Programming for Global Environment Facility Six (GEF 6) in Uganda starts

Sep 3, 2014

Mr. Patrick Ocailap (centre), GEF Operational Focal point and also Deputy Secretary to the Treasury making his opening remarks at the start of GEF 6 programming meeting in Kampala.

KAMPALA - Uganda has begun planning for the sixth cycle of the Global Environment Facility (GEF 6) programmes.

The planning which started during a two-day meeting in Kampala was organised by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development which manages the Country’s GEF funds. Planning is for the US$ 10m which Uganda received from the system of the Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR) for the three focal areas of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Land Degradation.

“This funding will be used to formulate projects which can bring on board sustainable solutions to areas affected by the problems faced within the three focal areas,” said Mr. Patrick Ocailap, GEF Operational Focal point and also Deputy Secretary to the Treasury in his introductory remarks at the opening of the GEF Portfolio meeting.

He added that the projects to be formulated should have an impact on the ground and should target vulnerable people who have been greatly affected by environment degradation in the country.

Mr. Ocailap also reminded GEF project implementers attending the meeting that GEF resources are not a stand-alone funds and should be used to leverage additional resources from co-financing and encouraged all the implementing agencies to support government in soliciting for more funds to ensure sustainability of all the interventions funded by GEF so as to have positive impacts on the planet.

Speaking on behalf of the United Nations agencies that implement GEF funded projects, Ms. Almaz Gebru, Country Director, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Uganda who represented the UNDP Resident Representative/UN Resident Coordinator assured the government officials that the United Nations system in Uganda was ready to support government in mobilising and programming GEF6 and other energy, environment and climate change resources towards achieving government development aspirations as reflected in Vision 2040 and the National Development Plan.

She emphasized that over the years it has become evident that having the projects designed, approved and resources provided was just the beginning of work. Therefore more effort, teamwork and partnerships would be required to ensure that resources which have been provided are utilized in a timely manner and demonstrate value for money.

The meeting also reviewed past and present projects under GEF 5 to identify key successes, lessons and challenges to be able to deliver better during GEF6 implementation. Drawing from the lessons of GEF 5 implementation, participants agreed that they needed to share more information including sharing project highlights on a monthly basis and having quarterly review meetings so as to increase knowledge and visibility of the projects.

Furthermore, participants also agreed to involve communities in all the activities of the projects as a way of ensuring that they own these projects so that they can achieve their intended impact.

“The planning process for this funding is important because climate change and other environmental challenges in Uganda and world over are real and all efforts are being done to integrate environmental issues into development plans and strategies for different agencies,” Patrick Ocailap said.

The meeting involved over 40 different partners from Government ministries including Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Ministry of Water and Environment. Development Partners such as the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) which manages and co-finances various GEF projects under its Energy and Environment Portfolio, the World Bank, Civil Society Organisations and the Private Sector.

The Global Environment Facility which was established in October 1991 as a $1 billion pilot programme in the World Bank to assist in the protection of the global environment and to promote environmental sustainable development is a partnership for international cooperation. UNDP, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Bank were the three initial partners implementing GEF projects.

183 countries including Uganda work together with international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector to promote GEF’s goals.

Since 1991, Uganda has accessed a GEF total grant of US$ 86.13 million (through national access) and US$ 326.5 Million (through regional and global access) which has helped to facilitate implementation of 29 national projects and 42 regional and global projects.

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