HC Deb 27 April 1998 vol 311 cc33-4W
Sir Alastair Goodlad

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development who will represent her Department at the Global Environment Conference in New Delhi; what new initiatives will be proposed; and if she will make a statement. [39577]

Mr. Foulkes

The first Global Environment Facility (GEF) Assembly took place from 1–3 April in New Delhi. It was preceded by a meeting of the GEF Council which formally concluded the second replenishment of the Facility of US dollars 2.75 billion and endorsed policy recommendations to improve further GEF activities.

The policy recommendations cover: improved country ownership of GEF financed projects; better mainstreaming of global environmental objectives into the regular policies and programmes of the three Implementing Agencies, UNEP, UNDP and the World Bank; better involvement of the private sector and partnerships with them; enhanced monitoring and evaluation and the development of performance indicators; greater participation by other international and regional organisations, including the Regional Development Banks; further clarification of the application of incremental costs, that is, the costs to achieve global, as opposed to national, environmental benefits which the GEF is designed to meet.

The UK has committed £85.25 million to the second replenishment, being the UK's full share of the replenishment plus an additional voluntary contribution of £2 million. The UK has offered to provide a further £4.25 million during the replenishment period to help fill the replenishment funding gap of some US$70 million if other donors make additional efforts to meet their shares. The UK is the fifth largest contributor to the Facility.

DFID was represented at the Assembly by the head of Environment Policy Department (EPD) and other officials from EPD, the UK Mission to the World Bank and DFID's office in India. The British High Commissioner and a DETR official also participated.

Representatives from 119 of the GEF's 164 countries were represented in the Assembly which was opened by the Indian Prime Minister and concluded with the New Delhi Statement. This reaffirmed the Facility's role as the multilateral funding mechanism dedicated to promoting global environmental protection and actions to improve the Facility's operations. Copies of the New Delhi Statement are being placed in the Libraries of the House.