First Deputy Minister of the Environment of the Czech Republic attended the 4th Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (Punta del Este, Urugay, 24 – 28 May 2010)

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First Deputy Minister of the Environment of the Czech Republic, Ms. Veronika Hunt Šafránková led the delegation of the Czech Republic to the 4th Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) that was held last week of May 2010 in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

4th Assembly of the GEF officially approved the 5th replenishment for the period July 2010 – June 2014 of total volume 4.25 billion US Dollars, i.e. 34 % higher than was the overall envelope of the 4th replenishment. GEF is providing grants to developing countries and countries with economies in transition for solving major global, regional and national environmental problems through projects related to the protection of biodiversity, to combat climate change, to protect international waters, to tackle land degradation, to protect the ozone layer, and to manage in sound manner the persistent organic pollutants. The highest portion of resources from the 5th replenishment will receive climate change mitigation (1.35 billion US Dollars), biodiversity (1.2 billion US Dollars), international waters (420 million US Dollars), chemicals (420 million US Dollars) and land degradation (400 million US Dollars).

First Deputy Minister of the Environment of the Czech Republic, Ms. Veronika Hunt Šafránková, delivered the Statement on behalf of the Constituency representing Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Luxembourg, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Turkey, on 25th May 2010 (see abbreviated version of the Statement) (PDF, 40 kB). She supported the overall volume of the 5th replenishment as well as its priorities and invited recipient countries to promote ownership of projects and the GEF and implementing to be more efficient when preparing and implementing projects. Six countries from the 8 member constituency are contributing to the new replenishment more than 134 million SDR with highest contributions from Belgium and Austria.

First Deputy Minister of the Environment of the Czech Republic, Ms. Veronika Hunt Šafránková presented also the Written Statement of the Czech Republic (see attachment) (PDF, 27 kB). The Czech Republic has been an active member of the GEF since its inception and from 2005 it became a new reliable and predictable donor. With Slovenia the Czech Republic is one of the two new EU member states that are contributors to the GEF replenishment Trust Fund. The contribution of the Czech Republic constantly is 4 million SDR. The amount is not huge; nevertheless it still exceeds four times the contribution level assigned to the Czech Republic by the tenth replenishment of resources to the International Development Association and is provided through expedited payment one-shot cash contribution.

The Czech Republic is satisfied with the level of proposed GEF fifth replenishment (GEF-5) that is reflecting not only the highest priorities of promoting sustainable development and of the environment protection but also a positive attitude of individual donor countries to the solving of major global, regional and national environmental issues. The Czech Republic, taking into account the current economic, financial, social and environmental situations of the world with its limits and challenges, supports application of integrated approach with using maximum possibilities of efficient multiple affect of allocated resources – result based approach.

The Czech Republic, member of the UN, OECD and of the European Union, is reliable contributor to the mandatory as well as voluntary funds and initiatives operating under the individual MEAs and international sustainable development and environmental multilateral organizations (more than 5 million US Dollars annually). The Czech Republic through its official development assistance (ODA) program fully supports the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) where Goal 7: “To Ensure Environmental Sustainability”, closely interlinked with other goals, represents a huge challenge for the international community as well as for the national governments and all stakeholders. The Czech ODA recognizes as its crosscutting priority environment protection and climate change. The Government of the Czech Republic adopted new Concept Paper of the Czech Development Cooperation for the period 2010 – 2017 on 24 May 2010. The Czech Republic, the new EU member state, the OECD member but not yet member of the OECD DAC, is committed to the MDGs, to the Paris and Accra agenda and is willing gradually to increase the volume of its ODA. The Czech ODA represented 0.12 % GNI in 2009 with a volume of almost 240 million US Dollars. The share of sustainable development and environmental related development projects was almost 90 % of the overall development projects budget.

The Czech Republic is convinced that the international environmental community should increase its efforts to fulfill Millennium Development Goals until 2015. The GEF is a very appropriate tool for contributing to this plan.