ECW West Africa Coastal Zone
Location: Monrovia Liberia
Dates: 19-21, July 2011
REPORT OF THE CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS TO THE GEF
by Samuel Dotse
(Regional Focal Point -West &Central Africa)
The purpose of Civil Society Organizations attending the Expanded Constituency Workshop is to actively work in partnership with the National GEF and Convention Focal points to enhance the engagement of Civil Society into GEF programme design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation.
The agenda of the meeting summarized below has been very useful and relevant to the concerns and issues of the region.
GEF5 (System for Transparent Allocation of Resources-STAR)
GEF Project Cycle and Review Process/Programmatic Approach
GEF and the Conventions
Country Support Programme
GEF Focal areas and cross cutting strategies
Monitoring and Evaluation
GEF Implementing Agencies and
GEF and Civil Society
However, the agenda has not make room for the active participation of CSOs who were present at the meeting. The session of GEF and Civil Society should have been chaired by the Regional Focal Point for the GEF NGO Network for the sub-region.
Civil Society organizations present at the meeting were more concern about the small grant program. This is because that is the only funding available to them at their country level. Other topics that were of interest to the CSO s were the presentations on Biodiversity, land degradation, SFM and the STAR.
Interventions made by CSOs and suggestions are summarized as;
For those who are not members of the network, they wanted to know the process of accreditation and other requirements. Key interventions includes,
1. When will the Voluntary Trust Fund become operational? The response provided was that CSO’s or the Network should lobby donor countries to put money into the Fund.
2. Level of CSO engagement with GEF operational Focal Points and related Conventions Focal Points at the country level. Here, the Focal Points agree that they have to do more than what they are doing now.
3. CSO’s present also wanted to know if they can apply for the GEF strategic approach to capacity develop defined under the four pathways for countries to implement the Rio Conventions. The response was no.
The CSOs present made the following recommendations:
1. To fully implement the GEF Public Involvement Policy in the region and at the country level, CSOs wanted to work with the GEF Focal Point, the Rio Conventions Focal Points, GEF Agencies and the GEF NGO Network to develop clear guidelines on Advocacy, capacity building and resources mobilization.
2. The GEF Secretariat should be requested to write officially to country focal point to inform them of the recent GEF5 reforms related to enhanced civil society engagement in GEF projects and program planning
3. GEF should develop without delay a clear policy guidelines for engagement of and respect for the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, in accordance with the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples as well as ensure full participation of Indigenous People and Local Communities in accordance with the right of free prior informed consent; and recognize the fundamental role and contribution of indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge, innovations and practices.
4. Recognizing the fact that the SGP only provides small percentage of CSO funding requirements, Operational focal points are encouraged to support and provide additional resources to SGP as well as supporting appropriate projects developed by CSOs to be funded as MSPs and FSPs.