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4. Dialogue with Multilateral Environmental Agreement Secretariats and GEF

22 August 2023, 15:00- 16:30, session in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework Pavilion at the Seventh GEF Assembly

 Room 301, Vancouver Convention Center

GEF 7 Logo

The Seventh GEF Assembly Meeting builds on recent global breakthroughs on biodiversity, toxic chemicals, and the high sea with a strong emphasis on inclusion and fostering the GEF-8 whole-of-society approach. The Assembly gathers ministers, government officials, business leaders, prominent environmentalists, leaders of GEF agencies and the main multilateral environmental conventions, as well as youth, civil society representatives and Indigenous Peoples to discuss solutions to end pollution and nature loss, combat climate change, and propel inclusive, locally-led conservation under the overarching theme of "Healthy Planet, Healthy People”.

At the Assembly, the GEF Secretariat is organizing a dialogue with Secretariats of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). This MEA dialogue brings together Executive Secretaries or senior representatives from the Secretariats of all Conventions that the GEF serves as the financial mechanism as well as representatives from the GEF Secretariat. It will provide an opportunity to discuss some key outcomes of the recent Conference of Parties (COPs) relevant to the GEF as well as issues to be considered during the GEF-8 period to ramp up the implementation of Conventions.

Major MEA Developments
The MEA landscape has significantly evolved since the previous MEA dialogue which, in December 2019, looked ahead at what was to be the “2020 super year” for international environmental governance. While the COVID pandemic generated delays, the period since 2020 decisively reframed and spurred collective action to address the climate, biodiversity, and sustainable development crises. 

Among major milestones, the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (“BBNJ”) were adopted. The Paris rule book was completed and UNFCCC COP28 is to carry out the first Global Stocktake. 

The Montreal Protocol continued to build on its remarkable achievements on ozone-depleting substances with the entry into force of the Kigali Amendment to phase down HFCs and an increased focus on energy-efficient and low-global-warming-potential technologies. 

In important steps towards addressing chemical pollution, new families of “forever chemicals”, pesticides, and plastic additives were listed under the Stockholm Convention, which also adopted a compliance mechanism that had proven elusive since COP1. The Minamata Convention, seven years after entry into force, is now in full implementation, with close to 90 percent of the Parties having submitted their first national reports required by the Convention and significant progress in phasing out mercury in products, industrial processes, and artisanal and small-scale gold mining. 
The Fifth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) launched an intergovernmental negotiating committee with the ambition to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, by the end of 2024. 

Beyond the MEAs, UNEA also decided to establish a science-policy panel to support action on chemicals, waste, and pollution prevention. It further Significant progress has also been made towards an agreement on the future of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management and the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste beyond 2020 that will be finalized at the Fifth International Conference on Chemicals Management in September 2023. 

These legal and political developments have been accompanied by parallel evolutions in funding needs and international financing infrastructure. In addition to reducing incentives harmful for biodiversity by at least $500 billion per year, the GBF aims to mobilize $200 billion by 2030 from all sources to implement national biodiversity strategies and action plans. 
UNFCCC COP 27 decided to establish new funding arrangements, and a fund for responding to loss and damage. 

Finally, a reform of the global financial architecture is under discussion, with calls, including from UNFCCC COP27 and CBD COP15, for a stronger engagement of International Financial Institutions to mobilize additional resources for global commons and the environment.

Expected Assembly Deliberations on MEAs
The 7th GEF Assembly is expected to ratify the establishment of the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund in response to CBD COP15 decisions. The GBF Fund is also expected to be launched at the Assembly.

The Assembly is to further take the necessary steps for the GEF to serve as part of the BBNJ financial mechanism through an amendment to the GEF Instrument. The financial mechanism for the BBNJ will also comprise a Special Fund that is yet to be established. 

Key suggested discussion items for the dialogue may thus include the following:

  1. The expanding MEA landscape reinforces the GEF’s unique role in promoting an integrated implementation of MEAs. From the MEA perspective, how can the GEF further foster synergies and contribute to greater coherence in implementation of the Conventions it serves? 
  2. With respect to the financing architecture for the global environment, GEF’s emerging role may include minimizing the fragmentation of funds and funding opportunities, and further catalyzing the engagement of international financing institutions and multilateral development banks on global environmental priorities to mobilize new and additional resources. From the MEA perspective, how can the GEF best fulfil these emerging roles? 
  3. What key outcomes and decisions/guidance are relevant to the GEF 8 programming from the recent COPs, including Minamata COP 4, UNCDD COP 15, UNFCCC COP 27, CBD COP 15, and Stockholm COP 10 and 11? How can the GEF support their implementation?

MEA representatives are invited to share their views on these questions and any lessons learned thus far, and provide any suggestions to the GEF on the GEF-8 programming and beyond. 


Times are listed in Pacific Daylight Savings time (PDT)

Session Title




Opening Remarks and Introduction

Carlos Manuel Rodriguez

Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson

The Global Environment Facility

Moderated Discussion

Chizuru Aoki


Lead Environmental Specialist

The Global Environment Facility


Rolph Payet

Executive Secretary

BRS Secretariat


David Cooper

Acting Executive Secretary

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity


Monika Stankiewicz

Executive Secretary

Minamata Convention


Louise Baker

Managing Director of the Global Mechanism

UNCCD Secretariat


Daniele Violetti

Senior Director, Programmes Coordination

UNFCCC Secretariat


Maria Socorro Manguiat

Deputy Executive Secretary

Ozone Secretariat

After the panel discussion, the audience is invited to participate in the dialogue




Way forward and wrap up

Carlos Manuel Rodriguez

Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson

The Global Environment Facility


More information:

Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework - 2050 Goals

Seventh GEF Assembly - Main Page