Saint Lucia is currently hosting the Caribbean’s first round of Expanded Constituency Workshops (ECW) for the 7th funding cycle of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The GEF is an international partnership of 183 countries, international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs) and the private sector, established in 1992 to serve as the financing mechanism powering the global conservation movement. Following the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the GEF was designed to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, the GEF has provided over $18.1 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $94.2 billion in co-financing for more than 4500 projects in 170 countries.
The GEF convenes an Expanded Constituency Workshop to keep National Focal Points, Convention Focal Points, civil society organisations (CSOs) and other key stakeholders up-to-date on the GEF strategies, policies and procedures and to encourage coordination. In this 7th replenishment cycle, the GEF will allocate 4.1 Billion US dollars towards conservation activities globally, of which fifty two million will be programmed for June 2019 and US$ 206 million dollars will be allocated to Caribbean countries for the next four years. The workshops afford focal points the opportunity to meet with their counterparts from other countries in the region. They also allow other GEF partners, especially GEF Agencies, to discuss and review policies and procedures and to share experiences from GEF projects and their integration within national policy frameworks.
Minister responsible for Sustainable Development Hon. Dr. Gale Rigobert gave her blessing of the ECW in Saint Lucia with the hope that the information shared and received would enhance regional development. She also took the opportunity to thank the GEF for the resources and support they have provided over the past years.
Over 120 representatives from 16 countries around the region are participating in the GEF ECW. Focal points for the Convention on Biological Diversity, Convention to Combat Desertification, Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, and representatives from CSOs from Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago, will be in attendance. The workshop which was held at the Harbour Club ended yesterday 31st May 2019.