidos al uso sustentable atender-
globales.                                                   an a un componente de significativa importancia en
■ En la preparación y ejecución de dichos proyectos         esta materia, considerando que la conservación de la
intervienen las tres agencias de implementación del         biodiversidad sólo es factible en entornos diversifica-
fondo.                                                      dos y administrados de manera sustentable.
■ Se han realizado dos seminarios de difusión de las           Al respecto, queremos subrayar la importancia de
actividades del fondo en 1995 y 1998, habiendose            las recomendaciónes presentadas por el panel de eval-
publicado sus conclusiones.                                 uación cientifica y técnica, en particular aquella que
■ Los proyectos aprobados cuentan como contra-              alude a una necesaria y estrecha vinculación entre las
partes a organismos del estado, organizaciónes no           labores del propio panel, con las de los demás organos
gubernamentales y del sector privado.                       cientificos subsidiarios de los convenios interna-
   La ejecución de proyectos del fondo ha permitido la      cionales en materia ambiental.
preparación de la primera “comunicacion nacional”              De esta manera, el panel podra desempeñar una
para la Convención Sobre Cambio Climatico y la              funcion más efectiva en torno a la identificación de
Estrategia Nacional Sobre Biodiversidad.                    las necesidades de investigación focalizada, lo cual se
   En el area de cambio climático, la Argentina consid-     traduciria en una mayor eficacia de los proyectos y
era que el fondo deberia intensificar sus actividades,      programas del fondo.
dando prioridad a aquellos proyectos derivados de las          Mi país considera que corresponde a cada uno de
estrategias nacionales para la reducción de emisiónes       los gobiernos definir las prioridades en todo lo ati-
de gases de efecto invernadero, energia, transporte, etc.   nente a la preparación, aprobación y ejecución de los
   Sin embargo, para conocer mejor las particularidades     proyectos, como asi también en materia de selección
de este fenomeno global, sus consecuencias y los proce-     de las respectivas contrapartes. De ello dependera una
sos de adaptación ante el cambio climático, el fondo        adecuada relación entre el fondo y los gobiernos,
también deberia atender las necesidades de finan-           como asimismo entre estos ultimos y las agencias de
ciamiento de las actividades de investigación cientifica.   ejecución.
   Mi gobierno comparte la misma preocupación en               A este respecto, créemos en la necesidad de fort-
cuanto a la investigación cientifica vinculada al fenó-     alecer el sistema de puntos focales nacionales y
meno del agotamiento de la capa de ozono. La                operacionales, lo cual permitira asegurar una ade-
Argentina, junto con Chile, se encuentra directa-           cuada difusión de los lineamientos, metodologias y
mente afectada por el agujero de ozono Antartico y,         alcances de las actividades del fondo, como asi
por otra parte, este fenómeno esta estrechamente vin-       también agilizar la tramitación de los diversos
culado con el del cambio climático.                         proyectos.
Statement of Australia
Margaret McDonald
Ambassador for the Environment,
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

      t gives me great pleasure to address this first         better fulfill its objectives. The GEF is such an organi-
      Assembly of the Global Environment Facility             zation. The recent finalization of the overall study of
      on behalf of the Australian Government.                 the GEF’s performance highlights the GEF’s ability to
        I would like to thank you for successfully guid-      learn from past experiences and search for ways to do
ing us through our deliberations at the Assembly. It is       things better.
highly appropriate and symbolic that this Assembly               Looking to the future, Australia considers that the
take place in India. The Australian Government                GEF must emphasize dynamism, inclusiveness and
would wish to extend its sincere thanks to the Gov-           coherence in its policy development and operational
ernment of India for its generosity as host.                  programming. It must be a seamless conduit for
   Australia considers that the 1994 restructuring and        mainstreaming global environment concerns into its
replenishment of the GEF improved the capacity of             own implementing agencies. The GEF must increase
the Facility to deliver tangible benefits in the Facility’s   and enhance its engagement with the private sector
four focal areas. They also made the GEF more                 to effectively leverage existing sources of funding.
accountable to its participating countries, as well as        Innovative market-based mechanisms and partner-
to the Convention on Biological Diversity and the             ships, such as are in prospect under the clean devel-
Framework Convention on Climate Change.                       opment mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol, can offer
   I am pleased to inform this Assembly that Australia        some important future opportunities.
has developed a good working relationship with the               Throughout all its activities, the GEF must continue
GEF. For example, in the South Pacific, we are provid-        to respond to the expressed needs of developing
ing approximately $5.1 million as cofinancing for the         countries and the economies in transition through
GEF South Pacific Biodiversity Conservation pro-              country-driven and country-owned programs.
gram. Together with the GEF, we are assisting Pacific            In pursuing this work, Australia considers that the
Island countries, both financially and through the            GEF should remain open and accountable. Strength-
expertise of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park       ening the Facility’s monitoring and evaluation sys-
Authority, to prepare a strategic action program for          tem, particularly through the development of perfor-
their international waters.                                   mance indicators, will be an important vehicle for
   This year represents another milestone in the GEF’s        demonstrating its responsiveness, openness. and
history. Just last week, donors concluded negotiations        accountability to participants, the CBD and the
for the second replenishment of the Facility. The             FCCC.
replenishment reflects a sound result for the global             Much still needs to be done by the global commu-
environment and for the GEF.                                  nity to ensure the security of future generations
   Despite the successful replenishment, we must be           through sustainable development. Needs are pressing,
mindful that the GEF is not the only source of fund-          but the opportunities are many and Australia looks to
ing for the environment. It complements and works             play its part. In our immediate region, Australia will
in partnership with other important sources. For              work with Pacific Island countries and the GEF to
example, countries’ own efforts in the realm of               ensure that the small island states continue to have
domestic public and private investment, as well as            access to appropriate assistance.
those of civil society, are pivotal. In this respect, gov-       In conclusion, Australia believes that the Facility is
ernments have an important role to play in facilitat-         well placed to contribute to achieving global environ-
ing an attractive business environment to encourage           mental security. Accordingly, we consider that the GEF
private investment.                                           should work for the CBD and the FCCC, including in
   An organization that successfully thrives and grows        respect of the recently negotiated Kyoto Protocol, on
is one that learns, adapts and constantly strives to          a continuing basis.
Statement of Austria
Harald Sitta
Director, Federal Ministry of Finance

       t is a great honor to take part in this first Assem-   phase and contributed to the Global Environment
       bly of the Global Environment Facility, the GEF.       Trust Fund on the basis of a fair burden sharing at the
       In beginning, please allow me to pay special           first and second replenishments. And we will certainly
       tribute to India and New Delhi for hosting this        contribute financially and through active participa-
meeting in such a generous manner. I would also like          tion to further strengthen the Facility as a very
to commend the CEO of the GEF and the GEF Secre-              important instrument to help protect the national,
tariat for the careful preparation of our meetings here       regional and global environment.
in New Delhi.                                                    Austria welcomes the fact that the link between
   The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio called on all of us to        the Climate Change Convention and the GEF is now
promote sustainable development and protect our               based on a Memorandum of Understanding clarifying
environment through concerted global, regional and            most of the relevant issues. However, Austria would
national actions. I have the impression that the spirit       favor that the GEF becomes, as soon as possible, the
of Rio remains strong and that we are in general on           permanent financial mechanism of the Convention.
the right track.                                                 In Kyoto, there was agreement on a new mecha-
   At this first Assembly of the GEF we have the              nism, the so-called clean development mechanism,
opportunity, or should I say the responsibility, not just     which is enshrined in the Kyoto Protocol. In our view,
to take stock and assess lessons, but also to address         this new mechanism may give further incentives to
with renewed urgency the actions required to put our          mitigate climate change in developing countries. We
life styles, our consumption patterns, our population         believe, nevertheless, that this new mechanism
growth and our human settlement on a sustainable              should be closely linked to the GEF. In this context,
path. The tasks ahead of us are still enormous. Pro-          we would like to reiterate the European Community’s
tecting the global environment, reducing poverty              view that the role and experience of the GEF could
and promoting sustainable development is a very               and should be used in developing the modalities of
complex undertaking that requires global and national         this new mechanism.
responses on the basis of international cooperation.             With regard to GEF policies and programmes up to
   The now well-established and functioning GEF is            today, Austria welcomes the share that biodiversity-
helping developing countries and economies in tran-           related projects have achieved in the overall GEF
sition by taking the first steps toward addressing this       activities. Austria also highly appreciates the good
problem. The Global Environment Facility is:                  working correlation between the GEF Secretariat and
■ Genuinely helping countries meet their obligations          the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diver-
under the Climate Change and Biodiversity Conven-             sity. We acknowledge the guidance by the conference
tions.                                                        of the parties to the GEF as a valuable tool to assist
■ Providing economies in transition with resources to         the Council with regard to the priorities within the
complete the phasing out of the ozone-depleting sub-          Convention process and its national implementation.
stances (ODS) and meet their obligations to the Mon-          This, in our view, helps to approve projects in accor-
treal Protocol.                                               dance with the Convention, and should assist in
■ Underwriting durable partnerships between countries         reducing administrative costs.
who share large waters to manage them sustainably.               In this regard, I would like to point out that Austria
■ Building capacity to identify and address global            would very much appreciate an early decision by the
environment problems.                                         conference of the parties to the Convention on Bio-
■ Promoting cooperation between the implementing              logical Diversity to establish the GEF as the perma-
agencies (UNEP, UNDP and the World Bank).                     nent financial mechanism of the Convention. The
   Austria associated herself with the idea and the           evaluation of the GEF was an important step and
design of the Global Environment Facility from the            should help in the respective discussion which we are
outset and participated actively in the relevant dis-         looking forward to holding during the fourth confer-
cussions and negotiations to establish, and later on,         ence of the parties in May in Bratislava.
to restructure the GEF. Austria supported the GEF with           Austria would also like to see a commitment that
generous financial contributions during the pilot             the GEF will offer to act as the financial mechanism
for the upcoming Protocol on Biosafety under the          national assistance for the ODS phase-out in coun-
Convention on Biological Diversity when the Proto-        tries of transition should be warranted to facilitate
col enters into force. We could also foresee enabling     Montreal Protocol compliance in the region.
activities for the implementation of the Protocol dur-       With regard to the future of the GEF, I would like
ing the period from its signature up to the entry into    to associate myself with and reiterate the recommen-
force to be funded by the GEF.                            dations of the study of GEF’s overall performance and
   With regard to the depletion of the ozone layer, I     state Austria’s position as follows:
want to draw your attention to some concerns we           ■ We fully agree that country drivenness and country
have. The recent developments in ODS consumption          ownership is needed in GEF activities.
and production in Central European economies in           ■ Concerning implementing and executing agencies,
transition and the successor states of the Soviet         Austria believes that three implementing agencies are
Union show that ODS phase-out is occurring. While         sufficient; however, it seems important to continue to
the phase-out of ODS in this region initially resulted    provide other international institutions, particularly
mainly due to reductions in capacity utilization, the     regional development banks, with access to GEF
reductions are now increasingly market-driven.            resources.
   Although the current level of ODS consumption is       ■ Since the available resources are by far not enough
relatively small in comparison with ODS consump-          for global environment protection, GEF resources
tion in developing countries, the delayed compliance      should accordingly be strategically allocated and
nevertheless presents the international community         should leverage other resources (at present US$1.00
with a number of problems. One problem arising            of GEF grant generates US$2.50).
from delayed compliance of countries in transition        ■ The involvement of the private sector should be
are short- to medium-term concerns about the possi-       increased, especially in terms of mobilization of
bilities of illegal ODS trading. Another serious prob-    resources and for technology transfer.
lem is the risk that outdated ODS-using technology        ■ Great importance should be attached to further
and equipment might be exported to countries in           simplifying the estimation of incremental costs for all
transition. Furthermore, the legitimacy of interna-       GEF programme areas.
tional environmental agreements in general, and the       ■ Considerable thought and discussion are needed to
Montreal Protocol in particular, may be eroded as a       elaborate the clean development mechanism of the
result from sustained noncompliance among a num-          Kyoto Protocol.
ber of parties. These problem areas should be addressed   ■ The GEF should work closely together with the
by the parties of the Montreal Protocol and the GEF       Conventions to analyze issues related to guidance in
to ensure consistent phase-out.                           order to ensure their successful implementation.
   Many of these countries have no financial and          ■ Monitoring and evaluation seem to us of utmost
technical resources for implementing the phase-out        importance in order to extract and disseminate the
in a planned and controlled manner. Therefore, inter-     lessons learned and improve future performance.

Statement of Bangladesh
Sayeda Sajeda Chowdhury
Minister of Environment and Forests

           t the outset, I would like to extend my sin-   have a far-reaching positive impact on the global
           cere thanks and appreciation to the Gov-       environment.
           ernment of India for hosting the first           I would also like to express our deep gratitude to
           Assembly of the GEF and for the warm           the GEF for their efforts in the preparation and orga-
hospitality. I am particularly happy that the first       nization of this meeting.
Assembly of the GEF is being held in this beautiful         On behalf of Bangladesh, I wish to express my
and historic city of New Delhi, capital of India. I am    heartiest congratulations on your election as Chair-
confident that the deliberations in this meeting will     man of this important Assembly. I assure you of our
fullest cooperation. Permit me Mr. Chairman, to con-        signed between India and Bangladesh in December
vey our felicitations to His Excellency Mr. Atal Behari     1996 has opened up vast opportunities for interna-
Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India, for his inspiring        tional investment and cooperation for sustaining
inaugural address, which I am confident will set the        environment.
tone of our deliberations for the next three days.             Bangladesh was nationally allocated a fund of
   As we stand on the threshold of a new millennium,        US$3–5 million by the GEF for various projects. Out
we probably need to reflect on the achievements             of that, only a fund of US$235,000 has actually been
made on global environmental security more seriously.       placed by the GEF to conduct a PRIF study on Coastal
The purpose of establishing the Global Environment          and Wetland Biodiversity Management. The GEF proj-
Facility in 1991 was something new—to make avail-           ect cycle and funding mechanism which now appear
able funds for environment-friendly projects in devel-      somewhat time-consuming need to be revised. We
oping countries. Actual progress, however, remains          emphasize that attention needs to be given to swift
less than substantive.                                      evaluation of projects and quick placement and dis-
   We in Bangladesh are deeply concerned at the             bursement of funds. The funding mechanism also
gradual deterioration of the global environment. The        needs to be simplified and made responsive to project
depletion of the ozone layer is gradually increasing        demands. Bangladesh being disaster-prone deserves
world temperature. This in turn has contributed to          high priority for GEF-funded projects.
melting of snow in the polar regions and a rise in the         We also feel that the criteria for allocation of
sea levels, which is a matter of serious concern for        funds for countries which face problems of depletion
Bangladesh. Being a low-lying deltaic country,              of biodiversity for various reasons need to be re-eval-
Bangladesh is under the threat of inundation by sea         uated. In allocating funds, due consideration should
water. According to the IPCC (International Panel on        be paid to the magnitude of the problems faced by a
Climate Change) report, 17.5% of the total land mass        country.
of Bangladesh will be inundated if the sea level rises         A major objective in setting up the GEF in 1991
by one meter. More than 50 million people will be           was to evolve a global funding mechanism for envi-
rendered homeless, with disastrous effects on the           ronment-friendly projects. That purpose will be
country’s economy.                                          defeated if developing countries cannot have access
   Bangladesh is deeply committed to the concept of         to concessional funds to conserve biodiversity. I,
global environment security. Extensive efforts are          therefore, propose some points for the consideration
being made by our Government to integrate environ-          of this assembly:
ment and development concerns into decision-mak-            ■ Restructuring of the GEF with a view to formulating
ing and formulate new laws, policies and strategies         a more simplified project cycle, and allocation and dis-
for sustainable development. In line with global            bursement of funds.
efforts, Bangladesh has enacted laws for protection of      ■ Concessional funding to environment-friendly projects
the environment; formulated strategies, policies and        in developing countries.
action plans, including a 20-year Forestry Master           ■ Prioritize the magnitude of problems in the funding,
Plan; ratified all the major international conventions;     rather than considering the size of the country. Alloca-
and established the national coordination mecha-            tion should be made on the basis of priority of an issue.
nism for sustainable development through formation          ■ Provide training to concerned personnel of recipient
of a National Environment Committee headed by the           countries.
Prime Minister.                                             ■ Project identification missions by GEF to develop-
   The Environment Policy of 1992, Bangladesh Envi-         ing countries be made more frequent.
ronment Protection Act of 1995 and the Environment             I would conclude by congratulating you once
Protection Rules of 1997 will go a long way in the sub-     again on your assumption of the chairmanship of
stantive reduction of pollution in the country and          this Assembly. I should also like to put on record the
streamlining the responsibilities of different ministries   excellent manner in which you have conducted the
of the Government engaged in economic develop-              business of this august assembly.
ment. These steps, I am convinced, will improve the            I would also like to thank the Government of India
situation in Bangladesh.                                    and GEF officials who have worked tirelessly to make
   We also recognize the importance of bilateral and        this conference a success.
regional cooperation in sustaining the global envi-            The earth is the only planet we have. Let us ensure
ronment. The historic Ganges Water Sharing Treaty           a safe global environment for our posterity.
Statement of Belgium
Marc Gedopt
Ambassador for the Environment and Sustainable Development

                 y delegation would like to congratulate    But we are convinced that these objectives can be
                 you on your election to the chair of       met by activities that are not detrimental to the
                 this Assembly, and we would also like      global environment. This leveraging will be rein-
                 to thank the Government and the peo-       forced by a greater emphasis on the replicability of
ple of India for their hospitality.                         projects, and will also strengthen the catalytic role of
   This first Assembly of the Global Environment            the GEF.
Facility heralds the coming of age of the GEF. The             A third challenge will be to maintain the flexibility
pilot phase and the restructuring were difficult times,     of the GEF. The conventions that we serve are no sta-
but growing up is sometimes painful.                        tic instruments themselves, they evolve and change.
   The successful second replenishment of the Global        The mechanisms foreseen in the Protocol of Kyoto
Environment Facility has shown us the growing confi-        have still to be developed, but they have the poten-
dence of the international community in the capacity        tial to evolve into new challenges and opportunities
of the GEF to carry out its task: to serve as the finan-    for our work.
cial mechanism of the global environmental conven-             Now that the GEF has become well established, we
tions. The tireless work of Mr. El-Ashry and his team       have to face the fact that our work will become the
has greatly contributed to this magnificent result.         object of critical scrutiny.
   But great challenges are still before us. We must           In the last two years, we have seen a steady increase
now build on the lessons of the past for our work of        in the disbursement rate. This is a success in itself,
tomorrow.                                                   but it also creates a new challenge of monitoring and
   The first of these challenges is the long-term viabil-   evaluation of our projects. This system of evaluation
ity of our projects and programmes. Our efforts will        has to be carried out, not only during the lifetime
not contribute to sustainable development in the            and at the end of a project cycle, but also years later.
longer term without the assurance of the sustainability     Our objective is sustainable benefit for the global
of our projects. One of the basic conditions to reach       environment. This must include the evaluation of a
this goal is to make sure that projects are really coun-    sustainable continuation of our finished projects. The
try-owned and country-driven. This will require con-        streamlining of our project cycle has to go beyond the
tinuing attention to awareness and capacity building.       end of the project as such.
The participation of the local population in our pro-          My country is proud to be part of this common
jects must therefore also be high on our agenda.            effort by the international community to safeguard
   A second challenge lies in the leveraging of other       our global environment. We have the honor to rep-
financial resources. One of the mechanisms to pro-          resent at the Council a constituency of recipient and
mote this aim is the mainstreaming of the concern for       non-recipient countries. I would like to thank all
the global environment in the general programmes of         these countries for the confidence they have given
multilateral and bilateral development agencies.            to us.
   Our aim can certainly not be to limit their activi-         My country sees this Assembly as the start of our
ties to global environmental concerns.                      work in the 21st century. The challenges we face are
   We fully recognize the importance of other objec-        great and numerous, but we do not have another
tives of development and of the local environment.          option than to succeed in our task.
Statement of Belize
Mohinder Singh Sahni
Consul General to India

           he Government and people of Belize, along         graphical location demands that we support and
           with the political and operational focal          encourage policies and programs geared toward the
           points, join me in expressing our sincere         protection and maintenance of our environment in
           thanks to you, Mr. Chairman, the Secretariat,     the context of the global initiatives that have emerged
the Council, and the implementing agencies for the           to preserve and protect the global environment.
hard work, dedication, and diligence that have made             We welcome the second replenishment of the GEF
the Global Environment Facility the success story            Trust Fund and are confident that it will enable us to
that it has become.                                          better implement the global environmental conven-
   We concur with the agenda for the meeting, and            tions that we have subscribed to.
express our support for the CEO’s draft report on the           At the national level, we strive for better coordina-
policies, operations, and future development of the          tion between political and operational focal points
GEF, reconfirming our commitment to do our part to           and with relevant national and international agencies
ensure that Belize continues to subscribe to the objec-      for the successful preparation and execution of the
tives established by the Council.                            projects we have identified as essential for the protec-
   As a small developing country, we know that it is         tion of Belize’s environment.
imperative that we adhere to our national priorities            It is left only for me to congratulate you on your
and goals, keeping in mind our obligations to the            excellent stewardship of the affairs of the Global
Convention on Biological Diversity and to the UN             Environment Facility and to assure you of our contin-
Framework Convention on Climate Change. Our geo-             ued support of your efforts on our behalf.

Statement of Bhutan
Paljor J. Dorji
Deputy Minister, National Environment Commission

      t gives me great pleasure to be here with you at       tance of our natural surroundings to the socio-eco-
      this GEF Assembly meeting. I have no doubt that        nomic development of the Bhutanese people and the
      this meeting will be an enriching experience for me.   global environment. Today, as many countries grap-
        At the outset, let me mention that the GEF, in       ple with the problems associated with degradation of
my view, has grown from strength to strength under           the natural environment, we in Bhutan are blessed
its present leadership. Therefore, it is my privilege to     with an almost intact natural environment.
congratulate Mr. Mohamed T. El-Ashry on this                    This was not an accident, but an outcome of a con-
accomplishment as well as on the successful estab-           scious development pursuit. We in Bhutan always
lishment of the first environmental trust fund for           felt, in our best ethics, not to over-borrow from our
Bhutan with great assistance from the GEF. I am con-         future generations, but to endow them with their
fident that under his leadership, in times to come,          natural heritage. It is only for this reason that the
the GEF will break much more new ground and add              Royal Government received the advent of modern
more mileage to its mission.                                 economic development with a conservation-based
   It is general knowledge that Bhutan emerged out of        development policy. As a result, even after thirty
a self-imposed isolation in the early sixties. Neverthe-     years of economic development, natural forest cover
less, Bhutanese leadership fully realized the impor-         spreads to over 72% of the country’s total area while
the national system of protected areas occupies over      Change. In this regard, while many of the parties are
26% of the total area of the country.                     faced with difficulties in translating the ideals of the
   By policy, commercial harvesting of timber and         conventions and Agenda 21 into actions, Bhutan has
other forest resources without a scientific manage-       started to implement the activities of the Conven-
ment plan and environmental impact assessment is          tions. For instance, in keeping with the Convention
forbidden. The policy of maintaining a 60% forest         on Biological Diversity, the Royal Government has
cover, first suggested by National Forest Policy in       prepared and adopted a biodiversity action plan. Fur-
1974, was formally mandated by the 73rd Session of        thermore, in addition to its usual conservation pro-
the National Assembly of Bhutan in 1995. The con-         grams, the Royal Government, with support from
servation goals of the 1969 Bhutan Forest Act have        donors, is implementing a Capacity 21 project, a
been strengthened and expanded in the Forest and          Greenhouse Gases project and a project on Integrated
Nature Conservation Act of 1995. To provide a com-        Management of Jigme Dorji National Park.
prehensive framework of guidance for the develop-            In conclusion, environmental conservation is a
ment programs in the country, the Royal Govern-           long-term activity, the impact of which cannot be
ment has prepared a national environment strategy.        assessed over a time-frame of five to twenty years, but
And as I mentioned earlier, a trust fund for environ-     takes centuries or perhaps the rest of time and the rest
mental conservation has been established to provide       of history. Therefore, one of the most important fac-
sustained funding for environmental programs. These       tors to be considered vis-à-vis environmental conser-
initiatives stand to tell that we in Bhutan are commit-   vation programs is sustainability. Finally, I would like
ted to preserving nature and giving back to the earth     to state that with regard to access to funds and coop-
what one has taken.                                       eration with donors, the secret formula, in my view
   In terms of global initiatives, along with many        and which the Royal Government of Bhutan follows,
nations, Bhutan firmly upholds the importance of          is good governance, transparency of activity, account-
development paradigms enshrined in Agenda 21 and          ability, and actual implementation of activities which
several other UN conventions on environment and           lead to a multiple win situation—a win for Bhutan, a
sustainable development. Bhutan is a party to the         win for the environment, a win for donors, and a win
Conventions on Biological Diversity and Climate           for the global community.

Statement of Brazil
Paulo Cesar Lage Barbosa
General Coordinator of Bilateral Finance,
Ministry of Planning and Budget

              n behalf of the Brazilian Government, I     Government of India for its hospitality and the orga-
              would like to congratulate you on your      nization of the first GEF Assembly, a remarkable
              election to preside over this meeting,      event that will be written in the history of the main
              and to state my confidence that under       actions aiming to achieve the common goal of sus-
your sure guidance we will reach the objectives that      tainable development and protection of the global
we have set forth to achieve.                             environment.
   Furthermore, I would like to take this opportunity        As we all know, the Global Environment Facility was
to publicly acknowledge the remarkable work being         established in 1992 at the Earth Summit, as the interim
done by the Secretariat during Mr. El-Ashry’s tenure      mechanism for the implementation of the Conven-
as GEF CEO, as well as to express our gratitude for the   tions. Since then, the GEF has increased its role in
work of the three implementing agencies which have        addressing some key environmental problems such as
dedicated their time and best efforts to the success of   climate change, biodiversity loss, international waters
this truly global endeavour.                              protection and ozone layer depletion. Many lessons
   Last but not least, I would also like to thank the     were learned through the operation of the GEF and
the projects implemented under its purview. There-             The controversial concept of incremental cost con-
fore, the participating countries decided to endorse        tinues to be difficult to apply in practice, requiring
the second replenishment of the Facility, recognising       additional actions to make the process more flexible
the GEF as one of the most important financial              and easier for recipient countries and the implement-
mechanisms for global environmental protection.             ing agencies.
   At the verge of the 21st century, we are constantly         The GEF member countries should avoid trans-
reminded of the challenges to be faced by the interna-      forming the Facility into an instrument that makes
tional community. Many efforts are being made to fos-       “business as usual.” We have to pursue positive ties
ter a vision for the future based upon the main princi-     between development and the environment through
ples of the sustainable development paradigm laid out       grants to projects and programmes.
in Agenda 21. Very recently, the President of Brazil had       At this point in time, Brazil regards as unnecessary
the honour of prefacing the book Valuing the Global         the addition of new implementing agencies to the
Environment: Actions and Investment for the 21st Century,   three current ones, which we believe have demon-
which was put together by the GEF. We believe that          strated a high level of competence and knowledge of
this publication is a most valuable contribution to the     national internal procedures. It is our understanding
debate on global problems into the next century. To be      that it is not appropriate to transform GEF into a
able to tackle these huge tasks before them, the coun-      forum of discussions for the implementing agencies’
tries will have to work together, bearing in mind their     financing policies.
common, but differentiated, responsibilities. To have a        As mentioned in the opening session, Brazil and its
strengthened and efficient GEF is of utmost impor-          northern neighbours are facing a huge fire in impor-
tance for the accomplishment of these goals.                tant ecosystems.
   Notwithstanding the work already carried out                In Brazil, the fire is in the savannahs of the State of
under the aegis of the GEF and acknowledging its            Rondonia, a region next to the rain forest. We take
important contribution to the mainstreaming of sus-         this opportunity to thank all countries and entities
tainable development concerns into international            that are giving financial and technical support to the
cooperation operations, some issues should receive          Brazilian Government in its fight against this serious
special attention if we are to move ahead in a fruitful     environmental threat. I am pleased to say that, accord-
way. Many of them were mentioned in the study on            ing to the last news I had, the fire in Brazil is now
GEF’s overall performance that we have before us. I         under control, as a result of the appropriate actions
would like to highlight the need for further stream-        that have been taken, and also because, thank God, it
lining in the project cycle and the need for more           is raining in Rondonia, although it is not yet the rain-
transparency during the process of identification,          ing season.
design and approval of projects.                               Brazil has actively participated in the GEF since its
   It has been agreed that GEF’s projects must have         establishment and has every intention to continue to
global impact but should be country-driven and              do so and lend its full-fledged support to the effort of
based on national priorities. From Brazil’s point of        making sustainable development a reality.
view, this is an issue that needs more emphasising at          Finally, I would like to congratulate my partners
the moment of defining policies, operations and the         for their significant contribution to the success of this
future development of the GEF.                              Assembly. Please accept my sincere thanks.
Statement of Burkina Faso
Jean-Baptiste Kambou
Technical Councillor,
Ministry of Environment and Water

            ’est pour moi un grand honneur de pren-            Au delà de ces actions à caractère national, notre
            dre la parole devant cette Assemblée, pour      pays a activement pris part à la préparation et à la
            traduire au nom du Gouvernement du              tenue de la Conférence des Nations Unies sur l’envi-
            Burkina Faso et en celui de Monsieur Salif      ronnement et le développement à Rio de Janeiro en
Diallo, Ministre d’Etat, Ministre de l‘Environnement        1992, et a fait sienne les principales conclusions que
et de l’Eau, l’espoir que suscite pour nous la tenue de     sont:
cette première assemblée du Fonds pour l’Environ-           ■ La Convention cadre sur les changements climatiques.
nement Mondial et vous adresser, Monsieur le Prési-         ■ La Convention sur la diversité biologique.
dent, toutes nos félicitations pour votre élection à la     ■ La Convention des Nations Unies sur la lutte contre
tête de cette Assemblée.                                    la désertification.
   Qu’il me soit permis d’adresser mes sincères remer-         Vous conviendrez avec moi de l’intérêt que revêt
ciements aux Autorités Indiennes pour l’hospitalité         cette Assemblée pour mon pays, eu égard aux thèmes
pleine de chaleur et d’amitié qui nous a été reservée       importants qu’elle aura à entériner, notamment les
depuis notre arrivée à New Delhi.                           relations avec les conventions, l’évaluation des per-
   Je voudrais, Monsieur le President, avant de pour-       formances du FEM, les politiques et perspectives de
suivre mon propos, porter à votre connaissance et à         développement du FEM.
celle de l’Assemblée, que mon pays le Burkina Faso est         La création du FEM répond au souci de la commu-
effectivement solidaire de l’idée—projet brillament         nauté internationale d’oeuvrer à travers un partenariat
présentée lors de la plénière d’hier par votre Excel-       entre les Etats pour la sauvegarde de notre planete.
lence, en votre qualité de Répresentant du Gouverne-           Malheureusement, ce fonds, de par sa complexité,
ment malien, et relative à la nécessité du financement      les difficultés d’accès et la limitation un peu arbitraire
d’un plan d’urgence de sauvetage du fleuve Niger et         à notre sens de ses domaines d’intervention, ne
de ses affluents.                                           prend en compte que de manière très conditionnelle
   Il n’est point utile pour moi de vous rappeler la sit-   et indirecte une des principales préoccupations envi-
uation environnementale au Burkina Faso et les              ronnementales de notre pays et des pays africains en
efforts entrepris par notre gouvernement pour               général, à savoir la lutte contre la désertification.
améliorer les conditions de vie de nos populations,            S’il est vrai que dans certains pays comme le nôtre,
quotidiennement confrontées aux effete néfastes des         le FEM a octroyé des financements pour l’exécution
multiples facteurs de dégradation de l’environnement        de quelques activités, il reste que des projets d’in-
   Depuis les années 1970, le Burkina Faso, pays            vestissement de réduction des gazs polluants, d’appli-
sahélien, n’a cessé de vivre les activités persistantes     cation de stratégies et programmes d’action néces-
du climat, aggravées par les actions anthropiques,          siteront des soutiens additionnels.
destructrices d’un environnement déjà fragilisé.               En effet, avec l’appui du FEM, le Burkina Faso met
   Face à ce déséquilibre écologique qui menace notre       en oeuvre actuellement deux projets majeurs de ges-
sécuruté alimentaire, et met en péril le processus de       tion des ressources naturelles et de la faune, et d’opti-
développement durable, des orientations stratégiques        misation de la biodiversité.
et des actions concrètes ont été initiées sur le terrain.      Par ailleurs, des actions habilitantes telles que
   Sans être exhaustif, nous pouvons retenir:               l’élaboration de la monographie nationale sur la
■ Le Plan d’Action National pour l’Environnement            diversité biologique, la préparation de la communica-
ou Agenda 21 National.                                      tion initiale sur les changements climatiques et l’élab-
■ La stratégie nationale d’assainissement.                  oration de plan et stratégie sur la diversité biologique
■ Le processus de décentralisation engagé depuis un         sont en cours.
certain temps.                                                 Le Burkina espére, avec la restructuration du Fonds
■ L’adoption des lois relatives à la réorganisation         pour l’Environnement Mondial et les récentes con-
Agraire et foncière, au code de l’environnement et au       clusions de la Conférence des Parties à la Convention
code forestier.                                             sur la lutte contre la désertification, que des disposi-
tions concrètes et pratiques seront prises pour assou-      communautés sahéliennes vivant quotidiennement
plir les procédures d’accès au fonds en vue de favoris-     le spectre de la désertification et de la sécheresse,
er la mise en oeuvre de cette convention, espoir des        aggravée par la pauvreté.

Statement of Burundi
Samuel Bigawa
Minister of Territorial Development and Environment

            ’est pour moi un grand plaisir et un            de l’environnement mondial.
            agréable honneur de m’adresser à cette             Les structures organisationnelles mises en place
            auguste assemblée au nom du Gouverne-           pour le fonctionnement du FEM restructuré ont per-
            ment du Burundi, à l’occasion de cette pre-     mis d’oeuvrer dans le cadre d’un consensus général
mière réunion de l’Assemblée générale du Fonds pour         pour l’orientation de tous les efforts tant au niveau
l’environnement mondial.                                    national qu’international vers le développement
   Mais avant d’aller plus loin, permettez-moi d’em-        durable. C’est pourquoi la délégation burundaise
boîter le pas de ceux qui m’ont précédé, en remer-          saisit cette occasion pour remercier les agences d’exé-
ciant du fond du coeur le Gouvernement indien et            cution du FEM représentées dans mon pays pour leur
son valeureux et talentueux peuple, pour la                 collaboration fort appréciée.
chaleureuse ambiance d’accueil qui nous a été                  Au niveau international, il est heureux de constater
réservée depuis notre arrivée.                              que les différentes négociations qui ont abouti à la
   Il me plaît aussi de féliciter sincèrement Monsieur      ratification des conventions en rapport avec l’envi-
Mohamed T. El-Ashry, directeur général du Fonds             ronnement ont largement contribué à accroître la
pour l’environnement mondial ainsi que l’équipe             prise de conscience de la corrélation entre le
qu’il dirige, pour les efforts fournis dans la prépara-     développement durable et l’environnement chez tous
tion et l’organisation des travaux des différents ate-      les acteurs sociaux qui sont les dirigeants politiques,
liers, qui, j’en suis persuadé, permettront à l’Assem-      les représentants de mouvements des citoyens, de la
blée générale d’aboutir à des résultats importants.         communauté scientifique et des médias. À l’heure
   Lorsque nous avons conclu à Rio, l’Agenda 21,            actuelle, il est indéniable que l’articulation environ-
nous savions que nous fondions un cadre pour des            nement-développement est devenue un véritable
rapports nouveaux entre l’homme et la nature. Sa            enjeu dont la réussite conditionne la préservation de
mise en oeuvre oblige les différents pays à assumer         l’environnement mondial.
leurs responsabilités devant l’histoire de l’humanité,         Au niveau national, avec l’assistance du Pro-
et les contraint à des choix d’autant plus complexes        gramme des Nations Unies pour l’environnement
qu’ils doivent concilier la science, l’éthique et l’é-      (PNUE) et des autres organismes internationaux, le
conomie, facteurs indispensables pour le développe-         Burundi a accompli certains progrès dans la mise en
ment durable.                                               oeuvre de l’Agenda 21 : la ratification de conventions
   Il est encourageant de constater que, juste après le     en rapport avec l’environnement, l’élaboration de la
sommet de Rio de Janeiro sur l’environnement et le          stratégie nationale pour l’environnement et son plan
développement, l’Assemblée générale des Nations             d’action, l’élaboration de législations en matière d’en-
Unies, dans sa 47e session, a décidé de permettre la        vironnement et la gestion des déchets solides et des
participation au FEM des pays en voie de développe-         eaux usées.
ment. C’est une preuve assez éloquente qui montre              La préservation de la diversité biologique s’est con-
que les pays industrialisés reconnaissent, à juste titre,   crétisée à travers la conservation et la gestion des aires
l’obligation morale de soutenir dans un cadre de con-       protégées dont la superficie couvre 4 % du territoire
certation les efforts des pays en développement en          national. Des efforts pour la lutte contre le déboise-
vue de sauvegarder l’environnement mondial. Le              ment ont aussi été menés. Mais le volume de con-
Gouvernement du Burundi s’engage à soutenir toutes          sommation du bois étant toujours élevé compte tenu
les actions du FEM afin de contribuer à la protection       de la forte demande en énergie (à peu près 4,5 mil-
lions de tonnes de bois sont consommés chaque              gratitude envers les autorités du FEM qui continuent
année), le Burundi doit fournir encore de gros efforts     de nous soutenir en nous accordant des financements
dans sa politique de reforestation : d’où une politique    pour protéger la diversité biologique du lac Tanganyi-
d’alternatives au bois-énergie s’avère nécessaire et       ka dans le cadre d’un projet régional exécuté conjoin-
urgente. En effet, malgré sa bonne volonté d’honorer       tement par les pays limitrophes de ce lac, à savoir : la
les engagements conclus à Rio, le Burundi est resté en     Tanzanie, la Zambie, la République démocratique du
deçà du programme tracé par l’Agenda 21, suite aux         Congo et le Burundi.
contraintes de plusieurs ordres et plus particulière-         Dans le plan à court et moyen termes prévu par le
ment la crise socio-politique de 1993 et l’afflux massif   Gouvernement, la réhabilitation des ressources
de réfugiés venant des pays limitrophes du Burundi         naturelles occupe une place de choix et nécessite
qui a fortement engendré la dégradation de l’environ-      beaucoup de moyens matériels et humains. C’est
nement par le déboisement pour des besoins énergé-         pourquoi, Monsieur le Président, j’aimerais vous
tiques essentiellement.                                    demander d’accepter de devenir notre fidèle ambas-
   Le Gouvernement du Burundi enregistre de plus en        sadeur pour plaider en faveur d’un financement d’ur-
plus une nette amélioration de la situation sécuritaire    gence pour la restauration de l’équilibre écologique
dans le pays. Des activités de reconstruction intéres-     gravement fragilisé par la guerre dans la sous-région
sant tous les domaines de la vie nationale ont repris.     des grands lacs et plus particulièrement dans mon
L’assistance reçue des pays amis et des organisations      pays, le Burundi.
non gouvernementales ne cesse d’augmenter, surtout            Je m’en voudrais de clore mon intervention sans
en ce qui concerne l’aide humanitaire. Et je voudrais,     évoquer le problème de concertation entre les pays au
Monsieur le Président, profiter de cette occasion pour     sein d’une même circonscription. Il est vrai que les
dire encore une fois merci à tous ceux qui, de près ou     représentants des circonscriptions se réunissent
de loin, contribuent à cette assistance qui a permis au    régulièrement au Conseil du FEM pour discuter et
Gouvernement de sauver des vies humaines.                  décider des politiques qui doivent guider les activités
   Concernant l’assistance pour la protection et la ges-   du FEM et pour approuver les propositions de projets.
tion de l’environnement, nous déplorons le fait que        Cependant, nous sommes convaincus que cette con-
beaucoup de bailleurs de fonds ont ralenti leur aide       certation pourrait être améliorée par la tenue
depuis que la crise socio-politique de 1993 secoue         régulière de réunions préparatoires regroupant les
notre pays. Nous tenons à exprimer notre profonde          représentants des pays d’une même circonscription.

Statement of Canada
Jim Carruthers
Director-General, Canadian International Development Agency

      welcome this opportunity to add Canada’s voice       Facility—an example of global cooperation blending
      to those who have already spoken on the              elements of the UN system and the IFI systems. GEF
      important issues before this Assembly.               is not just another mechanism for ODA; it is nothing
       In recent years, we have all come to appreciate     less than a new experiment in global governance.
the seriousness and the complexity of the threats             As the Chief Executive Officer notes in his report to
posed by climate change, the irreplaceable loss of         this Assembly, the GEF has had to evolve and mature
species, the transport of toxins through international     into a more representative, participatory, transparent,
waters, and depletion of our atmosphere’s ozone lay-       effective, and strategic organization. This has been
er. Never before has the planet’s entire population        quite an accomplishment in the space of a few years.
faced such common universal threats. The imperative        And yet it is just the start. The GEF must continue to
of preserving the heritage of our planet has become        evolve and enhance its effectiveness if it is to reach its
the truly unique challenge of our age.                     goals. Canada has strongly supported the GEF to date
   Our collective will to take action has been demon-      through our financial contributions and our work as
strated in the formation of the Global Environment         a member of the GEF Council. We intend to continue
this strong support to the GEF, its implementing               Fourth, a strong monitoring and evaluation func-
agencies, and recipients to finish the work we have         tion is necessary to measure progress and results, as
started. Canada is committed to a full funding of the       well as for achieving greater project quality and effec-
second GEF replenishment, and we encourage all              tiveness. Clear performance indicators are needed for
donors to do likewise.                                      GEF programs as well as projects.
   We have been very fortunate in the case of the GEF          Fifth, the GEF should promote participation of a
to have a highly professional and dedicated Secretari-      wider range of executing agencies to increase respon-
at and CEO to manage its operations. But a successful       siveness, efficiency, and diversity in projects and
GEF is predicated not just on the hard work of one          approaches.
organization, but the cooperation of many—the coun-            Sixth, the GEF should reaffirm the principle of
try focal points, the implementing agencies, civil          incremental costs while seeking to clarify how it
society, and the private sector. In addition, the GEF       should be applied. Canada fully supports all these
has two very important relationships with the main          measures and will work with the GEF Council for
Conventions it serves. In this regard, it is crucial that   their implementation.
the GEF be confirmed as the permanent financial                The future success of the GEF will not just be mea-
mechanism for these two Conventions.                        sured in dollars spent. Rather it will be measured by
   The GEF is an exercise in participatory action.          mere concrete results—yardsticks such as tons of car-
From project beneficiaries to the governing Council,        bon reductions, preservation of species and habitats,
GEF’s links with other stakeholders are the key to its      the improvement in quality of international water.
success. Canada firmly believes that civil society’s        and reductions of ozone-depleting substances. These
awareness and participation are crucial for the success     are the results we all expect the GEF to deliver in the
of any government-led initiative, especially one deal-      coming years, results which will build support for the
ing with the global commons.                                GEF in Canada and in all the countries present here.
   In this regard, the involvement of civil society in         This Assembly has the potential to build the consen-
the GEF is unique among international financial             sus necessary to bring global environmental concerns
mechanisms and is one of the ways in which the GEF          into the mainstream of development—a consensus
has demonstrated leadership through innovation.             which will be essential if the GEF is to succeed in
The GEF involves civil society through NGO partici-         reaching its goals. We are therefore delighted to see
pation at meetings of the GEF Council as well as dur-       that such a wide range of participants have taken up
ing the full project cycle where awareness of local         the invitation to join this meeting. Each of you has a
conditions and building local participation are essen-      role to play in forging a renewed global solidarity on
tial ingredients for project success.                       global environmental stewardship, to collaborate in
   The GEF is now poised to move into a new phase.          restoring a healthy global ecosystem rather than sim-
Earlier this week, the Council endorsed the second          ply consuming the planet’s resources. Let us all work
replenishment of the GEF including a policy state-          at this Assembly at demonstrating our collective com-
ment with six key components. First, GEF activities         mitment to these goals.
must be more country-driven and based on national              I cannot conclude my remarks about this Assembly
priorities designed to support sustainable develop-         without noting the significance of holding this meet-
ment and the global environment.                            ing in New Delhi. India has been a strong supporter
   Second, there must be greater mainstreaming of           of the GEF in a number of ways—as a home to
GEF objectives in the policies and program activities of    important GEF projects, as an active member of GEF’s
the implementing agencies, and all governments have         governing Council, and also as a donor to the GEF
a responsibility to promote this objective through          Trust Fund. It is therefore highly appropriate that the
their directors in these institutions.                      first Assembly is taking place here. I would like to
   Third, the GEF should seek new opportunities and         extend our sincere thanks to the Government of
modalities for working with the private sector which        India for inviting the GEF participants from around
is instrumental in diffusing technology and knowl-          the world to New Delhi, and for so graciously hosting
edge for a better global environment.                       this event.
Statement of Central African Republic
Joseph Gnomba
Minister of the Environment, Water, Forest,
Hunting and Fisheries

           ’est un honneur pour moi, de prendre la         biologique de la forêt de Bangassou par une approche
           parole devant cette auguste Assemblée.          hautement decentralisée.
           Mais avant de poursuivre mon propos, je         ■ Développement des capacités de la RCA pour sa
           voudrais tout d’abord m’acquitter d’un          préparation de sa Communication initiale, en réponse
devoir. Je voudrais, au nom du Gouvernement de la          à ses engagements à la Convention sur les Change-
République Centrafricaine, transmettre à la grande         ments climatiques.
famille du Fonds pour l’Environnement Mondial                 Tous les projets susmentionnés vent déjà fonctionnels.
(FEM), ainsi qu’au vaillant peuple Indien tout entier,        Sur le plan sous-régional, l’intervention du FEM en
les fraternelles salutations du peuple Centrafricain.      faveur de la protection des bassins du Congo d’une
   La République Centrafricaine est située au coeur de     part, et celui du Tchad d’autre part, permet à la RCA
l’Afrique et plus particulièrement en zone tropicale.      de bénéficier d’appuis complémentaires pour la con-
Sa population est de 3 millions d’habitants pour une       servation de ces écosystèmes.
superficie de 623,000 Km2. Cette position privilégiée,        Ces interventions concernent:
à cheval sur la forêt dense humide au sud et la steppe     ■ Le Projet Régional de Gestion de l’Information
au Nord, lui confère une grande diversité biologique.      Environnementale (PRGIE).
   Malgré ces atouts, sa grande faune jadis prospère       ■ L’appui a l’identification des acteurs de la partie
est fortement menacée par le braconnage national et        Centrafricaine du bassin du Lac Tchad et le bilan-per-
international depuis plus de deux décennies. La flore,     spective de la dimension participative dans le devel-
quant à elle subit des pressions et agressions de toutes   oppement du bassin versant.
sortes liées au recul de l’habitat dont l’impact sur la    ■ La Conférence sur les écosystèmes des forêts denses
faune est très important. Les feux de brousse et l’oc-     humides d’Afrique centrale (CEFDHAC).
cupation anarchique des établissements humains,               Toutes ces initiatives démontrent l’intérêt croissant
sont autant de maux dont souffre l’environnement           que le FEM ne cessent de manifester pour l’environ-
Centrafricain. Bref, sa situation inquiéte déjà, oblig-    nement en RCA et dans la sous-region. Je voudrais
eant ainsi, le Gouvernement Centrafricain à prendre        saisir cette occasion pour remercier sincèrement, le
de sérieuses mesures pour sa conservation, car si rien     Secrétariat du FEM pour le soutien constant qu’il ne
n’est fait maintenant, il risque d’être trop tard dans     cesse d’apporter au peuple Centrafricain, afin de
quelques années.                                           l’aider à réaliser son développement durable.
   C’est pour parer à cette éventualité non souhaitée,        Bien que des progrès aient été réalisés, il con-
que la RCA, à l’instar des autres pays d’Afrique et du     viendrait de faire remarquer que, les mécanismes de
Monde, a intégré le FEM le 23 Mars 1995, en vue de         financement du FEM n’ont pas tonjours paru faciles
participer à 1’effort global de sauvegarde de l’Environ-   pour la plupart des bénéficiaires qui jugent les
nement, pour un développement durable.                     modalités de mobilisation effective des ressources
   A l’heure actuelle, le FEM intervient en RCA à tra-     délicates et complexes. Nous espérons que des efforts
vers des projets nationaux et sous régionaux.              seront faits pour améliorer cette situation qui est par-
   Sur le plan national, le FEM a alloué des fonds à la    fois pénalisantes pour les pays en développement.
RCA dans le cas des projets suivants:                         Pour terminer, je souhaite que cette Assemblée
■ Appui à la formulation de la stratégie rationale de la   puisse déboucher sur des recommandations concrètes
conservation de la biodiversité, au Plan d’Action et au    et pratiques, en vue de permettre une gestion durable
Rapport de pays à la Conférence des Parties.               de l’environnement qui est source de bien-être pour
■ Protection et utilisation durable de la diversité        l’humanité toute entière.
Statement of Chad
Mariam Mahamat Nour
Minister of the Environment and Water

              n behalf of President Idriss Deby, the       en main énergique de la protection de l’environ-
              Government and the people of Tchad, I        nement s’impose. C’est pourquoi le Gouvernement
              would like to thank the Government           Tchadien vient d’adopter en son Conseil des Ministres
              and the people of India for hosting the      du 19 février 1998, la “La Loi Cadre sur l’Environ-
first GEF Assembly so graciously and for the warm          nement.” Cette loi sera débattue pendant la session en
and brotherly care offered to us since our arrival.        cours de l’Assemblée Nationale. Le Gouvernement a
   I would like, also, to congratulate you, Mr. Chair-     mis aussi en place un comité national de suivi et de
man, and members of your Bureau on your election           contrôle de l’environnement du projet pétrolier qui
to conduct this historic Assembly to its conclusion.       est déjà à pied d’oeuvre depuis plusieurs mois.
   Now, Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, allow             Afin de suivre les opérations menées par le FEM au
me to continue my speech in French which is our            Tchad, le Ministére de l’Environnement et de l’Eau
official language in Chad.                                 vient de mettre en place le “Point Focal” de cette
   Le Tchad notre pays est très honoré de prendre part     institution, point focal rattaché auparavant au Centre
à 1a première Assemblée du FEM. La présente assem-         National d’Appui à la Recherche (CNAR).
blée nous offre l’occasion de porter à votre connais-         La Protection de l’environnement, comme vous le
sance les opérations menées par cette institution dans     savez ci bien, est aussi inséparable de la lutte contre la
notre pays et la politique poursuivie par le Gouverne-     pauvreté. Avec un revenu par habitant estimé à US
ment du Tchad dans le domains de l’environnement.          $160 en 1997, le Tchad fait partie des pays les plus
   Le FEM intervient au Tchad par le financement           pauvres du monde. Le Gouvernement de mon pays
d’un certain nombre de projets dont je ne citerais ici     est convaincu que la pauvreté est un facteur causal et
que quelques uns. Il s’agit entre autres:                  aggravant de la dégradation de l’environnement. Les
■ De la “Stratégies Rationale et Plan d’action en          dégradations majeures sont liées, le plus souvent, aux
matiére de Diversité Biologique (SNPA-DB) et rapport       activités des couches les plus défavorisées de la popu-
de pays à la Conférence des Parties (CP).”                 lation n’ayant pour seul recours que le prélèvement
■ Du “projet régional pour l’élaboration d’un plan         incontrôlé de leurs ressources naturelles pour survivre.
d’action stratégique pour le Bassin du Lac Tchad (PDF,        Trois exemples illustrent parfaitement mon propos;
Bloc B).”                                                  il s’agit des problèmes de braconnage, de déforesta-
■ Du “projet de la conservation’’ de Biodiversité et       tion et de disparition des ressources halieutiques. En
Lutte Contre la Désertification dans la région du          effet, les forêts et la faune disparaissent et les ressources
Moyen chari.”                                              halieutiques s’amenuisent, prise d’assaut par une popu-
   Plus de la moitié de territoire Tchadien est déser-     lation croissante à la recherche des nouvelles terres
tique. Quand on y ajoute la zone sahélienne, ce sont       agricoles, de paturage et de protéines animales.
les trois-quarts de la superficie: du pays qui en font        Face à cette situation périlleuse, le Gouvernement
partie. Conscient de la vulnérabilité que représentent     du Tchad s’est engagé à utiliser les ressources qui
ces écosystèmes (désertique et sahélien) le Gouverne-      proviendront de l’exploitation pétrolière pour la lutte
ment du Tchad, malgré ses limitations en ressources        contre la pauvreté, en les orientant principalement à
financières, s’efforce à asseoir une politique efficace    l’éducation, à la santé, au développement rural, à la
de protection de l’environnement.                          protection de l’environnement et aux infrastructures.
   Au cours de ces trois derniéres années, mon pays a         Maigre la volonté affichée par le gouvernement de
franchi une étape cruciale avec la mise en place d’un      mon pays à conduire ses actions vers un développe-
cadre institutionnel propre à favoriser la protection de   ment durable, la persistance de la pauvreté aggravée
l’environnement et le développement durable. Ainsi,        par une campagne agricole peu safisfaisante risque
en 1995, le Tchad s’est doté d’un Haut Comité Nation-      une fois de plus de détourner nos laborieuses popula-
al Pour l’Environnement (HCNE), placé sous 1a prési-       tions de l’intérêt premier qu’il y a de préserver leur
dence du Premier Ministro et composé d’une dizaine         environnement.
de ministres. En 1997, il a mis en place le Point Focal       Aussi, tout en fondant l’espoir que la mobilisation
de la Lutte contre la Désertification (PCLCD).             en cours au plan international par le Canal du FEM
   A l’aire de la gestion pétrolière au Tchad, une prise   nous offre de lendemain meilleur, je lance ici un
appel solennel pour qu’une attention particulière soit      Général et Président du FEM, pour la parfaite organisa-
accordé au Tchad.                                           tion de cette Assemblée et la grande qualité de la doc-
  Avant de terminer mon propos, je voudrais adresser        umentation mise à notre dispositions. Nous sommes
mes vifs remerciements mes chaleureuses félicitations       convaincus que notre importante organisation qu’est
à son Excellence Mohamed El-Ashry, Directeur                le FEM est en des mains sures.

