NAIROBI/PARIS, 9 June, 2006 – The Council of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has appointed Mrs. Monique Barbut, a French national working for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), to a three-year term as its Chief Executive Officer and Chairman.
Mrs. Barbut, who is currently the Director of UNEP’s Paris-based Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, will succeed Mr. Leonard Good who is retiring in July 2006. Her appointment is effective July 15, 2006.
The unanimous decision to elect Mrs. Barbut appears to have added a boost to the Council deliberations in Washington D.C. where governments are close to reaching a global agreement on a new four-year multi-billion dollar funding package for the GEF, the world’s leading financier of projects to protect the global environment.
Reacting to news of Mrs. Barbut’s appointment, UNEP’s Officer in Charge and Deputy Executive Director, Shafqat Kakakhel, expressed his heartfelt congratulations.
“As a key member of UNEP’s senior management group and dynamic leader of the expanding division of technology, industry and economics, Monique Barbut will be greatly missed,” said Mr. Kakakhel. “On behalf of all my UNEP colleagues, I would like to wish her every success in her new and challenging position.”
“Monique Barbut brought a wealth of experience in the field of international sustainable development finance to UNEP,” added Mr. Kakakhel. “Such experience will be invaluable as the GEF moves towards finalising its fourth financial replenishment, and starts implementation of new project activities on the ground,” he said.
As a member of the French delegation, Ms. Barbut was a key player in the financing negotiations at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, and played an active role in the creation of the GEF.
Mrs. Barbut has a distinguished track record of public service, including a long and varied career in France’s economic development bank, la Caisse Centrale de Cooperation Economique, and subsequently with the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), France’s principal executing agency for foreign aid.
Prior to joining UNEP in September 2003, she served as Executive Director for all Caribbean, Pacific and Indian Ocean activities at AFD.
About the GEF
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is an international financial mechanism with 176 member countries that addresses global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. GEF grants support projects in developing countries in the areas of biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer and persistent organic pollutants. GEF’s implementing agencies—the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and The World Bank—share credit for GEF’s measurable on-the-ground achievements.
Since its inception in 1991, GEF has achieved a strong track record of support to developing countries and countries with economies in transition, providing $6.2 billion in grants which has leveraged $20 billion in co-financing for over 1,800 projects in 140 countries. GEF has also made more than 4,000 small grants, up to $50,000 each, directly to nongovernmental organizations and community organizations.
UNEP has a key role in the GEF, catalyzing the development of scientific and technical analysis and advancing environmental management in GEF-financed activities. UNEP provides guidance on relating the GEF-financed activities to global, regional and national environmental assessments, policy frameworks and plans, and to international environmental agreements.
UNEP’s GEF operations are managed by the UNEP Division of Global Environmental Facility Coordination, which is based in Nairobi. See http://www.unep.org/gef
For more information please contact: Robert Bisset, UNEP Spokesperson for Europe on Tel: 33 1 44377613, Mobile: 33 6 22725842, E-mail: email@example.com or
Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson, Office of the Executive Director, on Tel: +254 20 62 3084; Mobile: +254 733 632 755, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
UNEP News Release