CSOs agree to establish the Global Environment Facility CSO (GEF-CSO) Network in the PhilippinesPosted on June 13, 2017
On 23-24 May 2017, about 70 representatives from Civil Society Organizations (CSO), including indigenous peoples/people’s organizations (IP/POs), academic and research institutions all over the country agreed to establish the GEF-CSO network in order to enhance GEF prioritization, programming and implementation in the Philippines. Under GEF Cycle 6 (2014-2018), the Philippines has been allocated at least US$ 39 million, of which US$ 25 million need to be approved for environmental projects before the end of the year. From GEF cycles 1 to 5, a total of US$ 643 million national and regional projects was implemented in the Philippines.
Atty. Analiza Rebuelta-Teh, Undersecretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and GEF Operational Focal Point, provided the overall briefing of the GEF global and national processes and programming activities. Director Edwin Domingo of DENR’s Foreign – Assisted and Special Projects Office (DENR-FASPO) also presented maps of DENR implemented projects in partnership with various international donors and development partners. Also during the consultation, Director Diane Gail Llanto of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) presented the AmBisyon Natin 2040 which represents the collective long-term vision and aspirations of Filipino people for themselves and for the country for the next 25 years.
On the other hand, the Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE) Executive Director Oliver Agoncillo, CSO representative to the GEF National Steering Committee (NSC), and member of the GEF-CSO Core Group presented the rationale and overall objectives of the consultation. He noted the critical roles of the CSO in the GEF programming processes in order to ensure that funds are maximized, and to achieve intended results.
The participants agreed on a GEF-CSO Network Roadmap, which include the setting up of the CSO network, as among the key results of the CSO National Consultation on the Management and Implementation of the GEF in the Philippines held at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Quezon City. The objectives of the consultation included, among others: to facilitate awareness and understanding of the GEF processes, including country prioritization and allocation; assess, generate inputs and recommendations on enhancing CSO participation in the GEF.
The Road Map also called for the creation of the Interim Committee (IC) comprised of current CSO members of the GEF National Steering Committee (NSC) to continue engaging the national government (through DENR) until such time that a new set of CSO representatives are selected by the CSO network. Members of the Interim Committee include the Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE; Mr. Oliver Agoncillo), Clean Air Asia (CCA; Atty. Glynda Bathan), and Ateneo School of Government (ASOG; Ms. Jean Caleda, PhD).
Part of the Roadmap, a Technical Working Group (TWG) was also selected by the participants to draft the Terms of Reference of the GEF CSO Network in the next two months. The TWG members include:
IP Representative: Bukidnon Umayamnon Tribe Kapoonan To Mga Datu (BUKDA; Engr. Jemuel Perino “Datu Sangkuan”)
Mindanao: Xavier Agricultural Extension Service (XAES; Mr. Nestor Carbonera, TWG Chair); Interface Development Interventions (IDIS; Ms. Chinkie Peliño Golle)
Visayas: Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Inc. (Ms. Lisa Paguntalan); Sentro ha Pagpauswag ha Panginabuhi, Inc. (SPPI; Ms. Joelyn Soldevilla-Biag)
Luzon/National: Haribon Foundation (Ms. Maria Belinda de la Paz); Daloy ng Buhay (Ms. Marivic Pajaro)
The Interim Committee members will also participate in the activities of the TWG. In her closing remarks, Atty. Rebuelta-Teh said that she will convene a meeting with the IC and TWG members to review the outputs of the consultations and identify steps moving forward.
Group Organizers and Funding. The consultation is co-organized by the CSO Core Group Members: FPE, CCA, ASOG, Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation (PTFCF), World Wide Fund for Nature - Philippines, Haribon Foundation, Conservation International Philippines, Ban Toxics, with funding support from PTFCF, FPE and UNDP-SGP5.
Biodiversity Congress. The GEF-CSO National Consultation is part of the First Biodiversity Congress organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), United Nations Development Program, and other groups, from May 22-24, 2017.