Statement of Chile
Benjamin Concha
Ambassador to India

          n primer luger, señor Presidente, deseo felici-   con la preservación del medio ambiente, a fin de
          tarlo por su elección. Esta constituye una        mejorar las condiciones y la calidad de vida de todos
          garantia para la orientación y conducción de      los chilenos.
          las deliberaciones de esta conferencia y ase-        Desde la Cumbre de Rio, Chile se ha dotado de una
gura que sus trabajos producirán resultados útiles y        legislación ambiental moderna y una nueva institu-
provechosos. Al mismo tiempo, quisiera expresar             cionalidad para la protección del medio ambiente, pare
nuestro reconocimiento a las autoridades del Gobier-        así hacer frente a la gran tarea nacional de recuperar la
no de India por la muy amable y bien organizada             calidad ambiental, afectada por la acumulación de
acogida que nos ha brindado.                                problemas ambientales durante decadas de abandono.
   En Gobierno de Chile reafirma ante esta importante          En este contexto, el país está poniendo en práctica
Asamblea su compromiso con los principios y obje-           su política ambiental para el desarrollo sustentable,
tivos acordados en Rio de Janeiro en 1992. Nuestro          con una invitación amplia a todos los sectores de la
Gobierno entiende que el cumplimiento de la Agenda          sociedad a unirse al desafio deconstruir un país ambi-
21, y de los demás compromisos de la Cumbre de la           entalmente sustentable.
Tierra, requieren de la voluntad política de internalizar      En este corto período, pare citar sólo algunas de las
el concepto de sustentabilidad en todos los ámbitos de      34 líneas de acción de la política del Gobierno,
la actividad humana y las políticas públicas; de la         hemos avanzado en la recuperación del deterioro
creación de vinculos efectivos de cooperación técnica       ambiental con planes de descontaminación del aire y
y financiera entre las naciones, y del compromiso de        del agua en zones urbanas e industriales; en la pre-
todos los países de adoptar medidas para revertir el        vención, mediante la dictación de un catastro básico
deterioro del medio ambiente global, en forma pro-          de normas de calidad ambiental y de emisión; en la
porcional a su contribución a ese deterioro, respetan-      evaluación de los impactos ambientales de los
do así los principios de equidad y responsabilidad que      proyectos de inversión; en la educación ambiental; y
deben guiarnos como ciudadanos de este planeta que          en la conservación y uso sustentable de los recursos
compartimos todos.                                          naturales a través de la regulación de la pesca y el for-
   La sensibilidad de nuestro país a los fenómenos          talecimiento de la institucionalidad forestal.
ambientales globales es creciente. Siendo respons-             No obstante estos logros, el camino por recorrer es
ables sólo marginalmente de ellos, sufrimos sus efec-       complejo y requiere de la creatividad y el compro-
tos de manera directa. El caso más evidente es el adel-     miso de todos los actores: el sector público, los
gazamiento de la Capa de Ozono y el consecuente             académicos, los empresarios, los trabajadores, las
aumento de la radiación ultravioleta sobre el Cono          organizaciones no gubernamentales, organismos de
Sur de America, siendo la ciudad de Punta Arenas,           bases, y la ciudadanía en general, además de la colab-
ubicada en el Estrecho de Magallanes, la mayor              oración de países más avanzados, que el nuestro, en
población humana expuesta a este riesgo.                    la gestión ambiental.
   Desde que recuperamos la democracia, hace tan               Chile también ha sido activo en el cumplimiento
sólo ocho anos, Chile ha adoptado una estrategia de         de nuestros compromisos internacionales asociados a
desarrollo sustentable que busea combinar crecimien-        las convenciones de Diversidad Biológica, de Cambio
to económico, con equidad social y justicia social, y       Climático, el Protocolo de Montreal y la Convención
de Lucha contra la Desertificación. El año pasado fue     tecnológica y financiera, deben ser respetados y pro-
aprobado nuestro Plan Nacional para combatir esta         fundizados. Apoyamos la continuidad y consoli-
degradación. En diversidad biológica, estamos             dación del Fondo para el Medio Ambiente Mundial y
definiendo las prioridades para la Estrategia Nacional    valoramos profundamente la oferta de algunos países
y su correspondiente plan de acción. Adicionalmente,      desarrollados y otros con economías en transición de
hemos desarrollado un sistema de información para         renovar sus contribuciones.
la gestión en la materia. En los últimos tres años…          Sin embargo, es para nosotros evidente que la mag-
han creade diez nuevas áreas protegidas, con lo [con-     nitud de los problemas ambientales globales supera
firm] que alcanzamos un 18% de la superficie del ter-     con mucho las capacidades financieras del FMAM/GEF.
ritorio nacional sujeto a régimen de protección. Esta-    Es necesario, por lo tanto, que los países, como ya
mos poniendo en marcha proyectos demostrativos e          algunos lo han hecho, entreguen aportes suplementar-
innovativos en cumplimiento del Protocolo de Mon-         ios y adicionales para la presente etapa del fondo. Pero
treal y de la Convención de Cambio Climatico.             más significativamente, el futuro del FMAM/GEF
   Nuestros bosques están también en el centro de         depende de la capacidad de integrar los objetivos y las
nuestras preocupaciones. Participamos activamente         estrategias ambientales globales en las políticas de los
en el Panel Intergubernamental de Bosques. Estamos        países, de las instituciones donantes y financieras, y del
revisande nuestra legislación y hemos finalizado el       sector privado.
primer catastro nacional de los recursos vegeta-             En este contexto, favorecemos la adopción de
cionales nativos.                                         medidas que implican mayor eficiencia y agilidad
   Reconocemos en estas acciones nuestro deber con        administrativa en la tramitación de los proyectos y la
el medio ambiente mundial y entendemos que la             práctica de evaluaciones periódicas y rigurosas.
preservación de la salud del planeta es un desafío para      Desde nuestra perspectiva, la creciente partici-
la totalidad de la humanidad, cuyo éxito estrechamente    pación del sector privado en la cartera de proyectos es
ligado a la cooperación e integración de los esfuerzos    esencial para aumentar su eficacia y sobre todo la sus-
de los diferentes Estados, de los organismos interna-     tentabilidad de los beneficios obtenidos. Con este fin
cionales, del sector privado y de la ciudadanía. La       apoyamos el empleo de mecanismos realistas y per-
emergencia de la problemática ambiental interna-          manentes de financiamiento, incluyendo incentivos,
cional ha traído consigo un interés global por dar        mecanismos de mercado y subsidios para lograr el
solución, más allá del estricto marco nacional, a los     involucramiento del sector privado en las tareas de
impactos sobre el medio ambiente.                         conservación y administración requeridas para la
   Para muchos países en desarrollo, en particular los    consecución de los objetivos globales.
más pobres, la conciliación entre crecimiento                Chile, como país de desarrollo intermedio, está dis-
económico y la lucha contra la pobreza, por una           puesto a sumarse a los esfuerzos de la comunidad
parte, y la conservación del medio ambiente a nivel       internacional en la magna tarea de mejorar nuestro
nacional y mundial, por otra, supone esfuerzos que        medio ambiente mundial, poniendo a disposición la
van más allá de sus posibilidades materiales. La          experiencia que, al respecto, hemos acumulado en los
creación del Fondo para el Medio Ambiente Mundial,        últimos años y aprendiendo de los éxitos de los
con una modalidad de administración novedosa, fue         demás países. Estamos confiados que, con la partici-
un hito en la cooperación internacional ambiental,        pación de la ciudadanía y sus organizaciones, seremos
generando un mecanismo de financiamiento con              capaces de acelerar y profundizar la implementación
beneficios ambientales globales asociados a proyectos     a nivel nacional y global de los compromisos a favor
de desarrollo sustentable en los países en desarrollo.    del planeta y el medio ambiente global, para el bien
   Chile considera que los compromisos asumidos           de nuestros países y de las generaciones futures de
por los países desarrollados, en cuanto a asistencia      esta tierra.
Statement of China
Jin Liqun
Assistant Minister of Finance

         irst of all, please allow me, on behalf of the    ■ Since the beginning of this decade, China’s GNP
         Chinese delegation, to express our sincere        has been growing at an average annual rate of 10%,
         appreciation to the Government and people         and the poverty-stricken population has declined
         of India for the warm hospitality extended to     from 80 million in the early l990s to about 50 million
all the delegates. I also want to congratulate you on      at present. While registering rapid economic growth,
your election as the Chairman of the first Assembly        China has basically been able to avoid drastic envi-
of the Global Environment Facility. I believe that,        ronmental degradation, and even improve the envi-
under the able guidance of your Excellency and             ronment in certain areas.
through the concerted efforts of all the delegations,      ■ The family planning program has been implement-
this Assembly will certainly be crowned with success.      ed effectively, and the nation’s natural population
   As mankind approaches the threshold of the 21st         growth rate has dropped steadily.
century, to bring what kind of a world into the new        ■ The economic growth pattern has begun to trans-
millennium has become an issue of universal con-           form, and the efficiency in utilizing resources—partic-
cern. Six years ago in Rio de Janeiro, the United          ularly energy—has increased by a notable margin
Nations Conference on Environment and Develop-             thanks to scientific and technological advances.
ment adopted Agenda 21. For the first time in human        Enormous efforts have been made to promote clean
history, it set forth, in a comprehensive and systematic   production processes. The emission and discharging
manner, the program of sustainable development             standards are being enforced nationwide, and about
and the guiding principles for international environ-      65,000 seriously polluting enterprises have been
ment and development cooperation toward the 21st           closed down. At the same time, we are implementing
century. This historical event marked a new stage in       a program of aggregate pollutants control aimed at an
the human cognition of environment and develop-            effective curb of the increase of the aggregate dis-
ment. Since the Rio Conference, “sustainable devel-        charge of pollutants during a time of rapid economic
opment” has been not only accepted as a concept,           growth. In addition, we are focusing on treating the
but also put into real practice by governments and         seriously polluted areas through the Cross-Century
people all over the world. The restructuring and           Green Project, and initial success has been achieved.
replenishment of the GEF itself is a concrete result in    ■ Proactive measures have also been taken to preserve
the international environment cooperation after Rio.       biodiversity, particularly endangered species. A net-
Today, we, the representatives from 161 countries,         work of nature reserves has taken shape, covering
meet here in New Delhi to demonstrate once again           7.6% of the nation’s territory. In addition, China has
our commitment to protecting the earth planet, the         strengthened forest protection and cultivation, and a
common homeland of mankind.                                nationwide voluntary afforestation program has been
   The Chinese Government attaches great impor-            under active implementation. As a result, the forest
tance to environment protection, and made it one of        coverage has risen from less than 13% in 1992 to
the basic state policies in the early 1980s. Highly        about 14% at present.
responsible to the future generations and the interna-        As a developing country with 1.2 billion people,
tional community, China formulated her own “Agenda         China, by doing her own job well, is contributing sig-
21” soon after the Rio Summit, which lays out the          nificantly to global environment protection and eco-
guiding principles for the holistic planning for and       nomic development. While mainly relying on her
the coordinated development of the nation’s econo-         own efforts to make the headway in promoting sus-
my, society, resources and environment. The strategy       tainable development, China has also benefited from
of sustainable development has been incorporated           the support of the international community, includ-
into our National Economic and Social Development          ing the GEF, in the course of participating in interna-
Program. Moreover, it is being implemented forceful-       tional environmental cooperation on the basis of
ly through a series of effective domestic measures. As     equity and mutual benefit.
a result, China has made notable progress in environ-         In accordance with the GEF instrument, the main
ment protection as well as economic and social devel-      responsibility of the Assembly is to review the general
opment.                                                    policies and to evaluate the operation of the Facility. I
would like to share with you my observations on the        medium-sized projects. But much more needs to be
main items of our agenda.                                  done. The procedures for approving the regular invest-
   The GEF has made certain important progress since       ment projects should also be streamlined. Taking this
its inception, especially since its restructuring in       opportunity, we request the Council to take prompt
1994. As a fund, GEF has provided urgently needed          actions to address this issue. We also urge that the
assistance to developing countries, enabling them to       Secretariat and the implementing agencies continue
participate better in the cause of global environment      their efforts toward that end, and bring into full play
protection. The concessional financing from the GEF,       the synergy among them with a view to serving the
albeit quite moderate in quantity, is supporting pro-      recipient countries better and in a more timely man-
jects in developing countries with important demon-        ner. We strongly hold that in applying the concept of
stration effects. As a mechanism for international         the “incremental cost,” transparency should be fur-
cooperation in the environment arena, the GEF has          ther enhanced and flexibility increased. Particularly,
helped enhance the awareness of the international          we are of the view that recipient countries that will
community about some of the major global environ-          actually implement all the GEF projects should be
mental issues. It has cemented the concerted efforts       given a bigger say in determining incremental cost.
of developed and developing countries and some                Like other developing countries, we think that the
international institutions to address climate change       pace of the GEF activities should be accelerated. Up to
and to protect biodiversity, international waters and      now, the policy framework for the GEF operations has
the ozone layer. On this occasion, I want to commend       been basically put in place thanks to the efforts of the
the Secretariat and the three implementing agencies        Council. The capacity of recipient countries to absorb
for all the contributions they have made during this       and the capacity of the implementing agencies to
process. In particular, I want to express my apprecia-     deliver have been strengthened over time. And the
tion to Mr. Mohamed El-Ashry, CEO and Chairman             conferences of the parties of the Conventions have
of the Facility, for the constructive role he has played   provided more specific policy guidance. All these
over the years.                                            developments have created a better environment for
   There is, however, no room for complacency.             the GEF to accelerate its operations. It is our hope that
Much more remains to be done for global sustainable        the GEF-2 will do a better job in this respect.
development. Further efforts by all the parties con-          We fully support the “country-driven” principle in
cerned are needed if the GEF is to fully live up to its    the GEF’s operations. The GEF projects should be in
mission. This, we understand, is why we are meeting        full conformity with the policies and priorities of sus-
here in New Delhi.                                         tainable development of the recipient countries. This
   The negotiations for the GEF’s second replenish-        is an indispensable condition for the success of the
ment have concluded, and the donors have reached           GEF projects. Therefore, in formulating operation
agreement on the size of the replenishment. We             policies and designing specific projects, the GEF
appreciate the efforts made by the parties concerned.      should take into full consideration country-specific
But it should be pointed out that there is in fact no      situations and listen to the governments and other
real increase of funding in this replenishment. The        parties concerned in the recipient countries where
resources available to the GEF are still far from ade-     the GEF projects are located.
quate to meet the increasing financial demands for            We have noted that in recent years, the GEF, partic-
addressing the austere global environmental reality.       ularly some of its developed participants, has been
In recent years, developed countries, with only a few      pushing the implementing agencies to integrate global
exceptions, have been reducing their ODA. They             environmental concerns into their mainstream pro-
have failed to honor their commitment made in Rio.         grams and policies. We think that the GEF should act
This cannot but be regrettable. We strongly call upon      with great caution in this respect. Any effort toward
developed countries to take steps as soon as possible      “mainstreaming” should be strictly guided by the rel-
to change this worrisome situation. At the same time,      evant international conventions with full respect for
we hope that those donors that still have arrears to       the mandates of the implementing agencies. We
the GEF-1 will fulfill their obligations sooner rather     strongly oppose any attempts to impose conditionali-
than later.                                                ties on the financing activities of the multilateral
   Compared with the pilot phase, the GEF-1 has            institutions under the guise of “mainstreaming.” As is
improved its performance notably. But there is still       known to all, the most pressing task faced by devel-
great potential for further improvement. We believe        oping countries is to alleviate poverty, develop their
that the GEF project cycle and approval procedures         economy and raise the living standards of their peo-
need simplification. In this connection, we are            ple. The international cooperation in the environ-
pleased to see that the GEF Council has adopted            ment arena must be guided by the fundamental prin-
streamlined procedures for enabling activities and         ciple of “common but differentiated responsibilities.”
Statement of Colombia
Jairo Montoya
Director General of Multilateral Organizations,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs

               n behalf of my delegation and in my own         Such credibility will be more sound if it is proved
               name, allow me to express our gratitude      that GEF funds are a result of mobilization of new and
               to the Government and the people of          additional financial resources and not just a realloca-
               India for their kind hospitality. There      tion or deviation of resources that the international
could be no better scenario than this country, with its     community was already directing towards interna-
abundant history and values, to hold this important         tional cooperation for development. An evaluation in
Assembly. India means independence, respect for cul-        this regard is a matter of priority.
ture, diversity, tolerance and struggle for development.       In order that the GEF be consolidated as a basic
   It is the same struggle of numerous people in the        mechanism of global sustainable development, the
world in search of progress, solidarity and cooperation.    challenges it would face in the 21st century are multi-
Our main priority continues to be economic growth,          ple. As a matter of priority, my delegation would like
resource generation and satisfaction of basic social        to formulate some proposals to be incorporated in
needs as indispensable requisites to advancement in         the declaration of this Assembly:
the path of sustainable development. Only under             1. Shareholders’ participation, in particular through
these premises will the preservation of environment            local communities, in project development and
have a sustainable basis, a social foundation and              implementation, should be promoted and
durable political legitimacy. The deliberations on the         strengthened as a main basis to achieve greater
achievement and future of the GEF cannot be alien to           commitment, public awareness and a greater pro-
these imperatives.                                             ject sustainability.
   Almost seven years after launching the initiative to     2. There is a need to reinforce the focal point activities
create a global environment fund and four years after          so as to facilitate coordination with implementing
its institutionalization, the conclusion is clear. The         and executing agencies as well as with those respon-
GEF is not an alternative anymore but has become a             sible for project implementation at the local level.
necessity. It is already an experimental attempt and an     3. The GEF project cycle should be subject to adjust-
indispensable tool for international cooperation and           ments, with a view to facilitating procedures, thereby
development of partnerships. Moreover, it has consti-          reducing time and speeding access to resources.
tuted itself as a model for institutional reform by         4. Implementation of the incremental cost concept
establishing a permanent coordination between insti-           should be made flexible, so that the Secretariat, in
tutions of the United Nations and Bretton Woods                consultation with implementing agencies and the
with specific objectives for developing countries.             Secretariats of the Conventions, expedites the
   The first stage of the restructured GEF has proved          required work in order to facilitate the submission
the potentiality of this mechanism. The number of              of recommendations to the GEF Council.
projects has increased considerably. In a relatively        5. As mentioned earlier, while welcoming the results
short time, programming funds have supplied the                of the GEF second replenishment, the need for
available resources. For this reason, while welcoming          new and additional resources should be emphasized
the results of negotiations on the second replenish-           to meet the increasing problems of and threats to
ment of GEF resources, we should underline the                 the global environment.
importance of their expansion in future as a neces-            Four years ago, during the negotiations of the con-
sary measure to meet the increasing demand in the           stituents of the GEF, the necessity of creating this
recipient countries.                                        Assembly was acknowledged on the basis of having a
   In this context, in order to complete the first phase    supreme, representative, participating, transparent
of GEF, it is of particular relevance to clear arrears,     and democratic organization. This is the first time
thus facilitating pending reimbursements and full           such an experiment for making decisions has been
implementation of projects. A high degree of political      carried out. Let us not lose this opportunity, and
will and commitment is required for the financial           make this Assembly a success. Let us propitiate a
basis of the Fund and its credibility to be consolidated.   result by which the interests of all participants are
integrated in a final consensus. This will be the only     the 21st century. It will also be the best homage to
option left for the GEF and its institutions to come       New Delhi and its people, to their generosity and
out politically strengthened, with a clear vision into     efforts in making this event a magnificent one.

Statement of Côte d’Ivoire
Dieudonné Essienne
Ambassador to India

          a tenue de la présente Assemblée du Fonds        concurrence de 4.000.000 de DTS, soit environ 3,2 Mil-
          pour l’Environnement Mondial, m’offre l’a-       liards de F/CFA pour le Fonds pour l’Environnement
          gréable occasion de remercier au nom du          Mondial-1.
          Gouvernement ivoirien, le peuple et le Gou-         Il convient également de souligner, qu’en con-
vernement de l’Inde, pour toutes les marques d’atten-      trepartie, la Côte d’Ivoire a tiré des avantages certains.
tion dont ma délégation et moi même sommes l’ob-              Il s’agit notamment:
jet depuis notre arrivée dans ce grand et beau pays.       1. Du financement effectif de cinq projets par le FEM,
   Permettez-moi, Monsieur le Président, de vous              dont deux nationaux à savoir: le Contrôle et la
adresser mes sincères félicitations pour votre brillante      réduction de la pollution des fleuves et de la lagune
élection à la tête de cette Assemblée.                        par les végétaux flottants; la conservation et la ges-
   Je tiens également, à manifester ma profonde recon-        tion des Aires protégées (coût: 29 millions de dol-
naissance aux membres du Secrétariat du FEM, pour             lars américains) et trois régionaux concernant: la
les efforts déployés en vue de faire de la rencontre de       Vulgarisation de l’élevage de ranch ou de gestion
New Delhi, un cadre propice de discussions et                 participative des ressources naturelles et de la faune
d’échanges francs.                                            (Côte d’Ivoire et Burkina Faso), la Réduction des
   Le Fonds pour l’Environnement Mondial, est en              émissions de gaz à effet de serre grâce à l’am Côte
effet, un mécanisme financier dont nous avons pour            lioration de l’efficacité énergétique des bâtiments
la plupart, souhaitée la création dans la mouvance            (Côte d’Ivoire et Sénégal); le Contrôle de la pollu-
des négociations de la Conférence des Nations Unies           tion des eaux et la conservation de la biodiversité
sur l’Environnement et le Développement tenue en              de l’écosystème marin du Golfe de Guinée (Côte
juin 1992 à Rio de Janeiro.                                   d’Ivoire, Bénin, Cameroun, Ghana, Nigéria et
   L’avènement de cet Instrument financier dont l’ob-         Togo) (coût: 16,5 millions de dollars américains),
jectif fondamental est le financement des projets envi-       soit au total 45,5 millions de dollars.
ronnementaux pour la protection et la sauvegarde de        2. Du financement des projets des Organisations Non
l’environnement dans le monde, est intervenu en 1990.         Gouvernementales (ONG) de Côte d’Ivoire pour la
   Depuis cette date, les structures chargées d’animer        phase pilote et la phase opérationnelle pour lesquelles
le mécanisme du Fonds de l’Environnement Mondial,             un montant total de 800.000 USD a été mobilisé.
ont engagé différentes démarches pour favoriser l’ac-         Le constat qui précède et l’exemple de mon pays,
cès des pays éligibles, aux ressources de ce Fonds.        montrent combien la volonté commune de coopéra-
   Je voudrais à cet effet, signaler que mon pays a par-   tion et la collaboration agissante qui ont jusqu’a
ticipé régulièrement aux réunions du Fonds pour            présent animé l’ensemble des pays participants au
l’Environnement Mondial depuis sa création en tant         Fonds pour l’Environnement Mondial, peuvent aider
que pays donateur et bénéficiaire, pour marquer sa         à résoudre aux niveaux national et régional, les prob-
détermination à oeuvrer aux côtés des autres nations       lèmes liés a la conservation de l’environnement au
du monde.                                                  niveau mondia1.
   C’est pourquoi, le Gouvernement ivoirien, a apporté        Je voudrais donc, au nom du Gouvernement
au Fonds une contribution financière qui s’élève à ce      ivoirien, remercier les pays donateurs, qui ont pour-
jour à 1.750.000 de DTS (Droit de Tirage Spéciaux), soit   suivi leurs efforts, même au plus fort de la crise
environ 1,4 Milliard de F/CFA, pour la phase pilote du     économique qu’ils ont traversé, afin de permettre au
Fonds pour l’Environnement Mondial et s’est engagé à       Fonds pour l’Environnement Mondial, de disposer de
moyens conséquents pour répondre à l’attente                  par le Secrétariat, à l’issue de la onzième session du
légitime des pays bénéficiaires.                              Conseil d’Administration du Fonds.
   Il importe toutefois, de veiller au maintien de la            Je voudrais enfin, souligner ici, que le Secrétariat
rigueur et de la transparence qui ont prévalu dans            du Fonds pour l’Environnement Mondial, a réalisé un
l’affectation des ressources mobilisées auprès des            travail immense qu’il convient d’encourager, tout en
donateurs. En effet, au moment où le Fonds pour               l’exhortant à se concentrer sur les défis nouveaux qui
l’Environnement Mondial aborde un tournant décisif            émergent. En effet, l’harmonisation des actions con-
dans sa croissance, il est indispensable que ses struc-       duites par les trois Agents d’exécution, ainsi que la
tures s’adaptent aux nouvelles exigences de la                recherche de synergies opérationnelles, à travers
coopération internationale guidée par la mondialisa-          notamment, la promotion de cofinancements impli-
tion et la globalisation du village planétaire auquel         quant de façon idoine le secteur privé, s’avèrent pri-
nous appartenons tous.                                        mordiales à realiser. C’est à ce prix que le Fonds pour
   C’est pourquoi, je me réjouis de savoir, que tous les      l’Environnement Mondial, s’affirmera comme le
pays participants au Fonds pour l’Environnement               mécanisme financier le mieux approprié pour
Mondial ici présents, soutiendront les conclusions et         soutenir l’humanité dans sa quête d’un développe-
les résolutions pertinentes qui nous ont été transmises       ment économique et social durable.

Statement of Cuba
Humberto Arango Sales
Director, Ministry of Science, Technology & Environment

      t is an honor for me to address this assembly as        on a concessionary basis. This will require states to show
      a representative of the Republic of Cuba, in            the necessary political will, solidarity, and fairness, in
      whose name I thank the Government and the               line with the principle of common but differentiated
      people of India for their excellent organization        responsibility adopted under the Rio declaration.
and for the hospitality that they have shown us.                 The GEF must set an example for the application
   We are present at what is unquestionably a remark-         of these principles, and must distinguish itself by the
able occasion, which brings together more than 100            transparency, universality, and flexibility of its opera-
countries united in an effort to determine—jointly            tions. It must grant unconditional access, for all of its
and sovereignly, and on the basis of mutual respect—          participants, to new and additional resources that are
the destiny of resources (still, sadly, insufficient) to be   contributed to the Facility according to the quality
used for the financing of programs and projects that          and relevance of the programs and projects approved,
are country driven, based on national priorities, and         and with due attention given to national priorities
undertaken in support of sustainable development.             and environmental benefits.
   As was recognized last June at the special session of         The relationship between the GEF and the Conven-
the United Nations, the picture that we are presented         tions must be improved. The Facility has not, however,
with today, 5 years on from the Rio Summit, is not at         been endowed with the status of a permanent financ-
all encouraging. And yet the challenge facing humanity        ing mechanism, a status that is necessary if it is to be
is even more hazardous and complex.                           able to respond to the priorities of the Conventions in
   The differences between developed and developing           an increasingly coherent manner and within shorter
countries are increasingly significant. Poverty and the       time periods. The role assigned to the GEF as a financial
deterioration in the quality of life have become more         mechanism must be better understood, and more visi-
intolerable. How can we ensure, then, that human              ble, in order that the mandate given by the conferences
beings genuinely become the central focus of sustain-         of the parties to the Conventions may be fulfilled.
able development? We must make urgent changes in                 With a view to supporting the attainment of global
patterns of production and consumption; we must               benefits for the environment, we believe the number
promote equitable distribution; and we must promote           of regional or sub-regional projects associated with
the transfer of environmentally sound technologies,           the focal areas of the Facility should be increased.
   The presentation and approval of projects must be           We wish to support the decision to draw up a plan
carried out in as simple a manner as possible, and the      of action that will allow us to respond to the recom-
incremental costs must be evaluated with the flexibility    mendations of the study on the overall performance
needed to ensure that procedures used in calculating        of the GEF, and to convey the opinion of our delega-
them do not become barriers to recipient countries          tion that the concept of ecological or environmental
seeking access to the Facility, nor limit the support       security must be precisely defined and adopted
for providing resources for the environment within          according to political realities, not in terms of finan-
developing countries.                                       cial mechanisms.

Statement of Denmark
Poul Nielson
Minister for Development Cooperation

           he Global Environment Facility is a child of        GEF is confronted with the same challenge. The
           the Rio Conference. The GEF is still young,      difficulties which we face at the national level, stem-
           but it has already lived up to many of our       ming from conflicting concerns, interests and priori-
           expectations.                                    ties are, of course, reflected at the international level.
   What then were our ambitions and expectations? We           In GEF and the implementing agencies, we use the
wanted to establish an innovative financial mecha-          catchword “mainstreaming.” Of course, it is difficult
nism that would create global benefits by combining         to secure the integration of environmental concerns
environment and economic development. Recognizing           in all parts of the World Bank, UNDP and their world-
the inextricable interdependence, we put equal empha-       wide programs. I know from my own experience with
sis on the two to promote a truly sustainable develop-      the Social Summit that the same goes for the integra-
ment. GEF should also be innovative in combining            tion of social concerns. International organizations
the expertise and the capacities of major existing insti-   and their governing bodies must all concentrate more
tutions and in making global interests meet with the        on mainstreaming and thus on securing consistency
needs of local communities and national priorities.         in their different policies. But that obligation lies
   GEF has done just that. It is worth recognizing the      even more squarely on member governments. We
success. Even more so since the international eco-          have a particular responsibility to ensure coherence
nomic context and the downward trend in ODA has             of our policies and actions in different international
not been the most conducive. In my own country,             organizations with their different agendas.
Denmark, we see this success in the actual perfor-             The challenge facing GEF, including the imple-
mance of the GEF as the main reason why the replen-         menting agencies, is therefore basically a challenge
ishment discussions could be finalised with a result        facing us, the governments. We must recognize
that gives hope for a strengthened GEF.                     this, and we must do what governments must do.
   The basic challenge is to integrate environmental        That would not only secure the success of GEF,
concerns into all policies, economic and sectoral.          which in itself is imperative, but it would have a
This is a challenge for all of us, developed and devel-     much wider positive effect benefiting our societies
oping countries alike. Not an easy task: It is an ongo-     and the world at large. Coming out of years of dis-
ing, never-ending process. But we do see some real          cussion, we now have a chance of doing the right
progress in Denmark, and we see the same in some of         things. That is the real win-win situation of this
the developing countries with whom we have close            first meeting of the Assembly of the Global Envi-
bilateral cooperation.                                      ronment Facility.
Statement of Egypt
Ibrahim Abdelgelil
Head, Egyptian Environmental Authority

      t is my great pleasure and privilege to address      fully developed an excellent partnership with the
      this important first GEF Assembly. Please allow      GEF implementing agencies and Secretariat. To fur-
      me to pay tribute to the Government of India         ther maximize the benefits of this partnership, we
      and the organizers of this meeting for the warm      would like to emphasize the need for wider dissemi-
welcome they have accorded us, ensuring that we            nation of information on GEF project procedures and
work under the best conditions to bring this impor-        operational guidelines, which are still little known to
tant meeting to function.                                  a large segment of the stakeholders. We would also
   This meeting comes at a critical juncture of the GEF    like to emphasize the need for increasing the number
life span. Economic growth is at the center of any         of focal areas and operational programs to cover areas
nation’s development. Yet, emphasizing economic            of particular importance to developing countries such
development irrespective of safeguarding the natural       as land degradation and desertification. GEF has to
resource base and human development capacity of the        play a more active role in claiming the linkages
country will be stripping the next generation’s right to   between, for instance, climate change, forest clearing,
a clean and healthy environment. Environment,              greenhouse gas sinks, and land degradation. These
indeed, should be regarded as a basic human need           issues need to be better defined, as they represent real
equal in importance to food, shelter, and security. A      and serious problems in many parts of the world,
successful development strategy is therefore one that      especially the dryland in Africa.
minimizes the negative impacts of economic growth             Given the pressing local needs of developing coun-
on natural resources and ensures that the well being of    tries, capacity building is urgently needed to help
the people is both a means and end to development.         include global environmental issues into national
   Environmental problems, such as air, water and          planning for development. This is not a one-shot
soil pollution, respect no divisions of borders, class,    process, but it should be looked at as a learning
color, gender, or religion. This multi-faceted nature of   curve—one that needs patience, determination, and
environmental issues has called for involvement of         resources. GEF is well placed to play an instrumental
several partners, both nationally and internationally,     role in this regard, and to devise innovative ways and
in order to protect the global environment. The newly      means to ensure free flow of information between
developed Egyptian environmental policy guidelines         different parts of the world. In this context, it is worth
emphasize the importance of forging partnership at         mentioning that South-South cooperation should be
the national, regional and international levels. Thus,     encouraged. In our view, GEF-supported projects
Egypt is fully committed to play an active role to pro-    should utilize to the maximum extent possible avail-
tect the global environment, and to ensure a sustain-      able local as well as regional expertise. Regional infor-
able path for development to the Egyptian people as        mation networks and capacity-building programmes
well as to mankind.                                        are still rare or missing. These would enhance nation-
   Egypt is a signatory to the Convention on Biologi-      al capacity building and ensure that projects will
cal Diversity, the United Nations Framework Conven-        meet national as well as regional priorities.
tion on Climate Change, and the Montreal Protocol             Finally, recognizing the great efforts the GEF has
for Ozone-Depleting Substances. Currently, great           contributed to its members, and the important role
efforts are underway to build national capacity,           we envisage for it in the future, Egypt has and will
improve institutional arrangements and develop             continue to support the GEF in an effort to maintain
national action plans to deal with those global envi-      a milestone initiative on the path for sustainable
ronmental challenges. In doing so, we have success-        development.
Statement of El Salvador
Maria Luisa Rayna de Aquilar
Coordinator, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources

            eciban un cordial saludo de El Salvador, el      cias financieras que El Salvador ha logrado, han sido
            más pequeño país de Centroamérica y el de        extremadamente discretas e insuficientes para mitigar
            mayor densidad de población, con cerca de        la degración ambiental salvadoreña.
            300 habitantes por kilómetro cuadrado,              La situación geográfica de El Salvador en en centro
condiciones que aunadas a una tradicional cultura de         de la zona subtropical de América, favorece al paìs
desarrollo de consumo, han contribuido a que este            con una elevada diversidad biológica. Un inventario
país, poseedor de gran riqueza natural, sufra una            preliminar de recursos florísticos indica que este país
intensa explotación de sus recursos naturales y man-         posee especies endémicas de interés mundial.
tenga cifras de una degradacion ambiental que se ha             En nuestra reciente Ley del Medio Ambiente se crea
calificado como grave en la última decada del pre-           el Sistema Salvadoreno de Areas Protegidas. El Sal-
sente siglo.                                                 vador considera indispensable la consolidación de las
   Consciente de esa situación, el Gobierno de El Sal-       áreas naturales de dicho sistema, ya que forman la
vador creó en 1991 su Secretaria Ejecutiva del Medio         base para una integración real dentro del Corredor
Ambiente y trabajó en la conformación de un mecan-           Biológico Mesoamericano y para operativizar progra-
ismo financiero local a través del canje de deuda por        mas con criterios de sostenibilidad. La mayoria de esas
naturaleza, mediante convenios con los gobiernos de          áreas naturales están siendo sometidas a presiones
Canadá y los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica.                 para ser convertidas en zones agrícolas y algunas han
   El año pasado (mayo/97), el gobierno creó el Min-         sufrido incendios forestales de manera intencional.
isterio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, en              Las políticas que se formulan en este momento,
un momento en que el país trabajaba en una reduc-            involucran la participación de las ONG en la adminis-
ción de las estructuras del Estado para buscar mayor         tración directa de las áreas protegidas e incluyen la
eficiencia a través de los procesos de modernización y       participación de las comunidades rurales en la gestión
privatación. Al mismo tiempo, se conformó el Conse-          del desarrollo sostenible. Para la consolidación del Sis-
jo Nacional para el Desarrollo Sostenible, presidido         tema Salvadoreño de Areas Protegidas, nuestro país
por el Vicepresidente de la República e integrado con        necesita el urgente apoyo del FMAM.
la representatión y participación directa de diferentes         El Salvador es signatario de los convenios interna-
sectores de la sociedad civil.                               cionales en materia ambiental y forma parte del
   Un proceso de consultas nacionales dirigido por           FMAM desde 1994. Las iniciativas de nuestro país para
nuestra Asamblea Legislativa concluyó, después de            el logro de una asistencia financiera ágil y oportuna,
cuatro años, con el Decreto de la Ley del Medio Ambi-        estarían mejor favorecidas a través de un mecánica
ente (mar/98), que contiene el mandato de Formular           que nos permita mayor participación dentro de la
las Políticas Nacionales en materia ambiental y delega       circunscripción a la que pertenece nuestro país.
en el Ministerio del Medio Ambiente la inmediata             Aprovechamos esta Primera Asamblea General del
elaboración de por lo menos cinco Reglamentos que            FMAM, para demandar una representación rotativa de
daran operatividad a dicha Ley.                              los países miembros de nuestra circunscripción, ya
   Por iniciativa directa del PNUD se ejecuta el Proyecto    que los mecanismos de comunicación, información y
Capacidad 21 para conocimiento, divulgación e inser-         parucipación han estado cerrados hasta la fecha.
ción de los convenios y acuerdos derivados de la Cum-           En razón que los procesos de aprobación de fondos
bre de la Tierra; asímimo, con la asistencia financiera de   son considerados por los países como muy complicados
esa agencia del FMAM, actualmente el país trabaja en la      y demasiado burocráticos, abogamos por una mayor
formulación de sus Estrategias Nacionales de Cambio          asistencia del FMAM en la preparación de solicitudes y
Climático y Diversidad Biológica.                            gestiones de financiamiento, en la que se tomen en
   A nivel regional, por gestión de la Comisión Cen-         cuenta criterios de equidad y cuyo enfoque esté dirigido
troamericana de Ambiente y Desarrollo, El Salvador           prioritariamente hacia los países que han recibido
participó en la Formulación del Proyecto de Corredor         menos asistencia y recursos financieros del Fondo.
Biológico Mesoamericano, que ha sido base para                  El Salvador agradece la hospitalidad de la India y
lograr apoyo directo en la aprobación y future ejecu-        las finas atenciones recibidas de todas las personas
ción local de un proyecto sobre la biodiversidad pre-        encargadas de organizar esta Primera Asamblea Gen-
sente en nuestros cafetales. Sin embargo, las asisten-       eral del FMAM.
Statement of Finland
David Johansson
Ambassador, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

                r. President, my delegation wishes to       and unsustainable demand. In other areas, watersheds
                congratulate you upon your election         are being degraded by deforestation and other unsus-
                to preside over this Assembly. My dele-     tainable land use practices, which are causing severe
                gation also wishes to join all other del-   water shortages. Urgent actions are required to assess
egations in expressing our appreciation to the Gov-         status and present trends so as to provide guidance for
ernment of India for hosting this Assembly as well as       strategic actions on all levels—local, national, river
for all hospitality and warmth accorded to us during        basin-wide and global. Land degradation is another
our stay in your great country.                             major issue of global significance.
   The issues to be addressed by this Assembly are             All these issues and present trends are threats to
serious and are at the top of the global agenda. At         worldwide security. In certain cases, they are at the
stake is nothing less than the survival of our planet.      core of current violent conflicts within countries and
   One major issue is worldwide poverty. Poverty in         between countries.
combination with an increasing competition for                 The GEF has been constituted to address these
meagre natural resources brings about a vicious circle      issues and to catalyse action, to bring about global
of overexploitation and further environmental degra-        benefits—in addition to national and local—and to
dation and deeper human misery. Our aim is to break         leverage increased finance—international and national,
this circle by enabling poor communities to partici-        public and private. Finland would like to see more
pate and to be engaged in productive activities, based      development and adoption of environmentally
on a sustainable use of local resources, for their own      appropriate and clean technologies in developing
benefit, providing gradually improving livelihoods,         countries and countries in transition. The prime driving
employment, income and economic growth. In an               force behind transfer of technology and know-how is
increasingly interdependent world, poverty is a global      the business enterprise sector. Finland therefore wel-
issue. Combating poverty brings global benefits. Here       comes the recommendations that GEF should do
also GEF has a role to play.                                more to catalyse action in this sector. Involvement of
   Another overarching issue affecting the security of      the business sector is also a precondition for achiev-
our common future is the unsustainable consump-             ing the objectives set in the Climate Convention for
tion and production patterns prevailing in industrial-      joint implementation, the establishment of a clean
ized countries and other societies experiencing fast        development mechanism, as well as for emission
economic growth and rapid urbanization. To a large          trading between countries in the future.
extent, they are also characterized by overexploitation        The evaluations and reviews which have been car-
of available land, water, energy and industrial raw         ried out to enable this Assembly to assess GEF’s per-
materials and by unsafe disposal of waste. Present          formance point towards satisfactory progress so far in
trends point to an increasing pollution of groundwater,     setting up the Facility and in the adoption of rules for
lakes, rivers and coastal waters, causing serious health    governance and strategic direction of its operations.
hazards in densely populated areas and irreparable          However, this is only the beginning. The needs are by
damage to affected ecosystems.                              far in excess of the means so far.
   The threats of climate change and disruptions of            Finland is pleased to note the successful conclusion
weather patterns caused by unsustainable energy con-        of the second replenishment of GEF resources and
sumption and greenhouse gas emissions have been on          the policy recommendations agreed upon. With
our agenda for some time. So have the threats to our        increased resources, GEF can do more. Another essen-
biosphere and life on earth caused by biodiversity loss     tial precondition to sustain the gains so far is to make
and unsustainable exploitation of sensitive ecosys-         GEF a permanent financial mechanism for the two
tems. For the same reasons also, protection of the vital    major Conventions which it now serves on a tempo-
ozone layer remains on our agenda. A major new              rary basis. Such a decision by the two COPs, respec-
emerging issue is the precarious state of the world’s       tively, would further strengthen the confidence
freshwater resources. In certain countries, groundwater     gained by GEF so far and the ultimate benefit from its
aquifers are gradually being depleted due to excessive      operations.
Statement of France
Philippe de Fontaine Vive
Director, Ministry of Economy and Finance

          ermettez-moi tout d’abord de remercier le         l’ouverture aux besoins de l’environnement mondial.
          Gouvernement Indien pour son accueil.                La confiance des pays membres est essentielle au
            Le fait de tenir notre assemblée dans un        fonctionnement de tout mécanisme financier. Le
          grand pays, engagé depuis longtemps dans          FEM a su acquérir et mériter celle de ses membres en
la lutte pour la protection de l’environnement mon-         construisant ses compétences, en élaborant dans des
dial et confronté aux mutations économiques et tech-        domaines très innovants, à partir de données limitées,
nologiques de son développement est à la fois un            un ensemble de projets, de politiques de financement,
privilége et un atout pour nos travaux. Je remercie les     d’analyses scientifiques et techniques qui sont sans
autorités indiennes, le Secrétariat du FEM et les           équivalent au monde. Ce résultat est l’oeuvre com-
agences d’exécution pour l’organisation de cette            mune des travaux menés avec opiniâtreté, constance
assemblée, des réunions associées et particulièrement       et professionnalisme par le Secrétariat, les agences
pour les visites de projets prévues après nos réunions.     d’exécution, le Conseil Scientifique et Technique,
C’est en effet en approchant ainsi la réalité de l’action   sous l’autorité d’un Conseil équilibré entre bénéfici-
du FEM que nous pourrons orienter efficacement ses          aires et donateurs.
politiques, tout en vérifiant la justesse de son principe      La reconstitution des ressources du Fonds est aussi
fondateur: le lien étroit qui doit être fait entre le       le témoin de la confiance des pays donateurs. Dans
développement économique et la protection de l’en-          un contexte général de difficultés budgétaires, la
vironnement mondial.                                        reconstitution du FEM est la première reconstitution
   Je suis particulièrement heureux de m’exprimer au        de Fonds multilatéraux depuis plusieurs années à
nom de la France à l’occasion de la première assem-         connaître un accroissement substantiel des ressources
blée du Fonds pour l’environnement mondial, dont            mobilisées. Ce résultat très satisfaisant manifeste la
la création fut proposée il y a déjà neuf ans par mon       priorité donnée aux financements du FEM.
pays avec l’Allemagne.                                         Je souhaite que cette confiance et cette consolida-
   Le Fonds réunit aujourd’hui plus de 160 membres,         tion soient portées par l’ensemble des membres dans
dont 108 sont ici représentés. Cette mobilisation est à     les différentes enceintes internationales concernant
la hauteur des enjeux de l’environnement mondial.           l’environnement mondial.
Elle atteste de la volonté de tous nos pays de mettre          L’ exigence d’une amélioration constante de l’effi-
en oeuvre les engagements politiques pris à Rio puis        cacité du FEM est ma seconde préoccupation. L’évalu-
dans le cadre des Conventions. Elle témoigne de la          ation générale a fait apparaître quelques points faibles
place centrale qu’occupe le Fonds dans la réalisation       qu’il nous faut améliorer. Je souhaite donc insister sur
concrète de ces engagements, dans l’expression de           les quelques objectifs qui me paraissent les plus
la solidarité entre pays industrialisés et pays en          importants:
développement pour protéger ensemble l’environ-             ■ Une plus grande appropriation du FEM par les pays
nement mondial, et dans l’intégration indispensable         bénéficiaires du Fonds paraît être la première priorité.
de ces préoccupations dans le financement du                L’accès aux financements du FEM, la communication
développement.                                              de ses préoccupations, les échanges au sein des cir-
   Cette assemblée est un moment essentiel pour             conscriptions de pays bénéficiaires doivent être facil-
notre mécanisme, car elle permet pour la première           ités pour permettre à ces pays d’être plus directement
fois à chacun de ses membres d’adresser directement         impliqués dans l’activité du FEM.
ses recommandations à l’ensemble de la “famille” du         ■ La volonté d’un instrument léger, intégré dans le
FEM ici réunie. En tant que pays membre du Conseil,         financement du développement, demeure essentielle.
la France sera donc particulièrement attentive aux          L’intégration des préoccupations et des financements
messages de cette assemblée et s’efforcera de les met-      du FEM dans les programmes de développement des
tre en application au sein du Conseil.                      agences doit être notre but, en conservant à la struc-
   Je voudrais pour ma part souligner trots idées essen-    ture même du mécanisme son caractère modeste et
tielles, qui reflètent les liens étroits qui ont toujours   économe et en renforçant la rapidité de ses procédures.
existé entre la France et le FEM. Ces trois idées sont la   ■ La spécificité de la protection de l’environnement
confiance, l’exigence d’une constante amélioration,         mondial doit se traduire dans les critères et les modal-
ités d’intervention du Fonds. Ce dernier, pour chacun       vailler avec rigueur et professionnalisme et pour,
de ses domaines d’intervention, doit en effet chercher      d’autre part, s’adapter à des défis nouveaux et faire
à bien faire ressortir le caractère additionnel des coûts   preuve d’ouverture et d’ initiative. Je ne mentionne
et des financements;                                        que pour mémoire son rôle unique et précieux d’in-
■ Enfin, le FEM est confronté à un véritable défi pour      stance de dialogue et de coopération équilibrée entre
développer et diversifier son portefeuille de projets.      les pays du nord et du sud.
C’est notamment le cas pour les eaux internationales           Ces premières années ont naturellement été celles
et la lutte contre la désertification (à travers les        de la plus forte croissance et de l’éducation de base.
fenêtres actuelles du FEM). Je souhaite en particulier      Aujourd’hui, nous sommes réunis ensemble pour
que le FEM puisse bénéficier de l’impulsion et des          passer aux études supérieures. Notre prochaine réu-
résultats de la Conférence Ministérielle de Paris, qui      nion se tiendra durant le prochain millénaire, c’est
sous la Présidence de M. Jacques Chirac, Président de       dire l’ampleur des mutations que le Fonds doit
la République française, a réuni plus de 80 pays il y a     faciliter pour notre bien commun.
deux semaines sur le thème de l’eau et du développe-           La France apportera encore et toujours tout son
ment durable.                                               soutien au FEM pour relever ces nouveaux défis. Elle
   Ma troisième préoccupation, et c’est très volon-         est pleinement engagée en faveur de la protection de
tairement que je termine par celle-ci, concerne la          l’environnement mondial ici et au sein des conven-
place du FEM dans l’organisation générale des ques-         tions. Continuons à associer dans nos actions envi-
tions d’environnement mondial.                              ronnement et développement. La France le fait au
   J’ai eu le plaisir de connaître le FEM à ses débuts,     plan multilatéral avec le FEM, elle le fait aussi au plan
de participer à sa restructuration et je suis en mesure     bilatéral avec le Fonds français pour l’environnement
de voir le chemin parcouru, les progrès considérables       mondial. Je souhaite que ces fonds se complétent au
qui ont été accomplis et la richesse et la qualité de       mieux pour l’efficacité collective.
l’expérience acquise. Le FEM a selon moi fait la               Je vous renouvelle tous mes voeux de succès pour
démonstration de ses capacités pour d’une part tra-         ces années de reconnaissance du FEM.

