Country Support Programme COUNTRY LEVEL COORDINATION ACTIVITIES IN IRAN Sub-regional Workshop for GEF Focal Points North Africa, Middle East, South & West Asia Bali, Indonesia, 2-3 December 2007 Overview of Iran’s Environment Coordination System Supreme Council of Environment National Committee on Sustainable Development National Committee on Climate Change National Committee on Stockholm Convention National Commission on Bio-diversity/ Biosafety National Committee on International Waters National Committee of Combating Desertification National Committee on GEF Iran’s Focal Points for GEF related global conventions Climate Change Convention Ministry of Foreign Affairs Stockholm Convention Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bio-diversity/Bio-safety Convention Ministry of Foreign Affairs Combating Desertification Ministry of Foreign Affairs Iran’s other Focal Points International Waters Ministry of Foreign Affairs Global Environment Facility Ministry of Foreign Affairs Operational Political Role of Ministry of Foreign Affairs The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been designated as the official Focal Point for the GEF related global conventions It cooperates on technical and operational aspects with other relevant Ministries and Organizations These Ministries and Organizations, according to their specific mandate, have been declared to the relevant Convention Secretariats as the Competent National Authorities Iran’s Competent National Authorities Biodiversity: Department of Environment (DOE) Climate Change: 1- Enabling Activities Project (DOE) 2- CDM Designated National Authority (DOE) Desertification & Land Degradation (Forest, Rangeland and Watershed Organization of Ministry of Agricultural Jihad) 1- Department for Deserts and Arid Lands (FRWO) 2- Department Forests (FRWO) Stockholm Convention: Department of Environment (DOE) International Waters: Ministry of Energy (MOE) Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol): (DOE) Iran’s National Committee on Sustainable Development National Committee on Sustainable Development (NCSD) - determines the policies and objectives of the various national sub-committees It also assigns the sub-committees with special tasks on important issues, as necessary. All national sub-committees including the GEF National Sub-Committee should periodically report back to the NCSD. Iran’s GEF Coordination System Ministry of Foreign Affairs GEF National Sub-Committee GEF/SGP Steering Committee Department for International Economic Affairs UNDP office-Tehran as National Coordinator of GEF/SGP in Iran Functions of Iran’s GEF National Sub-Committee The GEF National Sub-Committee along with other committees regularly hold sessions to discuss their program of work and the latest relevant developments. The National GEF Sub-Committee holds 3 to 4 sessions a year, in order to: • refresh and update its work program • get familiar with the latest GEF developments • build the necessary capacity for project concepts preparation • hear the progress report of the national GEF project directors • determine the limitations and obstacles in implementation of the projects • decide upon and coordinate the steps to be taken during each GEF replenishment period • request all ministries and organizations to be actively involved in submission of new project concepts for GEF-4 Members of Iran’s GEF National Sub-Committee Air Quality Control Company Department of Environment Environment NGOs Network Fisheries Organization Forest and Rangeland Organization Management and Planning Organization Meteorological Organization Ministry of Agricultural Jihad Ministry of Finance Ministry of Energy Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ministry of Health Ministry of Science and Higher Education Ministry of Industries and Mines Ministry of Petroleum Shipping and harbor organization Tehran University: Environment Branch Waste Recycling Organization Coordination on GEF/SGP-Iran SGP-Iran has been very active and recognized as very successful by UNDP/GEF; During SGP’s Operational Phase 1 and 2, it has absorbed about US$ 2 Million; In GEF-4, Iran has agreed to allocate US$ 1.6 million of its allocation under the RAF for SGP; The graduation system adopted by the GEF is regarded as a major threat to the achievements of the SGP-Iran, due to the cut in financing for SGP projects and disruption of the existing activities; Linking SGP activities/projects to the priorities and similar activities of domestic ministries/organizations could be regarded as a solution to the issue of up-scaling the SGP projects as well as financing its activities in the long run, in Iran Members of the National GEF/SGP Steering Committee Department of Environment Local communities: Caspian Zagros Persian Gulf Management and Planning Organization Ministry of Foreign Affairs Academic institutions: Tehran University GEF/SGP National Coordinator in Iran Activities of Iran’s GEF Operational Focal Point The GEF Operational Focal Point (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) held several rounds of bilateral consultation/discussion with various ministries and organizations to: • identify the areas of interest for possible cooperation with the GEF • assist in preparation of new project concepts for GEF-4 Weaknesses of the Existing GEF Coordination System * The existing monitoring and reporting system between the said national sub-committees (including that of the GEF and the NCSD) does not function properly; * Although, the national sub-committees including the GEF/NSC should periodically report back to the National Committee on Sustainable Development, in practice, both sides have not been able to stick to their tasks efficiently so far; * The interaction between the GEF National Sub-Committee and the GEF/SGP Steering Committee has improved considerably but up-scaling of the SGP projects to larger GEF projects is still at very low level; * Due to the lack of expertise as well as particular financial/human resources, some of the ministries and organizations have not been able to engage proactively in national GEF related activities; * The complexity of the rules and strategies of the GEF and its ongoing developments during recent years have deterred an effective and timely response by Iranian ministries on cooperation. What can be done to enhance the existing coordination system? All National GEF Project Directors should report to the National GEF SubCommittee meetings on their achievements, possible obstacles and the necessary steps to be taken, on a regular basis; Implementation of each GEF project should be reviewed annually by a tripartite review team consisting of the representatives of the GEF Implementing Agencies (UNDP, UNEP, WB), MFA and the national Executing Agency; The NCSD should invite the National GEF Sub-Committee to report on its activities twice a year. The NCSD should annually request the National GEF Sub-Committee to present a progress report for consideration of the Supreme Council of Environment. The lessons learned during the past years imply that the best way to convince the domestic ministries/organizations for cooperation with the GEF and project preparation is through mutual channels and not through the GEF Sub-committee.