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close this bookSustainable Energy News - No. 21 May 1998 (INFORSE, 1998, 20 p.)
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View the documentWill Europe choose sustainability?
close this folderWorld/GEF
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View the documentGef structure and operations
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Gef structure and operations

Responsibility for implementing the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) is shared by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and the World Bank. UNDP is responsible for technical assistance and capacity-building, along with project identification and preparation and a small grants program for NGOs.

In climate change, the overall strategy of GEF financed activities is to support sustainable measures to minimise damages from climate change by reducing the risk, or the adverse effects, of climate change.

GEF operations span 3 broad, interrelated categories:

· Long-term Operational Programs.

· Enabling activities: inventories, analysis, action plans, assisting national communications to conventions (e.g. the development of national report to Conventions).

· Short-term responses, e.g. projects aimed solely at reducing net emissions of greenhouse gases at low costs.

Because "enabling" activities are the foundation for much of the GEF climate-change portfolio, they will be emphasised, initially. This focus will shift gradually to the other types of activities, mainly long-term measures.

Operational Programs

An Operational Program is a planning framework for projects geared to achieve a global environmental objective. It organises the development of country-driven projects and ensures systematic coordination.

The Operational Programs to achieve long-term effects are:

· Removal of barriers to energy efficiency and energy conservation. The aim of projects in this category is to identify and remove barriers to profitable energy-efficiency and energy-conservation activities. Examples: strengthen institutions that promote energy-efficiency, improve building standards and codes, establish energy service companies, and provide limited demonstrations of energy-efficient installations.

· Promoting the adoption of renewable energy by removing barriers and reducing implementation costs. This operational program addresses commercial or near-commercial renewable-energy technologies. Such renewable-energy technologies include photovoltaics, the use of agricultural residues to generate heat and power, other technologies using biofuels, methane control in waste disposal, and wind power.

· Reducing the long-term costs of energy technologies that minimize emissions of greenhouse gases. Efforts in this program are designed to reduce the cost of prospective technologies that have not yet become widespread least-cost alternatives. This approach is well suited to proven, but less mature technologies, such as solar-thermal power generation; grid-connected and household-related solar applications; advanced bio-mass power and fuel technologies; fuel cells; and base-load wind power.

UNDP/GEF Funding Windows

· Operational programs are long-term (3-7 years) full-size projects on a large scale (e.g. $2 mill. and beyond).

· The Project Development Facility (PDF) supports the development of large-scale projects from the concept stage to fully approved project documents. There are three sizes of PDF grants: Block A, grants of up to $25,000, supports the early stages of project formulation. Supported activities can include workshops and/or short-term consultancies for project development. Block B. grants of up to $350,000 for project development, often fund large regional or global pre-project activities culminating in one or more UNDP/GEF Project Briefs. Block C, grants of up to $1 million, support feasibility work on largescale projects.

· Medium-sized projects undergo a streamlined project preparation and approval process for grants of up to $1 million. Projects below $ 750,000 have a special fast-track procedure.

· The Small Grants Program provides grants of up to $50,000 for initiatives by local community groups/NGOs.

· Enabling activities assist countries in preparing strategies, action plans and reports that fulfil their obligations under the international environmental conventions.

UNDP/GEF Handling of Proposals

The first step is to submit a 2- or 3-page Project Concept Paper to the UNDP country office. If the project is deemed eligible, application may be made for a PDF grant, which would support the development of a 10-15 pages Project Brief for review by the GEF Council. A letter of endorsement from the host government must accompany the Project Brief. The process then continues toward development of a full Project Document.

Information: See