The Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) released today its report to the GEF 5th Assembly that outlines specific recommendations for the GEF in advancing environmentally sustainable development in GEF-6. The three key messages of this STAP Report to the Assembly are:
• Environmental degradation must be tackled in a more integrated and holistic way, addressing individual focal area concerns in ways that yield multiple benefits, enhance ecosystem services, and improve governance systems within and across national boundaries.
• Sustainable development should be at the core of GEF interventions, enabling improved human well-being, health, livelihoods and social equity at the same time as environmental protection.
• The GEF should continue to be catalytic and innovative while actively seeking to effect permanent and transformational change. This will require effectively leveraging the best scientific knowledge from the design of projects through implementation and evaluation, as well as learning from the experiences of past interventions through successful knowledge management.
The report also highlights STAP’s numerous accomplishments in GEF-5 (2010 – 2014) during a period of significant intensification of the Advisory Panel’s roles and responsibilities. Recommendations are made for how STAP can continue to support the GEF Partnership’s fundamental mandate as the only global agency funding integrated global environmental benefits in concert with the emerging sustainable development agenda.
STAP also recently published three additional advisory reports. The advisory report on “Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Practice” offers an extensive analysis of the meaning and history of biodiversity mainstreaming, including an analysis of mainstreaming at the GEF, which supported a total of 327 biodiversity mainstreaming projects, totaling US$ 1.6 billion in GEF funding and US$ 5.2 billion in co-financing from 2004 to 2014. The report also discusses key determinants of effective biodiversity mainstreaming and offers conclusions of what has been learned over the past decade and how to use this information to improve project design and implementation to maximize global environmental benefits.
A second advisory document on “Assessing the Effects of Terrestrial Protected Areas on Human Well-being” reports on the conduct and results of a systematic review of evidence of the impacts on human well-being arising from the establishment or maintenance of terrestrial PAs. Beginning with nearly 19,000 articles, experts narrow their focus to closely examine 79 quantitative studies and 34 qualitative studies in detail and provide insights into the main sources of tension arising from PAs and factors contributing to successful implementation.
Finally, a STAP published a report on “The Political Economy of Regionalism” which provides the context and analytical tools needed to understand contemporary regionalism and regional organizations from a global and political economy perspective. It reports on the results of an extensive desk-study of the GEF International Waters portfolio to assess each project’s relation to regional cooperation processes and vice versa.
The Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) comprises seven expert advisors supported by a Secretariat, which are together responsible for connecting the Global Environment Facility to the most up to date, authoritative and globally representative science.