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The Journey to Rio: Gathering Evidence on Expectations for the GEF

Rio de Janeiro, June 2012 -The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Evaluation Office launched "The Journey to Rio: Gathering Evidence on Expectations for the GEF" at Rio+20 - the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. In the form of an E-Book, this review assesses the extent to which the GEF has met the expectations on which it was created 20 years ago on the eve of the Earth Summit in 1992. The E-Book uses overall performance studies (OPSs) of the GEF Evaluation Office as the basis to examine the GEF response to the 1992 Earth Summit expectations.

The GEF has gathered a lot of evaluative evidence on its achievements. However, mapping the performance evidence against expectations is a necessarily qualitative exercise. The expectations were a cloud of views some with a high level of common understanding, but others highly contentious and politically sensitive.

"With this review, the GEF Evaluation Office strives for a balance between a sound methodology and a light tone; and thus the E-book takes the reader on an international journey through time to visit places where both expectations were formulated and evaluative evidence presented for fulfillment. Like any travel agency interested in client satisfaction, the reader traveler is also invited to make ratings on the comparison," said Rob D. van den Berg, Director of the GEF Evaluation Office.

One of the main themes emerging from the review is that while the world has not transferred to a global green economic order, GEF projects attest that this greening shift occurs at local, regional levels and can grow to affect global economies with resultant global environmental benefits.

Despite odds, the GEF has made progress towards achieving expectations on which it was created. Going forward there is a need to recognize that to meet existing and emerging expectations, the GEF has to be adequately funded. Stakeholders must join earnestly together to map these in a more carefully chartered journey to preserve and protect the environment.