The 61st Council Meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which took place online from 1 to 9 December with representatives of 184 countries, approved a $191 million work program that will help over 25 million people from all over the world.
The event counted with the participation of the Executive Secretary of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, Monika Stankiewicz, who thanked the support made possible to date by the donors to the GEF Trust Fund and highlighted how vital it is to secure “a robust and increased allocation to the Minamata Convention and to the Chemicals and Waste focal area” in order to “support parties to fulfil their legally-binding commitments under the Convention”.
The 8th replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund, which will conclude early next year, was a main focus of the Convention’s online segment of the Conference of the Parties (COP-4), in November, with the parties recognizing the key role of the replenishment in the action on mercury and its interconnected impacts on climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.
COP-4 also included a side event on financial mechanism with opening words by GEF CEO and Chairperson Carlos Manuel Rodriguez. At the event, he said to be looking forward to “continue supporting the Minamata Convention and the Parties: we need to, once more, be able to really focus on those areas that can give us leverage in terms of scale”.
During her speech at the GEF Council Meeting, Stankiewicz pointed out that, “as we are approaching the full draw-down of chemicals and waste resources in GEF-7, this demonstrates the very significant ongoing demand, the great efforts by parties towards implementation, the hard work of the GEF agencies and its full partnership, and the relevance of the projects in achieving global environmental benefits and Minamata Convention obligations”.
At the online segment of COP-4, delegates unanimously supported the GEF’s key role as one of the financial mechanisms of the Minamata Convention and its direct contribution to capacity-building projects for treaty implementation in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. “These projects are not abstract events in the realm of international negotiations. They impact lives”, Stankiewicz added at the GEF Council Meeting. “I look forward to intensified dialogue with donors and stakeholders as we move forward towards the GEF-8 period.”