(PR) - Samoa has welcomed the replenishment of the 7th cycle of the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
Twenty-nine donors pledged support to GEF-7 resulting in an overall envelope of $US4.1 billion, which includes new donor funding of $US3.3 million in new funding, $US573 million in carryover from the previous replenishment and $US150 million in projected investment income.
Samoa joined 182 countries in Da Nang, Vietnam from June 23-28 to take stock of the global funding facility, which has been used to support some national activities mainly on climate change adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity conservation, land degradation, chemicals and waste, and international waters.
The delegation was led by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Natural Resources and Environment, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, Deputy Prime Minister. She was accompanied by Samoa’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Aliioaiga Feturi Elisaia, Ulu Bismarck Crawley (CEO, MNRE) and Anne Rasmussen (Acting CEO and GEF adviser, MNRE).
The Deputy Prime Minister, in Samoa’s national statement at the international summit, acknowledged positive progress on many fronts. But challenges remain on timely access to GEF resources, due to delays in the approval process.
The summit was also alerted to the needs of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS), in particular their vulnerability to the impact of climate change and other external factors not of their making, which should be taken into consideration and reflected in the GEF council’s decisions.
A total of 22 contributing countries maintained their pledges as in GEF 6 and 15 increased their contributions. Excluding the impact of currency revaluation, new donor funding to GEF-7 is slightly more than GEF-6 level – which underscores strong support for GEF.
For the new cycle of funding, Samoa is looking at utilizing its national allocations on food security and an ocean program, focusing on waste, plastics and affected biodiversity.