A tussle over funding clouds issues of climate change a biodiversity.
THE GLOBAL Environmental
Facility of UNEP, UNDP and the
World Bank, administered by the
latter and designated as an interim
fund under the climate and biodiversity conventions'. has become
the most contentious issue in international environmental negotiations, pushing issues of climate
change and biodiversity into the
At a recent meeting in Abidjan,
efforts were. made to restructure
the GEF, where the ultimate veto
lies with the donors and not with
the group as a whole. The signatories of the biodiversity and climate
conventions agreed to the GEF as
an interim financial mechanism,
provided its membership is made
universal and it is "'appropriately
There are serious concerns
about the governance of the GEF.
Developing country participants
and NGOs are worried that the
GEF, which is in legal limbo, is
taking a life of its own even before
it has been activated under the
Developing countries have
sought to m6ve the facility away
from bank control and into.the
United Nations' sphere of influence. But the developed countries
have tried to preserve its institutional character, which would give
them clear advantage. At Abidjan,
options were presented to
' The participants' assembly in
the proposed system will be split
into a number of constituencies
comprising two main groups of
developed and developing counDies. Decisions will be made by a
simple majority of both the constituencies. In cases involving allo=tion of ftinds where agreement is
awt reached, a "last resort voting"
will be used. This is the tricky
Jow. The first option of the spechd vote leaves the "veto" to the
donors who must represent a certain, as yet unspecified, percentage
of the money behind GEF. The second option is to open the special
vote to three-fourths of all constituencies. The meeting will
reconvene mid-year to thrash out
who is in control.
There is no indication of how
much money the kitty will have.
The three-year experimental phase
of GIEF will be over in 1993 and
donor countries are talking about
replenishing the ftind with US$ 4.5
billion. But if this promise is anything like the rejected Earth
Increment, then the North speaks
with a forked tongue once again.
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