The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) represented by its Undersecretary and Chief of Staff Analiza Rebuelta-Teh, who is also the Global Environment Facility - Operational Focal Point (GEF-OFP) for the Philippines, shepherded the programming process of the country allocation under the 6th cycle of the Global Environment Facility (GEF 6) covering the period from July 2014 to June 2018.
The GEF serves as the financial mechanism for the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity (UNCBD), UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), UN Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought (UNCCD) and Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, Minamata Convention on Mercury, and other Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). The Facility was established to achieve global environmental benefits through financing of incremental costs to produce such benefits. It started in 1991 with Trust Fund coming from the contributions of developed countries. The GEF works with implementing agencies i.e. the World Bank, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) among others to provide executing agencies, i.e. government agencies, CSOs, and others that directly manage projects, oversight to deliver the outcomes/outputs and report on the use of funds.
As early as March 2014, the GEF-OFP initiated the long process to develop a National Program Formulation Document (NPFD) that would contain the portfolio of programs/projects for funding consideration under the GEF 6 cycle. The process provided the venue to develop a framework for prioritizing project proposals submitted by various proponents under the GEF focal areas, namely: (1) Biodiversity, (2) Climate Change, (3) Land Degradation, (4) Chemicals and Waste, (5) International Waters, and (6) Sustainable Forest Management. It also identified the strategic links of the country priorities based on the major drivers of environmental degradation, National Development Plan and its specific plans per sector.
To discuss and identify the national strategic priorities for funding under the GEF 6, the DENR’s Foreign Assisted and Special Projects Service (FASPS), which serves as the Secretariat of the GEF-OFP, organized the Philippines National Dialogue (PND). GEF provided funding support to the event. The dialogue also provided the venue for the GEF Secretariat to present the global environmental issues and GEF overview (including Policies and Procedures) and GEF 2020 strategy.
The National Dialogue was attended by 115 participants from civil society organizations, representatives from Multilateral Environmental Agreement (MEA) Focal Points, government agencies, local governments, peoples organizations and private sector representatives. At the invitation of the OFP, representatives from GEF Implementing Agencies (UNDP, UNEP, UNIDO, World Bank, FAO, ADB) attended the dialogue as observers. Experts from the GEF Secretariat served as resource persons during the event.
After more than a year of programming process, the Philippines has successfully come up with a shortlist of programs/project proposals for development and endorsement to GEF Secretariat for funding under the GEF 6 cycle. The proposed programs/projects are as follows:
Program 1: Integrated Approach in the Management of Major Biodiversity Corridors in the Philippines;
Program 2: National Programme on Wealth Creation from the Philippines Biodiversity Genetic Pool and BD based friendly Enterprises;
Program 3: Sustainable Financing of the Philippines PA System;
Program 4: Enhancing agro-ecosystem resiliency through soil and water health monitoring and assessment and upscaling of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) Practices;
Program 5: Climate-Resilient, Low Carbon, Eco-Efficient and Sustainable Cities;
Program 6: Environmentally Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste;
Program 7: International Waters project proposals. #