Statement of Germany
Wolf Preuss
Director General, Ministry for Economic
Cooperation and Development

             n behalf of the German Government, I           tion of globally important ecosystems with new
             wish to thank the Indian Government            approaches for economic, social and ecologically sus-
             sincerely for being the host country for       tainable development. India leads developing coun-
             the first GEF Assembly. It is a great hon-     tries in the elaboration of concepts to solve global
or for me to be here and to be one of the representa-       problems. India is not only host to the first GEF
tives of the—currently—more than 160 GEF member             Assembly, but also host country to numerous GEF
states. We can be proud to recognize that the first         model projects in the four focal areas. It is, by the
GEF Assembly here in New Delhi has attracted repre-         way, also a partner in the first comprehensive cofi-
sentatives from the main international institutions,        nancing exercise between Germany and the GEF in a
from many nongovernmental organizations, as well            solar-thermal power plant in Rajastan.
as from other major groups and scientific institutions         But I also want to express my appreciation to all
from all over the world.                                    who worked together in founding this innovative
   It is undoubtedly of great symbolic significance         institution. In particular, I would like to thank those
that this first Assembly of the GEF takes place in          developing countries that strongly supported the GEF
India. From the very beginning, India has been a key        mandate during the first years and which actively
country in international efforts to link the preserva-      participated in the restructuring of the GEF. This is a
very good example of how developing countries have          and transforming countries in Central and Eastern
taken their share in implementing the “common but           Europe towards sustainable development.
differentiated responsibilities” agreed upon in Rio.           Germany also pursues these objectives by influenc-
Last but not least, I would also like to thank Mr. El-      ing the policies of the various multilateral organiza-
Ashry for his outstanding leadership and dedication         tions in which it participates. We take the call for
in guiding the GEF.                                         mainstreaming the global environment into the regu-
   From a global point of view, “environment and            lar procedures and programmes of the World Bank
development are two sides of the same coin,” as we          and UNDP very seriously and will continue to raise
say in Germany. In other words, environment and             our voice in favour of the global environment in the
development are closely linked together and cannot          respective governing bodies.
be separated. In Rio, an agreement was reached to              As the financial mechanism for the Conventions
translate the guiding principle of “sustainable devel-      of Climate Change and Biodiversity, the Global Envi-
opment” into practical work. In order to ensure life        ronment Facility is enhancing international coopera-
on our planet for future generations, we agreed in          tion. It is noteworthy that all parties to the Conven-
Rio that the very limited resources should be man-          tions agree jointly on the policies, program priorities
aged in such a way that the needs of a growing              and eligibility criteria for GEF’s activities. Recipient
world population can be safeguarded and satisfied           and donor countries have equal stakes in the GEF
today and tomorrow.                                         Council. This fact is a visible expression of our com-
   Last year in New York, the United Nations Special        mon will to cooperate internationally in the protec-
General Assembly took a look at what had been               tion of the global environment and work towards
achieved in the past five years since Rio. Did we—in        sustainable development.
developing and developed countries—initiate steps              The concept of partnership is also reflected in the
which are required to achieve sustainable growth?           cooperation of the three implementing agencies,
Did we translate our responsibility for future genera-      which should continue to be the operational pillars
tions into concrete action?                                 of the GEF.
   The following is quite clear: Increasingly, environ-        The independent evaluation of GEF’s work shows
mental problems are reaching global dimensions. They        that the efforts have been worthwhile: what has been
will worsen considerably over the coming decades if         achieved is tremendous. The basic principle of “incre-
no decisive measures are taken. Humankind has               mental cost financing” has passed the test. The well-
reached a point where we risk destroying our natural        targeted allocations of GEF funds are able to mobilise
basis for life. We have to realise that a sustainable       substantial funds from other multi- and bi-lateral
improvement of living conditions is only possible if it     agencies, as well as channelling substantial private
fully encompasses the preservation of the very basis        investments into sectors of global relevance. The
of life on earth.                                           increasing involvement of NGOs and the participation
   I believe that during the last years many govern-        of all stakeholders in the projects and programmes
ments in developing and industrial countries have           show good results and should be appreciated. Fur-
taken first steps to respond to this situation:             thermore, I would like to share with you that the
■ Global Conventions on Climate Change, Biodiver-           impact of GEF-cofinanced activities on national poli-
sity and Desertification have been concluded and            cies is also considerable.
since ratified by most countries.                              I am therefore very glad that the second replenish-
■ The guiding principle of sustainability has been incor-   ment of the GEF has brought satisfactory results. The
porated in many action plans as well as in the develop-     volume of US$2.75 billion available under GEF-2 is
ment of national policies and their implementation.         markedly above that of GEF-1, a rather pleasing fact
■ Many countries established framework conventions          in view of the difficult budget situation in many
for the implementation of sustainable policies for          donor countries. I am also very glad that Germany
energy and water. Subsidies were cut and prices applied     remains the third largest donor.
which more fully reflect the value of these scarce             The successful replenishment enables the GEF to
resources.                                                  continue to operate on a stable financial foundation.
■ Progress was achieved in fighting poverty as a            In light of the challenges ahead, this amount seems to
major cause of resource depletion and increased pol-        be rather small. But it will remind the GEF manage-
lution in developing countries.                             ment to use the funds most effectively and to search
   Germany is actively involved in these endeavours         for financing arrangements with utmost leverage. The
and thus contributing to safeguard our future. We           policy statement of the donors endorsed by the GEF
make great efforts to create a positive link between        Council should be considered as a message regarding
economic, social and ecological interests. At the same      the political will to further improve GEF’s efficiency.
time, we strongly support efforts of the developing         Although the evaluation concluded “that the GEF has
generally performed effectively,” there is still room for   ly hinges on political support in donor and recipient
improvement. Many of the proposals have been taken          countries for mainstreaming global environmental
up by Mohamed El-Ashry in his report to the Assem-          concerns into development.”
bly, which I fully support. The evaluation clearly sets        Having said this, I wish the Assembly fruitful delib-
the direction which has to be taken. The evaluation         erations and the GEF continued success. Although it’s
pointed out that the success of the GEF—and I would         a small step, it is a step in the right direction for a
say of any development financing agency—“ultimate-          better future for all of us.

Statement of Ghana
Lee Tandoh Ocran
Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, and Technology

               n behalf of the Ghana delegation, I wish     Ramsar sites are not yet ready, the boundary descrip-
               to join my colleagues who spoke before       tions have been done for all five sites (Keta, Songor,
               me to congratulate you on your election      Sakumono, and Muni-Pomadze lagoons and the Den-
               as the Chairman for the first general        su delta); (3) Steady progress has been made in the
Assembly of the Global Environment Facility. Our            establishment of school wildlife clubs and the hold-
sincere thanks go to the Government of India for gra-       ing of environmental awareness campaigns for the
ciously hosting this inaugural Assembly and the             communities within the various project sites.
warm hospitality accorded to my delegation since our           Under the GEF Small Grants Programme, twenty-
arrival in this beautiful city.                             two projects have been funded. The projects have
   Ghana actively participated in the preparatory           been mainly in the GEF thematic areas of biodiversity
talks and the landmark United Nations Conference            and climate change. These include community
on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in              afforestation, soil conservation, agroforestry, bushfire
Rio in 1992. Since 1993, Ghana has been implement-          prevention and control, and ex-situ biodiversity pro-
ing her National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP).          tection demonstration schemes. Many communities
This includes three components, namely:                     have benefited from the GEF Small Grants Pro-
1. Environmental resource management development.           gramme, and, since most of the programmes are on-
2. Land and water management.                               going, we urge GEF to favourably consider the exten-
3. Coastal wetlands management.                             sion of the programme in Ghana.
   The implementation of Ghana’s National Environ-             The Government of Ghana remains committed to
mental Action Plan has generally been successful and        the extension of electricity services to every commu-
will end this year, 1998. On behalf of the Government       nity of five hundred people or more by the year 2020
of Ghana, I would like to thank GEF for assisting our       under the National Electrification Scheme (NES).
country in the implementation of the following:             However, when the NES is completed, many remote
1. Coastal wetlands management aspect of NEAP.              communities will still lack electricity. The use of free-
2. Global Environment Facility Small Grants Pro-            standing photovoltaic systems and photovoltaic/
   gramme.                                                  hybrid AC microgrid systems can provide valuable
3. Mamprusi East District Solar Project.                    electricity services to these communities. The Mam-
   The Coastal Wetlands Management Project is being         prusi East District Solar Project being funded by GEF
funded by GEF (US$7.2 million) and the Government           and the Ghana Government will provide a new model
of Ghana (providing US$1.1 million counterpart              to address the electricity-based needs of off-grid com-
funding). In spite of some unforeseen problems,             munities in Ghana using environmentally friendly
some major achievements have been made. These               technologies.
include the following: (1) Reconnaissance and base-            The current drought facing our country has led to
line field studies envisaged under the project have         an unprecedented energy crisis in Ghana, Togo and
largely been completed; (2) Even though formal              Benin, since these three countries depend extensively
demarcation and gazettement of the five proposed            on the Volta River hydroelectric dams located at Ako-
sombo and Kpong in Ghana. The Volta River and its           four thematic areas of land degradation, international
tributaries traverse Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo      waters, biodiversity and climate/energy.
and Benin, which are interconnected on the main                While we congratulate the GEF on its success and
electricity grid in that subregion. The current low level   technical competence, Ghana’s delegation wishes to
of the Volta Lake has reduced the hydropower gener-         draw the following issues to GEF’s attention:
ated by about 70 percent. Inevitably, the countries         1. There is an urgent need for further clarification on
affected have to turn to less environmentally benign           the incremental cost concept and capacity building
alternative technologies. The consequential biodiver-          in project preparation report drafting consistent
sity loss is incalculable. Mr. Chairman, through you           with GEF’s requirements.
and the Chief Executive Officer of the GEF, I urge the      2. The GEF project cycle needs further improvements.
GEF to seriously consider helping the affected coun-        3. In order to promote ownership, GEF should facili-
tries jointly develop a Volta River Sustainable Plan           tate the participation of local scientific and techni-
and comprehensive Volta Lake Management Plan.                  cal communities as appropriate.
   Ghana ratified and is implementing many envi-            4. Land degradation in Ghana is serious and perva-
ronmental conventions, notably the Rio Conven-                 sive. This subject requires serious consideration.
tions, the Biodiversity Convention, the Convention             Furthermore, clarifying the linkages between land
to Combat Drought and Desertification, and the                 degradation and other GEF focal areas is urgently
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate                 required.
Change. Ghana unequivocally supports the Global                In conclusion, Ghana wishes to reiterate that its
Environment Facility as a funding mechanism for the         support is unequivocal.

Statement of Guatemala
Julio Martini
Ambassador to the United Nations

          ermitame en primer lugar unirme a las mul-        ierno ha puesto en practica medidas concretas: la
          tiples manifestaciónes de felicitación por su     creación del Gabinete Ambiental, el Fondo
          elección. Estamos seguros que bajo su acerta-     Guatemalteco de Medio Ambiente, el Comite de
          da dirección lograremos los resultados esper-     Dirección de Políticas Ambientales y la Comisión
ados de esta primera asamblea general del fondo para        Nacional de Implementación Conjunta. Tenemos la
el medio ambiente mundial. Mi delegación hace               convicción que esta legislación ambiental y las
extensiva su felicitación a los dos co-presidentes.         nuevas instituciónes creadas incidiran apreciable-
   También quiero expresarle nuestra felicitación al        mente en detener el deterioro ambiental: la defor-
noble pueblo de india y su gobierno, por la merecida        estación, la erosión de suelos, la perdida de diversi-
satisfacción de albergar esta historica reunion; asi        dad biológica y la contaminación.
como hacer especial reconocimiento al Señor                    La estrategia colectiva del FMAM y sus resultados,
Mohamed El-Ashry, funcionario ejecutivo principal           son una prueba más de que es necesario y posible
del FMAM, por la organización de esta reunión, fiel         abordar las problematicas nacionales desde la visión
reflejo de la impecable forma en que ha conducido           multilateral. En mi país, son ejemplos claros tres
nuestra joven y exitosa institución.                        proyectos actualmente en ejecución, los cuales ade-
   El FMAM ha sido muy instrumental en la defini-           mas responden al modelo de cofinanciamiento:
ción que el Gobierno de Guatemala busca de las prior-       ■ La estrategia y plan de accion nacional de biodiver-
idades en el sector medio ambiente. Su trabajo ha sido      sidad, que definira las acciones prioritarias y mecanis-
relevante tambien a nivel del área centroamericana.         mos de implementación para conservar y usar la bio-
Sus diferentes proyectos e iniciativas han sido determi-    diversidad de manera sostenible en el contexto de
nantes en los procesos de analisis y foros de discusión.    desarrollo económico y los acuerdos de paz. Este
   Guatemala es uno de los países que necesita              proyecto permitira dar cumplimiento a la convención
enfrentar grandes desequilibrios ecologicos. El Gob-        de la diversidad biológica.
■ Preparación de la primera comunicación nacional y            ■  Asegurarse que los países se identifiquen con los
plan de acción sobre cambio climatico, para la confer-         objetivos de los proyectos.
encia de las partes de la convención de naciones               ■ Mejorar las actividades que sensibilizan al público
unidas sobre el tema.                                          mediante la diseminación de información producto
■ El proyecto de conservación para el desarrollo               de las lecciónes recogidas.
sostenible Sarstun-Motagua, que comprende nueve                ■ Investigar la forma de hacer más flexible y facil para
areas protegidas y seis corredores ecológicos con la           los países receptores el proceso de determinación de
participación de las comunidades en actividades pro-           los costos incrementales.
ductivas que generen ingresos y que a la vez conser-              En general, la confianza que el FMAM ha conquis-
ven los ecosistemas naturales, en un area de 12,000            tado de los 163 países miembros, merece el apoyo
kilometros cuadrados, en los cuales se encuentran              irrestricto de esta asamblea a las recomendaciones
varios ecosistemas naturales.                                  formuladas por el por funcionario ejecutivo principal
   En el plano centroamericano, baste recordar la              en su documento GEF/A. 1/8 de fecha 31 de Marzo
mención que el Señor Gustave Speth, administrador              pasado.
del PNUD, en su discurso del dia de ayer, hizo del                Es también muy importante que el FMAM fort-
Corredor Biológico Mesoamericano de Reservas y Par-            alezca los contactos y las comunicaciónes con los
ques, calificandolo de un buen ejemplo de la coordi-           grupos de representados. En este sentido, seria bien-
nación entre las tres agencias implementadoras,                venida su acción para estimular el mejor fun-
PNUD, PNUMA y el Banco Mundial, agencias a las                 cionamiento de la representatividad en las circun-
que aprovecho para dejar constancia de nuestro                 scripciónes. La trasparencia y participación son
reconocimiento.                                                fuente de una mayor confianza; ya que organos
   El analisis de los estudios que nos han sido presen-        como el consejo del FMAM fueron creados para el
tados, nos permite destacar como muy procedente                equilibrio en la toma de decisiónes y en la repre-
manifestar nuestro apoyo, especialmente a los esfuer-          sentación de los miembros.
zos del FMAM en:                                                  Guatemala, al igual que los países de centroameri-
■ Asegurarse que los proyectos a ejecutar respondan a          ca, desean que la organización les permita participar
las prioridades nacionales de los países                       más intensamente en la ardua labor del FMAM en
■ La exitosa realización de la segunda reposición de           apoyo de los esfuerzos de hacer del desarrollo
recursos del fondo fiduciario.                                 sostenible una realidad.

Statement of Guinée
Elhadj Ciradiou Balde
Counselor, National Council for the Environment

          a Guinée est située a l’Ouest de l’Afrique Occi-        La Guinée est divisée en quatre régions naturelles
          dentale; elle couvre une superficie de 245.857       au relief, au climat et à la végétation bien distincts:
          km2. Bordée à l’Ouest par l’Océan Atlantique,        ■ La Basse Guinée.
          elle compte plus de 300 km de côte. Elle             ■ La Moyenne Guinée.
partage des frontières communes avec 6 pays: la Guinèe         ■ La Haute Guinée.
Bissau au Nord-Ouest, le Senegal et le Mali au Nord, la        ■ La Guinée Forestière.
Côte d’Ivoire a l’Est, la Sierra-Leone et le Libéria au Sud.      La dégradation de l’environnement se ressent en
   La Guinée compte 7,2 Millions d’habitants selon             Guinée sous toutes les formes: la déforestation, la pol-
les résultats de recensement général de la population          lution de l’eau, la pollution atmosphérique, etc. Mais
et de l’habitation realisée en décembre 1996, contre           l’Etat guinéen fournit des efforts pour remédier à cet
4,7 Millions d’habitants en 1983, le taux moyen d’ac-          état de choses.
croissement annuel de la population est de 2,8%.                  A titre d’exemple, la Guinée est dotée d’un impor-
   Si cette tendance se maintient, la population attein-       tant cadre juridique en matière de protection de l’en-
dra en l’an 2010 un chiffre de 9,6 Millions d’habitants.       vironnement qui comprend entre autres: le code de
l’environnement, le code domanial, le code de l’eau,           effet de serre en Guinée et à ce pays de s’adapter
le code forestier, le code maritime, le Plan National          aux changements climatiques.
d’Action pour l’Environnement (qui est actuellement         4. Préparation d’un plan national pour remédier aux
le cadre de référence pour la protection de l’environ-         changements climatiques et à leurs incidences
nement en Guinée).                                             défavorables.
   Mais les moyens financiers sont insuffisants pour        5. Préparation d’une première communication
mettre en oeuvre cet arsenal juridique, d’où la nécessité      nationale de la Guinée à la Conférence des parties.
pour la Guinée de renforcer la coopération avec le FEM.        En dehors de la préparation de la communication
                                                            de la Guinée à la conférence, le projet devrait susciter
ETAT DE COOPÉRATION DE LA RÉPUBLIQUE DE                     une prise de conscience et une meilleure connais-
GUINÉE AVEC LE FONDS POUR L’ENVIRONNEMENT                   sance des questions liées aux changements clima-
MONDIAL-FEM                                                 tiques en Guinée et devrait améliorer la concertation,
Le FEM créé en 1991 et restructuré en 1994, a com-          l’échange d’informations et la coopération entre tous
mencé à impliquer la Guinée dans son processus de           les acteurs, notamment les administrations, les organ-
mise en oeuvre depuis son premier Atelier sous              isations non gouvernementales, les milieux universi-
régional de Bangui (République Centrafricaine) en           taires et le secteur privé.
1991 par la participation du Point Focal National de           En outre, la Guinée est impliquée dans la mise en
la Guinée audit Atelier.                                    ceuvre d’un projet sous régional dans le cadre du pro-
   Dès lors la Guinée avait soumis certains projets au      gramme d’activité mondiale pour la protection du
FEM pour financement, parmi ces projets, celui de la        milieu marin. Ce projet doit être financé par le FEM.
monographie de la diversité biologique dont sa pre-            II consistera en l’inventaire des sources et activités de
mière phase a été financée en 1995 par le FEM, en           pollution marine d’origine terrestre en vue d’amener les
collaboration avec le PNUE (Programme des Nations           gouvernements concernés à adopter des stratégies, des
Unies pour l’Environnement).                                mesures efficaces et réelles de protection dans le respect
   La première phase de ce projet a produit un docu-        des traités internationaux de développement durable de
ment reflétant l’état de la connaissance documentaire       l’environnement marin et de ses ressources biologiques.
de la diversité biologique du pays et les préoccupa-           La Guinée a été informée par le PNUE de l’idée de
tions des gestionnaires et acteurs des processus de         projet du centre d’information sur les projets FEM
conservation et de mise en valeur des ressources            intégré au système d’information infoterra sous l’au-
naturelles grâce à une revue la plus exhaustive possi-      torité du Point Focal National du FEM dans le cadre
ble de la documentation disponible par la collabora-        de la création d’un réseau pilote d’information du
tion étroite avec tous les détenteurs de l’information.     FEM, et la Guinée avait exprimé son souhait d’ap-
   Par ailleurs, deux projets ont été adoptés pour la       partenir aux pays pilotes, car elle fait partie des pre-
Guinée en 1997, ce sont:                                    miers pays qui participent à la mise en oeuvre du
1. La deuxieme phase du projet sur la diversité             FEM.
   biologique pour une durée de 1 an. Ce projet                Trois autres projets ont été soumis au FEM pour
   procédera à l’évaluation des informations réunies        financement et qui n’ont pas eu de suite, ce sont:
   par la première phase et l’élaboration des strategies    1. Le projet sur la participation populaire à la lutte
   et plans d’action de conservation et l’utilisation          contre la désertification au Nord-Est de la Guinée
   durable de la diversité biologique.                         en 1996.
2. Aide à la Guinée pour la préparation de sa première      2. Le projet sur 1’expérimentation des Unités de fabri-
   communication nationale au titre de ses engage-             cation de la glace par énergie solaire pour les zones
   ments en vertu de la Convention Cadre des                   rurales en Guinée en 1997, dans le cadre de tech-
   Nations Unies sur les Changements Climatiques               nique ISSAC (un nouveau système frigorifique
   pour une durée de 2 ans.                                    solaire) favorable à la protection de l’environ-
   Ce projet permettra à la Guinée de préparer sa pre-         nement mondial.
mière communication nationale à la Conférence des           3. L’idée de projet sur la conservation de la biodiver-
parties à la Convention Cadre des Nations Unies sur            sité des Monts Nimba classés site du Patrimoine
les Changements Climatiques (CCNUCC). Le projet                Mondial en 1997.
comprendra les elements suivants:                              La Guinée a notifié son engagement au FEM en 1994.
1. Un inventaire des gaz à effet de serre, mener selon         La Guinée accorde une grande importance au
   les directives adoptées par la Conférence des parties.   Fonds pour l’Environnement Mondial, c’est à ce titre
2. Une évaluation des incidences potentielles des           qu’elle a mis la structure du FEM au niveau de son
   changements climatiques en Guinée.                       Conseil National de l’Environnement en 1997 et
3. Une analyse des mesures qui permettraient de             nommé un Coordonnateur qui est en même temps le
   réduire l’augmentation des émissions des gaz à           Point Focal National du FEM.
   Le Point Focal National du FEM continue à informer        davantage sur l’existence du FEM, ses procédures et
et à sensibiliser les différents Ministères, le secteur      modalités d’intervention.
privé, les ONG, etc. sur l’élaboration des projets à         ■ La Guinée souhaite participer régulièrement aux
soumettre au FEM pour financement.                           rencontres sur le FEM.
                                                             ■ La Guinée souhaite que le FEM accorde une forma-
LES DIFFICULTÉS RENCONTRÉES PAR LE POINT                     tion de courte durée par exemple trois mois en anglais
FOCAL NATIONAL ET POLITIQUE DU FEM POUR                      aux points focaux nationaux connaissant bien le
LA MISE EN OEUVRE DU FEM                                     mécanisme du FEM mais qui sont limités en anglais,
■ La Guinée participe peu aux différentes rencontres         car la plupart des documents du FEM sont rédigés
du FEM.                                                      intégralement en anglais.
■ La plus grande partie des documents de travail             ■ La Guinée souhaite que les documents du FEM volu-
parviennent en anglais, or la langue officielle de tra-      mineux rédigés en anglais soient résumés en français,
vail en Guinée est le francais, donc le probleme se          cette proposition a été déjà exprimée par la Guinée
pose pour l’accés rapide à l’information.                    lors de l’Atelier sur le FEM de mai 1997 à Bamako.
■ Le Point Focal National n’a pas les moyens propres         ■ La Guinée sollicite auprès du FEM une assistance
d’équipement et d’information, à savoir: ordinateurs,        financière pour l’équipement de son Point Focal
fax, internet, etc.                                          National.
■ Le micro financement du FEM, n’est pas encore              ■ La Guinée souhaite que le programme micro
opérationnel en Guinée.                                      financement du FEM soit opérationnel en Guinée.
                                                             ■ Les lettres dtinvitation aux réunions du FEM,
LES PROPOSITIONS ET SUGGESTIONS AU FEM                       doivent indiquer explicitement les points focaux
■ La Guinée sollicite auprès du secrétariat du FEM la        nationaux qui maîtrisent le mécanisme du Fonds
tenue en Guinée d’une rencontre sur le FEM, afin que         dans les pays bénéficiaires au lieu de dire “Représen-
tous les acteurs concernés par la protection de l’envi-      tants ministériels ou de haut niveau connaissant bien
ronnement mondial soient informés, sensibilisés              le FEM.”

Statement of India
Suresh P. Prabhu
Minister of Environment and Forests

              n behalf of the Indian people, I extend a      place a great financial burden on developing coun-
              very warm welcome to all of you. I hope        tries, for which they would need considerable tech-
              that your stay in the historic city of Delhi   nological and financial assistance. GEF has emerged
              will be a memorable one. I am happy            as one of the most important funding mechanisms to
that this Assembly meeting provides us a forum               deal with environmental problems.
where we can have a meaningful dialogue on the                  Independent India has traveled a long way on the
operations and expectations from GEF, particularly           path of modernization and industrialisation. From
from the developing country perspective. Mr. Chair-          the very beginning, we are committed to the goal of
man, on behalf of the Indian delegation, allow me to         providing a better quality of life to our citizens with
congratulate you on your election as Chairman of the         better health care, widespread education, clean drink-
Assembly. All of us are confident that under your able       ing water, housing, etc. Despite our many and varied
guidance, this meeting will be a great success.              problems, we have still been able to take very impres-
   The Rio Summit of 1992 brought into focus the             sive strides in the improvement of the socioeconomic
relationship between environment and development.            conditions of our people, even though much still
It acknowledged that sustained economic growth and           remains to be done. The economic development that
eradication of poverty constituted overriding priori-        has been achieved has brought in its wake many
ties for developing countries. It also recognized that       unwanted consequences with effects on our natural
meeting the environmental objectives of Rio would            resources. The forest cover has diminished, even
though marginally. Our rivers are affected by pollu-       to the entire country, in a programme known as the
tion. Mining and other industrial activities have led      National River Action Programme. The programme
to the degradation of land, and air pollution is a mat-    has the objective of improving the water quality of
ter of major concern in the urban areas. Our success       rivers by treating the domestic sewage and industrial
would be determined in our ability to meet these and       effluents before their discharge in the river.
other challenges.                                             On the issue of air pollution caused by vehicles,
   Despite a planned approach and commitment of            government has initiated various programmes such
substantial resources for meeting civic needs of our       as tightening emission norms for new vehicles and
urban areas, the increase in urban population has put      introduction of cleaner fuels and catalytic converters
tremendous pressure on civic amenities. Manage-            for vehicles. The programme for the introduction of
ment of municipal and industrial waste water as well       unleaded petrol and catalytic converters which
as solid waste is a matter of urgent concern.              presently covers only a few cities would be extended
   Another area of priority is the energy requirement      to all the cities.
for the large population of our country. On the one           India is also party to various environment–related
hand, we are making our best attempts to supplement        conventions such as the Montreal Protocol on Ozone–
the heavy dependence on biomass resources for rural        Depleting Substances, the Framework Convention on
energy and emphasising the importance of a shift           Climate Change, the Convention on Biodiversity,
from the biomass resources for energy to commercial        Basal Convention on Transboundary Movement of
energy whether from hydel or thermal sources. At the       Hazardous Wastes and the Convention to Combat
same time keeping in view the major environmental          Desertification, among others. India has been pursu-
consequences of energy from these sources, we have         ing its commitments under the various Conventions
also taken bold steps to limit emissions by appropri-      vigorously by initiating various measures nationally
ate environmental impact assessments of projects           and by taking several important initiatives in the
and the application of environmentally sound tech-         region. To name a few, we hosted the First Asian
nologies. India greatly appreciates the funding avail-     Regional Conference on Desertification in India and
able from GEF in this focal area, and I am happy to        the SAARC Environment Ministers Conference. The
say that we have been able to pose several appropriate     overall objective of GEF of addressing the important
projects to GEF in the area of energy.                     global issues under the various Conventions through
   In spite of the pressure of a growing population,       its mechanisms is being carried out by India by the
India has committed extensive resources towards            successful implementation of GEF projects.
conserving its extensive forests and wildlife. While          India has initiated various projects with GEF assis-
nearly one-fifth of the total land area is covered by      tance in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable
forests, we have before us the objective of achieving a    energy and biodiversity. The GEF portfolio in India
further 13 percent forest cover. Through our wide-         is diverse and varied. As of January 1998, a total of
spread network of national parks and sanctuaries, we       US$142.38 million under GEF has been programmed
have been successful in the preservation of key            for India. India is the second highest recipient of GEF
species, such as the tiger and the elephant, in the face   funding. Under the Small Grants Programme, 24 pro-
of many difficulties.                                      jects have been funded to the tune of US$300,000.
   All these objectives are well supported by legisla-     Encouraged by the success and response to the pro-
tive and regulatory measures which are aimed at the        gramme, the second phase has commenced. India is
preservation and protection of environment. Some of        in a unique position in that it is a donor as well as a
them are the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollu-         recipient country. In 1994, India contributed around
tion) Act of 1981, the Water (Prevention and Control       US$9 million and has again pledged the same amount
of Pollution) Act of 1974, the Environment (Protec-        during the February 1998 replenishment consultation.
tion) Act of 1986 and the Forest (Conservation) Act           We are gathered here to review the GEF operations
of 1980. Besides the legislative measures, a National      and to discuss ways of bringing about the required
Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement of Envi-        changes. With this objective in mind, I would like to
ronment and Development, a National Forest Policy          make a few observations. I think we are all in agree-
and a Policy Statement of Abatement of Pollution           ment that the operational programmes under the
have evolved. We are also in the process of formulating    GEF refer to dynamic sectors and activities. I would
a National Action Plan on Conservation of Biodiversity.    like to suggest that in the context of this dynamism,
   Many important policies and programmes are in           there is a need for looking upon the sub-programmes
force which are geared to the task of protection of the    within the sectors with the required flexibility, while
environment. One of the biggest river cleaning pro-        also keeping in mind emerging needs. We understand
grammes in the world has been taken up in our coun-        that GEF is working on programmes for new and
try starting with the Ganga basin, and now extended        emerging technologies which would get opera-
tionalised soon. The GEF mechanism has to be flexi-        many others, a single pilot or demonstration project
ble enough to fund projects in areas of such emerging      in one area is hardly able to make an adequate
technologies.                                              impact within a short or medium timeframe. Here
   Many of the developing countries are faced with         the solution does not lie only in replication, unless
the complex and difficult situation of dealing with the    adequate resources are available. GEF should, there-
criteria of agreed full incremental costs calculated in    fore, consider adopting a suitable approach on a
terms of global benefits, which has remained elusive.      case-by-case basis. I would like to invite discussions
India’s general response has been that the concept         on all these important aspects, which are viewed
should be made as flexible and pragmatic as possible.      with great concern by the developing countries.
Especially when seen in the context of biodiversity           I have been informed that a large amount of invest-
applications, the nature of biodiversity valuation         ment has been generated through co-financing of GEF
makes this task very difficult. There are further com-     projects and that, on an average, GEF funding repre-
plicating factors, such as establishing a discount rate    sents less than 20% of total project costs. While this is
for biodiversity loss, valuing the benefits of biodiver-   a laudable achievement on the face of it, it should be
sity conservation and sustainable use, and lack of a       viewed against the background of decreasing interna-
complete understanding of the ecosystem structures         tional ODA assistance to developing countries. We
and functioning. Another primary problem is the            strongly urge the developed countries to take account
determination of a representative baseline cost. A sim-    of this situation and to see whether in fact there is a
pler cost calculation method needs to be developed.        possible diversion of ODA funds to GEF which would
   I would like to seek your indulgence for sharing        take away from any claim towards the avowed objec-
our concerns on the lengthy procedures for project         tive of providing new and additional funds.
approvals. Normally, any project would have to be             An issue of great concern for the developing coun-
placed for the Council’s approval at least three times,    tries is the lack of fulfillment by the developed coun-
and the disbursement of funds sometimes takes as           tries of their commitments at the Rio Summit regard-
many as 2–3 years. There is a need for greater simpli-     ing new and additional financial resources and the
fication and delegation of authority based on a prag-      transfer of environmentally sound technologies.
matic approach.                                            These commitments are also the underlying basis of
   I would also like to point out that there is a need     all the important environmental Conventions also.
for greater flexibility in the GEF operational strategy.   Six years after Rio, we are today faced with the crucial
Strategies on important issues like vehicular pollu-       realisation that we must readily and whole-heartedly
tion, ecosystem conservation, management of lakes,         face the global environmental challenges and accept
wetlands and mangroves, and integrated coastal             the paramount need for concerted activities in order
management need to be fully operationalised early.         to address these challenges. Let us review the GEF
There is a need for easier access to GEF funds. There      work, keeping the spirit of international cooperation
is also considerable need for priority being given to      as our guiding principle for fostering action to protect
national objectives. In vast countries like India and      the global environment.

Statement of Indonesia
Makarim Wibisono
Ambassador to the United Nations

        et me begin by extending my delegation’s           delegation’s profound gratitude to the people and
        sincere gratitude on your assumption of the        the Government of India for hosting this important
        Chairmanship of this meeting devoted to            meeting and for the excellent facilities they have
        the first Assembly of the Global Environ-          provided.
ment Facility. I would like to congratulate your dis-        I hope that this Assembly will prove to be a very
tinguished colleagues in the Bureau on their respec-       great success, and in this regard I sincerely thank Dr.
tive elections. I would also like to convey my             Mohamed T. El-Ashry, the Chief Executive Officer
and the Chairman of the GEF, including his staffs for         the support by the GEF will tremendously improve
their kind efforts in making this Assembly possible.          conservation awareness, while at the same time pro-
   Indonesia attaches great importance to the Global          vide training and extension services to the villagers,
Environment Facility as a unique financial mecha-             and ultimately would help in monitoring and evaluat-
nism. After its inception in 1994 through the estab-          ing biological diversity conservation and development
lishment of its instrument, the Global Environment            projects in the regions.
Facility has made a great contribution to the develop-           Let me now turn briefly to our activities in meeting
ing countries in protecting the global environment            the climate change problem. Indonesia ratified the UN
with respect to global warming, pollution of interna-         Framework for Climate Change Convention (FCCC)
tional waters, destruction of biodiversity, and the           on August 23, 1994. In order to help fulfill its FCCC
depletion of the ozone layer. We have fully taken into        national commitments, Indonesia initiated two green-
account the success achieved by the implementing              house gas (GHG) mitigation strategy studies. The Asia
agencies, UNDP, UNEP and the World Bank, in                   Least-Cost Greenhouse Abatement Strategy project,
responding to the needs of the beneficiaries.                 financed by UNDP/GEF, has examined Indonesia’s
   Being critically affected by the unfortunate episode       GHG emission-reduction option in an Asia regional
of El Niño Southern Oscillation, as a result of which         context. The relevance of photovoltaics as a green-
Indonesia has received a much lower level of rainfall         house emissions abatement option for Indonesia is
this year than the normal, we are in the danger of            clear. In Indonesia, $75 million of World Bank and
facing a drought-like situation in the recent months.         GEF funds are financing the largest single photovoltaic
We believe that the assistance and support provided           solar home system project in the world, expected to
by the international community, including the GEF,            reach 200,000 homes. This, I believe, not only reflects
will help us in overcoming this problem. We also              what the World Bank Group’s mission has accom-
express our deep appreciation to the international            plished, but also accelerates technology transfer to a
community, especially the World Bank, UNDP and                developing country, particularly in the area of renew-
UNEP, for their kind assistance in combating the forest       able sources of energy. As a zero greenhouse gas-emit-
fire disaster in our country.                                 ting technology, the solar home system has several
   The United Nations deserves our special gratitude          options for meeting energy demands.
for its quick response to the recent forest fire raging          My delegation sees a great merit in promoting part-
in Indonesia. The UN Secretary-General’s initiative to        nership as an important objective of the GEF. I
develop a coordinated international response to forest        believe that the real test of partnership depends on
fire management in Southeast Asia had been well               mobilization of sufficient financial resources, the pro-
received at the UN Administration Coordination                vision of new and additional funding, and the trans-
Committee. This is a good reflection of their under-          fer of environmentally sound technologies. We also
standing of our problems.                                     consider that GEF projects and its policies should be
   It is encouraging to note that the World Bank              in line with national needs and priorities. I believe
through the GEF has fully dedicated its efforts to assist     this is a more effective way of bringing the environ-
Indonesia in safeguarding its future environment. Suf-        mental patterns of recipient countries closer to the
fice it to say that, on biological diversity, the GEF has     GEF-implemented projects.
already initiated and supported the Kerinci Seblat               In conclusion, we earnestly hope that this Assem-
Integrated Conservation and Development Project.              bly will give a renewed and decisive momentum to
This project is integrating park management and con-          the implementation of GEF programs. Only then can
servation besides taking local and regional develop-          we jointly combat environmental problems through
ment initiatives. Since this effort will stabilize land use   global partnership and mitigate the possible disasters
outside the park by promoting local community and             in a more assured and confident manner for the
alternative livelihood activities, I sincerely believe that   mutual benefit and common future of mankind.
Statement of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Mohammad Javad Zarif
Deputy Foreign Minister for International and Legal Affairs

           he emergence of a more propitious interna-          The new GEF has been able to provide funding for
           tional environment following the collapse        projects in a large number of developing countries.
           of the bi-polar world has provided the possi-    The magnitude of the problem, however, calls for a
           bility for joint quest, on a global scale, for   more vigorous effort on a much larger scale. This first
solutions to common problems facing humanity.               GEF Assembly provides us with a unique opportu-
Efforts towards setting standards of behavior in the        nity to discuss the policies and operations of GEF; its
post Cold-War era—based on the rule of law and com-         strengths and weaknesses; as well as possible ways
mon, but differentiated, responsibility of global           and means to increase the effectiveness, quality, and
actors—have gained momentum and aroused unprece-            efficiency of its activities. In this respect, I would like
dented enthusiasm over the past several years. As the       to bring the following points to the attention of this
first in a series of high-level world conferences held      august gathering. In our view, their serious considera-
since 1990 to address a wide range of pressing issues,      tion by the Assembly is imperative for a stronger and
the United Nations Conference on Environment and            more effective GEF.
Development was indeed a timely response to the for-           Solid and timely replenishment of GEF, commen-
midable challenges involved in this field.                  surate with global environmental goals and based on
   The Rio Summit and its outcomes, in particular           national priorities, must be ensured. Replenishment
Agenda 21, raised great hopes at all levels and created a   should not be linked to any other issue which may
great momentum towards the realization of sustain-          act, even inadvertently, as conditional in one form or
able development. As clearly underlined by the inter-       another. In this respect, the major contributors must
national community in the course of the UNGASS last         be urged to pay their arrears.
year, the state of the world environment continues to          A more focused policy and program, together with an
deteriorate. In the words of President Khatami,             institutionalized scrutiny of the scope of the activities of
addressing the recent ministerial meeting of the            the GEF-wide system, would render the Facility more
Regional Organization for the Protection of Marine          practical and manageable. The thrust of the system
Environment in the Persian Gulf area, “Today, the           must be to meet the requirements of operational activi-
threats posed to the human life by the polluted envi-       ties of GEF—as mandated by the GEF instrument—
ronment are greater than those of destructive wars.”        rather than building a new “Center of Excellence.”
And yet, the global response seems to fall far short of        In addition to the four focal areas assigned to the
the mark. While elaboration of international legal          Facility, there are other areas which enjoy internation-
instruments and agreements has been pursued with            al dimension, and hence, fall within the purview of its
unparalleled vigor, fulfillment of commitments under-       activities. Therefore, consistent with its mandate, GEF
taken in Rio and within the framework of Agenda 21—         could and should examine the need to increase the
including in the field of environment protection—are        number of focal areas and operational programs to
yet to be realized and translated into practical action.    include, inter alia, desertification and afforestation.
Effective and meaningful protection of the global envi-        Incremental cost is a key concept in GEF financing.
ronment does indeed require provision of adequate           Despite lengthy discussions on this subject in the past
financial resources and transfer of environmentally         and the approval of a decision by the GEF Council, it
sound technologies and corresponding know-how,              still continues to be a complex and controversial issue.
information and data to the developing countries.           In our view, supporting projects with both domestic
   Within this general framework, the establishment         and global environmental benefits would make the
and restructuring of the Global Environment Facility        Facility more responsive to its mandate as well as to
can certainly be considered among the significant           the real needs in the field. Our collective efforts
achievements of the international community in the          towards harmonizing GEF projects with national sus-
field of joint efforts geared to the protection of envi-    tainable development needs and priorities would accel-
ronment. Although only 4 years old, it has a positive       erate the integration of environmental concerns into
performance to its credit; a record to be cherished         the national development policies and programs. This
and preserved and, most certainly, to be further            would further contribute to the post-project sustain-
entrenched and strengthened.                                ability of GEF-supported projects. Against this back-
drop, a flexible approach to incremental costs that          To sum up, let me just catalogue the issues which we
allows a balance between GEF objectives and national      believe require our collective focused attention and
priorities is recommended. In other words, without        concerted efforts of the Facility. Though not compre-
prioritizing the concerns of one or the other, a bal-     hensive, the list of issues includes: new and additional
anced approach must constitute the frontispiece of        financial resources; transfer of environmentally sound
GEF policies and operations.                              technologies; expansion of the areas of GEF support;
   The lengthy and complicated process of project         balance between local and global benefits of GEF-sup-
cycle and approval continues to impede the access         ported projects; mobilization of private funds as sup-
of recipient countries to GEF funding. Facilitated        plementary to GEF resources; ensuring financial sus-
and simplified procedures are necessary to expedite       tainability of GEF projects; separation of GEF resources
this process. In this connection, any condition           from allocations to development cooperation;
which further complicates this process should be          strengthening of the role of UNEP; simplifying and
avoided.                                                  shortening the procedures for the GEF project cycle;
   The transfer of environmentally sound technolo-        adoption of a more flexible approach to the concept of
gies should constitute one of the main areas of focus     incremental costs; effective participation of recipient
and attention of the Facility. However, a number of       countries in various stages of the project development
concerns have to be borne in mind. While sustain-         process as well as in the calculation of incremental
ability of innovative or risky projects involving high-   costs; increased transparency in all GEF activities; a
tech or state-of-the-art technologies needs to be care-   higher degree of consistency with the guidance of the
fully examined, it seems advisable for the Facility not   COPs of Conventions; and extension of support to the
to recommend or encourage the use of untried tech-        improvement of existing technologies, such as fossil
nologies or those which might have adverse social         fuel technologies, as well as to the promotion of the
and economic impacts on the recipient countries.          use of cleaner sources of energy, such as natural gas.
Technological approaches should, in any eventuality,         In conclusion, let me express our most sincere grat-
be consistent with country-driven priorities. More-       itude and appreciation to the people and Govern-
over, recipient countries should be assisted, including   ment of India for their warm hospitality and excel-
through expansion of national capacity, in develop-       lent arrangements for this gathering and wish every
ing, manufacturing and maintaining technologies           success for this Assembly in the pursuit of its noble
which would certainly help ensure long-term success       objectives. I cannot close this statement without a
of the efforts undertaken. Put in a nutshell, limited     word of our appreciation for the devotion, persever-
GEF resources should be provided to cost-effective        ance and valuable contribution of Dr. Mohamed El-
programs and proved technologies with ensured             Ashry, the distinguished Chief Executive Officer and
effectiveness and efficiency.                             Chairman of the Global Environment Facility.

