Palau participated in the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Pacific Islands Expanded Constituency Workshop (ECW) in Nadi, Fiji from July 22 – 25, 2019.
For four days, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Palau had the opportunity to learn about the latest GEF strategies, policies, procedures and had the opportunity to network with counterparts over the regions. Philippines, Timor Leste, and Indonesia were also included in the event.
The workshop was made up of over 100 participants including GEF partners, especially GEF implementing agencies (such as WWF – World Wildlife Fund, UNEP – United Nations Environmental Programme, UNDP – United Nations Development Programme, ADB – Asian Development Bank, FAO – Food and Agriculture Organization, and others) to discuss and review policies and procedures and to share experiences from other GEF projects and their integration within national policy frameworks. This event was organized differently to past meetings by having CSOs join the same sessions as national government focal point officials, and government project coordinators from the beginning to the end of the workshop.
Palau was represented by 6 participants from Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism, 2 participants from Environmental Quality Protected Board, and 2 representatives for civil society organizations (CSOs) – 1 from Palau Conservation Society and 1 from Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC).
Palau participants were able to learn about organizing principles and areas of work in the 7th GEF replenishment period (GEF-7). They also had the opportunity to identify key cross cutting issues; the basics of GEF funding and its operational policies, as well as the results framework for GEF-7. Moreover, it was an opportunity for Palau government and non-government partners to discuss challenges with current GEF projects and to identify lessons learned for moving forward with GEF-7. Ilebrang U. Olkeriil representing PICRC shares that “It was valuable opportunity to learn about the GEF process and especially having the possibility to deliberate with government executing agencies on how we can all better serve our communities in Palau to realize the benefits from these global environment supported projects”. Palau delegates made use of the time to conduct bilateral meetings with key UN Agencies such as UNEP, UNDP and Small Grants Programme Coordinators to discuss assistance and opportunities for GEF 7 implementation of our national priorities. (PR)