From Vanguard , Published June 24, 2015
The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) , the largest sponsor of environmental initiatives, has allocated US$23.35million to Nigeria to implement climate change, biodiversity and land degradation projects. Mr. Festus Eguaoje, GEF’s Desk Officer in the Federal Ministry of Environment, made this known at a two-day National Steering Committee Meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
Eguaoje, who presented an Overview of the GEF projects in Nigeria, said the allocation was under the 6th replenishment circle, covering July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2018.
According to him, the allocation is under the System for Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR), which allows GEF to allocate funds to countries to implement projects in specific focal areas. The purpose of the meeting was to review the progress of GEF’s activities in Nigeria and to update stakeholders on the ongoing projects. The official said Nigeria had achieved tremendous success in implementing GEF projects, adding that a lot of projects were still ongoing under GEF 4th and 5th replenishment cycles.
He listed the ongoing GEF projects to include Conservation and Sustainable Management of Niger Delta Biodiversity; Sustainable Urban Transportation; and Setting up Mini- Grids based on Photo Voltaic (PV), Hydro and Biomass Sources. Others are Promoting Energy Efficiency in Public and Residential Sectors; Less Burnt for a Clean Earth: Minimization of Dioxin Emission from Open Burning Sources and Small Grant Program for Civil Society Organizations.
On FADAMA III , he mentioned Scaling up of Sustainable Land Management; Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) containing equipment management and disposal; and Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management (NEWMAP): Component of Great Green Wall Initiative. Also listed were Lake Chad Regional and Natural Resources Conservation and Regional Project on Equatorial Africa Deposition Network.
He said that GEF had approved Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in Sub-Saharan African- An Integrated Approach (IAP-PROGRAM) under the 6th replenishment cycle. He said that GEF had three funding windows, namely the full size, the medium size and the small grants.
According to him, a small grants component of GEF is a grant below $50,000, medium size is between $500,000 and $2 million, while the full size is from $2 million and above. Eguaoje, also an Assistant Director in the Federal Ministry of Environment, said Nigeria could benefit more from GEF by building the capacity of its staff.
In addition, he suggested that project proponents should forward well-articulated concept to the GEF Operational Focal Point for Endorsement. “The project proponent, in collaboration with the operational focal point, should ensure that prompt comments on the proposals are made by relevant offices of the GEF focal areas.
“The comments should be reverted to the project proponent for incorporation and further development. “Project proponents should also explore the opportunity offered through the Implementing Agencies’’, he added. The implementing agencies for GEF projects, he said, were UNDP, World Bank, FAO, UNIDO, ADB, UNEP and IFAD, among others.
GEF was initiated by concerned countries (mainly industrialized) in 1991 at a preparatory meeting of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The establishment of the GEF as a mechanism was made formal in 1994 by the Instrument for the Establishment of the Restructured Global Environment Facility.
GEF has a membership of 183 countries in partnership with international organizations, civil society organizations, and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives.
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