Statement of Ireland
Damien Boyle
First Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs

      nternational cooperation to protect the environ-    sity loss, ozone layer depletion, deforestation and
      ment and deal with global environment prob-         many others—cannot be resolved by isolated action
      lems has intensified substantially in recent        by individual countries or even groups of countries.
      years. This reflects the reality that environmen-   Sustained and broad-based cooperative action within
tal problems do not respect national boundaries and       and between all countries is needed. Globalisation,
that cooperation at the regional and broader interna-     and particularly the increasing global interdepen-
tional level is essential if the world community is to    dence of economic activities, increases further the
adequately and effectively deal with threats to our       need for a coordinated international response to
common global environment. Many of the main               environmental problems and particularly those with
environmental problems—climate change, biodiver-          a global dimension.
   Agenda 21 and the growing number of interna-            focus more on implementation. The GEF is a crucial
tional conventions in the environment area which           element of the Rio process—one which serves to
provide the framework for environmental coopera-           translate principle and commmitment into practical
tion have also endorsed the principle of a common          cooperation for environmental protection and sus-
but differentiated responsibility for the global envi-     tainable development. It also epitomises the Rio com-
ronment and for dealing with the environmental             mitment to the provision of new and additional
problems which threaten the ecological balance of          resources. The agreement on the second replenish-
our planet. This principle recognises:                     ment of the GEF is both a reflection of that and a
■ That the overriding goal of developing countries         strong vote of confidence by the international com-
and indeed of Agenda 21 is to break the vicious circle     munity in the GEF and its achievements to date.
of poverty, population growth and environmental               Ireland has cooperated substantially in international
degradation.                                               action to take forward the Rio process and has actively
■ That developed countries have to take the lead in        implemented Rio conclusions at the national level.
dealing with environmental threats.                        We have also integrated environmental considera-
   In recognising the legitimate needs of developing       tions into our development cooperation programme
countries for increased economic and social develop-       and have adopted measures to honour the Rio com-
ment, we should not, however, give support to the          mitment on finance. Our aid expenditure has more
mistaken view that protecting the environment limits       than trebled in size since 1992. New and additional
economic development opportunities or that envi-           resources have been provided for expenditure on key
ronmental protection can await the availability of         conservation and development sectors identified in
resources generated by economic development. The           Agenda 21. As part of that process, Ireland is pleased
reality is that a high-quality environment is funda-       to participate in this Facility and to have increased its
mental to a healthy economy and a high quality of          contribution well beyond its basic share under the
life. The economic and environmental dimensions of         second GEF replenishment.
sustainable development are mutually supportive. It           Much has already been achieved within the rela-
makes both economic and environmental sense to             tively short period of the GEF’s existence. We must
maintain a high-quality environment and to limit           now build on the firm foundations which are already
environmental impacts.                                     in place. The reports and reviews now before this
   The GEF is playing a crucial role in a very practical   Assembly point to where improvements can be made
way in promoting international cooperation on envi-        and provide us with an excellent basis on which to
ronmental matters and in assisting developing countries    proceed. We need to draw on the lessons learned
to pursue a sustainable development path. As the CEO’s     from project implementation in order to achieve
report on policies, operations and the future develop-     greater efficiency and effectiveness in the use of GEF
ment of the GEF indicates, the Facility is more than a     resources. We must seek to enhance the growing level
channel for project financing. It provides a network to    of cooperation and coordination between the imple-
disseminate and share environmental science, knowl-        menting agencies. We must give greater considera-
edge and experience. It also supports capacity building,   tion to such crucial issues as long-term project sus-
facilitates the transfer of technology and leverages       tainability. We must seek to promote greater
investments that might not otherwise be made.              involvement by the private sector and still greater
   The international community renewed its political       levels of stakeholder participation. By such means, we
commitment to the Rio process at last year’s UNGASS.       can give greater impetus to the Rio process and carry
It recognised that the legal framework of the Rio          forward the international partnership for sustainable
process is largely in place and that we now need to        development and environmental security.
Statement by Italy
Giovanni Sacco
Senior Director, Ministry of the Treasury

      would like to thank the Government and the          preserved at all times, and the concept of “casting the
      people of India for the generous hospitality, and   net widely” applied in its broadest sense.
      to commend the city of Delhi and the GEF Sec-          The GEF is to be seen as a catalyst, a facilitator, and
      retariat for the excellent organization of this     a mechanism for integrating global environmental
Assembly.                                                 concerns into the development process. The GEF’s
   Our main task here is to take objective and candid     goal is to make the connection between local devel-
stock of what has been done and what has not—or           opment demands and global environmental challenges
not yet. The CEO report provides us with the wide         and between national and international resources to
picture of the achievements of the GEF so far and         help developing countries implement policies that
looks at the future. The recommendations formulated       can simultaneously increase economic efficiency and
are appropriate, and Italy endorses the substance of      advance environmental protection.
the points made.                                             It is essential for the GEF, for its very nature, to
   When the GEF was launched back in 1991, we             seek co-financing opportunities with other bilateral
were confronted with the challenge of making devel-       and multilateral institutions. I already mentioned
opment compatible with the environment and to             regional development banks and funds: the potential
ensure a more balanced and long-lasting develop-          benefits for the GEF of a partnership with those insti-
ment. The GEF represents the first and most signifi-      tutions should be fully exploited.
cant financial achievement of the Rio Summit.                At the same time, international institutions must
   The recently concluded replenishment of the GEF        mainstream the environment, and the global envi-
is a success. The amount of resources committed may       ronment, in their own actions and thinking.
appear to be small—if you compare it to the magni-           And the GEF should be a financing instrument to
tude of the problems we are facing, or to all the ener-   leverage and mobilize private sector resources. Given
gy investments. It is in fact a very significant amount   the predominance of private financing for develop-
of money. Not only if you consider what was avail-        ment purposes, it is important that the GEF exercises
able for the environment only a few years ago, but        its role as a broker, to facilitate and catalyze demon-
because a relatively modest amount of money can           stration projects with significant replication potential.
have a tremendous impact, and high-value grant               I think, for example, of the Kyoto follow-up, where
resources can be multiplied many times over, if sever-    the GEF has a very important role to play. Energy pol-
al conditions are met.                                    icy and investment in global environment-friendly
   Concentrating on incremental costs, making each        technologies are essential in any climate change strat-
investment cost-effective, focusing the programs,         egy, both in developed and developing countries. The
streamlining operations, building new investment          private sector—not governments—is the key player in
partnerships with bilateral and multilateral institu-     the development, refinement and transfer of technology.
tions, in particular regional development banks and          There can be a commercial future for a wide range
funds, leveraging private sector resources. These, in     of environmentally beneficial activities. And there is
a nutshell, are the things that can make the GEF          a potential for private financing.
succeed.                                                     Let me take my own country as an example. There
   The GEF has been given a clear mission that relates    is a very large number of Italian companies, small
to the concepts of “incremental costs” and “global        and medium enterprises, highly specialised and able
benefits.” Without such specificity, other ways and       to offer industrial production systems at low environ-
means of financing environmental activities would         mental impact and high efficiency—as the success
have been more direct and less expensive.                 already achieved in the field, for example, of clean
   We must also be sure to hit the mark, making the       refrigeration shows. Also, big companies have a lot to
best possible use of the resources available. Inade-      give in the field of energy efficiency. Italy is the coun-
quate results in terms of efficiency of administrative    try with probably the highest energy efficiency in the
action would be signals of weakness in the technical      industrial sector of all developed countries. We do
and operational sides.                                    not use nuclear power; however, the level of carbon
   The multilateral character of the Facility must be     dioxide emission is very low. This technological pri-
macy should indeed become replicable at the interna-         tion has been identified as one of the principal emer-
tional level.                                                gencies that the earth will have to face while it enters
   I will end my reflections on the GEF and its future       the third millennium. Land degradation can also
by briefly touching upon its role with regard to the         affect problems of global concern. It can contribute
Conventions.                                                 to climate change, damage biodiversity, and damage
   Italy thinks that the time has come for the GEF to        international waters. As the World Bank analysis on
become the permanent mechanism of the Climate                this subject shows, there is room for measures to
Change and Biodiversity Conventions.                         address land degradation and problems of global con-
   As to the Convention to Combat Desertification,           cern to be mutually supportive. The tackling of cli-
the first conference of the parties held in Rome has         mate change, the conservation of biodiversity, the
shown the willingness of the international communi-          defense of forests, are essential components of the
ty to promote and sustain a strong and effective             fight against desertification.
cooperation, including through global policies that             The GEF offers important facilities to combat the
will bring about the sustainable use of natural              global dimension of desertification, and we believe
resources for the benefit of all mankind. Desertifica-       that this potential should be fully exploited.

Statement of Japan
Takatoshi Kato
Special Advisor to Minister of Finance

     t is a great pleasure for me to address the first       the action program under the Initiatives covers five
     Assembly of the Global Environment Facility. I          areas: first, air and water pollution and waste disposal;
     would first like to express our gratitude to the        second, global warming; third, fresh water problems;
     Government of India for the enormous efforts it         fourth, the preservation of the natural environment
has made to host this inaugural Assembly.                    and afforestation; and lastly, the promotion of public
                                                             awareness and strategy building.
GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES AND JAPAN                           With regard to global warming, the Third Confer-
Preserving the environment of our planet is our              ence of the Parties to the United Nations Framework
responsibility to future generations. It is also essential   Convention on Climate Change was held in Kyoto
to global human security. With this in mind, Japan is        last December. There, despite their differing posi-
actively promoting international cooperation to              tions, delegates from over 160 countries around the
address global environmental issues.                         world converged to reinforce a global initiative to
   In providing official development assistance (ODA)        fight against the threat of climate change, while the
to developing countries, Japan also adheres to the prin-     developed country parties reached an agreement on
ciple that development should be pursued in tandem           legally binding targets for reductions in greenhouse
with environmental conservation, thus contributing to        gas emissions. This must be praised as a step in the
sustainable development on a global scale.                   right direction towards addressing an issue that will
   With regard to these goals, our Prime Minister Ryu-       require our continued efforts well into the next cen-
taro Hashimoto announced a program called the Ini-           tury and beyond. I hope that the Kyoto Protocol
tiatives for Sustainable Development toward the              agreed upon at this conference will be ratified by as
Twenty-First Century (ISD) at the United Nations’            many countries as possible, thus allowing the Proto-
Special Session of the General Assembly for the Over-        col to take effect at the earliest possible time.
all Review and Appraisal of the Implementation of               Furthermore, at the meeting in Kyoto, Japan
Agenda 21 held last June.                                    announced that it would further strengthen its assis-
   This is a plan which Japan has put forward as the         tance to developing countries’ efforts to combat global
basis of a comprehensive policy on environmental             warming in a number of ways: assistance in training
cooperation. Based on the principles of global human         3,000 environment experts over the five-year period;
security, ownership, and sustainable development,            the provision of ODA loans at the concessional con-
ditions equivalent to those of the International            views regarding some of the key points covered in
Development Association; the transfer of our envi-          these reports.
ronmental know-how and technologies; and greater               First, the mainstreaming of the global environment.
environment-related financial contribution to multi-        Notwithstanding the significance of the GEF’s role,
lateral development banks such as the World Bank            given the size and operating mechanisms of the GEF,
and the Asian Development Bank.                             it is essential that the three implementing agencies—
                                                            namely the World Bank, UNDP, and UNEP—main-
BASIC RECOGNITION OF GEF AND ITS SECOND                     stream the global environment within their regular
REPLENISHMENT                                               operations. This would allow us to put the GEF to
The Kyoto Protocol reaffirmed that the Global Envi-         better use. In this respect, I support the priority rec-
ronment Facility would continue to be the funding           ommendation that each institution should formulate
mechanism for programs aimed at reducing green-             its own mainstreaming strategy.
house gas emissions in developing countries.                   Second, individual country ownership. For suc-
   In the way it functions, and in the way it’s man-        cessful operations of the GEF, it is indispensable that
aged, the Global Environment Facility is a ground-          each developing country takes the initiative in
breaking venture. Little wonder then that since             developing projects according to its own policy pri-
1991 when the Facility was launched, the journey            orities in the area of environmental protection. To
to date has not always been smooth. It is all the           help promote such a sense of ownership or spirit of
more commendable, therefore, that the manage-               self-help, it is also essential that the GEF promote
ment of the Facility has steadily been improved             greater awareness of itself among recipient coun-
through the 1994 restructuring and the first replen-        tries, further strengthen the mechanisms for the
ishment.                                                    coordination of project development, and promote
   I also join you in welcoming the latest agreement        project development-related capacity building in
on the second replenishment to cover the Facility’s         recipient countries.
Phase 2 activities, scheduled to start in July this year.      Third, the incremental cost requirement and the
Together with the Kyoto Protocol, this signals a strong     project cycle. To make the GEF more accessible to
commitment by donor countries toward addressing             recipient countries, the whole concept of incremental
global environmental issues.                                cost, which is so central to the GEF, must be further
   For its part, Japan has supported the Facility ever      clarified in operational terms. Also, the project cycle
since its pilot phase as a funding mechanism for pro-       must be constantly reviewed to further facilitate the
grams in developing countries aimed at protecting           process.
the global environment. We believe the Facility                Finally, I also support the recommendation that
should continue to play a leading role as a focus for       co-financing be put to better use to enhance the cat-
multilateral support in global environmental issues.        alytic function of the GEF. Japan is also prepared to
                                                            consider this recommendation.
The latest agreement on replenishment does not              CONCLUSION
mean, however, that we can rest on our laurels. On          A threat to the global environment is a threat to all
the contrary, the Facility must remain subject to           humankind. It is a common agenda that must be
review in order to achieve even further operational         addressed by all countries—whether developed or
improvement. In this regard, I welcome a number of          developing.
evaluation programs, in particular the study of GEF’s          I would like to conclude by hoping that the GEF
overall performance submitted to this Assembly, and         will continue to play a pivotal role, through its effec-
the policy recommendations prepared at the conclu-          tive and efficient operations, in furthering such multi-
sion of the replenishment. Allow me to express my           lateral efforts.
Statement of Kenya
Francis Nyenze
Minister of Environmental Conservation

             n behalf of the President, the Govern-       a concluded GEF instrument which restructured the
             ment and the people of Kenya, the Kenya      GEF on March 17th, 1994, in Geneva. Kenya has also
             delegation thanks the Government and         closely followed the performance of the restructured
             the people of India, for hosting this his-   GEF for the last four years. Hence we are here to join
toric GEF first participants’ Assembly here in India,     other nations, to review—in a global sense—the GEF
and for the brotherly care afforded to us since our       general policies, evaluate its operations and make rec-
arrival. We again thank the Government of India,          ommendations we consider appropriate for the GEF
and the GEF Council and Secretariat, and many other       Council’s action.
institutions and individuals, for the excellent              We have received the GEF activities report, and
arrangements made for this conference.                    Kenya loudly commends and appreciates the efforts
   My delegation congratulates you, Mr. Chairman          and accomplishments of the GEF in the short history
and members of your Bureau, on your election to the       of its existence. We openly acknowledge and appreci-
unenviable task of guiding this historic Assembly to      ate the efforts of the GEF Council, the GEF Secretariat,
its conclusion. We wish you success and assure you of     the implementing agencies—i.e., the World Bank,
Kenya’s support in this respect.                          UNDP and UNEP as well as STAP—in the achieve-
   As we assemble here, the Rio Earth Summit Agenda       ments thus far recorded. We also recognise the watch-
21 remains largely unfulfilled. Kenya has ratified and    ful eye and input of the NGO community to the GEF
actively participated in all the environmental conven-    successes. We indeed thank the Governments that
tions, including the Montreal Protocol, the Climate       have contributed to the GEF funds and welcome the
Change and Biological Diversity Conventions, and          successfully concluded second replenishment of the
the GEF. Kenya has followed closely the GEF history       GEF on 24th March 1998.
from inception, through its restructuring meetings           At this juncture, Kenya acknowledges and appreci-
from 1991 in the cities of Geneva, Abidjan, Rome,         ates the financial support from GEF through the
Washington, Paris, Beijing, and Cartagena, leading to     World Bank, UNDP and UNEP for our environmental
and capacity-building projects, some combining the                The total GEF funds committed to protect the
East African region. Notable among these are the Bio-         environment for the period July 1994 through
diversity Data Management System and the Institu-             March 1998 is US$1.2 billion. This amount, while
tional Support for the Protection of East African Bio-        commendable, is nevertheless low vis-à-vis the rate
diversity. Currently, Kenya is in the process of              of environmental degradation that needs urgent
preparing the National Biodiversity Strategy and              attention. There is a need for GEF to enhance the
Action Plan with GEF funding through the World                capacities of the GEF Secretariat, the implementing
Bank. On-going is the Lake Victoria Environmental             agencies and other relevant stakeholders in order
Management Project, involving Kenya, Uganda and               to accelerate the pace of environmental protection
Tanzania, aimed at rehabilitating the Lake Victoria           through more projects and larger funding commit-
ecosystem. Kenya is also a beneficiary of the UNDP/           ments.
GEF Small Grants Programme.                                4. Focal points. These are an important cog in the GEF
   Kenya enjoys a good relationship with GEF. Never-          wheel. These cogs in the developing countries need
theless, our efforts to pursue and fulfill our commit-        to be financially facilitated to enable them to func-
ments to Agenda 21 through the GEF are at times               tion effectively. Therefore, a modest sum in the
frustrated. Kenya strongly recommends that the fol-           GEF Secretariat budget should be provided for this
lowing aspects of the GEF mechanism be reviewed               purpose.
and improved upon.                                         5. Constituencies. Most of the developing country con-
1. The instrument. The four focal areas are restrictive.      stituencies are large and currently not functioning
   The fifth area of land degradation, desertification        effectively for lack of budgetary support. We recom-
   and deforestation needs to be added so that related        mend that Council members in these countries be
   issues can be fully funded in the GEF budget. Kenya        financially facilitated by GEF to have one meeting
   strongly feels that these issues have not been given       of the constituency members in between Council
   adequate consideration in the GEF process as con-          meetings in addition to the workshops.
   tained in paragraph 3 of the GEF instrument.            6. Capacity to access GEF funds. Many recipient coun-
2. Governance. Kenya is satisfied with the governance         tries currently lack adequate capacity to access GEF
   structure of the GEF. However, three years is too          funds. The countries’ capacities should be strength-
   long between meetings of the Assembly. The                 ened, more local NGOs and local communities
   Kenyan Government recommends that the partici-             should be out-reached, and the Small Grants Pro-
   pants’ Assembly meet once every two years. Fur-            grammes should be enhanced and extended to
   thermore, consideration should be given to incorpo-        more countries.
   rating the multilateral regional development banks,        With regard to the recommendations on Monitor-
   such as the African Development Bank, as imple-         ing and Evaluation, Kenya supports the idea that the
   menting agencies, rather than executing agencies.       monitoring and evaluation process be a continuous
3. Operations. The project approval process is too long    feature of the GEF activities. We urge that the recom-
   in the GEF project cycle. Efforts must therefore be     mendations, as deemed applicable, resulting from such
   made by GEF to accelerate expeditious processing        exercises be effectively processed by the GEF Council.
   of country applications without compromising               In conclusion, Kenya endorses the report of the
   quality. For example, Kenya submitted an applica-       GEF Chief Executive Officer and the recommenda-
   tion in July 1997 to GEF through UNEP for fund-         tions therein and requests that our serious concerns
   ing the preparation of the First National Commu-        above be addressed by the GEF Council.
   nication towards fulfilling our commitment to the          Kenya thanks GEF for the efforts and achievements
   Climate Change Convention. To date, we have not         thus far recorded. However, if global environmental
   received any response from the GEF.                     degradation is a real threat to countries’ national
       Kenya welcomes the introduction of medium-          security, then GEF must walk faster in the next phase
   size grants which will help NGOs implement envi-        of its operations, if not run, so as to more effectively
   ronmental conservation activities in support of         perform its responsibilities as the leading global
   Government programmes.                                  financial mechanism to protect the environment.
Statement of the Republic of Korea
Choi Dae-Hwa
Ambassador to India

      would like to begin by congratulating you on           cance of global environmental preservation is con-
      your election as the Chairman of the first ever        cerned, however, we seem to be divided on the issue
      GEF Assembly. I would also like to take this           of implementation of global activities which entail
      opportunity to extend my deep appreciation to          financial commitments that need to be borne by
the Government of India for its valuable support and         each shareholder country. This attitude needs to be
contribution in hosting this gathering.                      addressed immediately for the GEF to continue work-
   As we all know, the Global Environment Facility           ing towards its goal.
was restructured in 1994; in the short interim period,          Facing the commencement of a new period, the GEF
it has taken major strides towards development. Its          itself needs to be restructured and improved to meet its
functions are as many as they are varied. It serves as a     diverse and multiple missions. The CEO’s report has
financial mechanism of the Biodiversity and Climate          pointed out that the GEF has to further evolve and
Change Convention. Simultaneously, it fulfills its           mature into a more broadly representative, participato-
mission as a global watchdog by acting as the chief          ry, transparent, effective and strategic organization.
financial body for the implementation of Agenda 21.          1. Among the challenges facing the GEF, mainstream-
   The GEF has now established itself, and its activities       ing global environment issues into the regular pro-
have firmly taken root. It has successfully set up its own      gramme of activities of implementing agencies
fundamental system of institutional and administrative          draws special concerns. The GEF should prioritize
procedures. Through the pilot phase and the GEF I peri-         establishing a strategy distinct from that of other
od, it has accumulated a great deal of experience in the        international financial institutions. The World
management of global environmental development.                 Bank, UNDP and UNEP have to tackle global envi-
   The GEF has demonstrated its function not only as            ronmental issues as a matter of primary concern.
a channel for project financing but, more importantly,       2. The GEF project cycle is widely perceived as need-
as a vehicle for mainstreaming the global environ-              ing further improvement. For recipient countries,
ment issue into the agendas of regional, national and           their main concern is how well and effectively
local bodies. An increase in number of member coun-             their environmental demands are met by the GEF.
tries from 73 to 161 in a short span bears testimony            If project cycles are unnecessarily long and com-
to the significance of the GEF, which has been cor-             plex, they need to be altered, as a matter of urgency,
rectly recognised by the international community.               to ensure cost-effectiveness. In this regard, we wel-
   We are gathered here today at the start of the sec-          come the report on reforms carried out by the
ond GEF period, namely GEF II. Ahead of us is a long            World Bank and the UNDP to streamline the pro-
and winding road towards the ultimate goal of                   ject cycles.
achieving sustainable development. The CEO’s report          3. Non-governmental sector involvement is another
has correctly pointed out the urgency for action to             essential factor for the furtherance and expansion
address global environmental issues. Degradation of             of GEF activities. The private sector serves as a
soil, scarcity of water resources, global warming, dis-         mainstream of international capital flow, and most
ruption of weather patterns, diminution of species              advanced technologies are developed and owned
and genetic resources are the threats that loom on              by the private sector. The GEF’s progressive stance
our horizons.                                                   towards NGOs and private participants is com-
   As a vanguard for global environment protection              mendable, and it should be further encouraged.
and preservation, the GEF should be at the centre of         4. Lastly, the GEF has to develop a strong monitoring
world environmental efforts to discharge its ultimate           and evaluation system that will continuously eval-
duty of sustaining global environment. In this con-             uate ongoing projects and identify problematic
text, the GEF’s second phase is more important than             matters, providing feedback for future projects.
ever before, and it calls for a wholehearted response           These systems are required to measure the progress
from the international community.                               of projects and to achieve greater project quality
   No country should hesitate to provide necessary              and effectiveness.
support for the fulfillment of GEF’s mission. While             With the streamlining of the GEF mechanism, my
we are all of the same opinion as far as the signifi-        delegation is confident that the second GEF will bring
us closer to the realization of sustainable develop-             It is our duty to leave our children a planet that is
ment in the face of the new millennium.                       free from environmental pollution, where they can
   In recent years, industrialization in Korea and its        live and prosper. This involves global thinking and
effects on the environment have been a matter of              global action which the GEF is spearheading. Now
grave concern to the Government. The Korean Gov-              that the GEF has laid its foundation and we head
ernment will closely cooperate with the GEF to tackle         towards the next millennium, it is not “what we can
environmental problems in and around the Korean               get from the environment”, but rather, “what we can
peninsula.                                                    do for the environment.”

Statement of Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Souli Nanthavong
Minister, Prime Minister’s Office; President of Science
Technology and Environment Organization

      am very pleased by the invitation to join you and          financed by the World Bank, FINNIDA and the GEF
      to speak about our involvement in the operation            is operating.
      of GEF-funded activities in the Lao PDR. Kindly            Regarding the third area, international waters, a
      permit me to take this occasion to express my           proposed water utilization project is consistent with
congratulations to all of you for the fruitful efforts tak-   the objectives of GEF Operational Program No. 8
en in order to improve the operation of the GEF. It is        (“Water-Body-Based”) under the long-term window.
visible to us that, indeed, operations have improved          Within the framework of the Mekong River Commis-
gradually over the past years, although the funding lev-      sion, comprising Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and
el generally fell short of the expectations we had after      Vietnam, through a grant under the GEF’s Project
the Earth Summit. This shows that the GEF as a new            Development and Preparation Facility (PDF Block B
model for channeling funds into the environment sec-          grant), the proposed GEF water utilization project has
tor needs to make itself better known. For this, success      been prepared in collaboration with the World Bank
stories are necessary, and we hope that the projects in       as the GEF implementing agency. Phase 1 was imple-
our country can serve this purpose, once finished.            mented and completed in 1997. The project has
   Out of the four major program areas of GEF, our            developed a framework concept paper for the water
country has projects in two:                                  utilization project, which will be reviewed for con-
l. Climate Change Convention—a National Green-                sensus by the riparian countries for further considera-
   house Gases inventory project is under way, aim-           tion and action in Phase 2.
   ing to complete its first national communications             This is in keeping with an agreement between the
   to the conference of parties and to improve capacity       Bank and UNDP that the latter would focus on wet-
   in-country to comply with UNFCCC.                          lands in the lower Mekong basin, while the Bank
       I should also mention that, on a national scale,       would mobilize assistance for the water utilization
   forestry and related upland farming and agro-              program.
   forestry systems have been a major focus of donor             Concerning the fourth area, ozone layer depletion,
   assistance and are likely to contribute to the coun-       the Lao Government is preparing to become a party
   try’s minimizing of greenhouse gas emissions in            to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the
   the long term.                                             Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Sub-
2. Biological Diversity Convention—a project proposal         stances that Deplete the Ozone Layer as well as the
   on the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action           Montreal amendments.
   Plan as well as a project on the set-up of a Biodiver-        Institutions operating GEF programs in our coun-
   sity Conservation Trust Fund are being formulated.         try so far are receiving various forms of support
       In this biodiversity focal area, the Forest Man-       aimed at strengthening our capabilities such as (1)
   agement and Conservation Project, which is co-             training courses to strengthen analytical and field
skills as well as operational and policy skills; (2) nec-   ■  Organize a national workshop on the GEF financial
essary equipment (like computers, field vehicles, etc.);    mechanism operation.
and (3) on a very limited scale, receive advice on          ■ Provide adequate services for the private sector in
institutional matters.                                      dealing with GEF programs, be it on the financing or
   The above–mentioned projects have given our              implementation level, and facilitate their operation.
Government the opportunity to study the practical           ■ Capacity building should not concentrate on for-
applicability of GEF in the field and to draw conclu-       mal institutions only, such as national focal points,
sions. We would like to propose the following points        but should involve the end users of natural resources,
for further strengthening the GEF and for better            be they the urban poor, industries, public groups,
catering to the needs of the developing countries of        etc., in the planning and execution of GEF projects
the South:                                                  and programs.
■ Given linkages between the on-going GEF Secre-            ■ Conduct regional workshops on a regular basis for
tariat programs, the World Bank, UNDP, UNEP, oth-           the GEF national focal points to ensure timely shar-
er implementing agencies and programs of the GEF,           ing of information and lessons learned.
national focal points should improve cooperation               I am sure that this Assembly is of special interest to
and coordination of their respective assistance             us because it not only gives us the opportunity to par-
programs.                                                   ticipate but also to introduce us to the policy of the
■ Assist the countries, in particular the least devel-      GEF. We are really interested in joining and learning
oped countries, in formulating project proposals to         from this Assembly the experiences of other countries,
be consistent with GEF programs.                            how they see GEF, how we can join forces to make this
■ GEF should attach greater priority to proposed pro-       special Fund work and how the special interests of least
jects from least developed countries.                       developed countries can be considered in a better way.

Statement of Latvia
Indulis Emsis
State Minister for the Environment

      t is a great honor to address the first Global        mechanism for integrating global environmental
      Environment Facility Assembly on behalf of the        concerns. Although direct foreign investment in
      Government of the Republic of Latvia. Let me          developing countries has more than tripled since
      congratulate you, Mr. President and Vice Presi-       UNCED in Rio, the GEF is an essential link between
dents, on the occasion of being elected to these hon-       local and global environmental challenges and
orable posts for this historic event.                       national and international resources in the areas of
   I would like to express my delegation’s gratitude to     climate change, biodiversity, ozone depletion, inter-
the Government of India for its hospitality and for         national waters and land degradation.
the excellent organization of this Assembly. I extend          Latvia shares the deep concern for the preserva-
my gratitude also to the Secretariat of the Assembly        tion of biological diversity as well as safeguarding
for the immense task of preparation.                        the earth from negative human impacts. Latvia is
   Latvia became a member of the GEF on the 27th of         deeply involved in the process of change from a
June 1994 and since then has carefully followed the         planned to a market economy and its integration
development of this financial institution which is          into the European Union obviously sets specific
crucial for future generations, joining the family of       tasks and objectives.
161 countries with good will and full understand-              The first strategic environmental protection docu-
ing of the important role of implementation of those        ment, called the National Environmental Policy Plan,
international conventions concerning the GEF after          in Latvia is formulated in line with the principles of
its reorganization in 1994.                                 the United Nations Environment and Development
   The GEF Trust Fund under the wise supervision of         Conference in Rio de Janeiro, under the requirements
the World Bank has successfully served as a funding         of Agenda 21 and European Union environmental
policy; it sets as a final goal sustainable and balanced    increase the forested areas to approximately 50% dur-
development in the country.                                 ing the next twenty years.
   Biological diversity, climate change, ozone layer pro-      One can compare the more than $US3.5 billion
tection and quality of transboundary water resources        invested by GEF into FCCC-related projects and
are the most important and simultaneously political-        $US826 million cofinanced by UNDP/GEF with
ly and socially very sensitive issues. Therefore, since     future investment necessary in the near future and see
1992, Latvia has combined forces in the international       that achievement of global scale projects is tremen-
processes for environment protection, thus imple-           dously expensive.
menting the commitments of the Convention on                   A small share of the figures mentioned above is the
Biological Diversity, the Framework Convention on           first cooperation between Latvia and GEF. Latvia’s
Climate Change and the Montreal Protocol. We rati-          cooperation with the GEF extends in the fields of bio-
fied the Framework Convention on Climate Change             logical diversity, solid waste management and climate
and the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1995,         preservation projects.
soon after joining the Vienna Convention for the               Latvia has fulfilled the commitments of the above–
Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Pro-         mentioned Conventions and pledges the implemen-
tocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer,           tation of the international treaties thoroughly and
adopted National Environmental Policy Plan and              completely. Our sincere interest and readiness to pre-
submitted the first National Communication of the           pare and lead more projects in the field, which are
Republic of Latvia under the Framework Convention           mutually crucial for both regional and global rehabil-
on Climate Change and the Country Program called            itation of the environment such as reduction of
“Phasing Out the Ozone Depleting Substances.”               anthropogenic gas emissions, protection of interna-
   Elaboration of the National Strategy on Biodiversity,    tional water resources or protection of endangered
the Action Plan and National Report on Biological           species, will be possible with the direct participation
Diversity to the Conference of the Parties of the Con-      and support of GEF and its implementing agencies.
vention on Biodiversity, the first Climate Protection          However, the instability caused by economic restruc-
Policy Plan and the second National Communication           turing, the development of democratic changes and
on Climate Change are in their concluding stages            the high uncertainty of reaching political and eco-
and are supposed to be finished during 1998.                nomic goals preclude Latvia from succeeding alone.
   Modernization of Latvia’s industry and restructur-          Regional cooperation has fruitfully begun between
ing of the economy, replacing obsolete production           neighboring Baltic States—Estonia, Latvia, and
with up-to-date environmentally sound technology            Lithuania—at such important international fora as
especially in the field of special industries and energy,   the Baltic Assembly, the Council of Ministers of the
has been applied to achieve promotion of non-CFC            Baltic States and Nordic States and Baltic Sea coun-
materials, renewable energy sources and energy con-         tries. Very fruitful multilateral cooperation in the
servation measures.                                         framework of the Baltic Sea region promises to pre-
   All problems related to the conversion of former         vent further degradation of the quality of water in
military technologies to peaceful purposes and to           the Baltic Sea. It is necessary to start the bilateral and
economic transition in general gives us assurance           multilateral cooperation to implement the Montreal
that the processes of development in our region—            and Kyoto Protocols. We would be very grateful if
and in Latvia in particular—have short-term invest-         this Assembly would be able to come closer to the
ment needs and are therefore highly cost effective          solution of three key issues that are at the center of
and with extremely high outcome. Countries with             negotiations: i.e., allocations of responsibility, costs of
economies in transition are soon to be potential            emission reduction, and financial mechanisms. The
donors themselves, and their goal is to join the Euro-      creation of a new partnership between North and
pean Union not only by political criteria but also by       South would guarantee success in the future and let
setting strict environmental standards for their eco-       us act effectively over the years.
nomic and household activities. I would like to assure         The delegation of Latvia is in a position to support
donor countries that assistance to our region’s coun-       ideas to work out biodiversity and climate change
tries is a short-term measure with high potential and       strategy in the region. With respect to future policies
efficiency and very necessary right now, during the         and strategies for effective environmental protection,
transition processes.                                       Latvia intends to develop new, efficient measures to
   A large percentage of Latvia is covered by forests       implement a harmonized international approach
resulting in stable carbon dioxide sequestration rates      towards elaboration of the Global Forest Convention
exceeding the level of emission of CO2. Efficient and       as a follow-up to the Convention of Biological Diversity,
reasonable forestry policy accomplished by the Lat-         joint implementation actions under the Kyoto Proto-
vian Government envisages rational activities to            col, emission trading and global tax on aviation fuel.
   Let us join forces to start an effective process for glob-   of the last three years has proved that GEF is smart assis-
al environmental protection. We would like to ensure            tance. Approaching the 21st century, the environmental
that Latvia will undertake serious efforts to support,          problems that impact our very survival require urgent
cooperate and comply with the declared objectives lead-         action—no matter that they are both complex and long
ing to the rapid reduction of anthropogenic gas emis-           term. And let GEF be that smart tool to achieve global
sions and to sustainable development. The experience            improvement without global changes of our planet.

Statement of Lesotho
Bore Motsamai
Secretary General, National Environment Secretariat

      would like to express my sincere gratitude to the         governments might not wish to change their devel-
      Government and the people of India for their              opmental and environmental policies.
      generosity and hospitality in hosting this august         ■ Such reviews could entail further delays in the proj-
      Assembly. The reception from the people and               ect cycle and implementation process.
officials has made us feel welcome and special.                    On mainstreaming of the global environment by
   The Global Environment Facility has grown into a             the implementing agencies, it should be borne in
visionary organization which has grasped the world’s            mind that making linkages between potential GEF
potential for a healthy environment, and mobilises              projects and potential UNDP core budget projects
the innovation and change to achieve its potential. We          should not lead to diluting UNDP’s financing of
have to live according to its tenets and fully appreci-         development assistance.
ate it to ensure its sustainability. A visionary organiza-         We support the team’s recommendation that a
tion is vibrant, seizes opportunities as they come, and         study be undertaken on the pros and cons of increas-
always looks for ways to improve its future self-efficacy.      ing the number of implementing agencies. This may
   The reports we have in front of us now bear this             benefit recipient countries in capacity building.
out. The Chief Executive Officer’s report is an impor-             The proposal to allow implementing agencies to sub-
tant landmark for the next millennium, and we sup-              mit a range of estimates of incremental costs on the
port its broad vision.                                          project’s first submission is a sound one. This will intro-
   The study team considered several issues, and I want         duce some time savings into the project cycle. The sec-
to comment on some of them. We support the recom-               ond review of the project proposals by the Council
mendation that the GEF Council should address the               should also be eliminated to avoid any further delays.
need for a clear definition of the concept of “new and             The implementing agencies at both the GEF and
additional resources.” Success in this regard could             the country level, as well as the focal points, should
make a contribution to facilitating the international           be strengthened.
community’s successful negotiations in other fora. The             Finally, I take this opportunity to express my Gov-
team further recommends that developed countries                ernment’s appreciation for the GEF support in suc-
consider separating budget lines for global environ-            cessfully carrying out the enabling activities of the
mental measures in developing countries and for con-            Conventions on Biological Diversity and Climate
tributions to GEF from budget lines for development             Change. A project on conserving mountain biodi-
cooperation. We believe that this is in line with the           versity was approved last year, but is yet to be imple-
principle of equal but differentiated responsibilities.         mented. It can hopefully be done within the short-
   On seeking formal commitments from recipient                 est space of time. This is only the beginning; more
countries to review policies and sectoral activities in         projects are in the pipeline. They will cover
order to avoid “increasing the risk of project failure,”        Lesotho’s top priority environmental problem,
this should be carefully considered, taking into account        namely, land degradation. I believe the GEF should
the following, among others:                                    give strong support to such programmes, if a holistic
■ National policies and sectoral activities are based on        approach to the global rejuvenation of the environ-
national needs and priorities, and recipient country            ment is to be achieved.
Statement of Madagascar
Oilivier Rija H. Rajohnson
Minister of Water and Forests

                 adagascar se félicite d’être convié à       ■ Le plan national et la stratégie de la valorisation de
                 cette première assemblée générale du        la biodiversité, outils d’ orientation des actions à
                 Fonds mondial pour l’environnement          venir.
                 (FEM) et adresse ses vifs remerciements     ■ L’inventaire national des ressources halieutiques et
au secrétariat, aux agences d’éxecution, aux organisa-       marines ainsi que l’élaboration d’une politique de
teurs, d’avoir pu faciliter notre venue à cette assise.      gestion intégrée des zones côtières, en étroite collabo-
   Au nom du gouvernement malgache, je souhaite              ration avec la région de l’océan indien.
un vif succès à cette rencontre. La délégation de            ■ Le procéssus de régionnalisation et de programma-
Madagascar ne saurait également de souligner la              tion des stratégies et actions concertées de développe-
chaleureuse hospitalité du gouvernement Indien et            ment adressées principalement à des problèmatiques
lui adresse sa vive gratitude.                               environnementales liés à la gestion des ressources
   Je saisis cette occasion qui m’est offerte pour vous      naturelles.
faire part des projets qui ont bénéficié de l’appui, du         Ce procéssus mondial de concrétisation des engage-
FEM dans le cadre de la politique environnementale           ments stipulés dans la convention sur la diversité
malgache.                                                    biologique enmène des échanges d’expériences au
   Dans le cadre de la mise en oeuvre des résolution de      niveau régionnal et intérnational, puisque les pays
la conférence de Rio, Madagascar bénéficié de l’appui du     engagés ses rencontrent periodiquement pour faire la
FEM, notamment pour le développement des activités           situation dans leurs pays respectifs, ce qui permet
inhérentes à la convention sur la diversité biologique.      d’enrichir les réfléxions et d’appréhender l’évolution
   Le pays est signataire de la convention en 1995,          du programme.
qui coincide d’ailleurs à nos préoccupations majeures           Par ailleurs, Madagascar s’implique également à la
depuis les années 1980, avec la réalisation de la con-       procédure d’adhésion à la convention cadre sur les
férence nationale sur la consérvation de la nature,          changements climatiques conscients des problèmes
constituant les premiers jalons de la charte de l’envi-      de la pollution de l’air liée à la deforestation et à la
ronnement malgache et de son plan d’action.                  dégradation de l’environnement d’une manière
   Cette adhésion permet de renforcer les actions déjà       générale.
entreprises et de les orienter vers le souci de développe-      Dans la mise en oeuvre de ces composantes qui s’in-
ment durable.                                                scrivent dans le plan d’action environnementale Mal-
   Ainsi, en 1995, les travaux d’investigations du           gache, l’approche programme et la recherhe de la
procéssus participatif pour la définition des options et     synérgie, en vue d’une meilleure efficacité recquiert une
des priorités pour la consérvation des ressources de la      complémentarité et une vision commune entre toutes
biodiversité, ont abouti à la tenue d’un atelier scien-      les composantes que ce soit au niveau nationa1 qu’au
tifique qui devrait être la base des actions liées à la      niveau régional. La cohérence entre les différentes com-
gestion des ressources de la biodiversité dans le pays.      posantes est une priorité de l’ensemble du PEII.
Cette rencontre dont la realisation fut appuyée par le          La stratégie du PEII repose sur les points suivants:
FEM, a permis d’une part, de constituer des données          ■ L’approche programme qui correspond le mieux au
sur les ressources naturelles dans des régions               souci de cohérence et à une vision commune sur les
écologiques bien délimitées, d’autre part, de lancer les     choix et les moyens utilisés.
activités liées directement aux engagements stipulés         ■ L’approche spatiale de la réduction des pressions sur
dans la convention.                                          les ressources naturelles et sur les ressources humaines.
   En effet, la monographie nationale et le rapport          ■ La prise en considération des facteurs socio-
national de la diversité biologique, deux premières          économique et culturels pour la gestion durable des
étapes de la dite convention appuyées par le FEM/            ressources.
PNUE, ont été publiés. Ils constituent les bases de toutes   ■ La responsabilisation des décideurs locaux par leur
les étapes futures de gestion des ressources naturelles.     intégration dans le procéssus de conception, de pro-
   C’est pour cette raison que Madagascar, a l’instar        grammation et de la réalisation des actions. Ils con-
de nombreux pays africains et asiatiques engagés             tribuent à la définition de leurs besoins et de leurs
dans le même procéssus aborde actuellement:                  priorités.
■ La dynamisation des structures de base en vue de l’im-       durable entre les apports des projets et les effets posi-
plication des populations locales, du secteur privé et         tifs sur l’environnement mondial.
associatif dans la concéption, dans la programmation et        ■ Association des secteurs privés à toutes les étapes de
dans la gestion de projets. Ainsi, les ressources naturelles   la concéption et de l’éxécution du projet.
seront cogérées par les opérateurs et les communautés.         ■ Large participation du public pour une appropriation.
■ La déconcentration de moyens des agences d’éxecu-            ■ Prise en compte des critères socio-économique et
tion par la mise en place d’antennes plus proches des          culturels.
bénéficiaires.                                                 ■ Prise en compte de l’avis des communautés, de
   Cette nouvelle orientation de la politique environ-         leurs besoins et de leurs aspirations.
nementale malgache que nous avons adoptée, va                     Le Gouvernement malgache souhaiterait done
dans le droit fil des recommandations et des principes         bénéficier, comme auparavant, de l’appui du FEM,
du FEM à savoir:                                               pour la recherche d’alternatives viables et durables
■ Concordance des activités financées par le FEM               permettant de préserver la nature malgache qui est
avec les priorités rationales permettant un lien               reconnue comme un patrimoine mondial.

Statement of Malawi
Mayinga Mkanda Wire
Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs

              alawi has made great strides in the              organisations, private sector and the donor com-
              implementation of sound environ-                 munity.
              mental management and sustainable                   To create awareness to different stakeholders on
              development since the United Nations             the procedures of accessing grant funding from GEF,
Conference on Environment and Development                      a national workshop was organised. This workshop
(UNCED) in Rio, Brazil, in 1992. The first step was to         resulted in awareness of the type of projects that
develop an institutional structure for environmental           could be funded through GEF. Several project propos-
and natural resource sectors. This included projects           als were submitted thereafter to the GEF operational
on the review and development of policies, acts and            focal point.
environmental impact assessment guidelines. It also
benefited some programmes on environment. This                 PROJECTS IMPLEMENTED UNDER GEF
process utilised financial resources from different            Even before the establishment of the operational
donor organizations. However, there are some areas             focal point, Malawi had already started accessing
requiring small funding which may not have been                funding from the GEF. The projects which are receiv-
adequately addressed. It is pleasing to note that the          ing resources under GEF are:
establishment of the Global Environmental Facility is          ■ SADC/GEF Biodiversity Project. This project is address-
addressing some of these areas.                                ing the biological conservation of Lake Malawi in col-
   Malawi has already started benefiting from the              laboration with Tanzania and Mozambique which
GEF. This brief statement gives an outline of the              share the lake.
implementation of the GEF programmes in Malawi.                ■ Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust. This is responsi-
                                                               ble for the conservation of biological resources
PROGRAMMES                                                     around the Mulanje Mountain Massif with full partic-
To start the implementation of the programmes in               ipation of the Government, nongovernmental organ-
GEF, a national operational focal point was estab-             isations and local communities surrounding the
lished in the Environmental Affairs Department                 mountain areas.
under the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Envi-            ■ National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan. This project
ronmental Affairs. This was followed by the estab-             carries out biological diversity inventory in the
lishment of a national steering committee com-                 country, identifies gaps, and develops strategies and
prised of the Government, nongovernmental                      action plans which will form a basis for project
ideas for the conservation and sustainable use of              Climate change/ozone layer depletion
biological resources.                                          ■ Alternative energy sources such as solar, biogas
■ Climate Change Programme. This project helped                and wind
Malawi take an inventory of greenhouse gas (GHG)               ■ Reduction of GHGs
emissions, vulnerability and mitigation measures.              ■ Phasing out of ozone-depleting substances
This will give an indication of Malawi’s contribution          International and inland waters
to GHGs. This is important because strategies can be           ■ Catchment protection of lakes and rivers
developed to reduce the levels.                                ■ Flood control
■ Renewable Energy for Malawi. This project aims at the        ■ Pollution control of lakes and rivers
establishment of a renewable energy training centre.           Land degradation
The purpose is to develop capacity in renewable ener-          ■ Catchment management
gy technologies in the country.                                ■ Reforestation
■ Southern Africa Botanical Network (SABONET). This            ■ Prioritization on land degradation financing is very
project aims at building capacity of plant scien-              important
tists and support staff in Southern Africa’s botani-
cal gardens. It provides an opportunity for scien-             PROBLEMS EXPERIENCED
tists to exchange information and experiences                  ■ Projects take a long time to be approved.
on botany.                                                     ■ Interpretation of incremental costs is not well
                                                               understood and there is need for a clearer definition.
OTHER POTENTIAL AREAS                                          ■ There is low (lack of) constituency or regional col-
Malawi appreciates the support received from GEF so            laboration.
far. It is felt that there are several other potential areas
which the GEF could support. These include:                    CONCLUSION
Biological diversity                                           Malawi appreciates the financial support from GEF
■ Reforestation projects by communities                        on the different projects being undertaken. Howev-
■ Ex-situ conservation of flora and fauna to prevent           er, it is felt that there is a potential for more assis-
habitat loss                                                   tance from GEF based on the areas highlighted.
■ Medicinal plant conservation and propagation                 This will easily be facilitated by the institutional
■ Game farming in areas around national parks and              arrangement set up to coordinate and implement
wildlife reserves                                              GEF projects.

Statement of Malaysia
Islahudin Baba
Deputy Secretary-General, Ministry of Science,
Technology & Environment

             n behalf of the Malaysian delegation, I           would enhance sustainable economic and social
             wish to join the others in congratulating         development by protecting the environment on
             you upon your appointment as Chair-               which such development depends. It was within
             man of this very important Assembly. In           the context of this evolving joint commitment
the same light, I would also like to commend our gra-          that the GEF was conceived in 1991. Its creation
cious hosts, the Government and people of India,               thus stemmed from worldwide momentum gath-
whose kindness and hospitality have made our stay              ering in the years prior to Rio for enhanced inter-
in this country a truly memorable experience.                  national action and funding to address shared
   The adoption of Agenda 21 was a unique                      environment problems.
expression of universal commitment to the forma-                  Sadly, six years after Rio, many of the promises
tion of a new global partnership—one which                     made at the Earth Summit remain unfulfilled. The
commitments made by developed countries at the             hence are unable to obtain funding from the GEF.
Summit to provide “new and additional resources”           Other projects are hindered by the increasingly strin-
have largely failed to materialize. The transfer, on       gent requirement to obtain substantial “co-financ-
concessional terms, of environmentally sound tech-         ing” in order to cover the sustainable development
nology necessary for sustainable development in            components of the project.
developing countries has been further delayed.                The above concern, I believe, has some relevance
   The GEF, which was replenished in 1994 to a level       to the issue of “incremental costs,” a concept which
of US$2 billion, remains the dominant source of            is still causing much difficulty and misunderstanding
funding for projects and activities aimed at address-      in the field, particularly relating to the calculation of
ing global environmental concerns. Although the            such costs. We would therefore like to propose that
GEF is again being replenished, my delegation is of        the recipient countries be brought into the consulta-
the view that the amount remains insufficient to sup-      tion process in determining and ascertaining such
port adequately the needs of developing countries in       costs, so that a mutually agreeable methodology may
meeting their commitments under the respective             be found for estimating incremental costs.
Conventions. In this connection, Malaysia would like          Finally, my delegation would like to emphasise
to see that the monitoring, evaluation and review of       that the implementation of Agenda 21 is a global
the GEF be conducted in an open and fair manner so         commitment. However, this commitment can only
as to provide a proper assessment of the ability of        be achieved if sufficient financial resources are made
GEF to assist developing countries in complying with       available for financing projects—not only for global
the provisions of the respective Conventions. It           environmental benefits, but also local sustainable
would also be useful for the GEF to seek greater guid-     development and poverty reduction programmes. In
ance from the conferences of the parties of the relevant   GEF terms, if sufficient “baseline” funding is not
Conventions as to the allocation and disbursement of       available to meet sustainable development objectives,
the funds.                                                 then GEF projects cannot take place. Potential national
   My delegation would also like to call for a review      and global environment benefits will in this case be
of the GEF mandate and for efforts to streamline its       forgone. The goals and funding of Agenda 21 and
decision-making process to make it less cumbersome,        GEF are thus inextricably intertwined, and should be
less bureaucratic and more transparent, in line with       considered as such.
current thinking. Although we acknowledge that the            In conclusion, Malaysia hopes that this first Assem-
GEF has, to a certain degree, improved its transparency,   bly of the GEF will provide the needed political push
there is still room for improvement. Many project          to make the GEF the most significant financial
proposals submitted by the developing countries do         accomplishment of the Rio Summit, and to move the
not even get through the “processing” stage and            sustainable development agenda forward.

