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Fiji Time: 2:59 PM on Friday 18 April

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Fiji joins GEF

Felix Chaudhary
Wednesday, November 28, 2012

VIGOROUS lobbying by the Fiji Embassy in Washington in the United States has resulted in Fiji being chosen to represent the Pacific in the Global Environment Facility (GEF) governing council.

Fiji, represented by Ambassador to the US Winston Thompson and Environment Director Jope Davetanivalu, was endorsed as alternate member for next year and council member and chairman of the Pacific Constituency in 2014.

A statement from the embassy said Fiji's campaign to represent the 17-nation constituency began in May this year.

"The success of the bid was due to the strong and vigorous lobbying of the Washington DC-based Fiji Embassy that started in early May this year and the unwavering and firm support of Pacific Island Countries," said the statement.

"Our Pacific Constituency includes the 14 PICs plus Indonesia, Philippines and Timor Leste and the appointment gives Fiji a leadership role on behalf of its members.

"This is also in line with the coordinating role given to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Climate Change matters within the government of Fiji."

GEF, the secretariat of which is based in Washington DC, is the largest public funder of projects to improve the global environment.

As an independently operating financial organisation, it provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer and persistent organic pollutants.

GEF has provided $US10.5billion ($F18.6bn) in grants and leveraging $US51billion ($F90.3billion) in co-financing for more than 2700 projects in more than 165 countries.