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Global Environment Facility



The relationship between the Conference of Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council was agreed in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) contained in (PDF) decision 12/CP.2 and (PDF) decision 12/CP.3.  As outlined in the MOU and pursuant to Article 11.1 of the Convention,  the COP provides regular guidance to the GEF, as an entity entrusted with the Financial Mechanism of the Convention, on policies, programme priorities and eligibility criteria for funding.  The MOU also stipulated that the GEF reports annually to the COP. In order to meet the requirement of the GEF's accountability to the COP, the annual report of the GEF will cover all GEF-financed activities carried out in implementing the Convention, whether such activities are carried out by the GEF Implementing Agencies, by the GEF Secretariat or by executing agencies implementing GEF-financed projects. 

The MOU further stipulated that the GEF report should include specific information on how it has applied the guidance and decisions of the COP in its work related to the Convention. This report should be of a substantive nature and incorporate the programme of GEF activities in the areas covered by the Convention and an analysis of how the GEF, in its operations related to the Convention, has implemented the policies, programme priorities and eligibility criteria established by the COP. In particular, a synthesis of the different projects under implementation and a listing of the projects approved by the Council in the climate change focal area as well as a financial report with an indication of the financial resources required for those projects should be included. The Council should also report on its monitoring and evaluation activities concerning projects in the climate change focal area.

Recent developments

At COP 20, Parties welcomed with appreciation the sixth replenishment of the GEF and recognized the general positive assessment of the performance of the GEF as concluded by the pdf-icon technical paper on the fifth review of the Financial Mechanism (1085 kB) .

Parties took note of the new GEF policy on co-financing and the concerns raised by some Parties in this regard and encouraged the GEF to improve the communication of its co-financing policy so that it is better understood, and appropriately applied by its accredited project agencies and implementing agencies.

Moreover, Parties also encouraged the GEF to increase the overall transparency and openness of its operations particularly with regard to the disclosure of information on the status of the implementation of projects and programmes, the project-level accountability of its implementing agencies and with respect to the timely disbursement of funds, as well as the advice provided to countries on co-financing.

Guidance was also provided to the GEF on policy issues related to gender mainstreaming, efficiency of GEF project cycle and the GEF pilot project for the accreditation of project agencies.

Finally, Parties endorsed the recommendations by the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF) to analyze past guidance provided to the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism in order to identify a set of core guidance to serve as basis for the provision of future guidance and in order to reduce redundancies, incoherence, and inconsistencies within the guidance provided to the operating entities. The SCF will consider the cumulative amount of guidance to the GEF in this exercise.

Latest COP Decision

pdf-icon Decision -/CP.21

pdf-icon Decision 8/CP.20

pdf-icon Decision 6/CP.19

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GEF annual reports to COP

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Relevant GEF documents/links

GEF Council

GEF replenishment

Fifth Overall Performance Study of the GEF (OPS5)

GEF 2020 strategy

pdf-icon Updated Handbook for Conducting Technology Needs Assessments for Climate Change

pdf-icon System for Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR): Options and Scenarios