Statement of Maldives
Abdul Rasheed Hussein
Minister of Planning, Human Resources, and Environment

      t is indeed a great pleasure for me to be here       on your election to lead this important assembly.
      in New Delhi today, to participate in this first       The Global Environment Facility has a very impor-
      Assembly of the Global Environment Facility.         tant role to play in the road towards sustainable
      This Assembly provides us a valuable oppor-          development. At the Earth Summit, six years ago,
tunity to exchange our views on the current poli-          governments recognized that very large investments
cies and operations of the GEF and to suggest              are needed to implement Agenda 21, to which the
strategies and options for the future. In this con-        nations of the world committed themselves at Rio de
text, I would like to thank the Government of              Janeiro. At the Earth Summit, it was also agreed that
India for hosting this important meeting. It is also       the United Nations’ Global Environment Facility
my pleasure to congratulate you, Mr. Chairman,             should have sufficient flexibility to help developing
nations meet the additional expenses needed to carry        ronment Facility has an important part to play in the
out Agenda 21 projects. We appreciate the efforts           sustainable development of small island states, and I
undertaken by the Global Environment Facility since         would like to stress here the importance of the ade-
the historic Earth Summit, and hope that it will con-       quate representation of small island developing states
tinue to play the very important role defined for it,       in the GEF structure. We believe it is appropriate and
guided by the nations of the world.                         it is time to have a constituency of small island devel-
   I would also like to recognize here that at present      oping states in the structure of GEF.
we are implementing two projects in Maldives with               The second aspect is the issue of adaptation to cli-
the assistance of the Global Environment Facility.          mate change and capacity building. Countries like
The first project is the Climate Change Enabling            Maldives are among the most vulnerable to the pre-
Activity. Under this four-year climate change project,      dicted impacts of climate change. With over 80% of
the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, Vulnerability        our land area just one meter above sea level, a rise in
Assessment, Mitigation Plan and Adaptation Strategy         sea level of one meter could entirely submerge our
of Maldives will be prepared and the first national         country. We do not want that to happen. We want to
communication to the Climate Convention will be             take action. In this context, I would like the Global
developed. The second project is for biodiversity con-      Environment Facility to seriously consider the provi-
servation. Under this project, the National Biodiversity    sion of assistance to the most vulnerable developing
Strategy and Action Plan will be developed. I would         countries towards adaptation to the predicted climate
like to thank the UNDP for the crucial role they played     change and in capacity building. Coastal defense
in securing financial assistance for these two projects.    structures and integrated coastal zone management
   I want to mention here three important aspects           programmes have now become a priority in our
which I believe this Assembly should pay special            development agenda.
attention to.                                                   The third element is making GEF more user friendly.
   First is on the structuring of GEF. The small island     In the little experience we have had with the GEF, we
developing states (SIDS) have very unique characteris-      have noticed that the process could be made more
tics, and as a result face development problems that        user friendly so that delays and misunderstandings
are equally unique and very difficult to overcome.          could be overcome. We do appreciate the work
The small island developing states are also the most        presently being undertaken in this regard and hope
vulnerable nations to the predicted climate change          that good suggestions would come from this Assem-
and associated sea level rise, and their very survival is   bly towards this.
threatened in some scenarios. The United Nations                We in Maldives are committed to sustainable
has recognized the special development needs and            development, and we will play our part in the global
vulnerability of the SIDS, and the Global Conference        partnership. To facilitate the achievement of our
on the Sustainable Development of Small Island              aim—survival and sustainable development—the
Developing States was held in Barbados to address           Global Environment Facility has a very important
this issue. The Conference adopted a programme of           part to play. It is my sincere hope that in the dialogue
action, and we need to implement this action pro-           and exchanges we have the distinguished delegates
gramme urgently. We believe that the Global Envi-           would pay attention to these issues.
Statement of Mali
Soumaila Cisse
Minister of Finance

             ’est un insigne honneur et une grande                 Comme il n’est plus possible de garantir que cette
             fierté pour moi de prendre la parole devant        rupture du régime des pluies est réversible, il est essen-
             cette auguste assemblée.                           tiel de considérer la juste mesure de la situation et de
                Soyez en remercié au nom de mon Gou-            se préparer aux conséquences potentielles d’une pour-
vernement et de mon pays, le Mali.                              suite ou d’une aggravation de la sécheresse actuelle.
   Permettez-moi de vous féliciter pour la qualité et la           De part sa position géographique, sa superficie, et
profondeur de votre exposé, d’appuyer vos recom-                son rôle écologique au plan régional et mondial le
mandations et de reconnaître avec vous que les                  delta intérieur du fleuve Niger est considéré sur le
moyens mis à la disposition du fonds pour l’Environ-            plan international comme l’une des zones inondées
nement Mondial sont insuffisants eu égard aux nom-              les plus importantes de la planète et un biotope
breux défis à relever.                                          exceptionnel en zone sahélienne. Il est en effet à
   J’ai choisi de vous parler d’un seul sujet, non pas parce    l’origine d’une diversité de ressources végétales et
qu’il est le plus difficile ou le plus important mais simple-   animales naturelles unique et d’une importance
ment parce qu’il s’agit de l’avenir de millions d’hommes,       fondamentale.
de femmes et d’enfants, de la survie de nombreux ani-              L’importance écologique internationale du fleuve
maux et de la sauvegarde de la faune et de la flore.            et son delta intérieur se caractérise par:
   Le fleuve Niger, Monsieur le Président mérite à mon          ■ La migration des oiseaux, car sur 350 espèces 108
sens toute l’attention de votre aimable auditoire.              sont des migratrices paléartiques (provenant des
   Le fleuve Niger, “Djoliba” comme on dit chez moi             régions froides de l’hémisphère Nord pendant l’hiver).
est le témoin sinon un des acteurs de l’histoire millé-         ■ Sa biomasse importante, piège aux oxydes de carbone.
naire de l’Afrique de l’Ouest. C’est autour de lui que          ■ Son rôle de barrière naturelle contre la désertification
se sont battis ces empires glorieux de Ghana-Mali et            et fixation des populations pour empêcher leur exode
Songhoï. Ce sont ses rives qui abritent les patri-              massif vers les capitales et éviter d’ajouter des désastres
moines culturels reconnus par l’UNESCO que sont:                sociaux et environnementaux dans la périphérie des
Djenné,                                                         centres urbains déjà saturés.
Tombouctou,                                                        C’est pour toutes ces raisons que j’en appelle à
Le Plateau Dogon,                                               cette assemblée et à travers elle au monde entier, au
3ème fleuve d’Afrique avec 4130 km et 9ème du monde             nom de la Guinée, du Mali, du Niger, du Nigeria, de
avec son bassin géographique (2 millions de km2).               la Côte d’Ivoire, du Bénin, du Burkina Faso, du
   Il est aujourd’hui menacé par une dégradation                Cameroun pour une stratégie de sauvegarde et de ges-
qualitative et surtout quantitative des eaux, et par            tion durable du fleuve Niger.
une dégradation de l’habitat sous le double effet de la            Les populations riveraines du fleuve Niger et de ses
sécheresse et de la pression anthropique.                       rivières vivent dans une zone aride menacée dans ses
   Depuis près de 25 ans, le Sahel connaît une sécher-          équilibres fondamentaux, elle est l’une des plus pau-
esse pluviométrique persistent qui a conduit:                   vres du monde.
■ A une réduction considérable des apports naturels                Ces populations dépendent souvent entièrement
moyens du fleuve d’environ 40% par rapport aux                  des activités liées aux eaux: eau de boisson, pêche,
débits moyens mesurés entre 1907 et 1973.                       élevage, petite et moyenne irrigation, énergie, naviga-
■ A une baisse de la recharge des aquifères alluviaux           tion, tourisme, etc.
se traduisant par un effondrement des étiages du                   Aujourd’hui ces populations luttent contre la
fleuve.                                                         pauvreté: Etancher la soif. Manger à sa faim. Eduquer
■ A l’ensablement continu des affluents et du lit               ses enfants. Soigner la maladie. Se loger.
principal.                                                         Demain, sans une action de sauvegarde du fleuve,
   Le fleuve Niger et ses écosystèmes associés sont             la lutte sera celle de la vie tout simplement: Vie
donc fragilisés dangereusement sous les effets con-             humaine. Vie animale. Vie vegetale.
jugués et qui sans doute se renforcent d’une rupture               Il est urgent d’agir, il est urgent de se souvenir
persistante du régime des pluies et des pressions exer-         de ce qu’était le Sahara, il est urgent de sauver le
cées par des populations pauvres sans alternatives.             fleuve Niger.
Statement of Mexico
Mario Garcia Barajas
Deputy Director, Ministry of Finance
(Intervencion del Embajador de Mexico en la India)

          s un honor y un gusto poderme dirigir a Ust-     una de las mayores ciudades de nuestro paìs, en el
          edes en esta fecha memorable. Memorable          marco de los objetivos de la Convención de Cambio
          para nuestro paìs anfitrión que en ocasión de    Climático; y un fondo patrimonial para el finan-
          la celebración del cincuenta aniversario de su   ciamiento a perpetuidad del gasto recurrente para la
independencia muestra una vez más su hospitalidad,         conservación de 10 áreas naturales protegidas califi-
desplegando el enorme esfuerzo que representa la           cadas como reservas de la biosfera.
organización de este evento, al servicio como siempre         Dos historias de éxito que tuvieron en común el
de las mejores causas que unen a todos los paìses aquí     esfuerzo desplegado por el Banco Mundial y el propio
reunidos.                                                  Secretariado del GEF y la utilización pionera de los
   A nombre de mi país, quiero expresar nuestro más        mecanismos financieros descritos.
sincero reconocimiento y agradecer las atenciones             En la preparación de la Estrategia de Biodiversidad
que nos han brindado en todo momento.                      y con apoyos para estudios sobre el cambio climático,
   En 1991, México ratificó su participación en la fase    contamos en México con una gestión ejemplar coor-
piloto del Fondo. Tras haber participado activamente       dinada entre el Programa de Naciones Unidas para el
en la Cumbre de la Tierra y comprometiendo su              Medio Ambiente y el Programa de Naciones Unidas
respaldo a la convenciones allí adoptadas, formalizó       para el Desarrollo.
en 1994 su participación en el GEF reestructurado.            Recientemente, iniciamos la preparación de varios
Hoy, celebramos con esta Asamblea la culminación           proyectos en las cuatro áreas focales del GEF, ponien-
exitosa del proceso para la reposición del Fondo.          do en práctica la convicción de trabajar coordinada-
   Siete años han servido para consolidar no sólo la       mente con las tres agencias y desarrollando un
administración del Fondo sino destacadamente para          enfoque de sinergia entre los objetivos de las conven-
consolidar su posición como el instrumento inno-           ciones con el objeto de lograr la mejor aplicación de
vador por excelencia, para el financiamiento multilat-     los recursos combinados del país y del GEF en
eral al medio ambiente global.                             búsqueda de los objetivos ambientales compartidos.
   La cartera de proyectos, que no se habrían podido          En la delegación mexicana están representadas
realizar sin el apoyo del Fondo, atestigua la importante   junto con la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, la
función que cumple y habrá de seguir cumpliendo en         de Hacienda y Crédito Público, y la de Medio
su carácter de catalizador del cambio.                     Ambiente, Recursos Naturales y Pesca; y destaco
   Innovar no es fácil, requiere de un instrumento ágil,   esto no sólo porque es una muestra de la importan-
inteligente y audaz para explorar nuevas opciones, pero    cia que el Gobierno de México confiere a la cele-
sobre todo para transformar las actitudes y las estruc-    bración de esta Asamblea, sino porque es una con-
turas de los gobiernos, los organismos internacionales,    vicción que en la construcción de un desarrollo
los sectores productivos y la sociedad de consumidores.    sustentable, es necesario convocar los estuerzos de
   México se ha trazado como meta la promoción de          todos los sectores.
un desarrollo sustentable entendido como el balance           El GEF, las convenciónes y la Comisión de Desarrol-
de las variables económica, ambiental y social. El GEF     lo Sustentable han compartido esta convicción de con-
ha contribuido en el avance de los objetivos nacionales,   vocar a los principales actores económicos y a la
sumando de una manera creativa, sus recursos a los         sociedad civil en la cruzada por el medio ambiente
recursos del sector privado, del gobierno y de las agen-   mundial. Especialmente, el GEF ha contribuido, a
cies de cooperación.                                       través de la viabilidad de proyectos ambientales, a unir
   Destacan por su magnitud, dos operaciones de la         en la práctica a los sectores y grupos interesados, desar-
fase piloto que permitieron constituir en México un        rollando y desarrollándose en este terreno novedoso.
fideicomiso de administración, ILUMEX, que com-               Como un instrumento del cambio, como un
binó recursos crediticios del Banco Mundial, recursos      instrumento innovador, el GEF es un proceso de con-
de la cooperación Noruega y una donación del GEF,          strucción de consensos, de conocimientos y de medios
para el ahorro de energía en el alumbrado público de       para apoyar este cambio. Por ello, entendemos que el
Instrumento que le da origen, ha determinado con           ación permanente es indispensable en un proceso
precisión el papel relevante del Consejo cuya función      innovador como el que nos ocupa.
de acompañamiento y orientación de las acciones del           El seguimiento y eyaluación continuos contribuirán
Secretariado es tanto más necesario en cuanto que se       también a avanzar en los grandes temas que se perfi-
trata de un proceso de aprendizaje e innovación. A         lan para el próximo Consejo, entre los que destacan
differencia de otras instancias donde las tareas y los     la creación de Fondos para la Conservación, la posibil-
métodos están predefinidos al momento de su                idad de definir un costo incremental atribuible a riesgo
creación, en el caso del GEF su consolidación es méri-     para fomentar la inversión privada, analizar mecanis-
to por igual del empeño del Secretariado como de la        mos ágiles para incorporar acciones de Respuesta a
orientación de su Consejo.                                 Emergencias, y aún para incorporar a título experi-
   Esta Asamblea ha conocido de los logros del GEF.        mental, nuevas agencias implementadoras para el
Ello nos permite revisar como indica el Instrumento        manejo inicial de pequeñas o medianas donaciones.
en la definición de las funciones de la Asamblea, los         Reitero a Ustedes nuestro reconocimiento al esfuer-
grandes lineamientos de política que le rigen y formu-     zo desplegado por el gobierno anfitrión y el Secretari-
lar lineamientos de gran visión que habremos de eval-      ado del GEF para la realización de esta primera Asam-
uar al cabo de 3 años. Estos deberán apoyar la gestión     blea del Fondo para el Medio Ambiente Mundial, a la
continuada del Consejo, a través de sus reuniones          familia GEF por la construcción de una venturosa
semestrales y de los procesos intersesionales.             alternativa para apoyar el tránsito hacia el desarrollo
   Coincidimos con las conclusiones del Estudio de         sustentable en beneficio de las futuras generaciones; y
Desempeño, del Informe del Secretariado y de el pro-       en este reconocimiento reitero el compromiso de
pio Consejo, relativas a la necesidad de reforzar los      México de seguir compartiendo el reto de construir el
mecanismos de evaluación y seguimiento. Una evalu-         GEF del próximo milenio.

Statement of Myanmar
U Ye Myint
Minister Counselor, Embassy in New Delhi

     would like to thank the Chairman for giving me        representative of FAO who conveyed to me the good
     the opportunity to address this august Assembly       news that the GEF Block B Proposal, “Environmental
     and to congratulate him and other members on          Management of the Bay of Bengal Large Marine
     their election to the Bureau. Also, I would like to   Ecosystem,” was approved by the GEF Secretariat. In
express our sincere gratitude to the Government and        this regard, I would like to convey our deep apprecia-
people of India for their generosity and efficiency in     tion to the GEF Secretariat.
hosting this first Assembly of GEF.                           We hope that more funds and technical support
  Yesterday, I had the opportunity of meeting with a       will be forthcoming to our region in the future.
Statement of Nauru
Kinza Clodumar
(on behalf of Pacific Island Country Participants)

              n behalf of Pacific island country partici-      We are pleased that responsible steps have been tak-
              pants in the GEF Assembly—namely, the         en to start to address these issues. The recommenda-
              Federated States of Micronesia, my own        tions proposed in the CEO’s report continue this work.
              country Nauru, Samoa, the Solomon             While we are generally supportive of the range of rec-
Islands, and Vanuatu—may I congratulate you on              ommendations proposed, there are specific issues that
your election and on the guidance you have provided         require elaboration. We will address six of these.
throughout the deliberations of the Assembly.                  The first is a favourable enabling environment.
   The CEO in his report to the Council clearly high-          The CEO’s report recommends increasing the
lighted the interdependence of our countries and the        awareness and understanding of the GEF’s role. It
impact global environmental issues have on long-            highlights the importance of the wide range of stake-
term economic prosperity for us all in saying “Never        holders that must be included in GEF activities and
has the time for international cooperation to every         understand environmental issues and the role of the
nation’s own benefit been more ripe.”                       GEF at a national level. In our region, the roles of
   We must pick this ripe fruit now before it is no         local communities and NGOs are critical to sustain-
longer worth eating.                                        able development. In this regard, the specific priority
   We are, along with our brothers and sisters of the       recommendation contained in the study of the GEF’s
Caribbean and Indian Oceans, referred to as Small           overall performance for the translation of important
Island Developing States, or SIDS. But we also think of     information into local languages must be acted upon.
ourselves as Big Ocean Developing States—BODS—              To further create a favourable enabling environment,
and, as such, we are custodians of vast reserves of bio-    stakeholders must not only be aware but also be
logical resources, both on the limited land and the         active partners. There is nothing like “learning by
expansive oceans we are responsible for. We therefore       doing,” and in this regard the use of smaller scale
have a special role and responsibility in international     funding modalities—in particular, the GEF Small
environmental affairs.                                      Grants Scheme—would be especially valuable in
   We are trying to do our share in the international       Pacific Island countries. The regional approach to
arena. For example, we led the successful effort to         delivery of the Small Grants Scheme proposed by
ban radioactive waste dumping at sea. We have               Pacific Governments in 1995 and now in place in the
played an active role in climate change negotiations,       Caribbean may be a good starting point.
although we contribute negligibly to the problem.              The second issue we wish to address relates to
Regionally, we have prepared a Strategic Action Pro-        country-driven activities and sustainability.
gram for International Waters in the Pacific adopted           Ensuring ownership and the sustainability of
by heads of government in September last year; and          impacts beyond the life of the GEF investment are
since 1993, we have commenced 17 community-                 essential. In our region, communal ownership and
based conservation areas throughout the region.             traditional systems of management account for 80%
   Our experience has shown that, in the relatively         of the land (often including the adjacent marine
brief period since its inception, the GEF has played a      area). The time taken to consult effectively with
significant role in addressing global environmental         resource managers is often lengthy but has proven to
issues. The GEF has also played a significant role in       be critical to the success of environment and sustain-
these initiatives in our region, from its pilot phase       able development initiatives in Pacific Island coun-
and in its first replenishment since the instrument         tries, and I am sure this is true elsewhere in the
came into force. Like any new organization, there           world. The time required can be significant, often
have been growing pains. These have been related, for       more than five years, and is often not taken into
example, to the need to streamline delivery mecha-          account in the project design and rules governing the
nisms, to raise awareness of its role and procedures,       delivery of funds. This issue must be addressed in
and to harmonise approaches and mainstream the              GEF projects and programmes if we are to act locally
environment within its implementing agencies.               and benefit globally.
   The third issue concerns the coordination of focal          Closer working relationships between the GEF Sec-
points and activities.                                      retariat and the Convention Secretariats are actively
   Coordination is essential, but it is important to        encouraged, as they have been in the past. In relation
build on existing coordination mechanisms. The              to the Kyoto Protocol, which we hope will come
point is especially pertinent for us in the Pacific         rapidly into force, it will be important to define the
because the regional approach is a proven and effec-        relationship between the GEF and the Protocol’s
tive delivery and implementation mechanism. Pacific         clean development mechanism.
Island states, because of the very integrated nature of        The sixth issue we wish to address concerns
development, have grappled with the issue of coordi-        enabling activities and capacity building.
nation for many years. At a regional level, we have            We are actively engaged in enabling activities, but
established the South Pacific Organisations Coordi-         further extensive capacity building is required for
nating Committee that has been used very effectively—       lasting impacts. In this regard, it is essential that any
for example, in coordinating the development of the         review of enabling activities look specifically at the
Strategic Action Program for International Waters in        capacity building required for effective implementa-
the Pacific Region and its implementation proposal          tion of GEF activities. The application and implemen-
to be presented to the GEF.                                 tation of GEF programmes to many different coun-
   The fourth issue is sector-based development and         tries in a vast region also underlines the need for
the costs of integrating the environment.                   continued information and dissemination and aware-
   Development is still largely focused by sector in        ness raising of the GEF’s role and procedures and the
our region. Yet we know that the interactions between       streamlining of the project cycle.
sectors, particularly in small islands, and the integra-       As we move closer to harvesting this ripe fruit of
tion and mainstreaming of environment is critical to        international cooperation, may I reiterate our support
sustainable development. It will be important for the       for, and recognition of, the very positive approach
GEF and its implementing agencies to demonstrate            taken by the GEF. The issues are complex, but this
through their projects and policies how to integrate        meeting clearly demonstrates there is the commit-
and mainstream the environment.                             ment necessary to invest wisely, to eat well. This
   The fifth issue concerns specifically the relationship   group of shareholders looks forward to being actively
between the GEF and the Climate Change Convention.          engaged in the GEF as it develops further.

Statement of the Netherlands
K.A. Koekkoek
Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

      t is with great pleasure that we have come to         And the framework is there—the policies, the priori-
      New Delhi to take part in the first ever Assembly     ties, the programmes.
      of the Global Environment Facility. The Nether-          To put matters in perspective, however, even a per-
      lands would like to thank the Indian Govern-          fectly functioning GEF will not be up to taking on all
ment for showing its hospitality in hosting this            global environmental problems on its own—far from
event.                                                      that. They are simply too large-scale. The proper role
   As this is both a serious and a festive occasion, I      of the GEF is that of the pilot, or better even the tug-
should like to make a few points that reflect both          boat, guiding the relevant actors globally and locally
elements.                                                   to a more sustainable course of development. In other
   The GEF has come a long way as has been made             words, the ultimate goal is to mainstream global
clear in the performance report. Not that all global        environmental concerns into daily activities—the
problems have been solved, or even sufficiently             daily activities of multilateral organisations, national
addressed. But the various actors—the conventions,          authorities and development cooperation agencies. It
the implementing agencies, the Secretariat—have             is that role that the Netherlands is particularly keen
managed to get their act together for the most part.        to see fulfilled. We know it will be no easy task.
   For the GEF to play this role properly, many condi-        For the GEF to play this role properly, it must
tions must be fulfilled. As I said before, the policies,   have credibility and clout. Credibility and clout
priorities and programmes are there. But these must        have been fostered by a successful replenishment.
be allowed to evolve over time, to reflect changing        Credibility and clout can be continually enhanced if
perceptions and preferences. The GEF must be flexi-        the actors within and around the GEF send out the
ble and dynamic in addressing old and new concerns,        same messages.
where they are related to the four focal areas of the         The Netherlands is convinced, judging by its past
GEF, and always within its mandate of global benefits      performance, that in the coming years the GEF will
and incremental costs. Think of persistent organic         be able to live up to our expectations. We think the
pollutants, think of desertification to name just two.     global commons deserve as much.

Statement of New Zealand
Darryl John Dunn
Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

                e are a small contributor to the GEF,      ways of engaging the small island states for whom
                and this year we are also representing     problems like climate change are of vital importance.
                our constituency of New Zealand, the       More and more in the future, however, the GEF will
                Republic of Korea, and Australia on        need to focus on its own specialised role within a
the Council.                                               wider global effort. The mainstreaming of GEF’s
   This first Assembly is an historic opportunity to       objectives across development agencies and at the
look at where the GEF has gone and where the future        national level is the key to gaining maximum impact
lies.                                                      from GEF’s limited resources.
   The GEF has only been in operation for a short             For the GEF cannot do it all. Whether the prob-
time, but it has made impressive progress in defining      lems are local, regional or global, action on the envi-
its role, its operational procedures, and its “family”—    ronment begins at home. The response to problems
the system of the Convention Secretariats, the imple-      like climate change or the global loss of biodiversity
menting agencies, the national focal points and the        will not be effective if it is confined to action at the
Facility itself—that determine what the GEF does and       margins, or by simply penalising environmentally
how it does it.                                            unsustainable economic activity. The need is much
   Under the able leadership of its CEO, and with the      more radical: economic development must be rein-
guidance of its Council and participating states, the      vented so that the private sector is motivated to pro-
GEF has shown a constant determination to improve          duce environmentally sound growth. This of course
the focus, efficiency and effectiveness of its opera-      goes for all countries, developed and developing.
tions. The papers before this Assembly identify areas         No amount of aid overlay will fix the fundamental
where there is a need for more improvement. I will         problem. Nothing the GEF or the implementing
highlight three of them: the mainstreaming of GEF          agencies can do will succeed in the long term unless
objectives in the policies and programmes of the           the productive sectors in the countries in which they
implementing agencies, national governments and            are operating have incentives for good environmen-
other development agencies; the partnership with the       tal performance within a responsible and coherent
private sector; and a strong monitoring and evalua-        regulatory framework. The role of governments in
tion system.                                               this is crucial, for they set the frameworks and need
   We are in early days for the GEF, which has still to    the capacity to implement and monitor them. The
make its mark in many countries. In order to mobilise      GEF and other development agencies can assist in
as many countries as possible, flexibility and respon-     partnership with committed governments. But we
siveness to local conditions remain important. I           must also look at innovative, commercially sustain-
would like to make special mention of our own South        able ways, such as the Kyoto Protocol’s clean devel-
Pacific region: the GEF needs to find cost-effective       opment mechanism, to promote the transfers of
investment and technology needed by developing                monitoring and evaluation programme is essential
countries.                                                    for informed judgments of GEF performance whether
   We are concentrating now on making the GEF a               at the project or the global level. We will be seeking
more efficient operation, more effective in its out-          an assessment of GEF’s global impacts, at least by
puts, and more widely involved in developing coun-            commencement of the third replenishment.
tries. We must, in the future, look to the outcomes we           However efficient the GEF may be, however “fit”
expect in terms of the four focal areas and what differ-      the organization, it will not succeed except as part of
ence the GEF has made to achieving them. A sound              the widest global effort.

Statement of Niger
Kimba Hassane
Councillor, Executive Secretariat, National Council
of the Environment for Sustainable Development

            otre brillante election à la Presidence de        présentes, les considérations suivantes auxquelles
            cette Première Session de l’Assemblée du          mon pays attache une importance particulière:
            Fonds pour l’Environnement Mondial                ■ Faire du FEM un mécanisme souple et permanent
            nous offre l’agréable occasion de vous               de financement des plans, programmes et projets
présenter nos vives félicitations ainsi que nos voeux            pour la préservation de l’environnement globale.
de succès dans l’accomplissement de votre noble et            ■ Développer une stratégie d’information et de sensi-
exaltante mission.                                               bilisation à travers les groupes cibles (partenaires au
   Au Président, Directeur Général du FEM, Son Excel-            développement, société civile, structures étatiques).
lence, Monsieur Mohamed T. El-Ashry, et à toute son           ■ Elaborer un plan d’actions afin d’assurer une
équipe, je voudrais au nom de la délégation nigéri-              meilleure coordination et suivi des activités du FEM.
enne exprimer notre total soutien, et nos vifs encour-           La priorité pour le Niger, comme l’a dit à plusieurs
agements pour la poursuite du remarquable travail             reprises le President de la République, Son Excellence
accompli ainsi que toute notre appréciation pour la           Monsieur Ibrahim Maînassara Bare, reste et demeure
constante disponibilité dont ils ont fait preuve.             la lutte contre la pauvreté pour un développement
   Point n’est besoin de rappeler que mon pays, le            humain durable.
Niger, pays sahélien souffre déjà des conséquences con-          C’est l’objectif qui a présidé à la création en 1996 au
traignantes de la dégradation de l’environnement qui          Niger, d’une structure nationale de coordination en
assaillent le monde, j’ai nommé ici: changements et           matière de politique environnementale: le Conseil
variabilité climatiques caractérisés par une persistence      National de l’Environnement pour un Développement
de la sécheresse depuis le début des années 70; le            Durable, cadre permanent de consultation, d’orienta-
phénomène el Niño et la Désertification avec ses con-         tion, d’harmonisation et d’intégration des aspects envi-
séquences sur la conservation de la diversité                 ronnementaux des politiques sectorielles de développe-
biologique. Aussi, avec ces problèmes environnemen-           ment économique et social. Cette institution nationale
taux il faut s’attendre à des effets négatifs qui vont per-   comportant des structures décentralisées et des com-
turber nos économies, à rendre nos récoltes aléatoires,       missions techniques parmi lesquelles la commission
à rendre difficiles les remboursements de nos dettes; à       technique nationale sur le financement du Plan
compromettre nos équilibres sociaux pour tout dire.           National de l’Environnement pour un Développement
   Pour nous, l’Assemblée de New Delhi représente le          Durable, la commission technique nationale sur les
Forum où nous devons examiner les politiques, les             changements et variabilité climatiques, la commission
opérations et les perspectives de développement du            technique nationale sur la Diversité Biologique et la
Fonds pour l’Environnement Mondial.                           commission technique rationale sur la Lutte contre la
   Aussi, je ne manquerai pas de porter à la bienveil-        Désertification. Toutes ces structures vent chargées de
lante attention des éminentes délégations ici                 coordonner et de superviser la mise en oeuvre des dif-
férents programmes et projets relevant du domaine de          souples de mise en oeuvre des micro-financements et
l’environnement qui seront financés par le FEM.               déterminer des indicateurs de performances en vue
   Je voudrais à ce niveau préciser que mon pays, le Niger,   d’évaluer les impacts des projets sur l’environnement.
grâce au soutien du Programme des Nations Unies pour          Il nous faudra enfin aussi élaborer un mécanisme de
le Développement et du Fonds pour l’Environnement             suivi des recommandations issues de cette Assemblée.
Mondial prépare actuellement sa première Communi-                C’est pourquoi, Monsieur Le Président, nous prions
cation Nationale sur les Changements Climatiques, sa          à travers vous le President Directeur Général de bien
Stratégie et son plan d’ action en matière de diversité       vouloir, en collaboration avec les institutions spécial-
biologique. C’est aussi, l’occasion de remercier ces deux     isées des Nations Unies, d’examiner la possibilité de
institutions pour ce precieux concours.                       financer la mise en oeuvre du Plan National de l’Envi-
   Pour faire face aux conséquences des problèmes             ronnement pour un Développement Durable dont
environnementaux dans un pays comme le Niger, il              notre pays sera doté au cours de cette année.
faudra nous le savons tous, aussi bien des ressources            Je ne saurai terminer mon allocution sans
financières qu’un transfert de technologies, transfert        remercier vivement le Gouvernement de l’Inde et la
au sens global de renforcement des capacités                  population de cette magnifique cité de New Delhi
nationales à travers les structures étatiques et la société   pour l’accueil combien chaleureux dont nous avons
civile. Il nous faudra aussi déterminer des modalités         été l’objet.

Statement of Nigeria
Ralph O. Adewoye
Director-General, Federal Environmental Protection Agency

       would like to congratulate the Chairperson on          date. My delegation especially welcomes the GEF over-
       his election to steer the affairs of this august       all performance in the areas of biological diversity
       Assembly and wish him and other members of             and climate change, particularly in its ability to lever-
       the pioneering Bureau of the GEF Assembly a            age additional funding for global environmental ben-
very successful tenure. I would also like to thank the        efits from both implementing agencies and other
Government and people of India for the kind gesture           funding sources. We therefore commend the new drive
to host this very first meeting of the GEF Assembly.          towards private sector participation in GEF activities
My delegation also wishes to commend the GEF Sec-             and would urge that further encouragement of private
retariat under the able leadership of Mr. Mohamed El-         investors through innovative risk-sharing instru-
Ashry, as well as the GEF Council for taking this spe-        ments such as loan guarantees be favourably considered.
cial initiative to organise the Assembly and associated          I am delighted to inform this Assembly that in
meetings outside Washington which has been the                addition to our past contributions and commitments,
traditional venue for most GEF events.                        Nigeria has further pledged the sum of SDR 4 million
   I recall with delight Nigeria’s active participation in    towards the second GEF replenishment and is poised
the work of the preparatory committees of the United          to play a more active and collaborative role with the
Nations Conference on Environment and Develop-                entire governing structure of GEF and indeed other
ment as well as the country’s role in the adoption of         participating governments.
Agenda 21 at the Rio Conference, which gave recogni-             My delegation wishes to observe that there is a low
tion to GEF as a major financial mechanism for achiev-        level of GEF funding for environmental activities in
ing sustainable development.                                  the countries of the West African Sub-region. I also
   From the GEF pilot phase, through its restructuring        wish to draw the attention of this Assembly to the
in March 1994 shortly after which Nigeria deposited           suspension of the US$25 million Escravos Flared Gas
its notification of participation and up till this very       Reduction Project due to what was termed the macro-
moment, Nigeria has watched with keen interest the            economic policy framework of the country. The proj-
tremendous progress the GEF Governing Structure               ect was negotiated during the GEF pilot phase.
has made towards the fulfillment of its onerous man-             In view of our experience, it is pertinent that this
Assembly discusses the rationale behind the making          projects. In performing these roles, consideration
of GEF grants or concessional financing contingent          should be given to the involvement of regional
to extraneous issues such as economic adjustments,          experts in order to ensure the regional ownership of
trade liberalization, and institutional reforms in          GEF projects, among other reasons.
developing countries. The question is “will such link-         With the second GEF replenishment almost com-
ages not frustrate our collective resolve to implement      pleted, Nigeria hopes to cover the backlog of potential
Agenda 21 and the environment conventions, there-           projects through the submission of viable proposals
by slowing down the global march towards sustain-           in the areas of biological diversity and climate change
able development?” Permit me to state that environ-         for possible funding by GEF. Towards this end, the
mental problems of global importance cannot wait            country has established an inter-ministerial committee
for fundamental reforms to take place at the national       to scrutinize project ideas for subsequent review by
level before action could be taken to address them.         the GEF Secretariat and the implementing Agencies.
   In considering the policies, operations and future          Finally, the issue of the composition of the two
development of the GEF, Nigeria would like to support       constituency groupings for West Africa on the GEF
the International Finance Corporation’s search for          Council is yet to be resolved. My colleagues from the
potential projects under its small and medium enter-        Sub-region would ask that this Assembly resolve this
prise activities which are of benefit to the global envi-   issue once and for all. This would be in accordance
ronment. Emphasis on the development of a viable            with the decision of the 18th Summit of Heads of
GEF outreach and communication strategy, enhancing          States and Governments of the Economic Communi-
the capacity of operational focal points, and involve-      ty of West African States (ECOWAS), held in Accra,
ment of stakeholders—particularly NGOs—at the differ-       Ghana, in July 1995, as elaborated by both the 38th
ent stages of the GEF project cycle should be continued.    and 39th Sessions of the ECOWAS Council of Minis-
   Of particular importance to my delegation are the        ters. It is my hope that the consent of all concerned
crucial roles of STAP in providing strategic advice on      parties shall be communicated to the GEF Secretariat
global environmental issues and selective review of         before the end of this Assembly.

Statement of Norway
Leiv Lunde
State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

      t is a great honour and pleasure for me to address    ronmental objectives under the conventions that
      the first Assembly of the Global Environment          GEF is constructed to serve. The Kyoto Conference
      Facility on behalf of the Government of Norway.       was the latest, and hitherto strongest, confirmation
      May I at the outset express our gratitude to the      of this point. Does this, however, imply that GEF
Government of India and the authorities and popula-         alone should take on its shoulders the responsibility
tion of New Delhi for hosting this important event.         for achieving global environmental benefits? The
   Firstly, allow me to express our satisfaction that the   answer is quite clearly NO. The risk may be there,
second replenishment of GEF was agreed shortly              God forbid, that we now, post-Kyoto, enter into
before the Assembly. It has been a particularly impor-      unproductive institutional rivalries over who should
tant point for my country—which contributes to GEF          implement the flexibility mechanisms decided in
nearly three times our relative share in the UN bud-        Kyoto. Within the family of global environmental
get—that all donor nations respond fully and equi-          institutions, there must and will be plenty of room–
tably to the collective challenge of global environ-        tasks and challenges for all in a, hopefully, rapidly
ment objectives. We have nearly achieved this               expanding market for greenhouse gas mitigation. The
objective and, on balance, an even stronger working         Kyoto Protocol holds promise for this.
capital basis than for GEF I.                                  The challenge at present for member states of both
   Importantly, the GEF replenishment comes at a            GEF and of the global conventions is to think in
time when increasing priority is put on global envi-        terms of policy consistency. A cautious and rational
approach is called for. We must attempt to define        the objectives set forth by the Conventions and their
complementary and mutually supportive tasks and          respective COPs. It all boils down to exploiting the
roles of GEF and of the market-based instruments         catalytic role of GEF in pioneering and mainstream-
under the Kyoto Protocol in such a way that the over-    ing global environment objectives. The tasks of
all objective of greenhouse gas reductions is achieved   implementation should gradually be picked up and
in the most cost-efficient way. The same accounts for    further realized by other agents than the GEF, includ-
the institutional challenges which the new Executive     ing the market itself.
Director of UNEP, Mr. Klaus Toepfer, and the mem-           Two final observations. GEF’s tools to monitor, ana-
bers of his task force are mandated to handle within a   lyze and evaluate its own activities on the basis of
short time span. I wish them every success in their      agreed indicators must be further sharpened. Our
efforts to reinvigorate and strengthen the work of the   improved ability today to discuss meaningfully the
UN system within the field of the environment. Their     successes and failures of GEF relies primarily on a job
work should be tightly linked with the overall UN        well done of monitoring and evaluation.
reform efforts spearheaded by the Secretary General         And finally, the urgency of GEF being country-dri-
himself. Norway and the other Nordic countries are       ven and anchored in a strong sense of country own-
following this process closely, as overdue reforms are   ership cannot be stressed enough. I fully support the
moving from the world of UN resolutions to often         proposed guidelines for follow-up action by the
painful implementation in the field.                     Council as spelled out in the policy recommenda-
   Moreover, in our view, the evaluation studies—not     tions agreed in connection with the second replen-
least the independent study of GEF’s overall perfor-     ishment. I look very much forward to specific propos-
mance—clearly indicate the need for GEF to continue      als for action to be prepared in this respect on ways
to concentrate on its main task: to gain gradual sup-    and means to strengthen country-level ownership
port, acceptance and active cooperation in realizing     and coordination.

Statement of Pakistan
Ashraf Jehangir Kazi
High Commissioner for Pakistan in India

               hen in 1992 more than 100 leaders            The response to this message was the establish-
               met in Rio de Janeiro at the First        ment of the Global Environment Facility as a finan-
               Earth Summit—United Nations               cial mechanism; a three-year pilot phase started in
               Conference on Environment and             1991 and the restructured phase in 1994 (1994–97).
Development (UNCED)—the promotion of interna-               The first GEF Assembly here in New Delhi is, there-
tional cooperation for the protection of the global      fore, a timely opportunity to evaluate the working of
environment was in its infancy. The UNCED at the         the Global Environment Facility: to take stock of the
time, however, was clear. The rich and the poor          challenges it confronts and to provide new funds for
shared a common if differentiated responsibility for     the second replenishment 1998–2002 period.
protection of the future of the planet. The rich            Pakistan, as one of the founding members of GEF,
industrialized countries were overwhelmingly             pledged a contribution of 4 million SDR. Since then,
responsible for the state of pollution and environ-      it has regularly contributed its share to the GEF Trust
mental degradation of the planet, and they               Fund. Pakistan also shares the responsibility of repre-
remained the chief polluters of the earth and its        senting the constituency it belongs to on the GEF
biosphere. It was also acknowledged that protection      Council. We are accordingly gratified by the confi-
of the global environment in its initial phases          dence reposed in Pakistan.
could never be a function of market operations,             The existing GEF projects portfolio in Pakistan is
and that it needed to be supported by extra market       small. However, we are working closely with the
mechanisms which provided feasible access to             implementation agencies of GEF to expand it. There
finance, technology and other resources.                 are, nevertheless, genuine difficulties, such as fully
understanding the concept of “agreed incremental            rate than resources are becoming available. This has
costs,” amongst the prospective project proponents.         serious implications both for the local as well as the
There is also lack of progress in mainstreaming global      global environment. The active and effective GEF will
environment concerns in the ever-expanding agenda           enable these countries to develop practical ideas for
of national and local environmental issues. There is        the implementation of the Conventions on Climate
inadequate operational capacity of GEF focal points.        Change and Biological Diversity. Accordingly, we
The financial sustainability of projects needs to be        request that countries that are in a position to do so
strengthened, and the GEF implementing agencies’            should pledge adequate resources for the GEF replen-
project approval cycles need to be shortened. There is      ishment so that the global environmental protection
also a lack of awareness of the GEF and of global           programme agreed to at the Earth Summit in Rio is
environmental issues.                                       realized.
   On our part, we shall continue to ensure full partic-       In sum, I would like to reiterate the tasks that con-
ipation of the stockholders in project preparation and      front this programme, namely:
implementation. In this connection, I would like to         ■ How to ensure GEF reaches and benefits the com-
particularly mention the GEF-funded project, Main-          mon man. The Facility is at present only known to a
taining Biodiversity with Rural Community Develop-          few institutions and concerned individuals.
ment in Pakistan, which has led to the preparation of       ■ How to ensure that GEF becomes a reliable and
(a) village management plans, (b) village resource con-     dependable source of funding, particularly for relat-
servation plans and (c) village conservation funds.         ed development sectors, like health, education and
The lessons learned from this pilot study will be part      water.
of the Pakistan Mountain Areas Conservancy Project          ■ How to increase the size and number of effective
for the conservation of the biological diversity of these   GEF projects, in the absence of which environmental
areas. We appreciate the GEF’s support. The results of      issues will remain a secondary priority for the com-
these efforts are available to other countries for simi-    mon man in developing countries.
lar community-based projects for biodiversity and           ■ How GEF funds can leverage additional resources
wildlife conservation.                                      from the private sector, especially the multinationals
   The world is changing very fast. The dynamics of         and other donors, for global environment and influ-
global economy have changed some of the premises on         ence state policies in favour of environment.
which UNCED agreements (Agenda 21, etc.) were based         ■ How GEF can be made an instrument for the uplift
and programmed interventions, such as GEF, were insti-      of people, rather than subjecting them to the rigor-
tuted. The concept of sustainable development is being      ous calculations of incremental costs.
greatly influenced by accelerated economic develop-            I hope the GEF General Assembly will deliberate
ment, trade, investments, technology and environment        on all these issues and recommend concrete actions
and the need for their integrated treatment.                in order to make GEF a reliable source of financing
   The environmental conditions in the developing           global environmental activities in concert with local
countries are, however, deteriorating at a much faster      and national initiatives.
Statement of Panama
Dimas Arcia
Subdirector General,
National Institute of Renewable Energy Resources

         a delegación de Panamá le expresa su saludo       dulce para el paso de cada barco. Por tanto, el Canal
         fraternal con los cálidos votos que hacemos       necesita una cuenca hidrográfica sana y preservada.
         por el éxito de su dirección de esta Primera         Panamá es un país pequeño que debe su nombre a
         Asamblea del Fondo para el Medio Ambiente         la abundancia de vida vegetal y animal. A pesar de la
Mundial (FMAM).                                            depredación histórica y de los accidentes naturales, el
   En nombre del Gobierno y del Pueblo de Panamá           territorio panameño sigue teniendo una gran diversi-
agradecemos al Gobierno y al Pueblo de la India, por       dad biológica.
la acogida a nuestra Asamblea. En esta acogida                La aprobación por el FMAM del Proyecto Corredor
espléndida, se refleja la tradición de generosidad de la   Biológico Atlántico es el más reciente fruto de nuestra
India.                                                     búsqueda de financiamiento para hacer frente a las
   La delegación de Panamá ha venido a esta lera.          amenazas naturales y a las amenazas antropogénicas,
Asamblea del Fondo para el Medio Ambiente Mundi-           propiciadas por la pobreza rural.
al confiada en que este encuentro confirmará y adi-           Este Proyecto tiene además el prestigio de confor-
cionará voluntades al compromiso de seguir recor-          mar el gran Proyecto Corredor Biológico Mesoameri-
riendo amplias avenidas de cooperación financiera y        cano, cuya ambición más alta es la de contribuir, en
técnica con vistas a la superación de los grandes prob-    el plano ambiental, al desarrollo sostenible de toda la
lemas que confronta el medio ambiente mundial.             región mesoamericana.
   Han transcurrido 4 años desde que el FMAM fue              Con la cooperación y financiamiento internacional
reestructurado bajo el impulso de la Agenda 21 y           se empezará a ejecutar próximamente un Proyecto
como instrumento o mecanismo financiero de la              para el Desarrollo Sostenible de Darién. Se trata de un
Convención sobre Diversidad Biológica y de la Con-         Proyecto localizado en la región fronteriza con
vención Marco Sobre Cambio Climático.                      Colombia, que es un territorio particularmente rico
   En este mismo periodo, Panamá ha dado pasos             en recursos forestales y en general en diversidad vege-
hacia adelante, ha cumplido etapas importantes en          tal y animal. El éxito de ese proyecto significará, entre
relación con sus compromisos internacionales. Para         otros logros, aliviar la pobreza y por esa vía asegurar
mi delegación es muy grato venir a esta Asamblea del       el medio ambiente de una región llena de promesas.
FMAM y afar cuenta de que la Asamblea Nacional de             En Panamá esta ocurriendo, Señor Presidente, una
Panamá ha dado tratamiento en primer debate de la          adecuación legislativa e institucional que se lleva a
Ley marco del Medio Ambiente, fruto de un proceso          cabo gradualmente pero que en definitiva es un salto
de consultas y concertación entre todos los actores de     cualitativo de nuestra preparación para el siglo XXI.
la vida nacional. Esta ley articula y armoniza el papel       En los últimos 4 años se ha creado la Autoridad de
del Estado panameño en materia de medio ambiente.          la Región Interoceánica, la Autoridad Marítima
   Próximamente, el 31 de diciembre de 1999,               Nacional y, luego de aprobada la Ley General de
Panamá será responsable de la operación, adminis-          Medio Ambiente que he mencionado anteriormente,
tración y protección del Canal de Panamá. Este es un       quedará creada la Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente y
tema que tiene una comprensible carga emocional            de los Recursos Naturales.
para los panameños, pero en el plano de los asuntos           El Gobierno y el Pueblo panameño animan estos
que razonablemente interesan a la comunidad inter-         actos con dosis saludables de fe en el futuro. No
nacional, lo importante es la continuidad de los servi-    estimulamos pesimismos estériles y somos con-
cios del canal como puente de intercambios benéficos       scientes de que tenemos problemas ambientales
para todo el mundo.                                        nacionales que debemos resolver con una visión
   Panamá tiene asegurada la capacidad de operar el        global.
canal, el cual necesita de mano de obra calificada y de       En diciembre de 1997, acudimos a la cita de Kyoto
altas competencias gerenciales.                            para hacer progresar las negociaciones entre las Partes
   En el mismo orden de cosas, el Canal necesita para      de la Convención de Cambio Climático.
su funcionamiento de 50 millones de galones de agua           Panamá esta dispuesta a capacitarse mejor para
contribuir a la reducción de emisiones de gases con       Sostenible de las Naciones Unidas y Miembro Alterno
efecto de invernadero con vistas a que toda la            del Consejo Ejecutivo del Fondo para el Medio Ambi-
humanidad pueda beneficiarse de una atmósfera             ente Mundial. En ambos mandatos hemos actuado
limpia.                                                   con afirmada voluntad de servir a las causas que son
   Hemos ratificado la Convención sobre Desertifi-        comunes a todos los aquí reunidos en esta primera
cación y en el plano regional participamos de todos       Asamblea General del FMAM.
los foros, esfuerzos y mecanismos que deberían con-          Con la misma inspiración y convicciones, expre-
ducir al cumplimiento de una agenda para el medio         samos nuestra coincidencia con las reflexiones que
ambiente que sea una contribución regional a la           están delineadas en el documento GEF/A/1/8 titulado
problemática global.                                      Informe del Funcionario Ejecutivo Principal sobre
   Esta primera Asamblea del Fondo para el Medio          Políticas, Operaciones y Futuro Desarrollo del GEF. No
Ambiente Mundial es una ocasión privilegiada para         debemos tener miedo a las innovaciones ni al cambio.
expresar nuestro reconocimiento a la labor pionera y      El GEF está destinado a ser un mecanismo que debe
hasta ahora única del FMAM como fuente eficiente,         sustentarse en la asociación (su “partnership”) con
multilateral de financiamiento. En la Secretaría del      todos los actores posibles de la acción global, en una
FMAM apreciamos la excelencia de su personal y el         congregación de recursos, de esfuerzos y de logros.
liderazgo y competencia de su principal responsable          Panamá diré siempre “presente” en la serie apasio-
Mohamed El-Ashry. Exaltamos la presencia inde-            nante de convocatorias globales en favor de la sal-
fectible del Programa de Naciones Unidas para el          vación del planeta y de todos sus habitantes.
Desarrollo PNUD en los países a través de su sistema         La Delegación de Panamá coincide con otras dele-
de representantes residentes y de la eficiencia en        gaciones que han puesto énfasis en la necesidad de
estimular el uso de las capacidades nacionales para los   no desestimar la urgencia de recursos nuevos y adi-
proyectos relativos al ambiente.                          cionales. Hay que tener siempre presente la diferen-
   Celebramos la solvencia financiera del Banco           ciación de las responsabilidades compartidas. La ayu-
Mundial y la calidad profesional de sus agentes. En el    da oficial para el desarrollo no debe confundirse con
Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambi-       los recursos puestos a disposición del GEF. Recipientes
ente (PNUMA) reconocemos su papel de gestor princi-       y donantes debemos mantener una misma valoración
pal para lograr un cambio positivo en la conciencia       de que el esfuerzo recientemente terminado para la
ambiental dentro del sistema de las Naciones Unidas y     segunda reposición de fondos (replenishment) del
lo alentamos en el reforzamiento de su misión de          GEF es un logro que merece un común sentimiento
establecer una agenda global para el Medio Ambiente.      de satisfacción. Nada fundamenta decir que otros
   Panamá es miembro de la Comisión de Desarrollo         caminos serían mejores sin la existencia del GEF.

Statement of Peru
S.E. Carlos Higueras-Ramos
Ambassador to India

         s para mí un honor dirigirme a esta asamblea     que nos permitan encontrar las soluciones más ade-
         en representación del Perú, para compartir       cuadas para los mismos. Los efectos que el fenomeno
         con ustedes algunas reflexiones en torno al      el Niño esta causando actualmente son una
         tema ambiental y al papel que cumple el fon-     demostración de la necesidad de enfrentar estos
do para el medio ambente mundial en el logro de un        desafios de manera conjunta, tanto en el área cientifi-
desarrollo social y económico sostenido, acorde con       ca como en el área económica.
el reto del nuevo siglo.                                     No cabe duda que la conciencia ambiental es hoy
   El tema ambiental es una materia compleja, tran-       más sólida en todo el mundo, de lo que era hace ape-
sectorial y global que demanda la ampliación de nue-      nas una década. El acceso a la información sobre los
stro conocimiento cientifico y el desarrollo de nuestra   problemas ambientales que hoy afectan a la
capacidad nacional para identificar nuestros proble-      humanidad y la urgente necesidad que existe de
mas ambientales y de proveernos de las herramientas       enfrentarlos para mitigar sus efectos, han generado
una serie de legítimas demandas y expectativas de            En los diferentes foros en los que se hace el
nuestros pueblos y que los Estados se ven en la           seguimiento de los compromisos de Rio y en las
necesidad de atender.                                     reuniones de las partes de los convenios acordados
   La Conferencia de las Naciones Unidas sobre el         entonces, constituye una constante preocupación el
Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo de 1992, que está             tema del financiamiento. Asi lo fue manifestad por
muy cerca aún, se propuso enfrentar el reto de            ejemplo, en la ultima reunión preparatoria para la
alcanzar una era de alerta ambiental sin prece-           Cuarta Conferencia de las Partes Del Convenio sobre
dentes, con el propósito de dar inicio a un nuevo         Diversidad Biologica o en el XI Foro de Ministros de
modelo de civilización en la que se abra campo a          Medio Ambiente de America Latina y el Caribe, real-
una relación más integrada y armónica entre el            izadas en lima, en marzo ultimo.
Ambiente y el Desarrollo.                                    Es por ello que el reciente acuerdo logrado sobre la
   Cada vez resulta más claro que el deterioro ambi-      reposición del Fondo para el Medio Ambiente Mundi-
ental se debe, en gran medida, a la puesta en práctica    al es una decisión que satisface al Perú, pues consti-
de diversos modelos de desarrollo que hasta hace          tuye una clara señal de la voluntad que existe de
poco eran considerados como la única forma viable         reforzar este importante mecanismo financiero y nos
de alcanzar el crecimiento económico al que aspira-       da la esperanza de que los próximos años serán testi-
ban todos los países, para poder satisfacer las necesi-   gos de la puesta en marcha de nuevos proyectos asi
dades básicas de sus pueblos.                             como de la canalización hacia estos propositos de
   Esto ha hecho que muchas naciones de menor             recursos nuevos y adicionales.
desarrollo, luego de haber experimentado esos mode-          Agradecemos al Señor El-Ashry por su activa y
los de desarrollo y agobiadas por la responsabilidad      dinámica dirección d el Fondo, por la eficiencia con
de tener que solucionar los graves problemas de ali-      la que ha cumplido los encargos del consejo y que
mentación, salud y educación de sus poblaciones,          queda demostrada con los excelentes estudios que ha
sientan hoy que se les está imponiendo la obligación      sometido a considéracion de los gobiernos.
adicional de tener que buscar y poner en práctica            Sirva esta oportunidad para reafirmar el compromiso
modelos de desarrollo alternativos, para los cuales no    asumido por el Peru en lo que respecta a la protección
existen antecedentes ni ejemplos pràcticos que per-       del ambiente mundial, que se refleja en su activa partic-
mitan garantizar su buen resultado.                       ipación en los diversos foros internacionales en los que
   Progresivamente, la comunidad internacional va         se discuten los temas identificados como prioritarios en
tomando conciencia de que la manera de enfrentar          la Cumbre de la Tierra y que hoy constituyen las áreas
los desafios ambientales que enfrenta el mundo actu-      focales en las que se concentran las actividades del Fon-
al—y es para ese objetivo que estamos hoy reunidos        do para el Medio Ambiente Mundial. Este reto para
en la India, en esta asamblea—es apoyando a los país-     nuestro país es una obligación ineludible, si se tiene en
es en desarrollo en la búsqueda de soluciones a los       cuenta los ingentes recursos ecologicos y vastos bosques
problemas económicos que los afectan. La creación         tropicales con los que cuenta. Esto nos permite contar
del fondo del medio ambiente mundial fue una              el dia de hoy con una diversidad biológica que parece
primera respuesta imaginativa ante este imperativo.       ser una de las más variadas y ricas del planeta, lo que se
La asamblea que hoy nos congrega debe evaluarlo y         debe en gran medida al valioso trabajo desarrollado por
orientar su perfeccionamiento.                            las poblaciones nativas de nuestro país a lo largo de
   El Funcionario Ejecutivo Principal del Fondo,          miles de años de su historia.
Señor Mohamed El Ashry, nos ha presentado una                Permítame expresarle, en nombre de nuestra dele-
reseña sobre las politicas y operaciones del fondo y      gación, mi felicitación por su elección para presidir
nos ofrece lineamientos para su evolución futura. Este    esta Primera Asamblea del Fondo para el Medio
documento nos permite apreciar los logros alcanza-        Ambiente Mundial, que estamos seguros concluirá
dos, los desafios que debera enfrentar, pero sobre        con importantes acuerdos destinados a asegurar un
todo sus posibilidades en el futuro.                      mejor futuro ambiental para toda la humanidad.
Statement of the Philippines
Delfin J. Ganapin, Jr.
Undersecretary for Environment, Department
of Environment and Natural Resources

           he Philippines, in this our centennial year—    enabling workshops on this. The message is clear—the
           in our celebration of 100 years as a free       best argument for the GEF are the on-the-ground and
           nation—wishes to greet all our partners in      highly relevant and participatory projects that are
           this Assembly in the traditional way we         innovative enough and designed flexibly enough to
greet good friends, and that is by saying “Mabuhay.”       bring local needs and GEF’s global focal areas together.
To say “Mabuhay” means to wish a “long and good               The GEF at this point is not that much of a hard
life” to those we give the greeting to—exactly what        sell anymore. While the study of GEF’s overall perfor-
we wish to achieve for our planet Earth and its people     mance did not emphasize this as an accomplishment,
through the Global Environment Facility.                   by all of us in general, and by the CEO, the GEF Sec-
   The Philippines also directs this special greeting of   retariat and the Council in particular, the increased
“Mabuhay” to the Government of India for their             institutional acceptability of the GEF is indeed an
excellent preparation and hospitality as host to this      accomplishment.
first Assembly of the GEF, thus allowing all of us to         The increased acceptability of the GEF was the rea-
further strengthen our alliance and joint efforts          son for the Philippines’s attempt to also be a donor
under GEF.                                                 country during the GEF’s replenishment process. The
   Mr. Chairman, allow us to be frank in saying that       economic and financial crisis, however, that hit our
at the beginning, the Philippines, together with           region also affected the Philippines and forced us to
many other developing countries, was wary of the           postpone such a financial commitment. Neverthe-
concept and agenda of a Global Environmental               less, we commit to provide counterpart resources, as
Facility. Many of us here can still remember the           much as we can generate ourselves or leverage, to
long contentious debates and negotiations we have          support existing and future GEF projects in the
had in the preparatory meetings leading to Rio, in         Philippines or within our region. We commit to sus-
Rio itself, and in the succeeding Conference of the        tain on our own those which have already been started.
Parties to the Conventions. Extreme efforts have           We shall not rest till we can with pride truly say that
had to be exerted, even some measure of diplomatic         the Philippines is indeed a key “shareholder” of the
arm twisting, for GEF to be accepted as the financ-        Global Environmental Facility.
ing mechanism.                                                There is, however, still a lot to be done. GEF’s true
   Over time, however, the implementation of GEF-          potential has not yet been fully utilized. With greater
supported projects and the initial benefits derived        experience from many ongoing projects, there is no
from such projects created more convincing argu-           reason why the project cycle cannot be shortened.
ments in favor of the GEF. In the Philippines, great       The GEF can also be more proactive in project or pro-
flexibility was exercised by the GEF, the World Bank       gram development especially on concerns that go
and the Philippine Government in giving the imple-         beyond national boundaries as long as country par-
mentation of a $20 million macro-GEF biodiversity          ticipants fully agree. One example of this is the
project, in a desire to be closer to grassroots stake-     recently approved global or international waters
holders, to a consortium of Filipino NGOs, some of         assessment to be implemented on regional levels.
whom were even then recent antigovernment and              From our region, other examples of such a proactive
anti-GEF activists. Filipino environmentalists in the      approach include regional programs that would deal
civil society and their grassroots partners were also      with the seriously growing pollution of the East Asian
benefited through the Small Grants Program which is        Seas or a program that would manage sustainably
now, in the Philippines, on its way to being locally       large marine eco-regions such as the Sulu-Celebes Sea.
institutionalized as an independent and sustainable        These types of projects and programs that bring
small grants mechanism.                                    together several countries are undeniably more com-
   The Philippines will soon add the Mid-Size Grants       plex and difficult but they bring us closer to the
Program of the GEF in its overall portfolio as the GEF,    meaning of “global effort,” especially in the focal area
World Bank and UNDP have already supported the             of international waters.
   We do agree that we need to bring the private busi-         Let me end by noting the similarity of our situa-
ness sector into our fold. But we must make sure that       tion to that faced by the heroes of the Philippine
they would indeed bring in new and additional               Revolution for independence 100 years ago. They
resources and that our joint projects with them do          only had bamboo spears against guns and cannons.
not decrease the importance we give to meeting the          We have several billion dollars against the trillions
needs of local people at the grassroots.                    needed for the shift to sustainable development.
   Lastly, the new innovations coming in, such as the       Our heroes then in their revolutionary initiation
participation of the private business sector, the use of    committed to the belief that “we will be free, if we
economic instruments, the joint implementation and          have courage, if we persist, and if we are united.”
clean development implementation arising out of the         The Philippines now is celebrating our 100th year of
Kyoto Protocol, will require first a common under-          freedom.
standing of what these measures or innovative mech-            We in the Philippines are thus confident that the
anisms are as well as intensive capacity building and       GEF will also meet its goals “if we have courage, if we
information campaigns at the local levels.                  persist, and if we are united.”

Statement of Poland
Jan Krzystof Mroziewicz
Ambassador to India

           hose who were involved in the negotiations       not. The answer to that question seems obvious.
           of the GEF instrument in 1993 had a sense        They are not. However, we have to realize that the
           of participating in the establishment of a       era of the so-called easy money is over. Governments
           new structure based on different institu-        face ever-increasing difficulties in generating
tional cultures of the business-oriented World Bank         resources for public funding, and that seems to be a
and political consensus-seeking United Nations. Fol-        worldwide phenomenon. This is why Poland
lowing the dramatic developments in Cartagena de            wishes to extend its gratitude to donors for provid-
los Indios in December 1993, few imagined that the          ing funds for GEF and to express its hope that the
system could work in a manner which is efficient and        consecutive replenishments will prove the growing
satisfactory to all participants. Rich in the experience    commitment to GEF goals translated into the
of the last four years, we know that being creative         increase of resources available for the Fund. It is
and innovative in our approaches brings long-term           indeed an encouraging sign to see so many develop-
positive results. I wish to take this opportunity to pay    ing countries contributing to the Facility.
tribute to all those who have worked in the GEF, both          Taking into account the limited scope of resources,
as Council members as well as in the Secretariat, and       GEF has to play a catalytic role in leveraging other
developed working standards which allow efficient           funds, especially from the private sector. We have to
and smooth implementation of projects while taking          encourage the private sector to fulfill its role in sus-
into consideration often extremely difficult political      tainable development. GEF could serve as an instru-
sensitivities. It is only by understanding the main         ment of turning businesses’ attention to the new
objective the Facility is serving, which is the preserva-   market opportunities. In Kyoto, for example, we
tion of the global environment for future genera-           heard voices coming from a number of industrial
tions, that allows such prevailing consensus.               branches which perceive the Kyoto Protocol as a
   The basic question remains (as many of my pre-           great opportunity for energy-efficiency investments.
decessors already observed) as to whether the funds         This spirit seemed to prevail over the heavily publi-
available for funding the Rio Conventions on Cli-           cised lobbying against the Kyoto Protocol which
mate Change and Biological Diversity as well as             accompanied us during the entire negotiation
additional funds for projects in the area of interna-       process.
tional waters and protection of the ozone layer and            As an example of GEF’s involvement in the private
those related to land degradation are sufficient or         sector, let me mention a GEF project in Poland on
efficient lighting which helped to develop a whole           discussing the Small Grants Programme and Medium-
new market for component fluorescent lamps (CFLs).           Sized Projects window is their potential in developing
Many companies enthusiastically grabbed this newly           into full-scale projects that meet all GEF regular criteria.
opened market niche, while GEF projects helped also             We also see a growing role for GEF to become a
in building awareness and market confidence in               vehicle for strengthening regional cooperation through
these products. GEF has to further develop this kind         its regionally based projects. The implementing agen-
of activity, engaging in its efforts small and medium-       cies should be requested to pay more attention to
size private enterprises.                                    seeking investment opportunities for regional pro-
   Building wide support for GEF-funded projects and         jects, thus enhancing the understanding of a truly
engaging not only central administration partners in         transboundary and global nature of the environment
their implementation is essential for their success. It      and the need for countries to face environmental
often requires an important amount of effort on the          challenges together.
part of all stakeholders, but in most cases this approach       GEF’s efficient functioning can only be guaranteed
brings much better long-term effects. Obviously, as it       by the close cooperation of the implementing agen-
is rightly stated in the “Study of GEF Project Lessons,”     cies. Their role is specified in Annex D of the instru-
those projects have to be built into national environ-       ment. We are pleased to note agencies’ involvement
mental strategies and conceived according to the gen-        in GEF activities, and in particular the progress which
eral policy context.                                         has been only recently achieved in that respect in
   Similarly, GEF involvement in funding projects            UNEP. GEF projects encounter many problems. There
implemented by the NGO community deserves our                are still many problems in understanding the incre-
support. In Poland, we are particularly pleased with         mental costs and global benefits concepts. The proce-
the so-called Small Grants Programme run by UNDP,            dures for project approval are often too long and frus-
which, apart from bringing global environmental              trating for the local partners who are not used to the
benefits, helps build civil society and encourages local     bureaucratic proceedings of the international bodies.
initiatives aimed at preserving the environment for          There are many new challenges; in particular, those
the generations to come. Sometimes even minimal              linked to the commitments under the Kyoto Protocol
grants provided by an international body such as GEF         will have to receive GEF’s special attention. We are
assist in creating confidence in the project and subse-      convinced, however, that GEF has developed a sound
quently in mobilising additional funds from other            basis for facing those challenges and will continue to
sources—often much higher than the initial GEF               strive for achieving best results with the determina-
grant. An element which should not be forgotten in           tion and commitment it has demonstrated until now.

Statement of Portugal
Adriano Telles de Menezes
Deputy Director-General, Ministry of Finance

              n behalf of the Portuguese delegation and         Therefore, Portugal assumes the importance of
              personally, I would like to thank the Gov-     cooperation towards a better global environment
              ernment of India for hosting this first        through deeper commitments, either on multilateral
              Assembly and the people of New Delhi           or bilateral terms.
for the warm hospitality in this beautiful city, a perfect      Referring in particular to the GEF’s policy on inter-
introduction to a cultural heritage of an ancient land.      national waters and coastal protection, Portugal wel-
   Portugal, either on its own or as a member of the         comes you to the EXP098, whose key theme is
European Union, has become very much involved—               “Oceans–Heritage for the Future Generations,” which
in particular during the last years—in an environ-           will open in Lisbon next May and is also going to
mental policy which is concerned with the protec-            host the first ministerial meeting of the OSPAR Con-
tion of natural resources in the framework of                vention on Maritime Pollution and the 3rd ministerial
sustainable development.                                     Pan-European Conference on Forest Protection.
   The Global Environment Facility has served since        tion between environment NGOs and government/
the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 as a new multilateral         institutional departments.
financing mechanism that promotes international               We welcome the 2nd replenishment of the GEF Trust
cooperation to protect the global environment.             Fund as a clear message to respond to the challenges
   We recognize that GEF has been playing a unique         ahead. As said by the CEO, even 20 billion would not
catalytic role as a flexible and innovative mecha-         have been sufficient to finance activities to protect the
nism responsible for developing, adopting and eval-        environment and defend the global common assets.
uating operational policies and programs. The                 We strongly support the efforts for new opportuni-
urgency for actions to address global environment          ties for private sector partnerships. The performance
challenges within the framework of sustainable             indicators for monitoring and evaluation become a
development is required both at bilateral and multi-       vital achievement for all the GEF’s sponsors and
lateral levels.                                            members.
   As the 21st century approaches, we recognize that          GEF-funded projects must be consistent with
the institutional roles and responsibilities of the GEF    national/regional policies and priorities and be
are better defined. Its strategy is pointing out new       assumed as the national interest of participating
guidance, namely in the areas of capacity building,        countries. Portugal, as a non-recipient country, will
environmentally friendly technologies, environmen-         support a close technical work in order to promote
tal security, and enhancing NGO and civil society          the environmental projects as an integrated way for
participation.                                             the country’s development.
   At the international level, we urge better coordina-       Finally, Portugal will try, within its limitations, to
tion among national environment agencies and inter-        cooperate actively in strengthening the GEF and imple-
national environment institutions and, in particular,      menting agencies in the context of its environment
the GEF.                                                   policy and also to promote an environmental perspec-
   At the national level, we propose close coordina-       tive in its capacity as one state member of the GEF.

Statement of the Russian Federation
Amirkhan Amirkhanov
Deputy Chairman,
State Committee for Environmental Protection

          he Government of the Russian Federation          sustainable development and protect the environ-
          considers the GEF the leading mechanism          ment in a global context. We expect that decisions of
          of international cooperation to ensure a         the Assembly will set the condition on the GEF pro-
          financial base for the effective resolution of   jects implementation only by organizations of partic-
global environmental problems and, above all, fulfill-     ipating country or group of countries. The fulfillment
ment of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the        of this condition is a major factor in maintaining
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate             long-term sustainability of global effects achieved
Change and the Montreal Protocol to the Vienna Con-        during implementation of GEF projects, and also for
vention on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.        strengthening the organizational and technical poten-
   Russia praises the results of the Phase I activities    tial of recipient countries by resolving global environ-
(1994–1997) of the restructured GEF and, demon-            mental problems.
strating continued adherence to the ideas of the Rio          Russian governmental and non-governmental orga-
Declaration, is ready to participate in the second GEF     nizations, private companies, as well as many experts
replenishment for 1998–2001.                               participated actively in the preparation and imple-
   Our country supported and will continue to sup-         mentation of projects during the first phase of the
port a basic principle of GEF activity: conformity to      GEF. Two large projects are of special importance for
national priorities in actions implemented to support      our country: biodiversity conservation and phase-out
of ozone-depleting substance consumption. In the           tory, political and program GEF documents and Con-
framework of the first project, additional support was     ventions in all official languages of the UN among
provided for strengthening and developing a network        participating countries; this will attract a wide range
of national parks and reserves in Northern Eurasia in      of national organizations and experts from many
the interest of environmental protection. This net-        countries to participate in addressing global environ-
work has no precedents in the world and is a skeleton      mental problems.
of conservation of the natural heritage and biodiversi-       The Russian delegation welcomes the steps under-
ty on the territory, which occupies about 15% of the       taken to study and disseminate experience in GEF-
Earth’s land. In the second project, the conversion of     financed project implementation. However, the key
the OJSC “Arnest” (main Russian consumer of ozone-         theme of the report presented is the organization of
depleting substance in the aerosols production sector)     project preparation and project implementation
will be completed in the current year. This sub-project    management. In fact, there is no assessment of the
is the largest one in connection with the reduction of     efficiency of the new economic tools and mecha-
ozone-depleting substances consumption and one of          nisms applied in various projects to ensure integra-
most effective among all projects implemented with         tion of global challenges into national programs of
funds from the GEF and the Multilateral Fund of the        social and economic development. The almost
Montreal Protocol.                                         unachievable GEF ideal is to ensure participation of
   The Russian Government, based on the experience         each recipient country in at least one project under
gained through cooperation with the GEF, is going to       each of the adopted working programs. We can try to
continue work in preparing and implementing new            ensure a step-by-step approach to this ideal—prepara-
projects. A priority area for our country is the preven-   tion and implementation of pilot projects in specific
tion of climate change through increased efficiency        countries or groups of countries, generalization of the
of energy use in production and sustainable manage-        results and development of recommendations, and
ment of Russian forests, which comprise about 20%          distribution of the results and recommendations
of all forests of the Earth.                               through projects of a global scope with the participa-
   One of the most important objectives of the GEF         tion of a majority of the interested countries.
Phase II is helping to fulfill the provisions of the          The report on the study of GEF’s overall perfor-
Kyoto Protocol which will provide opportunities of         mance shows that one of the most critical and debat-
joint implementation of mutually beneficial under-         able issues is identifying and using incremental costs
takings to reduce greenhouse emissions by several          as an instrument for determining distribution of GEF
countries. We consider that these opportunities will       resources. Attempts to resolve this problem have not
be especially beneficial for Russia and other transition   been successful. Apparently, the difficulties are con-
economy countries which have the greatest potential        nected not with methods of calculation but with a
for implementing low-cost measures to reduce green-        general inability to develop a uniform approach that
house gas emissions. The complexity and importance         will compare national and global costs and profits, as
of the problem necessitate a special focus on the          well as an approach to fairly take into account the
region of Central and Eastern Europe by the GEF in         existing world economic order.
helping develop innovative mechanisms for joint               In this connection, more pragmatic approaches to
project implementation.                                    GEF funding decisions should be considered, based
   At present, work on the preparation of new              for example, on the principle of sharing of financial
amendments aimed at accelerating the phase-out of          responsibilities. Under such an approach, a country
production and consumption of so-called transferable       applying for a GEF grant to implement a project of
substances is being conducted in the framework of          global significance shall assume and fulfill obligations
the Montreal Protocol, since countries with transition     to cover a certain part of the project costs from inter-
economy have new problems, successful solution of          nal sources (state or private). The proportions of shar-
which will depend on the timeliness with which             ing can be differentiated for various areas of activity
international assistance is rendered. In this connec-      and even for various GEF working programs.
tion, it is expedient to begin preparation of the corre-      In summary, on behalf of the Russian delegation, I
sponding GEF program in coordination with the Secre-       would like to thank the Government of India for
tariat of the Montreal Protocol.                           organizing this forum and to express our assurance
   The urgent issue is development of a GEF informa-       that the first GEF Assembly will be successful and will
tional strategy that can be expanded to a number of        become a significant event in determination of meth-
participating countries, many of which have not yet        ods for sustainable development and in answering
had a serious experience in cooperating with the GEF.      the questions facing the world community on the
It is important to ensure wide distribution of regula-     threshold of the 21st century.
Statement of Slovenia
Emil Ferjancic
Head of Department,
Ministry for Environment and Physical Planning

             uring the first replenishment period of the      As it is very difficult to limit certain programs to
             GEF, Slovenia has received a GEF grant in     only one country, cooperation between different
             the amount of US$6.2 million for phasing      countries was encouraged with the Fund’s assistance.
             out the ozone depleting substances. The       Here, we can name at least two projects in interna-
financial aspect of the grant was extremely impor-         tional waters where a regional approach was, in our
tant; what was even more valuable was the catalytic        opinion, very positive—the Danubian Basin and the
effect of the GEF grant that contributed to a greater      Mediterranean projects. Therefore, we would like to
commitment of the national stakeholders to the             suggest that more such projects be encouraged as
obligations set in the Montreal Protocol.                  they not only benefit the environment but also coop-
   Although the GEF grant consequently contributed         eration between different states.
to improved competitiveness of some recipient com-            None of the GEF implementing agencies has its
panies from Slovenia in the world market, GEF funds        office in Slovenia; despite that, the procurement
were not withdrawn and that was also a proof of a          procedures in the projects we had so far were rela-
great concern of the international community for the       tively quick. That obviously required more effort
global environment.                                        and flexibility on the agencies’ staff side and our
   Some further projects in the field of climate change    side as well.
are currently under implementation in Slovenia,               Exchange of information among countries within
namely the National Communication Project accord-          our constituency contributed to mutual understand-
ing to the UN Framework Convention on Climate              ing of environmental problems, but we are aware
Change and the pilot project Removing Barriers to          that on that basis our cooperation could improve
Biomass District Heating. What we particularly appre-      further.
ciate with these two projects is not just the financial       From our initial projects, the present organizational
support, but also the technical assistance of the UNDP     structure of the GEF proved to be efficient enough for
that is lacking in Slovenia.                               successful implementation of the projects and suffi-
   There were different concerns raised regarding the      ciently served the purpose for which it was estab-
effectiveness of the GEF Trust Fund. From our involve-     lished. Therefore, we do not see any specific need for
ment, we are pleased to comment that so far we can         major changes as far as reorganization of the institu-
only voice our praise for the GEF projects in Slovenia.    tional framework is concerned.
Statement of South Africa
Dan Pillay
Acting High Commissioner to India

               n behalf of the Government of South          the quality of life for all on this earth, several issues
               Africa, I wish to express our deep appre-    deserve focused attention.
               ciation to the Government and people            South Africa welcomes the recently concluded
               of India for so graciously hosting the       replenishment of the GEF’s financial resources. Nev-
first Assembly of the Global Environment Facility           ertheless, the crucial funding of projects to assist
(GEF). To you, Mr. Chairman, I offer congratulations        developing countries in meeting their obligations
on your election to chair this historic meeting.            under international environmental agreements will
   The creation of the Global Environment Facility          require that new and additional financial resources be
was a remarkable achievement which represents the           made available from all sources. The GEF replenish-
way forward for partnership and cooperation for the         ment process can only be considered successful once
mutual benefit of humanity and the environment.             every pledge has been received.
We have witnessed the GEF’s evolution into a dynamic           My delegation shares the views of others that the
body which has established itself as one of the most        issue of land degradation constitutes an area which
important financial mechanisms for redressing global        the GEF should reprioritise and place higher on its
environmental problems. The GEF has further con-            agenda. Land degradation represents a serious threat
tributed towards defining the relationship between          to the livelihoods of the population of the entire
environment and development and translating this            Southern African region and requires the astute
into practical, country-driven actions at the national      development and management of the available nat-
and regional levels.                                        ural resources of the region, in particular water and
   South Africa has undertaken important steps              land resources. As fresh water shortages become more
towards putting in place national strategies for secur-     serious, water management and supply needs require
ing environmental protection and at the same time           the highest levels of attention.
promoting development. South Africa’s first GEF                In the context of the GEF, recipient constituencies
country project for the conservation of the Table           often experience extreme difficulties in the coordina-
Mountain World Heritage Site was approved by the            tion of their activities. Distances between countries
GEF in 1997.                                                and the size of recipient constituencies suggest that
   South Africa supports the call for stronger stakehold-   the GEF should consider mechanisms for improving
er involvement in the development and implementa-           intra-constituency consultation in the intercessional
tion of GEF projects. Through consultation at all levels    period between GEF Council meetings. The contribu-
of the process, communities will experience enhanced        tions of recipient constituencies to the work of the
participation and ownership of GEF projects. This           GEF, and in particular to the development, discussion
approach ultimately leads to improved outcomes              and approval of projects by the Council, would be
which benefit all stakeholders. Civil society in South      enhanced by such consultation.
Africa is a strong and vibrant partner in our develop-         We are all increasingly aware of the urgency of
ment of GEF projects, and several project proposals in      addressing the global environmental challenges of
each of the GEF focal areas are in preparation. We          the next century. The immediacy of these concerns
believe that this partnership approach will contribute      constitutes a call to action to the international com-
towards community-driven development in our coun-           munity and a demand for increased international
try, and contribute to the goal of poverty eradication.     cooperation. This can only serve to accentuate the
   In the context of a rapidly globalising world, the       pivotal role of instruments such as the GEF and its
problems of environmental degradation will require          implementing agencies. In this context, I wish to reit-
even greater efforts on all our parts, including the        erate my Government’s continued commitment to
GEF. We believe that for the GEF to enhance its effec-      the Global Environment Facility and the important
tiveness and expand its contribution to improving           work which it is undertaking.
Statement of Spain
Jaime Lorenzo Ormechia
Deputy Director, Ministry of Economy and Finance

             nte todo, desearía expresar, en nombre del    mente y posteriormente como fondo reestructurado, el
             gobierno español, nuestro agradecimiento      FMAM ha conseguido crear la estructura organizativa y
             al Gobierno de la India por su hospitalidad   desarrollar las políticas operativas necesarias para iniciar
             al acoger esta Primera Asamblea del Fondo     su labor y enfrentar la complicada ecuación que permi-
para el Medio Ambiente Mundial (FMAM), así como            ta compatibilizar desarrollo económico con la necesaria
la excelente organización de la misma.                     conservación de los recursos naturales.
   Hasta hace relativamente poco tiesipo, el hombre ha        El importante aumento del número de países
utilizado los recursos naturales como si fueran bienes     socios del FMAM desde su reestructuración en 1994
libres, sin ningún coste económico implícito. Ello ha      hasta la actualidad, es un signo inequívoco del cre-
motivado, en los dos últimos siglos y como consecuen-      ciente apoyo de la comunidad internacional al Fondo
cia de la revolución industrial y tecnológica, y de la     como instrumento multilateral de primer orden en la
explosión demográfica subsiguiente, un progresivo ago-     política medioambiental global.
tamiento de estos recursos, hasta el extremo de plantear      La satisfactoria conclusión de las recientes negocia-
una seria amenaza a la sostenibilidad futura de muchas     ciones para la segunda reposición de recursos, demues-
de las actividades que actualmente realizamos.             tra asimismo el compromiso de los países donantes,
   La explotación sin limites de los recursos naturales    al asegurar los medios económicos necesarios para
al servicio del crecimiento económico se ha vuelto en      financiar su actividad en los proximos años. Dicha
contra del hombre, desatando procesos de cambio en         financiación permitirá asimismo poder planificar la
el medio ambiente mundial que amenazan con con-            asignación de los recursos de forma equilibrada entre
vertirse en irreversibles. Por ello, se hace necesario,    las cuatro áreas de actividad del FMAM.
tomar las medidas precisas que permitan la inversión          En este contexto, cabe destacar el importante
urgente de estos procesos.                                 esfuerzo económico realizado por España para man-
   La cumbre de la tierra, celebrada en Río de Janeiro,    tener su apoyo financiero al fondo, aumentando
en 1992 fue el primer paso dado por los gobiernos y        nuestra participación en moneda nacional un 13%
las organizaciones civiles para concienciar al mundo       respecto a nuestra primera aportación, demostrando
de los peligros a los que nos enfrentamos, y para          con ello nuestro compromiso con los problemas de
desarrollar los planes nacionales, y las instituciones     medio ambiente, y de desarrollo, a nivel global.
internacionales, para luchar contra la degradación            Somos conscientes de la necesidad de que cada
medio ambiental y la explotación indiscriminada de         país, en su esfera de actuación, analice la sostenibili-
los recursos naturales.                                    dad de sus políticas, y las consecuencias de las mis-
   La dimensión del problema medio ambiental exige         mas para el medio ambiente global, contribuyendo a
un compromiso especial por parte de todos los gob-         soportar su cuota de responsabilidad.
iernos e instituciones responsables, que ayude a suplir       Reconocemos los progresos realizados por el FMAM
la falta de experiencia existente en el ámbito de la       en estos primeros años de vida, y celebramos la flexi-
lucha contra la degradación del medio ambiente a           bilidad y el caracter innovador que ha presidido su
nivel global.                                              actuación, que ha quedado reflejado, entre otros
   Hasta el momento, y desde la conferencia de Río         aspectos:
de Janeiro, no hemos hecho más que tomar concien-          ■ En su labor como impulsor de nuevas tecnologías y
cia de las dificultades que plantea la puesta en mar-      su transferencia a los países en desarrollo.
cha de mecanismos eficaces de actuación para lograr        ■ En su función de catalizador de fondos bilaterales y
un desarrollo económico sostenible a largo plazo des-      multilaterales para la consecución de objetivos medio
de un punto de vista medioambiental.                       ambientales globales.
   El Fondo para el Medio Ambiente Mundial como            ■ En su función de promotor de una más activa
instrumento financiero, es precisamente uno de los         implicación del sector privado en estos proyectos.
más importantes medios con los que actualmente                Adicionalmente a estos aspectos, el FMAM ha
contamos para hacer frente a estos problemas.              destacado también por sus esfuerzos en potenciar la
   En su relativamente corto periodo de vida, desde su     participación activa de los países receptores en los
creación en 1991, como programa experimental inicial-      proyectos, prestando especial atención a la impli-
cación de la sociedad civil como medio imprescindible         Por otra parte, sería aconsejable que el FMAM
para reforzar su sostenibilidad en el largo plazo.         impulsara una mayor participación del sector privado
   Estos logros, sin embargo, no deben hacernos olvidar    en sus actividades al ser éste un importante instru-
los problemas enfrentados en el pasado, muchos de los      mento de difusión de las nuevas tecnologías medioam-
cuales están, desgraciadamente, todavía por resolver.      bientales y, en el área del cambio climático, una pieza
   Es importante reforzar en los próximos años el com-     clave para asegurar la viabilidad futura de los proyec-
promiso de los países receptores, con los proyectos del    tos. Para ello, es fundamental detectar los principales
FMAM. Para ello es necesario que sean estos países los     obstáculos a una mayor participación del sector
principales impulsores de estos proyectos, y que éstos     empresarial en estos proyectos, y, consecuentemente,
respondan a sus necesidades nacionales, ya que para        diseñar las políticas necesarias para impulsar esta
lograr beneficios medioambientales de carácter global      participación.
es fundamental que los mismos se deriven de la estrate-       El análisis de la sostenibilidad financiera de los
gia de desarrollo nacional de los países beneficiarios.    proyectos nos parece de gran importancia para que
   En este sentido, el hecho que los países receptores     sus efectos sobre el medio ambiente global sean
sean responsables de los proyectos y obtengan sus          duraderos. Por ello consideramos necesario que se
beneficios directos, permite mejorar las garantías de      conceda una mayor atención en las fases de
sostenibilidad futura de los mismos y los beneficios       preparación de los proyectos a este análisis, y que
de ellos derivados.                                        seprofundice en el estudio de posibles vías para
   La incorporación de los objetivos del FMAM a las        garantizar dicha sostenibilidad.
actividades de los organismos de ejecución, es otro de        De otra parte, la simplificación y racionalización
los asuntos que deberá centrar la atención del Fondo,      del ciclo de los proyectos debera ser asimismo un
con vistas a mejorar la calidad y cantidad de sus          objetivo a tener en cuenta, objetivo que deberá com-
proyectos.                                                 patibilizarse con las debidas garantías de calidad de
   A la vez que reconocemos los logros de las agencias     los mismos.
ejecutoras en términos de captación de recursos en            En este sentido apoyamos el refuerzo del actual sis-
proyectos beneficiosos para el medio ambiente global,      tema de vigilancia y evaluación como instrumento
y la progresiva mejora de la colaboración y coop-          eficaz para cuantificar los resultados obtenidos y
eración entre las distintas agencias, y entre éstas y el   detectar posibles errores, instrumento que nos ayu-
FMAM, creemos necesario que, por parte de las mis-         dará a mejorar continuamente la eficacia del FMAM y
mas, se elabore una estrategia que contemple la inte-      la calidad de sus proyectos.
gración de las actividades medio ambientales globales         Como conclusión, España considera positivos los
dentro de sus propias politicas y programas.               pasos dados hasta ahora, y reconoce el progreso real-
   Por nuestra parte y con el fin de asegurar la consis-   izado, a pesar de la magnitud de los problemas exis-
tencia de nuestras propias políticas, daremos las opor-    tentes y la falta de experiencia en su gestión.
tunas indicaciones para que dicha incorporación se            Afortunadamente, hoy, y gracias en parte al Fondo
haga efectiva.                                             para el Medio Ambiente Mundial, poseemos un
   Asimismo consideramos conveniente que se analicen       mejor conocimiento de nuestras posibilidades y de
debidamente los posibles costes y beneficios de una        nuestras limitaciones para lograr un desarrollo eco-
futura apertura del FMAM a otras agencias, con especial    logicamente sostenible.
atención a los bancos regionales de desarrollo, dado          Confiamos que dicho conocimiento nos permita
que ello nos permitirá explorar la viabilidad de nuevas    mejorar los resultados en el futuro, y con ello el bien-
formas de trabajo que permitan mejorar su eficacia.        estar de futuras generaciones.
Statement of Sweden
Mats Karlsson
State Secretary for International Development Cooperation

             llow me first to thank the Government of       tenure system, they have no incentive to sustain the
             India for hosting this first Assembly of the   forests. Likewise, timber concessions of extremely
             Global Environment Facility. Indeed, it        short-term duration provide no incentives to manage
             seems very natural and appropriate that        forests in a sustainable way.
India is the first host, as it has produced such                The situation is very similar when looking at the
advanced thinking in the area of development, envi-         climate change convention and its linkages with
ronment and international cooperation.                      energy demand. The provision of energy is crucial for
   The global agenda for the next millennium is a for-      development. More than two billion people lack
midable one. A deep new understanding of the chal-          access to modern energy services. We all know what
lenges of development and environment were arrived          this means for hard-toiling women collecting fuel-
at in the years leading up to Rio, e.g., in the Brundt-     wood from far away. As long as this situation prevails,
land Commission. Policies were agreed for a way for-        there will be no breakthrough out of poverty. However,
ward. Agenda 21 urged us to merge solutions to              conventional solutions for energy supply are causing
poverty and challenges to the environment in order          serious problems in terms of pollution, both for people
to come to grips with the fundamental and overall           and for their environment. Yearly, millions of people
problems of the 21st century. The need to find con-         in developing countries die prematurely because of
crete solutions that go beyond the traditional sector       polluted air, water and land.
and institutional framework was shared. Global,                 A fundamental reorientation is required that gives
national and local governance issues will come              greater emphasis to efficiency improvements, increased
together as never before and require us constantly to       use of renewable energy and the cleanest possible
break new ground. The Commission on Global Gov-             technologies for fossil fuel generation. Recent tech-
ernance a few years ago showed directions in which          nology developments, notably within solar technology,
to go in an increasingly globalised world.                  augur well for such a policy shift.
   The GEF was a major step forward. It is an innova-           Who are those that can bring about change? All
tive mechanism for dealing with new challenges with-        partners have an important role to play, be they gov-
out fragmenting our institutional and operational           ernments, local communities and women’s groups,
capacities. It builds upon the complementary                scientists, the private sector, NGOs or representatives
strengths of the UN and Bretton Woods systems. We           of the international community. National govern-
have seen that this new concept of cooperation and          ments, however, have a special responsibility to
partnership has produced a number of important              rethink institutional, legal as well as fiscal frame-
achievements. Strategies and policies for activities at     works. Democratic governance will support the
the local level for the global benefit are now in place.    empowerment of local people and enable them to
I wish to point out some elements of particular rele-       secure the rights of the poor, social justice and end
vance for a successful continuation.                        corruption, which is one of sustainable develop-
   Firstly, country ownership, leadership and sector-       ment’s worst enemies. These are the make-it or break-
wide commitment by governments, democracy and               it issues of the next century.
non-corrupt governance are key to the success of                Secondly, the GEF should not be alone in addressing
dealing with the global environment agenda. Global          global concerns. Strong support by the implementing
environment problems will not be central to a poor          agencies to mainstream global environmental objec-
country if they do not relate to the most pressing needs    tives into their regular policies and programs is needed.
of the people in that country. Research in relation to      Likewise, other multilateral, as well as bilateral, aid
biodiversity loss and climate change has convincingly       agencies should make sure that in partnership with
shown us that these problems are local in origin.           national governments the global environmental
   Let me give you an example: hundreds of millions         objectives are part and parcel of their development
of poor people around the world depend entirely on          cooperation strategies.
forests for their survival. For want of other options,          The catalytic role of the GEF is an essential feature
marginalised groups are often forced to encroach on         for achieving success. Let me emphasize the absolutely
forest lands to survive. With no ownership or secure        essential role that governments have as representa-
tives in the GEF and in the implementing agencies. It        Water Assessment Project. The ongoing work of a
is their responsibility to ensure consistency in their       regional Agenda 21 of the Baltic Region (the Baltic
policies in all fora.                                        21) we hope will serve as a good example for regional
   Thirdly, a strong monitoring and evaluation sys-          waters projects.
tem within the whole GEF family is an indispensable             Finally, I am greatly satisfied with the successful
instrument for securing quality and effectiveness.           outcome of the negotiations on the second replenish-
   High priority should be assigned by the GEF to the        ment of the GEF in time for this Assembly. The
urgent development of performance indicators. I am           replenishment will give the GEF the necessary and
pleased to see that a number of interesting reports          renewed flexibility and strength to tackle the tasks
have been produced recently, demonstrating both              ahead. The conclusion of the replenishment is also a
failures and successes. The results of such critical         token of the confidence by the donors. It should con-
reflections have to be fed back into the learning            sequently be matched by a corresponding token of
process in order to make progress in the complex             confidence by the conferences of parties, in that the
mandate of producing global environmental benefits.          GEF should be the permanent financial mechanism
   Instruments for measuring the state of the art in         for the Conventions on Biological Diversity and Cli-
various fields are an important vehicle for decision-        mate Change.
making. The GEF Council has decided that an                     Let me end by expressing my full confidence in
assessment for international waters is needed. In this       this maturing mechanism of global hope and innova-
connection, I am pleased to inform you that Sweden           tion. We must all take on our responsibilities in guid-
will host the secretariat of the Global International        ing it forward. We must not let it down.

Statement of Switzerland
Philippe Roch
State Secretary, Swiss Agency for the
Environment, Forest and Landscape

          witzerland would like to thank the Govern-         first GEF Assembly is essentially that:
          ment of India for its generous offer to host       ■ The GEF should remain the designated financial
          the first GEF Assembly here in New Delhi.          mechanism for the Rio Conventions on Climate
          We hope that participants will honor the hos-      Change and Biodiversity, as well as for the associated
pitality of our hosts by agreeing to strengthen the GEF      Kyoto Protocol and other outcomes that may materi-
as the financial mechanism for the Rio Conventions           alize from the conferences of the parties to these
and by reaffirming the existing consensus about its          Conventions. The status of the GEF should be offi-
operational policies. The GEF has proven to be an effi-      cially upgraded from “interim” to “permanent” finan-
cient mechanism for the implementation of the Rio            cial mechanism for these Conventions. This could
Conventions. Long before the adoption of operational         greatly contribute to the mobilization of additional
protocols to the Conventions, it has facilitated the elab-   financial resources for the global environment.
oration of national reports and strategies in recipient      ■ The GEF principle of financing incremental costs
countries, as well as the spread of cutting-edge environ-    may be further adapted methodologically, but should
mental technologies. In recognition of these achieve-        be maintained to ensure consistency with Agenda 21
ments and of the GEF’s role as catalyst and innovator in     and the Rio Conventions.
global environmental matters, Switzerland wishes to          ■ The continuing commitment by the GEF imple-
express her continuing strong support for this impor-        menting agencies to integrate global environmental
tant financial mechanism which we believe has the            concerns into their regular operations needs to be
potential to address global environmental problems           strengthened by setting specific targets and time
even more effectively in the future. With the intention      frames.
to further strengthen the GEF, the Swiss message to the      ■ GEF stakeholders should exercise caution with the
formulation of new tasks and responsibilities for the       the GEF as their permanent financial mechanism, and
GEF that might result in losses in efficiency, effective-   we believe that there is increasing urgency to do so.
ness and flexibility.                                       The number of international conventions and agree-
■ By more systematic promotion of country-level             ments aimed at environmental protection is growing
ownership of GEF programs and projects, the GEF             while the debate about ways to finance their opera-
could greatly increase prospects for sustainability and     tionalization continues along the lines of a classic
assist in the process of improving environmental            problem of organization: integration or differentia-
policies.                                                   tion. The position of Switzerland is to support inte-
                                                            gration at the level of operations, especially in the
CONTEXT                                                     case of the Rio Conventions. The GEF is designed to
At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, there was broad            serve the Conventions by translating their input—as
agreement among participants that the most vexing           it relates to the four focal areas of the GEF—into
environmental problems are of a transboundary nature        financed work programs and by employing the desig-
and that collective action is needed to slow and even-      nated implementing agencies for delivery. This and
tually reverse existing trends of environmental             the mobilization of financial resources are the com-
degradation through human activity. On the basis of         parative advantages of the GEF.
Agenda 21, the community of nations has been look-             The increasing number of international conven-
ing for ways to resolve growing conflicts between the       tions and agreements in the realm of the environ-
development aspirations of humankind and the need           ment is creating growing coordination problems at
to preserve the earth’s finite resources. The activities    the operational level for which the proliferation of
of all states can affect or be affected by threats to       national focal points is just one indicator. If each con-
these resources. It is therefore necessary to cooperate     vention and agreement wants to create its own finan-
at the global level to develop strategic responses based    cial mechanism, we will be faced with problems of
on the exchange of information, common goals and            unnecessarily high transaction costs and operational
shared burdens. The goal is to work towards an over-        inefficiencies. Even more fundamentally, there would
all harmonization of economic development, social           be growing problems with the mobilization of finan-
progress and environmental protection.                      cial resources in a climate of decreasing public interest
   The GEF began as a pilot financial mechanism. It         and donor fatigue, due to what some are already call-
was to resolve potential disagreements and conflicts        ing “trust fund congestion.”
over its design in a gradual manner to avoid collec-           While the primacy of the Conventions in setting
tive action problems and inertia. Funding was made          the GEF’s policies and strategic priorities is unques-
available before its exact purpose was determined,          tioned, there is much room for improvement in the
and operations began before clear funding criteria          process through which this occurs. For example, the
were agreed on. Essential components of the system          guidance provided by the Conventions needs to be
of governance were deliberately left to be resolved         better focused, clarified, prioritized and sensitized in
while the GEF was already operational. A restructur-        order for the GEF to improve its ability to respond
ing of the GEF into its present form was completed in       adequately.
1994. However, the collective effort to continuously
improve the GEF, to adapt to changing circum-               NEW FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS WITHIN THE GEF
stances, to become more cost-effective, transparent         A model in which the Conventions have primacy in
and accountable, has not ceased nor should it ever.         providing guidance to the GEF to shape its opera-
The continuation of this process of institution build-      tional work programs includes the possibility for the
ing and institutional learning is the very reason why       creation of innovative financial arrangements designed
GEF participants and stakeholders have assembled            to reduce the funding shortfall for the implementa-
here in New Delhi to review the general policies, to        tion of Agenda 21. The GEF has already made progress
reconfirm the validity and quality of the “instru-          in this area through its IFC-administered funds and
ment,” and to discuss how to best equip the GEF for         through the creation of several funds at the regional
the 21st century.                                           and national levels, among them those designed to
                                                            boost prospects for the long-term sustainability of
THE GEF AS FINANCIAL MECHANISM FOR                          project interventions. Much work remains to be
THE RIO CONVENTIONS                                         done, however, to strengthen this model, to increase
For Switzerland, the GEF is the main financial mecha-       its effectiveness and to ensure that efforts to develop
nism to fund programs and projects addressing global        national markets for cleaner technologies do not
environmental problems. We continue to advocate             result in domestic market distortions that diminish
that the conferences of the parties for the Conven-         prospects for sustainability.
tions on Climate Change and Biodiversity designate             Regarding GEF financing, Switzerland has consis-
tently advocated that donors provide higher levels of      would be to maximize the use of national consultants
funding than those ultimately agreed to. This includes     and expertise in the context of GEF project design
the most recent negotiations in which Switzerland          and implementation. The STAP and the GEF focal
has unconditionally offered its share for a fully funded   points could be very helpful in achieving this by
second replenishment, along with just two other            focusing on building relationships with national sci-
countries. Now we find it important that efforts to        entists and scientific institutions in recipient coun-
raise additional funds for the GEF be intensified.         tries. This would help invigorate the national level
Existing experiences with existing special funds and       dialogue on environmental matters and also facilitate
other financial instruments—be they associated with        the low-cost production and dissemination of GEF
the GEF or not—should be thoroughly evaluated and          information in local languages to promote participa-
the lessons carefully derived. The result should be a      tion and ownership by national stakeholders in all
new and practically oriented GEF strategy for special      stages of the project cycle. The ultimate goal of these
fund design and management and for engaging the            efforts would be to increase recipient countries’ inter-
private sector through novel financial arrangements.       est in or capacity to manage global environmental
Loan guarantees to reduce risks for private investors      problems.
deserve special attention but should be just one of           In addition, there should be a regular review of the
the instruments under consideration. Clearly elabo-        GEF project pipeline with information on the status
rated options should be presented to the GEF Council       of individual projects in the approval process. The
at its next meeting.                                       GEF project pipeline should be regularly compared
   If the GEF is serious about creating new opportuni-     with that of other relevant institutions to promote
ties for private sector participation, the Council         synergies and to improve cooperation and funding
should be prepared to delegate some of its decision-       coordination for the global environment. The pay-
making authority at the project level to the managers      ment of existing arrears from GEF-1, which hinder
of financial instruments designed for this purpose.        pipeline development, must be made an urgent prior-
This would certainly not constitute a “sellout” of any     ity and the affected countries should be required to
kind, since the Council would take pains to ensure a       submit regular status reports to the Council.
coherent and consistent framework of environmental            The goal of integrating global environmental con-
and operational criteria for each instrument before        cerns into the regular operations of the GEF imple-
allowing it to become operational.                         menting agencies continues to be important. There is
                                                           much evidence that projects in the regular portfolios
OPERATIONAL POLICY ISSUES                                  of the implementing agencies continue to include
The GEF should continue to streamline the project          environmentally detrimental externalities that are
cycle—without sacrificing quality—and introduce            often ignored, even in projects labeled as “environmen-
new measures aimed at strengthening the prospects          tal” projects. There have been cases where GEF fund-
for project sustainability. To aid this process, the GEF   ing has been used to try and mitigate environmentally
should monitor and evaluate its programs and projects      negative outcomes of regular portfolio projects of the
more systematically and disseminate and apply the          same implementing agency. This undermines ongo-
lessons learned.                                           ing efforts to ensure that development projects inter-
   Ownership of GEF project interventions at the           nalize their social and environmental costs, which is
national level could be further promoted through an        an essential condition for long-term sustainability.
improved GEF outreach and communication strategy              The role of the GEF Secretariat as coordinator and
that focuses on recipient countries and directly           catalyst should not only be maintained but strength-
involves the focal point system. Part of this strategy     ened. A strong Secretariat will be crucial to ensure
should be to take into account established national        coherence in GEF operations and to implement agreed
priorities while building the capacity of the media,       changes and innovations.
civil society organizations, national academic institu-       We are confident that the first GEF Assembly will
tions and government agencies to propose improved          serve to strengthen the resolve of the international
policies and projects.                                     community to increase collaborative efforts to effec-
   Further measures to promote country ownership           tively address global environmental problems.
Statement of Thailand
Asda Jayanama
Ambassador to the United Nations

         et me, first of all, join with the previous     greater participation in GEF activities by the Regional
         speakers in congratulating you, Mr. Chair-      Development Banks.
         man, for your election to this important           We do agree that responsibility for implementation
         position. I am very confident that with your    be with the country and that the commitment to a
guidance and leadership our deliberations will be        project and its ownership be such that they guarantee
concluded with fruitful results. My congratulations      a reliable sustainability following the completion of
also go to the Bureau.                                   the GEF project.
   The Rio Summit some 5 years ago gave impetus to          As the knowledge of GEF in recipient countries is
the restructuring and modernization of the present-      still relatively limited, we would like to support the
day GEF. The United Nations General Assembly Spe-        CEO’s report as stated in para 54 b(ii), which pro-
cial Session on Environment and Development last         posed that the Secretariat should intensify its efforts
year reviewed and followed up our efforts in environ-    to familiarize the relevant government officials and
mental protection since Rio. And now today we are        stakeholders with GEF’s objectives and procedures by
holding this first Assembly meeting of the GEF in this   developing and implementing a suitable outreach
historic city of New Delhi.                              program. This strategy will also give us the opportu-
   This is a natural chain of events in our effort to    nity to reach different groups in society, thereby cre-
build appropriate institutions dealing with environ-     ating new GEF advocates. In this connection, we
mental protection. We thank the Government of            strongly support the Secretariat’s recommendation
India for hosting this timely event.                     that STAP be called upon to assign high priority to
   My delegation wishes to thank the Secretariat for     assisting the GEF in building strong relationships and
initiating the study and evaluation of GEF’s overall     networks with the global scientific community.
performance which made a number of convincing               We strongly believe that mainstreaming as stated
conclusions and pertinent recommendations on             in para 54c of the CEO’s report of GEF activities in
GEF’s work. Many of these were incorporated into the     the three main implementing agencies is essential for
CEO’s report to the Assembly.                            building a much stronger GEF in the future. In this
   Regarding incremental cost requirements, we do        connection, we agree with the conclusion of the
understand the reasoning that has made this issue        study team regarding the three agencies and endorse
prominent in GEF’s operations. However, it has           the recommendations pertaining thereto. In this
been a contentious issue regarding the proper calcu-     regard, we would also like to stress that competitive
lation of the incremental costs base on the cost         efforts should be avoided and clear division of labour
sharing principle. Therefore, we are in total agree-     should be strived for.
ment with the CEO’s support for the Council’s               Before I conclude, let me share with you the achieve-
request that further work on the concept of incre-       ments of Thailand’s demand side management, or
mental costs be undertaken by the Secretariat in         DSM, strategies. Over the last two decades, Thailand
consultation with the agencies involved and wel-         has witnessed an important increase in energy con-
come efforts to explore ways to make the process of      sumption. This factor has prompted the Royal Thai
determining incremental costs more flexible and          Government to cooperate with the World Bank and
easier for recipient countries.                          GEF in implementing the DSM programme since
   Another important issue recognized in the CEO’s       1991 in order to maintain an environment-friendly
report is private sector involvement in GEF’s work.      development. To obtain cost-effective energy services
There is now a very clear realization that to achieve    and develop energy-sufficient services, the Electricity
the utmost objectives of GEF, mobilization of funds      Generating Authority of Thailand, known as EGAT,
from all sources is needed. Co-financing of GEF pro-     has been implementing the following strategies:
jects by the private sector and other donors to cover    ■ A market transformation through a voluntary engage-
part of the costs of a GEF project should be encour-     ment from all levels of society.
aged as much as possible and the modalities for their    ■ An energy-efficiency labeling.
involvement should be seriously explored. In this        ■ The creation of a customer-oriented programme
connection, we strongly encourage GEF to promote a       such as the “green buildings approach” that enables
each consumer to save on energy cost in his respec-       the sensitive issues of the first cost barrier, the rebate-
tive businesses.                                          based incentive schemes and the countries’ basic
■ Encouraging private companies to save on energy         infrastructures for energy efficiency should be proper-
costs through incentives.                                 ly taken into consideration.
   These strategies have led to significant energy sav-      In conclusion, we thank the Government of India
ing of 1.799 gigawatt hours, and 1.34 million tons of     and GEF for the opportunity given to all of us to
CO 2 emissions reduction (as of February 1998).           exchange our views on the roles, present and future,
Although these figures reflect an achievement in the      of this important institution, which has the difficult
field of environmental management, some strategies        task of making our environment a better place to live
have had to be adapted to suit the socio-economic         in. Even though there will always be obstacles, we do
situation in Thailand.                                    believe that many ideas for improvements in the
   One must not forget that a strategy that fits one      work of GEF will be proposed during this meeting,
country is not always suitable for another. Therefore,    thanks to all participants’ wisdom and experiences.

Statement of Togo
S.E.M. Koffi Santy Sany Adade
Minister of Environment and Forest Production

J     e voudrais tout d’abord au nom du Chef de l’É-
      tat et du Gouvernement togolais saisir cette
      occasion pour remercier le Gouvernement indi-
      en et le Secrétariat du Fonds pour l’environ-
nement mondial de l’invitation qu’ils ont bien voulu
faire à notre pays afin de prendre part aux travaux de
                                                             Les objectifs que nous nous étions fixés à Rio
                                                          étaient fort louables.
                                                             Malgré cela, aujourd’hui, la pauvreté qui est recon-
                                                          nue comme une des principales causes de la dégrada-
                                                          tion de notre environnement continue de sévir à nos
                                                          portes et sous nos yeux.
cette première assemblée.                                    Des millions d’hommes, de femmes et d’enfants
   Je voudrais également adresser ma reconnaissance       dans un élan désespéré, pour mieux survivre, sont
au directeur général et président du Fonds pour l’en-     obligés de puiser dans les dernières réserves abusive-
vironnement mondial, Monsieur Mohamed T. El-              ment exploitées rendant aussi la nature écologique-
Ashry, et son équipe pour tous leurs efforts en vue de    ment austère.
permettre au Fonds de remplir sa mission à laquelle          Néanmoins, le nouveau type de partenariat com-
le Togo reste attaché.                                    portant à la fois des responsabilités communes et dif-
   Monsieur le Président de l’Assemblée, veuillez         férenciées et permettant de promouvoir une coopéra-
accepter les vives félicitations de ma délégation pour    tion à l’échelle nationale, régionale et mondiale pour
votre élection.                                           un développement que nous voulons durable, fait
   Il y a six ans à Rio, nous reconnaissions que la       son chemin.
résolution des problèmes de l’environnement devrait          Pour sa part, le Togo a entrepris des actions con-
contribuer à promouvoir la paix et le développement       crètes pour contribuer à la réalisation de l’objectif
sur les plans national et international.                  commun.
   Dans cette perspective, les pays en développement         Le processus du Plan national d’action pour l’envi-
se sont engagés à tout mettre en oeuvre en vue de la      ronnement (PNAE) a été relancé en octobre 1995
gestion rationnelle de l’environnement.                   avec une vision plus large qui l’inscrit dans un con-
   Les pays développés devraient dans le cadre de l’as-   texte sous-régional et international renforcé par les
sistance aux pays en développement, outre leurs           conclusions de Rio et les diverses conventions aux-
obligations de caractère écologique, fournir des          quelles le Togo est Partie.
ressources financières nouvelles et additionnelles en        Ce processus est axé sur une gestion intégrée et
vue de créer un environnement économique interna-         globale de l’environnement. Il sera désormais con-
tional favorable, et contribuer à l’élimination de la     tinu et permettra à court terme de renforcer les
pauvreté.                                                 capacités nationales de gestion de l’environnement
et de promouvoir une éthique écologique dans tous              Aussi, un programme national de gestion de l’envi-
les secteurs du développement en vue de consolider          ronnement intégrant les principales dimensions envi-
le cadre des mesures de redressement économique du          ronnementales et prenant en compte les préoccupa-
pays afin d’asseoir le développement sur des bases          tions des différents acteurs du développement est en
écologiques viables.                                        cours d’élaboration pour être mis en oeuvre en 1999.
   Depuis qu’il est devenu un des mécanismes                   Notre planète ne connaîtra un réel développement
financiers permanents, résultat véritablement positif       durable que par la promotion de telles initiatives par-
du sommet de Rio, le Fonds pour l’environnement             ticipatives.
mondial restaure l’espoir de milliers d’âmes que la            Le FEM à travers ses agences d’exécution, notam-
pauvreté continue de pousser à dégrader l’environ-          ment la Banque mondiale, le PNUD et le PNUE, a
nement. Les réformes récemment intervenues dans             commencé à imprimer cette nouvelle vision de par-
son fonctionnement pour le rendre plus souple ont           ticipation des populations à la gestion de l’environ-
permis à notre pays d’attendre aujourd’hui des              nement, de capitalisation des connaissances
financements. Le Togo, par ma voix, présente ses            disponibles avec l’appui d’organisations avérées, de
sincères remerciements au FEM et voudrait toujours          recherche de la continuité et de la cohérence dans
compter sur ce mécanisme pour le financement des            l’action, et ceci est encourageant. Le Togo souhaite
programmes en préparation.                                  que cette dimension du développement soit de
   La solidarité, la coopération et le partenariat que      mieux en mieux intégrée dans les orientations
nous appelons de tous nos vœux doivent s’affermir           stratégiques du FEM.
au fil du temps. C’est pourquoi ces réformes doivent           Notre présence ici justifie tout l’intérêt que le Gou-
être soutenues par souci d’efficacité car bon nombre        vernement togolais attache à ce fonds pour réaliser son
de pays en développement, confrontés aux                    Programme de gestion durable de l’environnement.
phénomènes d’environnement mondiaux graves, ont             C’est pourquoi nous avons la conviction que les con-
d’énormes difficultés à accéder à ce Fonds.                 clusions des travaux de cette auguste Assemblée iront
   Afin d’assurer la viabilité de sa politique de gestion   dans le sens de la continuité et du renforcement de
de l’environnement, le Togo a adopté une approche           l’appui du FEM à la cause des moins nantis. C’est sur
participative et décentralisée et cherche à promouvoir      cette note d’espoir, Monsieur le Président, que la délé-
un cadre de partenariat devant reconnaître les droits       gation qui m’accompagne et moi-même souhaitons
et devoirs de tous les acteurs du développement.            plein succès aux travaux de cette Assemblée.

Statement of Tunisia
Mohamed Mehdi Mlika
Minister of Environment and Land Use

J      e voudrais tout d’abord remercier le gouverne-
       ment de l’Inde pour l’organisation de cette
       importante réunion et pour l’accueil
       chaleureux. Nos remerciements sont également
au Secrétariat du GEF comme le temps qui nous est
imparti est bien coût, je vais essayer de parler de cer-
                                                               Je citerais en l’occurrenee le projet de gestion de la
                                                            pollution pétrolière dans la région Sud-Ouest de la
                                                            Méditerranée qui prévoyait de rendre opérationnelle
                                                            la lutte contre la pollution par les hydrocarbures dans
                                                            les eaux internationales. Le projet s’est réduit à équiper
                                                            légèrement un port par pays. L’objectif du projet ini-
taines de nos préoccupations.                               tial, qui était d’équiper cinq ports, n’a pas été atteint.
   La première de nos préoccupations est que les            Une deuxième phase de ce projet, associant la côte
apports financiers pour le GEF n’ont pas été à la hau-      Sud-Est de la Méditerranée, est en cours de prépara-
teur des engagements des pays donateurs ce qui a            tion. Notre souhait est que cette deuxième phase rat-
entraîné la réduction non seulement des actions             trape ce qui n’a pas été fait au cours de la première
jugées prioritaires mais également l’amputation de          phase et que l’objectif, qui est la protection de la
projets déjà approuvé par le GEF, ce qui n’a pas facil-     Mediterranée soit atteint.
ité le travail du Secrétariat.                                 La Tunisie a signé et ratifié les Conventions interna-
tionales de protection de l’environnement issues de la        tion de lutte contre la désertification qui n’a pas encore
CNUED ainsi que le protocole de Montréal.                     eu tout l’intérêt qui lui revient en dépit de l’impor-
   Pour honorer sa signature, la Tunisie a totalement         tance et de la menace que représente ce fléau sur l’en-
arrêté l’utilisation des substances qui appauvrissent la      vironnement et les populations les plus démunies.
couche d’ozone dans la réfrigération, les mousses et             Je rappelle que la désertification est indissociable
les aérosols avec l’aide du GEF.                              de la biodiversité et des changements climatiques et
   Pour les changements climatiques, nous sommes en           la lutte contre la désertification doit bénéficier de
train de finaliser l’étude sur l’inventaire des gaz à effet   financements appropriés.
de serre, d’élaborer notre stratégie qui devrait fixer les       En tant que Président du Bureau du Plan d’Action
grandes orientations du pays surtout dans le secteur          pour la Méditerranée, et en raison de l’importance de
énergétique responsable de la majorité de ces gaz.            cette région dans le trafic maritime international, en
   Concernant la biodiversité, nous avons élaboré un          tant que première région touristique du monde et en
plan d’action et la stratégie rationale, nous comptons        tant que berceau de plusieurs grandes civilisations, je
sur le GEF pour nous aider à les mettre en oeuvre.            lance un appel au GEF pour appuyer nos projets par
   Je ne voudrais pas oublier de mentionner la conven-        des financements conséquents.

Statement of Turkey
Firuz Demir Yasamis
Undersecretary for Environment

               n behalf of the Turkish Government, I          ment of environmental risks that pose danger to all
               would like to extend my sincere appreci-       humankind as well as to the whole global ecosystem.
               ation to the GEF and to the implement-            In this regard, Turkey, so far, has considerably con-
               ing agencies of the World Bank, the            tributed to the implementation of the Montreal Pro-
UNDP and the UNEP for their diligent and exhaus-              tocol on Ozone Layer Depletion, and these efforts
tive work to initiate and develop a new but very sig-         have been recognised and appreciated with a prize for
nificant international finance institution for the alle-      being a successful national focal point by the Ozone
viation of the environmental pains of this globe. I           Secretariat. The Turkish Government is pleased by
also would like to extend my congratulations to the           this cordial appreciation of the organization and will
CEO, Mr. El-Ashry, for his success in finalizing the          keep on contributing to the solution and mitigation
second replenishment of the GEF.                              of other global concerns.
   The Global Environmental Facility has emerged as              Environmental problems of the world, as it would
a new hope, especially for those countries that are in        be accepted and agreed, are far beyond the limits and
need of extra and additional financial possibilities to       potentialities of the GEF. Therefore, prioritisation of
deal with the environmental problems that they have           the topics to be dealt with should somehow be
inherited from the past generations of the whole world.       realised. However, I do believe that the present scope
   GEF, although still in its infancy, has so far success-    of the work is too narrow to fulfill the expectations of
fully demonstrated that it is capable of helping those        the receiving countries. I must say that the global
who are in need of financial and technical assistance.        objectives cannot be realized unless grass-root prob-
The member countries should also be appreciated               lems of the nations in need are adequately addressed.
and congratulated for the sincere approaches they                In this regard, GEF should not be seen as the fund
have so far demonstrated for the fulfillment of the           for environmental problems of a global nature—such
GEF’s overall objectives.                                     as acid rains, global warming, greenhouse gases,
   I am very much pleased to indicate that my coun-           ozone layer depletion, desertification and interna-
try, Turkey, is also committed to the enhancement of          tional waters—but also should be seen as the sole
global environmental quality, improvement of the              environmental fund for the countries of this globe.
carrying capacity of the world’s ecosystems, upgrad-          This may mean a shift in the already agreed priority
ing the global quality of life and effective manage-          policies of the Facility, but I am quite certain that
national and local environmental problems that are        solidated in the Council, as they so rightfully deserve.
not comprehensively global in nature should also be          I would like to conclude my remarks by again
dealt with effectively under the umbrella of GEF. And     thanking those who have contributed to the estab-
I should also indicate that the role and power to         lishment of the GEF and by repeating my country’s
decide of recipient countries vis-à-vis non-recipient     sincere commitments to the objectives and the ideals
countries should also be further strengthened and con-    of this long-awaited organisation.

Statement of Uganda
S. Sendaula Gerald
Minister of Natural Resources

               n behalf of the Government of Uganda       implementation. My delegation strongly believes
               and of my delegation, allow me to con-     that GEF operations could be further improved by
               vey to you warm and fraternal greetings.   strengthening the capacities of national coordination
               It is indeed an honour and privilege to    of programmes and projects and also through a clear
be invited to address this first GEF Assembly.            elaboration of information, biodiversity data manage-
   May I take this opportunity to commend the Gov-        ment, public awareness and outreach.
ernment and people of India for the warm hospitality         My delegation notes that although agro-biodiversi-
and the GEF Secretariat for organising this meeting.      ty has increasingly become an area of concern to
   Uganda’s commitment to the aims and objectives         many countries, particularly developing ones like
of GEF is unequivocal. The continued presence of          Uganda, it has not yet been given the necessary
GEF as a strategic framework for responding to global     attention it deserves by the GEF. Agro-biodiversity
initiative on the environment is of utmost importance.    cannot be tackled just through forest or arid or semi-
I therefore take this opportunity to reaffirm once        arid ecosystem approaches and needs to be specifically
again the Government of Uganda’s commitment to            targeted where none of the ecosystems is relevant.
the GEF programme and to thank GEF for its support.       My delegation reaffirms its support to the UN Food
   My delegation shares the concern that has been         and Agriculture Organisation and other agencies in
raised of the need to step away from focusing on reaf-    their efforts to streamline agro-biodiversity activities
firmation of commitments and take concrete steps to       and urges the GEF to make agro-biodiversity an
implement them. It is in this spirit that my delega-      important thematic area for funding.
tion now proceeds, with your permission, to raise the        This Assembly decided that GEF will finance only
following areas of particular concern to our country.     interventions where there is evidence of global signif-
   While my delegation notes with appreciation that       icance. However, because this is not set in quantita-
GEF now has in place relatively clear guidelines on       tive parameters, member countries have sometimes
project preparation, the GEF project cycle and the        been told by implementing agencies that some of
whole project formulation is long, cumbersome and         their proposed interventions are not globally signifi-
difficult. The lengthy preparation period often leads     cant. My delegation wishes to recommend that
to cost overruns. We therefore recommend that imple-      guidelines should be set for determining the levels of
menting agencies should be encouraged to assist in        significance.
speeding up the process.                                     On the question of funding, my delegation notes
   My delegation is also concerned that inadequate        with concern that contributions to the GEF Trust
attention has been paid to capacity building, whether     Fund are inadequate compared to the demands. We
in regard to capacity for backstopping GEF operations     would like to urge the developed countries to meet
in general terms or for sustaining real interventions.    their financial obligations to the Fund.
We strongly contend that capacity building in envi-          With regard to the structure and membership of
ronmental management is essential and that specific       the GEF, my delegation notes that the constituency
interventions should be identified in order to realise    to which a member country belongs is determined by
sustainable global benefits at the end of project         the GEF Secretariat. However, we also note that con-
stituency member countries are not facilitated in net-    ment and environmental management.
working. Consequently, Council members never get            We also believe that some constituencies have
views from the capitals of their constituent members.     become too large and recommend that this Assembly
My delegation contends that in order for Council          revisit the size of various constituencies in order to
members to effectively represent their constituencies,    ensure effective representation.
this Assembly needs to work out modalities for revi-        In conclusion, I wish to thank the GEF Secretariat
talizing and operationalising the various GEF net-        for the able and competent manner in which they
works as avenues for information exchange against         have facilitated the implementation of GEF decisions
the emerging challenges in socio-economic develop-        and for facilitating this Assembly.

Statement of the United Kingdom
David Turner
Head, Department for International Development

              n behalf of the United Kingdom, I wish      at its role in the challenges ahead and to reflect
              to thank the Government and people of       on how the GEF will help to improve the quality
              India for inviting us to New Delhi and      of life for future generations. The GEF has been
              hosting the first Global Environment        described as:
Facility Assembly. We were honoured to be addressed       ■ A model of collaboration among countries.
by the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Environ-      ■ A necessity for international collaboration.
ment Minister. We congratulate the President of Cos-      ■ A vehicle that helps link national and global priorities.
ta Rica on receiving the first annual GEF Global Envi-    ■ A family that the world needs.
ronment Leadership Award. And we are indebted to             We have also heard that the GEF should have
Mohamed El-Ashry, Chairman and CEO of the GEF,            more resources, tackle more issues and solve the
and all his colleagues, and the heads of the imple-       planet’s environmental problems. It will make a pos-
menting agencies and their colleagues, for all the        itive contribution to these issues, but as a catalyst
preparations and contributions to this Assembly. The      rather than the panacea. Now that the GEF has been
excellent publication, Valuing the Global Environment,    successfully replenished, it is even better placed to
with the thought-provoking foreword by President          play its role—a role that encourages genuine partner-
Cardoso, will continue to remind us of why we gath-       ships; helps integrate global environment issues with
ered here in New Delhi.                                   national priorities at the national level; and encour-
   The Prime Minister of India told us yesterday that     ages the international community and its bilateral
sustainable development could not be pursued by a         and multilateral institutions, whether Bretton
nation in isolation—the endeavour had to be a col-        Woods or the UN, to do likewise.
lective one. He told us that national environment            We fully endorse the GEF 2 replenishment policy
policy would harmonise the demands of develop-            recommendations, based on the overall performance
ment and environment. We share what many speak-           study, because they will improve the quality of GEF
ers said yesterday about the link between poverty and     activities. They will do so in six ways:
environment. My Government recently published a           1. Improved country ownership and capacity, inte-
policy on international development that has at its          grating global environmental issues into national
heart the elimination of poverty and working in part-        sustainable development policies.
nership to help create sustainable livelihoods for poor   2. Better mainstreaming of global environmental
people, promote human development, and conserve              objectives into the regular policies and pro-
the environment.                                             grammes of the implementing agencies.
   This Assembly marks a watershed for the GEF.           3. Better involvement of the private sector, and part-
It has come of age, ready for the new millennium.            nerships with them.
We are meeting to review, discuss and celebrate           4. Enhanced monitoring and evaluation and the urgent
the achievements of the GEF family so far, to look           development of performance indicators.
5. Greater participation of other international and        ■ The GEF has a positive role to play in emerging
   regional organizations.                                 environmental challenges such as chemicals, includ-
6. Further clarification of the application of incre-      ing persistent organic pollutants, which ought to be
   mental costs.                                           defined in advance of negotiations.
What is clear is that:                                       For the GEF to advance this agenda, the GEF Council
■ The GEF is sufficiently mature to allow the Conven-      will need to reflect on the outcome of this Assembly
tions it serves to focus on implementing their agendas.    and to be realistic where others are best placed to
■ The GEF has a positive role to play in the post-         play the decisive role or contribution.
Kyoto agenda, including the clean development                Finally, let me confirm that the UK has been and
mechanism.                                                 will remain a staunch supporter of the GEF—GEF
■ The GEF has, within its mandate and operational          that plays its part in helping to integrate global envi-
programmes, further action to be taken on land             ronmental issues at the national level in a way that
degradation.                                               meets national priorities and aspirations.

Statement of the United States
William Schuerch
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury

       want to express the deep appreciation of the        of many types of projects, and it has established
       United States to the Government of India for        medium and small grants programs to efficiently
       hosting the first Global Environment Facility       deliver resources to the local level through NGOs and
       Assembly. In particular, we are grateful to the     other organizations.
Prime Minister, to our Chairman, Mr. Sinha, and to            The GEF has pioneered unprecedented and
the head of the Indian delegation, Mr. Prabhu. We          urgently needed levels of public participation—cru-
also want to acknowledge the very substantial and          cial, because this democratic, ground-up approach is
significant efforts of the GEF’s CEO and Chairman,         an imperative for truly sustainable development.
Mohamed El-Ashry, the GEF Secretariat, the Vice-           And GEF is moving to establish the strongest possi-
Chairmen, and the implementing agencies in arrang-         ble monitoring and evaluation, to transform experi-
ing this important event.                                  mental methods into practical new ways to achieve
   The U.S. strongly supports the Global Environ-          the dual priorities of economic growth and environ-
ment Facility and its goals, and we value highly the       mental protection. We believe that the rapid devel-
cooperation this organization facilitates among            opment of GEF and its unique contributions and
almost every country of the world in addressing the        achievements, coupled with the successful replenish-
pressing global environmental threats that face us all.    ment agreement which we should all be proud was
This Administration is firmly committed to fulfilling      accomplished earlier this week, assures the GEF a sta-
all the past and current U.S. pledges of financial sup-    ble and secure future among our most important
port to the GEF.                                           international organizations.
   The Facility’s history is one of rapid development,        Looking forward, a top priority for increased effec-
from its pilot phase, to its restructuring, and through    tiveness is to “mainstream” global environmental
its first operational period. It has faced considerable    issues more completely into the development process.
challenges, and it has emerged as a unique and vital       Foremost, this means “mainstreaming” environmental
actor on the world stage—one which we believe              protection into the regular projects and sector work of
should be designated as the permanent financial            the implementing agencies and into other international
mechanism for the Conventions on Biological Diver-         organizations. A critical complement to institutional
sity and Climate Change. GEF also has strengthened         “mainstreaming” is country “mainstreaming.” This
its project development capacity and has quickly           means thoroughly integrating global environmental
established a solid portfolio of projects in all of its    protection into all countries’ economies, development
focal areas. It has streamlined preparation and approval   plans, and programs. Successfully achieving this objec-
tive will require the dedication and involvement of all   ■ That the GEF should explore options for expanding
sectors of society, from each community to the top lev-   the number of agencies through which it operates in
els of national government.                               order to promote competition and to ensure the
   Integral to country “mainstreaming” is bringing to     improved implementation—including direct project
bear the domestic resources of each country on eco-       implementation through NGOs, PVOs, and regional
nomic development options that protect environ-           development banks.
ment even as they support growth and development.         ■ That the GEF aggressively should seek ways to further
These domestic resources will have a much greater         facilitate private sector investment in environmental-
impact on environmentally sustainable development         ly sustainable development, not only to leverage GEF
than foreign investment and overseas development          resources, but also to enhance their effectiveness.
assistance. Reorienting domestic resources need not       ■ That, consistent with the need for global coopera-
entail sacrificing economic development. Indeed, we       tion, stronger financial support should come from
firmly believe all countries have innumerable oppor-      developing countries and countries with economies in
tunities to protect the environment while at the same     transition, especially from the newly industrialized
time protecting human health, improving welfare,          countries, countries that do not yet contribute, and
and providing long-run economic security. We              countries with large populations and large economies.
believe that economic growth and environmentally             And finally, we suggest that to achieve the maxi-
sensitive actions are not separate alternatives but are   mum impact from GEF resources, together we should
of necessity long-term complements.                       set clear and publicly measurable goals for GEF opera-
   The United States’ own experience illustrates that     tional and administrative performance, that we
this is the case. We have reaped both public and pri-     should devise focused strategies including perfor-
vate rewards through investment in environmental          mance indicators for reaching those goals, and that
protection. One clear example is that establishing        we should consistently and carefully measure GEF
more effective codes and standards for buildings and      and implementing agency performance. Learning
equipment has led to dramatically increased invest-       from the results of the first GEF independent evalua-
ment in energy conservation, thus increasing our          tion, we also should ensure full follow-through on
economic efficiency while also reducing harmful air       the overall performance study and set advance plans
pollution. Working as a partner with developing           for further independent evaluation prior to the next
countries, the GEF should play an increasingly impor-     replenishment. This results-oriented approach is cru-
tant role in demonstrating and facilitating the flow of   cial for improving all large organizations, particularly
private and domestic public resources to these types      those as rapidly evolving as the GEF. In fact, the United
of win-win approaches. It is our hope that this first     States Government and each of its agencies also is
participants’ Assembly of the GEF will serve to invig-    currently working through just such a process. This
orate our mutual commitment to this crucial task,         type of adjustment is not easy, but the potential
while we also pursue the macroeconomic policy             rewards are great.
reforms—emphasized by Prime Minister Vajpayee                In closing, let me say that not only does the Admin-
this morning—on which sustainable development             istration commit to fulfilling its past pledges and its
also depends.                                             near contribution to the second replenishment of the
   While celebrating GEF’s very significant accom-        GEF, not only does the United States strongly support
plishments and past improvements, we must also            the GEF, its activities, and its continuing improve-
note that the recent study of GEF’s overall perfor-       ment, but even more importantly, we are committed
mance shows a need for continuing reforms in order        to the sustainable development principles on which
for the GEF to reach its full potential. We want to       the GEF was founded and to their application not
highlight a few priorities for the GEF’s further devel-   only in the U.S. and in all countries, but also in the
opment. We suggest:                                       implementing agencies and across all international
■ That the GEF and its implementing agencies should       financial and development institutions. We look for-
coordinate with bilateral agencies in country assis-      ward to the day when the voices of all other GEF sup-
tance planning and should more deeply involve             porters consistently join us in speaking out in sup-
these agencies in project development and imple-          port of fully applying sustainable development
mentation.                                                principles within these other institutions. That would
■ That the GEF should move to a more strategic allo-      mean that the GEF members themselves had “main-
cation of resources, to take advantage of the best        streamed” the values we all seek to foster in our soci-
opportunities for achieving positive global environ-      eties, to leave a better world for our children and our
mental impacts.                                           grandchildren.
Statement of Uruguay
Luis Almagro Lemes
Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Relations

         n primer lugar queremos agradecer la coop-       adquirir elementos que las hagan más flexibles y que
         eración que surge del FMAM y a través del        el apoyo y asesoramiento técnico que se dé a las
         cual hemos podido instrumentar y ejecutar el     partes contribuya a hacer este procedimiento menos
         Plan de Acción Nacional, hemos efectuado la      engorroso. A lo expresado hay que agregar que sería
correspondiente Comunicación Nacional a la Secre-         posible un sistema más ágil con la solución de los
taría de la Convención de las Partes de la Conferencia    muchos problemas de orden práctico que se plantean
de Cambio Climático, el inventario nacional de gases      en relación a los costos incrementales.
de efecto invernadero y trabajamos en proyectos de           El sistema debe ser más efectivo, entendiendo en
Biodiversidad en la zona de los banados del este.         este sentido que los resultados que de los proyectos
   Por supuesto que también reconocemos que los           debemos obtener dependen los cambios reales que
mecanismos de financiación son perfectibles y deben       necesitamos para los problemas ambientales. Para
ser adaptables. De hecho, estamos frente a metas e        conseguirlo se debe disponer de más fondos, lo que
instrumentos que se deben ir renovando de acuerdo a       dependerá de la optimización del relacionamiento
los nuevos requerimientos que plantean los proble-        con el sector privado, de la consideración de proble-
mas ambientales y las necesidades de los países. La       mas ambientales en los planes de inversión industri-
Biodiversidad, la protección de la capa de ozono, pro-    ales, del mayor aporte de los países más comprometi-
tección de las aguas internacionales y el cambio          dos con los procesos de reversión. No puede dejar de
climático exigen de nosotros superar metas y              entenderse que combatir la pobreza, constituye un
plantearnos nuevas. El Mecanismo de Desarrollo            objetivo en sí mismo, además de una fundamental
limpio que recoge el protocolo de Kioto, las metas de     acción para la solución de graves problemas de
reducción fijadas para los países del anexo 1, el fenó-   medio ambiente y que, por lo tanto, las pautas de
meno de “El Niño”, los problemas de pesca y de cont-      desarrollo no deben condicionarse.
aminación en las aguas internacionales, el aumento           También implica una mayor efectividad un mejor
de la productividad y el desarrollo, exponen a nue-       manejo de los recursos, para lo cual hay que asegurar
stros países a definiciones políticas urgentes y a un     la atención sobre las prioridades específicas de nue-
trabajo que no puede interrumpirse.                       stros países y que se realice el control administrativo
   Por ello la importancia de velar por los esfuerzos     de cumplimiento de los objetivos de la gestión.
financieros que se realicen y hacer que los mismos           Bregamos en el sistema actual por una flexibi-
sean efectivos y alcancen la dinámica que las propias     lización de las estructuras, mayor transparencia para
condiciones de los problemas imponen.                     el fortalecimiento de las sociedades, una mayor
   La Alianza del Banco Mundial, el PNUMA y el            descentralización y estrategias que incluyan priori-
PNUD es por si un loable esfuerzo al que damos la         dades nacionales dentro de un contexto más amplio
bienvenida, pues es un instrumento que da nuevo           que permita más flexibilidad operacional.
impulso a los esquemas de cooperación. Asimismo,             Quiero terminar diciendo que creemos que, en el
comprendemos que existen posibilidades para hacer-        camino de la descentralización, es importante la tarea
lo más dinámico y efectivo.                               que son capaces de desempeñar los Bancos
   Más dinámico, pues la tramitación de las solici-       Regionales; compartir esta experiencia de cooperación
tudes debe ser más rápida, enmarañarse menos en           con ellos, daría a nuestros países formas más enrique-
esquemas de la burocracia, las revisiones deben           cedoras de diálogo y mayor capacidad en la gestión
Statement of Uzbekistan
Taudat Nurbaev
First Deputy Minister, Main Committee on Meterology

      have the honour of expressing my gratitude for         and climate change are resolving technical, social
      the excellent organization of the meeting. I           and political questions simultaneously; these
      would like also to thank the Government of             require from their executors constant information
      India for the given opportunity to take part in        exchange and ongoing consideration of new ideas
this forum in the capital of India, New Delhi.               and decisions.
   The Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan has             With the help of the Global Environment Facility in
defined sustainable development as a priority task. Its      our country, capacity building of both institutional and
realisation is impossible without the solution of prob-      human potential is ongoing. The implementation of
lems of desertification and drought, climate change,         the projects financed by GEF improves our knowledge
biodiversity, protection of international water and          and strengthens the visibility of environmental pollu-
depletion of the ozone layer.                                tion in the framework of broader political priorities.
   For Uzbekistan, as well as for other states of the Aral      In Uzbekistan, articles on the environment are
Sea Basin, the problem of combatting desertification         being published in the mass media as a result of the
and drought is one of the most important in achiev-          action plan on problems of climate change, and bio-
ing sustainable development. The crisis of the Aral          logical diversity; this strengthens the knowledge of
Sea—caused by unreasoned policies of use of water            the population about GEF policy.
and soil resources in the region—are known to all of            The success of GEF in recipient countries also
you. With gratitude we are aware of the concern of           depends on the use of focal points. We welcome the
the world community in this connection, which is             recommendations of GEF about the strengthening of
expressed—and, I hope will be expressed—in support           their functions.
of efforts carried out by Uzbekistan, in liquidation of         Uzbekistan welcomes the work of the group moni-
this crisis.                                                 toring and assessing GEF activity and approves the
   With the support of the Global Environment                results of GEF work.
Facility in the Republic of Uzbekistan the mecha-               In conclusion, I would like to assure you, Mr.
nism of facilitating implementation of the ecological        Chairman and GEF Council, that Uzbekistan will
conventions adopted for realisation of Agenda 21 is          dedicate its efforts to effective cooperation and
worked out.                                                  improvement of GEF activity, directed at the global
   The carried out projects on biological diversity          environment.

Statement of Vietnam
Pham Sy Tam
Ambassador to India

         he Vietnamese Delegation has the honour                Under the able leadership of the GEF Chief Execu-
         of expressing its profound gratitude to the         tive Officer and with the guidance of the GEF Coun-
         Government of India, to the Chief Execu-            cil and participant states, the GEF has shown a con-
         tive Officer/Chairman of the GEF and the            stant determination to improve the focus, efficiency
GEF Secretariat for their excellent organization of this     and effectiveness of its operations. Vietnam hopes
very important first Assembly of the Global Environ-         that participants will honour the hospitality of our
ment Facility.                                               hosts by agreeing to strengthen the GEF as the finan-
cial mechanism for the Rio Conventions and by reaf-         has established the National Council of GEF Vietnam.
firming the existing consensus about the GEF operat-           GEF Vietnam consists of various important min-
ing policies.                                               istries—such as the Ministry of Science, Technology
   Vietnam’s message to the first Assembly of the GEF       and Environment; of Foreign Affairs; of Finance; of
is essentially in three points:                             Planning and Investment—and the Prime Minister’s
1. The GEF should remain the designated financial           Office (the Government Office). The Vietnam GEF
   mechanism for the Rio Conventions on Climate             council is headed by His Excellency Mr. Pham Khoi
   Change and Biodiversity. The GEF principle of            Nguyen, Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and
   financing incremental costs may be adapted               Environment as its chairman.
   methodologically, but should be maintained to               GEF Vietnam has a permanent body with its office
   ensure consistency with Agenda 21 and the Rio            in the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environ-
   Conventions.                                             ment in Hanoi. That is called the National Environ-
2. Vietnam’s delegation especially welcomes the GEF         ment Department Agency.
   overall performance in the areas of biodiversity            The process that culminates in the submission of
   and climate change, particularly in its ability to       projects to the Council of the Global Environment
   leverage additional funding for global environ-          Facility in Washington is done very carefully and
   mental benefits from both implementing agencies          slowly to identify basic priorities.
   and other funding sources. The Vietnamese delega-           The chosen projects go to the Vietnam GEF chair-
   tion also wishes to draw the attention of this           man and its members for careful consideration.
   Assembly to the suspension of the projects that          Those projects that succeed in passing the filter and
   were negotiated and submitted to the GEF.                are adopted by the Vietnam GEF Council through a
3. Vietnam is a developing and transition country,          strict regime are submitted to the Government to be
   and the present trend of development of industry         discussed and analysed further. Based on the urgent
   and economy points to an increase in pollution,          situation and necessities of the global environment, a
   degradation; Vietnam therefore welcomes the rec-         very small number of projects can be approved and
   ommendations that the GEF should do more to              submitted to the international GEF in Washington
   provide guidance for strategic action for environ-       according to their priority.
   mental protection.                                          The protection of the global environment is now
   We in Vietnam consider the environment in and            more necessary than ever before. So we, the Viet-
around our country to be an important part of the           namese delegation, once again wish the Council, the
global environment because, among other reasons, it         Chairman, the Secretariat, the agencies of GEF and
is situated between two big oceans, and the country         the GEF as the whole many new successes and
is very rich in biological and natural diversity. It also   achievements in the noble cause of facilitating the
has two big rivers—that is, Mekong and Red River.           protection of the global environment, which has
   With the aim of supporting the ideas of the GEF,         attracted the hearty cooperation and coordination of
the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam         the Government and people of Vietnam.

Statement of Zimbabwe
Charles Chipato
Permanent Secretary for Mines, Environment and Tourism

           llow me first to congratulate you and your       extended to us by the Government of India. I thank
           entire team for your appointment to the          and congratulate the Government of India for suc-
           Chair. I wish you well and success in the        cessfully hosting this Assembly.
           execution of your duties.                          Whilst we are gathered to review general policies
  Let me also at the outset extend my delegation’s          and operations of the Global Environment Facility,
appreciation for the warm welcome and hospitality           we must not lose sight of our main goal of protecting
the global environment and promotion of environ-          ject for Household Use and enabling activities for cli-
mentally sound and sustainable economic develop-          mate change and biodiversity. The project resulted in
ment. At the same time, we should continue to strive      the installation of over 7,000 solar units in houses,
for good governance that is transparent, participatory    schools and clinics, and community halls. This has
and democratic in nature. In addition to fulfilling its   uplifted the social standards of many rural communi-
global commitments, the need for the Facility to          ties, apart from the global environmental benefits.
remain responsive to the needs of its stakeholders        The project has also had some policy impact as Zim-
cannot be overemphasized.                                 babwe is fast adopting renewable energy technology
   Stakeholder involvement and participation during       into the national education curriculum. This trend
the entire project cycle increases and ensures greater    might have some regional replication in some neigh-
ownership and sustainability of programmes and            bouring countries.
projects.                                                    The GEF Small Grant Programme has also been
   My delegation welcomes the second replenish-           operating in Zimbabwe for the last 5 years. To date,
ment of the GEF Trust Fund and, indeed, the need for      about 29 community projects have benefited. The
GEF to develop and implement a strategy for greater       participatory approach applied in the planning and
outreach and communication. In order to improve           implementation of these projects has contributed
information dissemination and public awareness,           to their success. The integration of livelihood
GEF councillors should be availed the financial           improvement and environmental conservation has
resources to undertake outreach activities within their   made these projects more sustainable. The pro-
constituencies. Implementing agencies should              gramme has had a marked impact on local commu-
enhance the work of councillors. My constituency          nities and NGOs have participated effectively in the
would welcome such assistance, especially after this      programme.
historic Assembly.                                           It is against this background that my delegation
   Zimbabwe is grateful for the assistance received       requests an urgent renewal for this programme in
from GEF so far, especially for the Photovoltaic Pro-     Zimbabwe and other countries in my constituency.
Panel Highlights
Divider page photo: Land degradation, Mali by Curt Carnemark (World Bank)
Panel of Eminent Persons

Chair:                                                          it is possible and necessary to bridge—and later do
Birgitta Dahl, Member, Swedish Parliament                       away with—the gap between the idea of incremental
                                                                costs and normal investment activities. She acknowl-
Panelists:                                                      edged that it will take time for sustainable develop-
M. S. Swaminathan, Director, M.S. Swaminathan Research          ment to become a reality, observing that bringing
 Foundation, Madras
                                                                about change often calls for “both passion and
Crispin Tickell, Convenor, British Intergovernmental Panel on   patience.”
 Sustainable Development                                           Dr. Swaminathan saw sustainability in terms of
Mostafa Tolba, President, International Centre for Environ-     social and gender equity (including the important
 ment and Development, Cairo                                    element of employment). He predicted that the new
                                                                millennium would be the millennium of knowledge.
                                                                Those who are undernourished will learn less, a fact

           his panel explored the mutuality of inter-           that will lead to further gross inequity. He further
           ests of all countries in protecting the global       pointed to the link between biodiversity and food
           environment in the context of the pursuit            security.
           of sustainable development.                             Food security, he suggested, involves the availabili-
   In her opening remarks, Mrs. Dahl called on partic-          ty of food (agricultural production and biodiversity),
ipants to consider the prospects of “social, economic,          the access to food (ability to purchase food/the mar-
and environmental development of a benign charac-               ket) and the absorption of food (food safety, includ-
ter, linked together” and the role to be played by GEF          ing drinking water). Biodiversity is essential in as
and all other potential contributors to sustainable             much as agriculture depends on land and water. A
development. In her view, the “art” lies in choosing            serious problem today is the loss of diversity in agri-
the right methods and practical actions for linking             cultural production, which currently depends on four
local and global environmental challenges and                   or five crops. The genetic base of agriculture has also
national and international resources in addressing              narrowed. Parks and other protected areas receive
problems of the global environment.                             large amounts of public funding but in situ conserva-
   Mrs. Dahl recalled that the High-Level Advisory              tion of biodiversity depends on private resources of
Board on Sustainable Development appointed by the               families and communities. Indigenous knowledge is
U.N. Secretary General after the Rio Conference had             being taken from communities without adequate
identified three areas of strategic importance to meet          compensation, Dr. Swaminathan observed. In the
people’s needs, promote economic progress, and secure           interest of equity, benefits should be shared with the
sustainable development: energy, transportation, and            poor who conserve indigenous knowledge. (“The
water. It agreed that in these sectors, production tech-        poverty of the guardians of variety is not matched by
nologies, consumption patterns, and lifestyles must be          the richness of the consumers.”)
changed. Targets and programmes were identified for                Dr. Tolba observed that 30 or 40 current problems
achieving social and economic progress without disas-           will carry over into the next century, including the
trous effects on either the environment or long-term            problem of water supply. After energy, water may be
economies of the countries involved.                            the next largest cause of international disputes. His
   Mrs. Dahl emphasized the importance of identifying           country, Egypt, is a low-income country with high
initiatives that will make it clear to governments, citi-       water stress. If the global poverty line for water is an
zens, and the GEF that it is possible and necessary to          annual per capita consumption of 1,000 cubic
integrate the fight against poverty with economic               meters, Egypt, at 900 cubic meters today, is already
progress and environmental concerns. Programs                   below the poverty line. With population growth it
should be elaborated that would make it obvious that            will be at 700 cubic meters by the year 2010. How
should Egypt address this problem? In Dr. Tolba’s                warming of some areas of the world but changing
view, GEF is giving greater emphasis to marine                   parameters are also a factor: pollution in industrial-
resources than fresh water. Financing is needed to               ized countries could shield inhabitants from global
address the problems of water supply.                            warming whereas melting ice water could make some
   Today 250 rivers are shared by more than one                  oceans and neighboring areas colder and warm cur-
country. Inter-country “ownership” of fresh water                rents, on which e.g. Western Europe is dependent
supplies is a major potential source of international            could change their routes. The issue is complex, and
conflict. Dr. Tolba also observed that more than 80              the global community is just beginning to address it.
percent of Egypt’s water is being used for agriculture.          Emissions of carbon dioxide must be reduced, but
It is essential to change the antiquated system of irri-         this will require changes in energy, transport, and
gation, but this will cost large sums. The cost of mod-          other policies and will be hard to achieve. It was clear
ifying water use practices must be balanced against              at Kyoto that the United States and other industrial-
the costs of needed services in other areas, including           ized countries are not interested in doing very much
education and health. The question is what should                very soon. The largest emitters of carbon dioxide
be GEF’s role and responsibilities vis-a-vis the conser-         must make the biggest reductions. They must see that
vation of fresh water.                                           it is in their interest to do so. To reduce carbon emis-
   Sir Crispin Tickell noted that human population               sions, governments must also tax fuel use, withdraw
increase, land degradation, water supply, and threats            subsidies, and encourage the production of alterna-
to biodiversity—the four Horsemen of the Apoca-                  tive energy. Some major oil companies foresee the
lypse—are driven by climate change. It has been                  need for change. Changes must be effected soon, or
determined that human activities contribute to the               future generations will suffer.

Panel on Sustainable Development

Chair:                                                           income. Disposable incomes are on the rise. Our
Vishwanath Anand, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and         farmers are producing more than ever before…How-
 Forests, India                                                  ever, these developments have increased the pressure
Panelists:                                                       on our forests and rivers and on our select bodies
T. N. Khoshoo , former Secretary, Government of India            which have to keep up with the rapid pace of urban-
                                                                 ization. Similarly, the demands on our planners to
R. K. Pachauri, Director, Tata Energy Research Institute; Vice
                                                                 provide adequate energy and material goods for our
 Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
                                                                 people have increased.
Shrimati Kiran Agarwal, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Affairs        Balancing these development pressures and the
 and Employment                                                  health of our natural resources is not an easy task.
S. S. Boparai, Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Non-   This has necessitated many initiatives both within
  Conventional/Conventional Sources of Energy, Government        and outside the government. Our multimedia pre-
  of India                                                       sentation represents only a fraction of the numerous
Nay Htun, Assistant Secretary General, United Nations            initiatives that have been taken so far and may not
                                                                 really do justice to their vast scope and accomplish-
C. P. Oberoi, Inspector General of Forests, Government of
                                                                 ments. You’ve seen the numerous strides we’ve taken,
                                                                 but there are critical challenges that still remain. In
Kenneth King, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Global Envi-    spite of these quantum strides towards the path of
 ronment Facility                                                sustainable development to improve the living stan-
                                                                 dards of our citizens, we have to do very much more.
(The discussion was preceded by a multimedia presenta-
                                                                    I would like to commend the good work that has
tion on India’s efforts toward sustainable development.)
                                                                 been done by GEF so far. We’ve always had a positive
ANAND: India’s direct dependence on natural resources            response from GEF. It is in this spirit that we would
has decreased over the years. Now the manufacturing              like to offer a few suggestions. The first issue I would
and service sectors form the bulk of our national                like to touch upon is that of incremental costs. GEF
supports incremental costs only in terms of global         integral component of global priorities, I don’t think
benefits. Investments for baseline activities, to the      we will be able to move towards a win-win situation,
extent that these accrue to the host country, are to be    and a win-win situation can only be won where you
funded by the latter’s own resources. Therefore, on        have both high national and global priorities.
average, GEF funding accounts for between 20 to 50             PACHAURI: GEF should concentrate on developing
percent of a total project cost. This leaves a large       linkages and partnerships with a number of organiza-
financial gap which host countries, being developing       tions, because it’s from a free flow of intellectual
countries, find very difficult to make provision for.      inputs that one might be able to arrive at priorities
This really, therefore, does not adequately reduce our     and projects that would really help not only the
financial burden.                                          cause of global environment protection but also sus-
   Secondly, we find that incremental costs do not         tainable development at the local level.
always reflect ground truths. Here we feel there is            I see great benefits in pursuing the PRINCE (Pro-
need for greater participation by local consultants.       gram for Measuring Incremental Costs for the Envi-
India and several developing countries have a wealth       ronment) initiative with some vigor because not only
of eminent scientists and environmentalists who have       would it help clarify what constitutes incremental
the advantage of being familiar with local strengths       costs, but this would also help groups outside the
and weaknesses…The costs of capacity building in a         government and governments themselves in under-
host country are not being treated as part of incre-       standing what should go into the assessment of
mental costs. We strongly feel this approach needs to      incremental costs. I submit that this kind of intellec-
be changed. Capacity building should be a concurrent       tual partnership which helps not only to throw light
activity and built into projects.                          on some of the elements of a good GEF project but
   We compliment the GEF’s initiative in introducing       also helps to create understanding among those who
the medium-size window. This has really helped the         are project proposers will certainly accelerate the
approval procedure, which has now been compressed          process.
to six months. However, the remaining project cycle            BOPARAI: Our attitude toward the GEF and its role
continues to be lengthy, and after a close scrutiny        or utility is that it is very positive, very supportive,
and a review of at least three times, the process takes    and it has helped us to reach a status which would be
years…                                                     the envy of any country, not just a developing coun-
   GEF’s operational programs cover a wide range of        try. The World Water Institute has declared India to
sectors. There is ample scope for expansion, particular-   be a new superpower in wind energy, and I think
ly in the areas of transportation, forestry, and water     that’s where the GEF has given us very able support.
cleaning. For example, forestation, which is presently     We not only have now over 1,000 megawatts
covered under short-term measures, could also be           installed, but we also manufacture wind turbines, and
linked to climate change-related perspectives. There       it’s a matter of pride that the first wind turbine man-
needs to be more flexibility on issues where opera-        ufactured in India has been exported to a developed
tional strategies by GEF have yet to be finalized…         country like Australia.
   India has taken several steps for greater involve-          KHOSHOO: I would urge, request, cajole, and advise
ment of local stakeholders. Starting from 1994, we         you to put your multimedia presentation on the
have conducted several workshops to encourage              Internet. Let the people know what is happening.
greater participation from NGOs, industry associa-         India is 576,000 villages. That is the weakest link, and
tions, and other premier institutions. We are drawing      the weakest link determines the entirety. Please do
up a plan for increasing the extent of this participa-     not think that they know nothing. There’s enough
tion in tandem with GEF.                                   knowledge. You and I can learn a lot from them…We
   GEF has great promise as an effective vehicle for       have never paid any attention to their success stories,
technology transfer, but successful transfers will         how they have managed over the generations, what
need to be accompanied by adequate fund flows. It          they have done, how efficiently, how useful their
is important that, in addition to mitigation tech-         technologies are. These may be small technologies,
nologies, there is equal emphasis on adaptation            but they are very relevant.
technologies.                                                  I would urge you, Mr. Secretary, to apportion some
   GEF funding is for projects which have global ben-      of these funds to cull out these local technologies and
efits. But global benefits cannot accrue unless there      to put them to wider use. We think that we are
are equal national benefits. Our commitment to pro-        paragons of everything. We think we know every-
vide a basic standard of living for our people cannot      thing. We don’t…There are enough local technolo-
be overstated. Therefore, global environment priori-       gies which satisfy four or five criteria, leading to envi-
ties will have to be seen as an extension of the           ronmental harmony, economic efficiency, resource
national endeavor. Unless national priorities are the      conservation, local self-reliance, and equity and social
justice. They have cultural elements, and they have         would like to work with you very closely to make
even gender equality.                                       sure that this is also a feature of GEF projects. I note,
   AGARWAL: There has been very little direct inter-        for example, the solar thermal electric project in
vention by GEF in the construction or transport sec-        Rajasthan, where we have partners from our bilateral
tors in urban India, yet these are the areas that are       agencies, from KFW, and independent power produc-
contributing heavily to carbon dioxide emissions,           ers. The wind farms project and solar photovoltaics
and I feel something drastic needs to be done to            project, which we are doing with the Indian Renew-
reduce the pollution from these sectors.                    able Energy Development Agency, also involves
   We definitely need to move away from owner-dri-          investors and private sector local manufacturers.
ven vehicles to a mass rapid transport system. We              The small hydro projects involve the Tata Energy
have made a beginning, but I think we need a lot            Research Institute, a university here, and the Alter-
more support to introduce this in all our mega-cities.      nate Hydroenergy Center. And in the energy efficien-
I think GEF needs to look at some of our projects,          cy project, also with IREDA, we have…six times
and we will be working with the Ministry of Environ-        more money coming in from other sources, so that
ment to ensure that some of these areas get a little        shows a real partnership and commitment which we
more attention.                                             feel demonstrates that we will have some sustainable
   OBEROI: We seek the cooperation of villagers and         impact. And, of course, the coal bed methane cap-
tribals to protect the forest, and in view of that, fuel-   ture project involves co-funding from other
wood, firewood, bamboo, fodder, grasses, are sup-           sources…
plied to them by the forest…                                   We don’t believe that there’s a dichotomy between
   Our linkages with the forest and nature are very,        global and local. Clearly, if there’s a linkage between
very long. We have examples of people going to the          the two, we have the basis for sustainable action…
forests in order to save them. In Rajasthan, we have a      Since we’ve just recently concluded an agreement to
community which protects forests and wildlife also.         provide project development for India on fuel cell
A worship of nature and trees has been going on for a       buses and in other transport areas, we can, in fact,
very long time, and trees and nature have been a            address both the greenhouse gas emissions problem
symbol of mutual cooperation between various com-           as well as local air pollution problems… By uniting
munities…As our forests are being maintained with           these local and global interests we can make sure that
the proper cooperation of the villages and the local        GEF-supported actions will have the commitment of
communities, we do hope that they will be in a con-         the population and of the country and will be sus-
dition to provide them the basic requirements of            tainable.
their livelihood.                                              HTUN: During the last couple of months there has
   KING: India has been with the GEF from the begin-        been tremendous progress in working out guidelines
ning on the restructuring, through the replenishment        for national execution, and we have been discussing
as well, and also hosting this Assembly…About 9 per-        these with the Ministry of Finance…We hope the
cent of all of our project allocations are in India. We     new procedures here would allow projects to be
have about 17 projects at the moment, plus all the          implemented much quicker…
small grants…                                                  I’d like to draw your attention to the effectiveness
   Getting projects which are country driven is very        of local participation and particularly NGO participa-
important because, apart from anything else, it sig-        tion, and the document which has been distributed
nals a commitment and a condition under which the           about how NGOs have been participating in UNDP-
things that we do are genuinely going to be sustain-        GEF projects.
able…We hope that, as a result of GEF assistance for           They are also very cost-effective in the first phase.
India’s biodiversity strategy and action plan, national     For about $300,000, 24 projects were implemented…
priorities in the biodiversity area will become further     And it is because it is so cost-effective that out of the
developed and further articulated. On that basis, we        UNDP country office’s resources we ourselves will be
will have scope for further partnership in the result-      putting more money into the small grants program…
ing projects. There is also GEF support for India to           A global problem, a global solution, is nothing
develop its own institutional capacity and to develop       more than a sum total of national activities… So
options and alternatives which will form part of            there’s no question that there must be national bene-
reporting commitments to the climate change con-            fits, and the results of the national benefits add on,
vention.                                                    accrue, to a better understanding of what the global
   I was very impressed by India’s commitment to            problems are, and hopefully a better solution to glob-
partnership… For us, too, commitment, collabora-            al problems…
tion, partnership, co-funding, public involvement are          Many countries, India particularly, have tremen-
also signals of sustainability of GEF actions. We           dous water resources. We know the consequences of
large dams, but very small, micro, mini, hydropower                       because of the burning of coal…there should be no
projects can bring benefits directly, more effectively,                   question whatsoever why countries like India and
to the local level without long transmission lines,                       China, which have an abundance of coal resources,
losses in energy, et cetera. It also brings benefits to                   should not be able to use it. However, there is also a
the people… Again, the coal bed mitigation project                        recognition that while these are the sovereign
brings immediate local benefits, but by capturing the                     resources of a country, countries like India are
methane, it helps reduce greenhouse gases.                                extremely responsible countries which know their
   As countries in Europe and North America, since                        basic global responsibility. So I think there should be
the dawn of the Industrial Revolution 200 years ago,                      more international effort to see how there can be
have created what was known as the black country                          cleaner coal combustion and cleaner uses of coal.

Panel on Science and the Environment

Chair:                                                                    growth is indeed the best way to reduce environmen-
Jody Parikh, Acting Director, Indira Gandhi Institute for Devel-          tal degradation. And this view is supported by many
  opment Research                                                         publications of the United Nations agencies stressing
                                                                          and illustrating that poverty and environmental
Panelists (all members of GEF’s Scientific & Technical Advisory Panel):
                                                                          degradation are directly linked. These messages imply
Pier Vellinga, Vrije University, Amsterdam and STAP Chairman
                                                                          that we can best address our environmental prob-
Jorge Soberon, National University of Mexico                              lems by encouraging economic growth…
Robert Williams, Princeton University                                        In fact, what’s happening is that eco-efficiency
                                                                          increases do not really keep up with economic
John Woods, University of London
                                                                          growth, at least not with the present policies. And
Istvan Lang, Academy of Sciences, Budapest                                this is particularly so for those problems that are
                                                                          related to these major bio-geochemical cycles…If we
PARIKH: The GEF Council desired an independent                            indeed look at land use, it is relevant for all the GEF
panel of experts…a Scientific and Technical Advisory                      focal areas, not just for the protection of and sustain-
Panel—in short, STAP—to be associated with GEF                            able use of biodiversity but equally for watershed
activities. Although it is independent, we work close-                    management and the quality of international waters.
ly with the GEF Secretariat and the implementing                          Moreover, land use does offer opportunities in the
agencies: World Bank, UNEP, and UNDP.                                     field of biomass energy production and carbon
   Even though most of us represent two or three                          sequestration.
kinds of expertise, we still need to have large scientif-                    Still, in practice, some of these land-use objectives
ic bodies behind us, and that is why we have done                         are in competition with one another, while in other
extensive scientific networking. First of all, we have                    ways there may be opportunities for synergies. For an
produced a STAP roster in which we have enlisted                          organization like the GEF, it’s crucial to identify the
many other experts which are then called for review-                      various conflicts and opportunities. Science can make
ing GEF projects when necessary…                                          an important contribution… the minimum science
   STAP’s contributions lie in the area of GEF opera-                     can do is (ensure) that solving one problem does not
tional program development and strategic advice for                       create equally another one… In all these fields, the
various GEF projects and also the project portfolio.                      scientific community, through the STAP, can assist
We also have selected reviews for that purpose, and                       GEF in identifying the risks and the opportunities
we have written a document on targeted research.                          that arise when all these interlinkages are clarified
You might want to look at STAP workshops on trans-                        and used as a basis for multi-benefit solutions…
portation, coal, renewable energy technology, land                           SOBERON: One of the main issues that STAP has
degradation, international waters assessment, and                         addressed is the concept of sustainable use. Biodiver-
technology transfer.                                                      sity is a word that covers…the manifestations of life
   VELLINGA: It’s only a few years ago that the World                     on Earth. Starting from single individuals and genes,
Bank issued a report illustrating that economic                           moving upwards to the assemblage of those individu-
als and their behavior in forests or other ecosystems,    nologies, which I define as energy technologies that
in landscapes in which different ecosystems interact,     have a high degree of inherent cleanliness and safety
all the way up to our entire planet.                      and, thus, are able to meet environmental and safety
   But it is sometimes forgotten that human stake-        goals without the need for complicated and costly
holders are also assembled on larger and larger scales,   end-of-pipe control technologies.
again, starting from the individual providing food for       The other trend is the restructuring of the energy
his family to the local markets in which those prod-      sectors of most countries in the world that are partici-
ucts are sold and traded, to markets from different       pating in the ongoing globalization of the economy,
cultures, all the way up to the globalized markets in     with growing roles for private sector, for market pric-
which our world is entering every day and more and        ing of energy, and increased competition.
more so in the future.                                       The momentum toward commercialization of
   This call for what is called the ecosystem approach    environmental energy technologies can be illustrated
to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversi-    by the rapid advances relating to several of these
ty, recognizes the levels of biological organization      technologies—wind, photovoltaic power, and bio-
and also recognizes that humans are an integral part      mass power generation technologies—and also the
of ecosystems…                                            use of fuel cells in transportation…
   I’d like to give you an example of these kind of          The important point is that these technologies,
ideas in the…Campeche and Quintana Roo states of          which are just illustrative of a larger set of technolo-
Mexico. These people have been rubber tappers for         gies of this type, could all be playing significant roles
chewing gum for decades, and they are also interest-      in the global energy economy by 2005, which is not
ed in timber extraction. These communities have           very far from now, if there were efficient market-pull
organized themselves, have empowered themselves.          policies put into place in various countries around
They now control their resources. They own the land,      the world…
and they own the trees…and they directly access              Are the trends toward commercializing environ-
international markets for their timber and their prod-    mental energy technologies and restructuring of the
ucts…the quality of life of the people is increasing.     energy industry, are these antithetical trends? Will
They have now their own clinics. They pay for their       energy industry restructuring reduce the momentum
own medics. They pay for their own teachers. The          toward commercialization of these environmental
structure of the populations of the butterflies and       energy technologies? Or can the industrial dynamism
birds is not changing. It is maintained within the        of a restructured energy industry be harnessed to
exploited forest. However, the composition of species     accelerate the commercialization of these technolo-
of the forest, of the trees itself, is changing because   gies…
the people are planting actively certain species rather      In (industrialized) countries, measures that protect
than all of them. So this is becoming an important        longer-term societal interests have been given close
issue to monitor…                                         scrutiny as key elements of policies to regulate the
   This integrated perspective I am trying to give you    transition to a more competitive electricity market.
comes from the work of many people… Perhaps what          Examples of such regulatory measures aimed at
is new is the idea that agencies like the GEF should      launching renewable energy technologies in electrici-
take this integrated view in which conservation and       ty markets while making maximal use of market
sustainable use and sharing of benefits are developed,    forces and finding the most economically efficient
according to the ecosystem approach…in which we           ways to do so are…options and so-called set-asides. A
acknowledge that…there are stakeholders at all levels     concrete illustration of the option is the renewables
of conservation of biodiversity; community empow-         non-fossil fuel obligation in the United Kingdom. An
erment, the sharing of values, and the creation of        illustrative set-aside instrument that is under active
trust are very important factors; market tools have a     consideration is the renewable portfolio standard in
place to play; property rights must be clearly estab-     the United States.
lished in order to allow these things to proceed, safe       Under the renewables non-fossil fuel obligation
minimum standards are also required…and finally,          established in conjunction with the United King-
targeted research is required because of the complexi-    dom’s power sector privatization initiative, some
ty of the whole system and indicators will have to be     1,500 megawatts of renewable electric supplies will
also developed, tested, researched, and then main-        have been purchased by electric utilities by the year
tained for long periods of time.                          2000 as a result of a series of options that are being
   WILLIAMS: Two ongoing trends have profound             held to spur competition and encourage cost conver-
implications for the global energy industries. One of     gence between renewable and conventional energy
these is the rapid rate of progress toward commercial-    supplies. And, indeed, the experience to date has
ization of a wide range of environmental energy tech-     been very promising in this regard as there has been a
decline by a factor of two in the average bid price            The dilemma concerning the active participation of
between the second and the fourth options that have         developing countries in the commercialization of
taken place to date.                                        environmental energy technologies could be resolved
   A renewable portfolio standard is one important          if ways could be found to help pay for the incremen-
element of a bill to promote competition in the elec-       tal cost of buying down to market clearing levels the
tric industry submitted recently to the United States       prices of these new technologies. A grand bargain for
Congress by the Clinton administration. The renew-          doing this is what I’m going to propose at this point…
able portfolio standard requires each electricity sup-         Countries of the North and the South would work
plier to provide a specified percentage of total sales as   cooperatively to catalyze the technology revolution
non-hydroelectric renewable electricity, a percentage       that could make many of these environmental energy
that rises to 5.5 percent by the year 2010, and each        technologies widely available and competitive in 5 to
supplier must either generate the renewable electrici-      15 years’ time…developing country partners intent on
ty in this minimum amount or purchase tradable              getting involved in the innovation process for envi-
renewable electricity credits from others who produce       ronmental energy technologies would agree: first, to
more than the required minimum amount.                      adopt local and regional environmental policy
   There are very good prospects that such programs         reforms and accelerate the introduction of energy
will be effective in establishing a range of renewable      market reforms that would make their countries favor-
and other environmental energy technologies in the          able theaters for innovation for environmental energy
markets of the now industrialized countries. An             technologies (reforms that would include both market
important question that arises is: Should developing        pricing of energy and the establishment of well-
countries wait until such technologies are fully estab-     defined and transparent rules relating to the participa-
lished in the markets of the industrialized countries       tion in these markets by foreign companies); and sec-
before pursuing them for their own markets? Or              ond, they would agree to introduce minimum
should developing countries instead play active roles       quantities of targeted environmental energy technolo-
in helping bring these technologies to the market?          gies under competitive conditions aimed at bringing
   A major drawback of playing an active role in            about cost convergence with conventional energy
bringing these technologies to market is that initially     technologies in the form of options or set-asides…
they will be more costly than conventional energy              To help accelerate the rate of introducing these
technologies. And many would agree that buying              new technologies, the international community
down the prices of new technologies through large-          under this grand bargain, through instruments such
scale deployment would be an inefficient allocation         as the Global Environment Facility or the clean
of scarce resources for developing countries which          development mechanism, would agree to the follow-
have so many pressing problems to attend to.                ing: first, to help support the capacity building in
   On the other hand, developing countries willing to       developing countries that is needed to facilitate the
play active roles in bringing these technologies to         technology transfer and technological innovation
market could potentially evolve into market leaders         processes; second, to encourage international collabo-
for many of these technologies, both because their          rative energy research and development aimed at
rapidly growing internal markets would enable them          shaping environmental energy technologies to best
to progress rapidly along learning curves and thus          conform to local needs in developing countries; and,
accelerate the pace of technological price reduction,       third, and perhaps most important, to help buy
and because once the technologies are established in        down the prices of these technologies to market
the market, production costs could well be lower            clearing levels by paying for the incremental cost…
than in the already industrialized countries, owing to         Both private companies in and governments of the
the lower wage rates at all levels of skills in develop-    industrialized countries could also gain from the
ing countries compared to industrialized countries.         grand bargain. Many energy companies in the indus-
   Renewable and other environmental energy tech-           trialized world have strong commercial interest in
nologies are strategically important for developing         participating in developing country energy markets
countries, first because environmental problems are         which account for most global energy demand
already severe, with a huge toll in human health            growth. Such companies could bring both new envi-
costs arising from air pollution, for example; because      ronmental energy technologies and wide experience
without stringent controls these problems are going         with the process of innovation to developing coun-
to get worse with rising incomes and energy use lev-        tries in partnership with local entities for manufac-
els; and because it will be difficult to meet environ-      ture, marketing, and product development in devel-
mental goals simply by mandating end-of-pipe con-           oping countries.
trols on energy technologies that were designed                Moreover, because most environmental energy
originally without environmental concerns in mind…          technologies such as energy-efficient end-use tech-
nologies, fuel cells, and renewable energy technolo-        One has to diagnose what the problems are, how
gies, provide not only local and regional environ-          they vary from place to place, how one might begin
mental benefits, but reduce greenhouse gas emissions        to develop a prioritization, because we know that the
as well, industrialized country governments would be        international waters focal area is unique in the GEF
powerfully motivated to support such a grand bar-           in that there are more demands for projects than
gain as a strategy for encouraging the pursuit of           there are funds available. That’s not true in the other
greenhouse gas emissions reduction opportunities on         areas. So prioritization is an important part of the
the part of developing countries…                           work of the Secretariat and the Council.
   WOODS: The GEF is concerned with global prob-               We need to have a sound scientific basis for that
lems, and some of the water problems can be                 prioritization, and so the assessment which will be
described as truly global. There are pollutants that are    carried out over the next five years or so will look at
carried by ocean currents all around the world. But I       these problems. But diagnosis is only part of the
must say that very few of the GEF projects are con-         problem.
cerned with these global problems. They’re mainly              If you look at the IPCC, much of their work has
concerned with regional problems, which involve             been concerned with prognosis, with asking how far
trans-boundary transport, whether it’s through rivers,      have we got in our scientific understanding of the
in lakes, or in the coastal seas. So that’s really been     environment in order to say what will happen. What
the main focus.                                             will happen if we do nothing about the climate?
   The different focal areas are not totally indepen-       What will happen if we carry out certain remedial
dent, and when you look at waters, there is a strong        actions of the kind that Bob Williams was talking
linkage with each of the other focal areas… if you dis-     about, changing the pattern of energy usage in order
cuss the progress made by the IPCC in looking for           to reduce the predicted changes in climate in the
scenarios for climate change in the next century, it’s      next century?
very clear in their report that their ability to forecast      So the question we have is: Do we have enough
how climate will change, both globally and regional-        knowledge about the water systems in our planet to
ly, depends critically on the ability to describe the       predict what will happen if we do nothing, what will
way the oceans interact with the atmosphere.                happen if particular courses of actions are proposed?
   In biodiversity, we’ve already heard from Jorge          …the second part of the global international waters
Soberon that marine biodiversity is an important ele-       assessment will be concerned with this question of
ment of that focal area. Even the ozone depletion           laying bare absolutely clearly what can and can’t be
problem comes in because there’s growing evidence           done in the way of scientific statements of predicting
that there’s genetic damage to plankton in regions          the consequences of action. We don’t want to invest
where there is stratospheric ozone depletion where          a large amount of GEF money in projects not know-
the ultraviolet radiation is higher, and, of course,        ing what the consequences of those projects will be.
these are high fisheries areas. And this needs further         The second focus that I want to discuss is the intro-
study.                                                      duction of new methods of information technology
   Finally, of course, the changes of land use have an      into international waters projects. The international
enormous impact on waters, whether it’s lakes, rivers,      waters projects lend themselves very much to intro-
or in the coastal seas.                                     ducing knowledge-based systems, and in the OECD
   In STAP, we’ve focused on two particular                 countries in the last decade or so, there have been
themes…firstly, the need for a global assessment            radical developments in the way in which we moni-
which can be comparable with the work that is being         tor the system and interpret the measurements. I
done for climate by the IPCC, in biodiversity by the        would like to just give a few examples.
global biodiversity assessment, and, of course, in             Shore-based radars can monitor the flow through
stratospheric ozone, by that assessment…                    straits and monitor the waves and the currents very
   There has been no global assessment of the prob-         economically. The cost is just a few antennae left
lems of waters, in particular in the coastal seas. Now,     unattended on the coast. One just needs a fence
this is a projection that shows the whole world, and,       around them to stop the sheep from knocking the
of course, fresh water is the white region and the          antennae over. And this will give a day-in, day-out
problems that we’re mainly concerned with in the            monitoring of the flow. This is not being used in any
sea are the red regions, the coastal zones. And it’s        GEF project at the moment, and STAP has drawn
been possible to divide these coastal zones into a          attention to the effectiveness of this technique, and
number of local regions, large marine ecosystems,           particularly the cost-effectiveness of it.
and the assessment will look at each of these in turn          We all know, of course, the impact of satellite
and study the particular problems that each has.            observations of the ocean. There are now four ocean-
   We call that the diagnostic part of the assessment.      observing satellites circling the globe…it’s taken real-
ly the last ten years to work out how to make use of          The Hungarian Government invited the World Sci-
this information. But the information now is flowing,      ence Conference to be held in Hungary, in Budapest,
and we’ve worked out how to exploit it, and we need        and the dates are already fixed, from June 26 to July 1
to bring that into GEF projects.                           next year.
   We have robots in space. We call them satellites. In       What is it, the World Science Conference? Accord-
the future, we’ll be making most of our observations       ing to the ideas of the main organizers, it will be a
in the ocean by robotic systems…a prototype is now         forum of high-ranking policymakers, science policy-
undergoing trials off Bermuda.                             makers especially, high-level scientists, and represen-
   This is costing about a tenth of the cost for a given   tatives of the young generation of scientists.
collection of data compared with using the tradition-         UNESCO and ICSU will organize this conference
al methods, taking ships to sea and lowering instru-       together with many partners—UN agencies, the
ments into the water. We envisage that the great           World Bank, OECD, the Third World Academy, Euro-
experiment just finished, the world ocean circulation      pean Union, and many others. All together around
experiment, which had ships moving along each of           30 partners have expressed their interest.
these lines and took ten years to map the ocean cur-          There will be three major fora on this World Sci-
rents globally, will be done routinely by these robotic    ence Conference. Forum 1 will deal with the internal
systems in the future and provide for the first time a     problems of science, achievements, shortcomings,
truly global context within which the regional pro-        and challenges…such as how can science help close
jects looking at coastal seas will be set. Other meth-     the gap between developed and developing countries,
ods which are very cost-effective are free drifting        science teaching and training of scientists. Another
floats…which rise up and down through the water,           will deal with science for economically viable, social-
making measurements and sending their data back            ly equitable, and environmentally sound develop-
centrally.                                                 ment and, last but not least, science and the chal-
   The other half (of the equation) is new methods         lenge of global environmental change…
for making use of those observations, and mathemat-           Forum 3 look will look ahead to the 21st century
ical models now reach the stage where the ocean can        towards a new commitment to science by non-gov-
be described in the equivalent detail to that of weath-    ernmental scientific organizations, intergovernmen-
er forecasting in the atmosphere. So we see the            tal scientific organizations, civil society, governments
storms off South Africa and South America and Aus-         and parliaments, industrial institutions and the pri-
tralia and New Zealand. These are storms inside the        vate sector…
ocean and controlling the dispersion of pollution, the        The main output of the conference is planned to
control of fisheries, and so on. Knowledge and the         be a declaration on science and a strategy for action. I
ability to forecast these storms is crucial to the next    recommend that GEF as a whole consider becoming
generation of projects.                                    one of the partners of UNESCO and ICSU in organiz-
   LANG: I will give you information on a very impor-      ing the World Science Conference, assist in the prepa-
tant event which will happen next year, the so-called      ration of the presentation of links between science
World Science Conference, which is organized jointly       and the global environment, and work to include
by UNESCO and ICSU, the International Conference           into the final documents the commitment for science
of Scientific Unions.                                      toward solving global environmental problems.
Panel on GEF in the 21st Century

Chair:                                                      such a “non-constructive approach” did help lead to
Liliana Hisas, Fundacion Ecological Universal, Argentina    the establishment of the GEF.
                                                               Ms. Lovera said that the recently-signed Treaty of
Panelists:                                                  Amsterdam required the EU to mainstream sustain-
Thomas Odhiambo, RANDForum, Kenya                           able development through its many policies, pro-
Simone Lovera, IUCN-Netherlands                             grams, and funds. This would be a major undertak-
Taghi Farvar, CENESTA, Iran                                 ing, given Europe’s huge agriculture, trade, transport,
                                                            and investment sectors. She added that at present cer-
Juanita Castaño, UICN-SUR, Ecuador                          tain policies do not appear to have much impact on
Ashok Khosla, Development Alternatives, India               European ecology per se, but greatly affect the sus-
                                                            tainable development of developing countries, which
                                                            clear-cut (perhaps with development assistance) and

               s. Hisas introduced the panel, explain-      import hazardous agro-chemicals, for example, in
               ing that the participants would not          order to bolster production of cash crops for export to
               only explain how they as non-govern-         Europe. This creates a cycle of ecologically destructive
               mental organizations had worked              practices in the South and wasteful use of resources in
with the GEF, but how the GEF-NGO relationship              the North. Ms. Lovera referred to a recent meeting of
could be strengthened. She noted, for example,              the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests to address
the input NGOs had provided to the Overall                  the underlying causes of forest degradation, includ-
Performance Study, following discussions in the             ing examining case studies developed in close cooper-
NGO Consultations. Ms. Hisas said that in some              ation with local communities and indigenous people
countries governments engage NGOs in designing              affected by forest loss.
project proposals, but do not include them in                  Ms. Lovera said NGOs could play a very important
project execution. Another barrier is lack of informa-      role in mainstreaming, through intergovernmental
tion about government activities in the area of the         and interagency forums, and can draw attention to
global environment.                                         potentially hazardous outcomes of such negotiations
   Ms. Hisas said the NGOs had prepared a paper for         as the Multilateral Agreement on Investment. She
the Assembly, highlighting the need for : (a) infusing      complimented the United Nations for its efforts to
the GEF with a genuine learning culture; (b) main-          mainstream sustainable development throughout its
streaming; (c) expanding the number of GEF Imple-           various programs. She encouraged NGOs to continue
menting Agencies (IAs); (d) enhancing the leveraging        to “keep up the pressure,” saying “no” to: opening up
and catalytic role of the GEF; (e) incorporating specif-    primary forests to logging companies, to fossil fuel, to
ic concerns of developing country NGOs; and (f)             Big Dams, to quick fixes for climate change, such as
strengthening the role of NGOs in the GEF.                  environmentally and socially destructive carbon
   Mr. Odhiambo focused on community participa-             sequestration, and structural adjustment programs
tion in conserving and protecting environmental             which force developing countries to sell out their nat-
resources, using an ancient, sacred forest in Kenya as      ural resources. In short, keep on nagging.
an example. He said that community use of resources         Mr. Farvar observed that each IA seemed to have its
were more likely to promote sustainability and equity       own style of undertaking environmental activities;
than private ownership and highlighted Kenya’s              the GEF is one the sidelines. Similarly, governments
experiment to develop model legislation for commu-          seems to do their own thing; civil society is on the
nity ownership of forests, riparian rights, watershed       sidelines. Mr. Farvar said NGOs know more about sus-
zones, and wildlife areas.                                  tainable development; many have been in situ for
   Ms. Lovera asserted that NGOs are “born naggers,”        millennia. He said it is important to “go back to the
a characteristic resulting from being both idealistic       wisdom of our forefathers,” a point made strongly to
and critical. Being critical is an essential part of mak-   him following his recent trip to Yemen, where a
ing the GEF and other environmental institutions            UNDP-financed project is being implemented in con-
more participatory and effective. She noted that            cert with traditional community groups. He won-
while NGOs would continue to nag about such                 dered if the GEF could help “harvest” such rich tradi-
“astonishing little details” as the fact that the World     tional knowledge through its projects. He concluded
Bank spends some $9.4 billion on fossil fuel projects,      by complaining that the Small Grants Programme,
which is of greatest interest to the grass roots groups   the GEF was misnamed (“It should be the Global Sus-
he works with, is “too exclusive” and too narrowly        tainable Development Facility”) and asymmetric,
confined to a small group of countries; it should be      because it “throws a little money to the South” with-
expanded as much as possible.                             out dealing with the major source of global environ-
Ms. Castaño reminded the audience that it was the         mental problems: Northern industrialized economies.
developing countries who had insisted that environ-       He asserted the need for more funding and noted
mental protection should be inserted into develop-        that the GEF could not really address systemic issues
ment activities, and not the other way around. Her        (for example, it could fund equipment for tiger war-
concerns related to the inconsistent approach of the      dens, but could not supply such incentives as life
international community in addressing sustainable         insurance or scholarships for their children). There is
development. For example, in Latin America, the           a need to provide local incentives to solve global
international community was helping to support a          problems.
biodiversity project in Bolivia; meanwhile, the gov-         Mr. Khosla asked if the funds committed for pro-
ernment was planning to build a major highway,            tection of the global environment were truly “addi-
which would damage the area which so many were            tional” —had a report of any kind been prepared? He
collaborating to protect. She was pleased to see sever-   lamented declining ODA, noting that the so-called
al senior finance ministry representatives at the         increased foreign direct investment was only going to
Assembly and hoped this would bode well for major         a handful of developing countries. He said NGOs
government commitments to protecting the global           should continue to get to the basis of systems so that
environment.                                              they could address the “real” challenges of the GEF.
   Ms. Castaño noted that “participation takes time,”        Several NGOs commented from the floor, express-
adding that societies should resist pressure to do        ing some frustration with bureaucracies and “sectoral
something quickly unless major actors are involved.       thinking.” Some said that political decision-makers
She added that the GEF could help promote partici-        need think with longer timelines than the next elec-
pation by creating awareness in the public and pri-       tion. One NGO suggested that NGO networking
vate sectors of the global environment and the Facili-    would be greatly enhanced by setting up national
ty’s efforts to address problems. Ms. Castaño also        councils in support of the GEF and working more
called for the use of local knowledge in GEF projects     actively with the media. Another NGO called for a
and emphasized the importance of linking local and        “partnership initiative” to introduce environmental
global environmental priorities. She called on coun-      technologies in developing countries and address
tries to develop biodiversity strategies (many have       gaps in sectoral development; he also agreed it was
not done so to date) and reminded them that the           important to work not only through traditional envi-
GEF enabling activities fund could help pay for the       ronmental forums, but other important and relevant
design of such strategies. However, she added that        economic negotiations, such as GATT and ISO 14000.
though a country may get funding for its biodiversity     One NGO said the GEF needs to establish certain
enabling activities, its economic activities may con-     standards for project participation which must be
tradict Convention objectives or it may lack resources    adhered to in order for a project to be approved; she
to implement its strategy. She called on the interna-     also emphasized the importance of addressing such
tional community to commit more resources for pro-        negative economic instruments as “unsustainable
tecting the global environment, recalling that the        subsidies” in the agriculture and energy sectors. Final-
GEF was supposed to get “new and additional               ly, there were a couple of complaints about the poor
resources to fund global increments.”                     quality of some national operational focal points and
   Mr. Khosla agreed with several of the previous         a plea for efforts to improve the links between gov-
speakers that “environmental issues can only be           ernment and civil society representatives actively
addressed by sustainable development.” He thought         involved in GEF activities in-country.
Panel on Media & the Environment

Chair:                                                     successful programs and not simply criticize. Report-
Ron Sanders, High Commissioner to the UK for Antigua and   ing good news has three pluses: it provides a refresh-
 Barbuda                                                   ing change for viewers; it acts as a spur, encouraging
                                                           those pursuing the work and inspiring others; and it
                                                           informs the world about programs worthy of replica-
Adrian van Klaveren, News Editor, BBC
                                                           tion which is a great service.
Anita Pratap, Asia Correspondent, CNN                         Ms. Scharf spoke in favor of the media as “active
Regina Scharf, Gazeta Mercantil, Brazil                    partners” in spreading ideas about sustainable devel-
                                                           oping. Journalists often travel and have the privilege
Diego Perez Andrade, Diario La Nacion, Argentina
                                                           to see ideas born and develop. She added that jour-
                                                           nalists will never do a good job until they systemati-

                r. Sanders introduced the panel with       cally study the many sides of the stories - including
                the comment that building awareness        the scientific and economic sides.
                rests first with governments and inter-       Ms. Scharf noted that too often the environment
                national agencies such as the GEF. The     is portrayed as something beautiful with “fluffy ani-
media are not monolithic with a single decision mak-       mals” or it is presented as accidents, pollution, but
ing body… The media are influenced by nationalism,         it is frequently covered—a la ligere—very lightly,
advertising revenues, and the attitudes and knowl-         without looking in depth at what happened or fol-
edge base of individual journalists. Their role is to      lowing up.
report events, examine, look at the different sides,          Ms. Scharf highlighted the lack of environmental
not take an activist position.                             journalists. At her own newspaper, there were 5 jour-
   Mr. Sanders called for three things. GEF, UNDP,         nalists covering the environment in the years just
and UNEP should: initiate a campaign with local            before the Rio summit; now there is only one. She
popular media, including filmmakers to be partners         ended by calling for journalists to use their critical
in responsibility; educate producers of programs           faculties when presented with environmental stories,
including drama producers together with UNESCO;            citing the example of a business in Brazil which was
and assist disadvantaged nations by providing assis-       publicizing the substitution of HFCs for CFCs in their
tance to media houses to train journalists.                refrigerators. This development was hailed by the
   Media houses in industrialized and industrializing      company and by journalists as an environmental suc-
nations are only as good as the info they receive and      cess story, despite the fact that HFCs are very harmful
the attitudes they report.                                 to the ozone layer.
   Ms. Pratap noted that, now that we have moved              Adrian van Klaveren began by noting that certain
from the industrial age to the information age, there      things have stood in the way of environmental report-
is less of a focus on mass production and more on          ing. It used to be seen as an optional extra. The green
customized products. She stressed the importance of        movement was perceived as wacky, out of the main-
humanizing environmental issues because personal           stream, and it was difficult to incorporate environ-
tragedies and achievements are universal in their          mental issues into the rest of reporting. But the utopi-
appeal. The media, she said, should be a catalyst of       an strain of environmentalism has fallen away and
change and not an agent of it.-That must be left to        progress has been made in presenting environment as
governments, non-governmental organizations, and           part of the overall organization of production and
community leaders.                                         consumption. This more holistic approach has gotten
   Ms. Pratap said that too much is expected of the        environment onto the mainstream agenda.
media in the way of enforcing change. There are two           What is news? van Klaveren asked. It used to be
schools of thought: activism versus professional           defined as something that has just happened, that’s
reporting. When journalists become activists they          new or surprising. Those aspects are rarely present in
become participants in the story and this undermines       environmental stories. For example, the destruction
their credibility. The media must be a forum for           of the world’s forests is underlying, steady, incremen-
debate of all points of view.                              tal but it is happening just the same.
   The media must also be a watchdog, locate envi-            Another inhibiting factor to good reporting is the
ronmental problems, report on solutions, and check         all encompassing nature of the environment. It is
their progress. It is also the media’s role to publicize   local, global, and crosses sectors from transport to
energy, agriculture, development policy and social        how it is paid for. It was not done as a campaign but
policy…TV and radio especially need stories to be         simply to draw attention and let people judge for
rooted somewhere.                                         themselves.
   The best environmental stories are win-win, good          Van Klaveren made a distinction between the envi-
for the environment, good for the economy, good for       ronment stories that permeate daily coverage such as
developed countries as well as developing. But this       Amazon forest fires and smog in Indonesia and the
goes against preconceptions that conflict is the          need to get beyond the headlines…a thorough bal-
essence of good reporting.                                anced approach is rightly what should be demanded
   Van Klaveren reported that the BBC a decade ago        of the media.
had 1 reporter dedicated to the environment. Now it          Mr. Andrade noted that in Argentina there are
has 4 and they are being consolidated with reporters      practically no specialized journalists who deal exclu-
working on transport and sustainability into one spe-     sively with environmental issues. Most of the infor-
cialist section, sharing common goals to overcome         mation they get comes from private enterprise which
narrow specialist thinking.                               are precisely those who cause the pollution. To make
   In an attempt to raise the profile of environmental    them less dependent, Mr. Andrade favored using the
stories with high impact programming, the BBC             resources of international agencies to train journal-
experimented with “water week”, presenting docu-          ists. Not to make them all uniform and all write
mentaries, news reports, and phone-in shows all           about the same thing but to give them a means to
focusing on ways people use water, supply it, and         improving their ability to carry out their tasks.

Developing Country Private Sector
Responses to the Kyoto Protocol

Chair:                                                       Research in Argentina showed that there has been
Barber Conable, past president, World Bank                improvement in the situation of GHG emissions in
                                                          recent years through greater reliance on hydro power
Panelists:                                                and methane. Overall, though, the private sector in
Joaquin Ledesma, Ledesma Associates, Argentina            Argentina does not consider climate change to be a
B.S.K. Naidu, renewable energy expert, India              priority. Medium and small size companies in particu-
Dana Younger, International Finance Corporation           lar have little awareness of climate change and how it
                                                          could affect them. Furthermore, they are hesitant to
                                                          provide information on their outputs and emissions,

            he panel discussed the need to bring inter-   for fear that they will face additional taxes as a result.
            national and national priories into a coop-      Two results of recent studies are that it is not advis-
            erative framework with the private sector;    able to promote sectoral policies without taking into
            the extent to which the private sector in     account environmental concerns (i.e. “mainstream-
various countries are addressing (or are unaware of)      ing”) and that there is a tremendous need for greater
the concerns of climate change, and the role of insti-    information dissemination—it needs to be dissemi-
tutions like the IFC and GEF in facilitating measures     nated in the same way as GHG emissions. Entrepre-
to address climate change.                                neurs must be made aware that it is rational for them
   CONABLE: The private sector has a growing role in      to include climate change considerations into their
GEF and World Bank. It must be enlisted in cause of a     decision making…this is essential for success. In addi-
better (i.e. more environmentally sound) world. How       tion, the government often does not have an ade-
do we do this?                                            quate understanding of the concerns and realities of
   LEDESMA: The private sector and governments            the private sector; there are some some poorly under-
often look at climate change with an eye towards          stood aspects of the private sector by government
transferring the costs onto someone else. There is a      officials.
shared recognition that Kyoto will lead to economic          To adequately deal with climate change, there must
changes in all countries.                                 be convergence in policies and priorities at three lev-
els: the international level (World Trade Organization,      arrangements in other countries, but we still have a
World Bank, IMF); the national (macro) level, where          long ways to go. We need a full fledged regulatory
there is complementarity with the third level, the pri-      framework that still provides a profitable environ-
vate (micro) sector.                                         ment for the private sector in order for this to pro-
   YOUNGER: IFC recognizes the importance of clean           ceed. AIJ/CDM could provide an important frame-
energy technologies and is trying to integrate invest-       work for technology transfer.
ment in these areas into normal activities. The eco-            NAIDU: In India, the private sector has been
nomic viability of these technologies is not fully           engaged to improve energy efficiency and to shift
competitive with conventional sources in many cas-           more towards renewable energy sources. India is 4th
es; or there may be barriers to effective implementa-        in the world in wind power capacity; has second
tion.                                                        largest pv industry; tenth in world in hydro capacity;
   GEF is a tool for the IFC to stimulate new activities     and the largest sugar producing country, meaning
for bringing frontier technologies more fully into the       that it has a high potential for biomass energy.
marketplace. IFC has a $100 million GEF portfolio. It           We have faced a number of constraints along the
is also engaged in exploring new financing modalities        way: The storage of water is essential in India and
beyond GEF in Archives Implemented Jointly under             helps foster hydro power. But there is a problem of sil-
the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.             tation, which negatively affects hydro installations.
We are seeking to demonstrate the principle of incre-        Indian winds are peculiar, mostly coastal and tied to
mental finance in exchange for carbon credits.               the monsoons. Congeneration has been on-going in
   Some examples: in Argentina, with GEF support,            the sugar industry for decades, but very inefficiently…
we are administering a grant to an oil company to               In general, India’s goal is to do selective interven-
explore the feasibility of reinjecting CO2 for increas-      tions to create replicable models with multiplier
ing productivity of existing oil wells; working with         effects. In wind energy, we are trying to improve the
commercial banks in developing countries to encour-          performance of windmills. At almost no cost, perfor-
age them to enter into financing arrangements for            mance is improving…there had been poor mainte-
energy efficiency projects; making concessional loan         nance and establishment of windmills. Solar energy is
funds to local funders like Grameen Bank to develop          now recognized as an obvious financial option at a
solar photovoltaic business activity through their           small scale, rural, level. This is largely because there is
well-established network of rural branches and micro-        a corresponding increase in rural income from con-
credit customers. As far an non-GEF activities: we           nection to solar power…the increase in income justi-
have invested in a number of Central European coun-          fies the initial and monthly costs of installing and
tries to extend the use of liquid petroleum gas, which       maintaining pvs.
substitutes for coal. Exploring the possibility of financ-      LEDESMA: We have to be sure that greater invest-
ing AIJ pilot activities in Central American countries       ments in developing countries are relevant for deal-
(biomass, wind, biomass cogen in sugar industry).            ing with issues like climate change. If 99% of new
   IFC has seen some evidence of growth in market            investment is concentrated on using conventional
for carbon transactions since Kyoto…there are reports        technology, then we are not achieving much. This is
of a transaction involving a Japanese trading compa-         why I stress that there must be a convergence of poli-
ny and a Russian energy company to upgrade 70+               cies and priorities at the international national, and
Russian power plants with the resulting carbon cred-         micro level, or it will be very difficult to achieve posi-
its going to the Japanese company. There are similar         tive results.
Panel on Global Parliamentarians
and the Global Environment

Chair:                                                      ing foster greater understanding among nations.
Doeke Eisma, Netherlands                                    Global Legislators for a Balanced Environment and
                                                            GEF can work together to establish an information
Panelists:                                                  center for the international community on things
Akiko Yamanaka, Japan                                       like El Niño, deforestation, lessons learned on envi-
Mathias Benedict-Kean, Kenya                                ronmental projects, etc: practical ideas, successes, and
Barber Conable, USA                                         failures. Finally, Japanese politics is not focused
                                                            enough on the long term, and this may be a problem
Mrs. Najima Heptulla, India                                 in other countries as well.
                                                               HEPTULLA: There are two dominant trends in th

           he panel discussed a number of topics,           world today: rapid economic growth and increasing
           focusing particularly on the differences         awareness of environmental concerns. They are run-
           between parliamentary and federal govern-        ning parallel, but not together. As of yet, there is no
           ments, and the responsibilities and oppor-       eco-friendly framework of industrial economics.
tunities for the GEF and parliamentarians to promote        However, parliaments can help by fulfilling their role
greater environmental awareness.                            as facilitator between the people and the executive.
   CONABLE: There is a clear difference between the         Parliamentarians can help foster environmental
parliamentary and congressional systems of govern-          awareness by engaging the public, at the community
ment in general: a failure or inability to address          level, and the executive branch to ensure that devel-
important issues can bring a government down in a           opment and environmental protection are not work-
parliamentary system; in contrast, such a failure leads     ing at cross-purposes. It is the responsibility of parlia-
to impasse in the U.S. system, with the result being        mentarians to make sure this distinction is made.
that legislators will tend to focus on domestic policy         India’s traditions are closely linked to the environ-
concerns largely to the exclusion of foreign interests      ment and we recognize that environmental problems
or obligations. This is the current case in the U.S.        can not be dealt with in isolation. Poverty is the
Congress.                                                   greatest source of pollution in developing countries.
   In addition, there are different incentives for             BENEDICT-KEAN: Parliaments have to ratify environ-
addressing truly global environmental issues between        mental agreements, conventions, and laws and sup-
developed and developing countries. For developing          port them throughout the legislative process (i.e.
countries, there is a strong incentive to participate       “mainstreaming). For instance, adding taxes to things
fully in the GEF because it means additional financ-        such as solar panels may negatively affect the envi-
ing, whereas for developed nations the benefits often       ronment and parliamentarians need to consider this.
appear to be rather indirect, particularly to legislators   Mainstreaming is so important to ensure successful
who have to vote on spending bills.                         environmental protection, but very difficult to imple-
   YAMANAKA: Japan and the world have drastically           ment. This difficulty is particularly severe with
changed since the end of the Cold War. Preventative         regards to trans-boundary issues, like regulation of
diplomacy is crucial to the new world view. Foreign         the Nile.
policy’s objective should be three-fold. First, promot-        In terms of priorities, we need to balance poverty
ing greater understanding and cooperation through           alleviation and sustainable development against envi-
the establishment and support of peace studies. Sec-        ronmental protection. There is a great need to edu-
ond, protecting the environment: the quality of life of     cate parliamentarians and local communities about
everyone depends on a balance between the natural           environmental protection. In Kenya we have a large
and human environment. In this regard, Japan should         number of environmental laws, but the budget is
contribute more ODA and improve its technology              spread so thinly among ministries that the impact at
transfer efforts to improve the global environment.         the end of the day is insignificant. This is a problem
Third element is promotion of human rights, with            throughout the developing world.
due respect to each country’s culture and traditions.          EISMA: A major problem in Europe is institutional:
   GEF can support these efforts by introducing envi-       resolving conflicting institutional mandates in a way
ronmental education/studies to every country, help-         that will best support effective environmental protec-
tion. As it develops, the European Union may be able      developing world on environmental issues over the
to provide a number of lessons to parliamentarians in     past few years since UNCED and the GEF has been an
other regions of the world in how to most effectively     important part of this.
resolve transboundary concerns in a region with              HEPTULLA: India has proposed a Fund to promote
diverse interests. The challenge is to define the power   technology transfer, but developing countries can not
of the nation-state viz-a-vis the power of the Union?     do this alone. The UNCED promises have not been
   Finally, environmental efforts in Europe have been     kept by anyone. More money has been spent on talk-
hampered by an over-reliance on high-paid, short-         ing about environmental protection than actually
term consultants. This is probably an area where the      put into doing it.
GEF could learn some lessons as well. Efforts really         EISMA: The GEF Council looks very closely at
must go into concrete actions on the ground, not          administrative cost and has kept them down relative
expensive consultants.                                    to funding for actual projects. Unfortunately, consul-
   CONABLE: There has been considerable improve-          tants are often necessary if there is a lack of basic
ment in the dialogue between the developed and            capacity in a particular region.

BHUTAN ■ BOLIVIA ■ BOTSWANA ■ BRAZIL ■ BULGARIA ■ BURKINA FASO ■ BURUNDI ■ CAMBODIA                                      ■








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