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BP 10.20 - Global Environment Facility Operations

These policies were prepared for use by World Bank staff and are not necessarily a complete treatment of the subject.
BP 10.20
July, 2009

Note: OP/BP 10.20 replaces OD 9.01, Procedures for Investment Operations under the Global Environment Facility, dated May 1992, and the Operational Memorandum New Procedures for Global Environment Facility Operations, July 6, 1995. Guidelines to assist staff in processing Global Environment Facility operations are available at the World Bank Group-GEF Operations internal website.


Questions should be addressed to the GEF Executive Coordinator (ENVGC). 

General Considerations

1.  The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established to assist in the protection of the global environment and promote environmentally sound and sustainable economic development.1 Bank2 procedures apply to the processing of Global Environment Facility (GEF) grants,3 except when BPs expressly exclude their application or restrict it to full-size projects.

Additional Processing Steps/Clearances

2.  In addition to Bank procedures, GEF operations are subject to the following processing steps and clearances, in accordance with procedures that have been approved by the GEF Council:

(a)  Before project preparation and preappraisal, the GEF Secretariat approves GEF grants for entry into the GEF pipeline.

(b)  The GEF Regional Coordinator clears requests for project identification and preparation and for appraisal missions, and receives the aide-mémoire regarding such missions.

(c)  If Project Preparation Grant (PPG) resources are used to develop a project, a completion report on the use of that project’s grant is a condition for the activation of the grant’s trust fund account.

(d)  An extension of the deadline for signing or effectiveness requires clearance by the GEF Regional Coordinator, after he/she consults the GEF Executive Coordinator (ENVGC).

(e)  The country director and the task team leader (TTL), after consulting the GEF Regional Coordinator, determine whether a project change is significant or minor.  Significant changes are approved by the GEF Council or GEF Secretariat, whichever approved the project. Project restructuring and amendments to GEF Grant Agreements are cleared by the GEF Regional Coordinator. 

(f)  An initial extension of the closing date of a GEF grant is cleared by the GEF Regional Coordinator. Any subsequent extension is cleared by the GEF Executive Coordinator (ENVGC).  Once the extension notification has been signed by the country director or other appropriate Bank official, the TTL sends a copy of it to the GEF Regional Coordinator and the Trust Funds Accounting Clearance Team.

(g)  A notice of suspension of disbursement, of threatened suspension, or of the lifting of suspension for a GEF grant is cleared by the GEF Regional Coordinator. The GEF CEO is notified of decisions to suspend GEF grants and lift suspensions.

(h)  Internal memoranda proposing cancellations of GEF grant amounts, as well as cancellation notices to a GEF grant recipient, are cleared by the GEF Executive Coordinator (ENVGC), after consultation with the GEF Secretariat.

(i)  Once the notification of project closing has been signed by the country director or other appropriate Bank official, the TTL sends a copy to the GEF Regional Coordinator and the Trust Funds Accounting Clearance Team.


Special Considerations

Full-Size Projects

Preappraisal and Appraisal

3.  The GEF Regional Coordinator is invited to the decision meeting, receives the relevant documentation, and clears the preappraisal package.

4.  The GEF Council’s approval of a GEF grant for its work program is a condition for project appraisal.  The GEF Regional Coordinator clears the negotiations package and requests the establishment of a trust fund account for the GEF grant. 

Board Presentation 

5.  Endorsement of a GEF grant by the GEF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is a condition for Board presentation.  GEF grants are presented to the Board under streamlined procedures, unless an associated operation is presented under regular procedures.  In such a case, the processing of the GEF grant follows the same procedures as those applicable to the associated operation. 

Statutory Committee Report, Legal Opinion, and Letter on Financial and Economic Data

6.  A Statutory Committee Report is not required for a GEF grant. An opinion satisfactory to the Bank of counsel acceptable to the Bank is, as a rule, not required, unless the process of approval of the GEF grant in the country concerned, or another reason, requires otherwise.  A Letter on Financial and Economic Data is not required for a GEF grant.

Implementation Completion Report

7.  The TTL transmits a draft Implementation Completion Report (ICR) to the GEF Executive Coordinator (ENVGC) and the GEF Regional Coordinator for comment. The TTL sends a copy of the final ICR to the GEF Executive Coordinator (ENVGC), the GEF Regional Coordinator, and the GEF Evaluation Office.  For each ICR, the Independent Evaluation Group distributes its evaluative note to the GEF Executive Coordinator (ENVGC), the GEF Regional Coordinator concerned, and the GEF Evaluation Office, for information and comment.


Medium-Size Projects (MSPs), Expedited Enabling Activities, National Capacity Self-Assessment Projects, and Project Preparation Grant Activities

Identification and Preparation (MSPs only)

8.  The project proponent prepares the project concept with the assistance of the TTL. The GEF Regional Coordinator reviews the project concept for GEF eligibility.  The TTL prepares the concept stage Integrated Safeguard Data Sheet (ISDS) following standard Regional practice.  Upon confirmation of GEF eligibility, the TTL requests the proponent to prepare the project brief.

9.  The TTL reviews the project brief and, if necessary, conducts a field visit to determine the technical merits of the proposal. If the Bank requires an environmental assessment, a resettlement instrument, or an indigenous peoples’ development plan, the TTL sends that document to the InfoShop at least 21 days before approval.


10.  The TTL submits the project brief to the GEF Regional Coordinator for transmission to the GEF Secretariat. Once the GEF CEO has approved the project or activity, the TTL prepares the documentation package for Bank approval.

11.  The TTL obtains the clearances of the procurement officer, the lawyer, the GEF Regional Coordinator, and the sector manager/leader. The GEF Regional Coordinator requests the Trust Funds Accounting Clearance Team to issue a trust fund (TF) number for the cleared package.  Once a TF number has been assigned and the package has been finalized and cleared, the TTL submits two execution copies of the Grant Agreement, prepared by the lawyer, to the country director for approval and signature, together with the accompanying project brief. The TTL then sends the two signed execution copies of the Grant Agreement, with the accompanying project brief, to the grant recipient for countersignature.  The grant recipient retains one of the countersigned execution copies and returns the other to the TTL.


12.  On receiving the countersigned execution copy of the Grant Agreement, the TTL sends it to the lawyer and a copy to the Trust Funds Accounting Clearance team with the request that a TF account be activated.4 

Supervision (MSPs and Expedited Enabling Activities only)

13.  The TTL reports project progress on MSPs and Expedited Enabling Activities through the Bank’s institutional Grant Reporting and Monitoring (GRM).5


14.  The TTL prepares a completion report within six months after the closing date of the project or activity. For MSPs, National Capacity Assessment Projects, and Expedited Enabling Activities, the TTL uses the Implementation Completion Memorandum (ICM) template provided by Trust Fund Operations (TFO) and available at the GRM page of the consolidated TF website, preparing the form in accordance with the MSP guidelines (available on the GEF website).6 The TTL submits the draft completion report  to the GEF Regional Coordinator for review and clearance in accordance with Regional practices.  After obtaining all Regional clearances, the TTL submits the completion report to the GEF Executive Coordinator (ENVGC), with a copy to the GEF Evaluation Office.

15.  For PPGs, the TTL uses the Completion Memorandum provided by ENVGC and available at the Bank GEF operations portal page.7 The TTL submits the PPG Completion Memorandum to the GEF Executive Coordinator (ENVGC) through the GEF Regional Coordinator.

  1. Preamble to the Instrument for the Establishment of the Restructured Global Environment Facility (the GEF Instrument), adopted by the Bank’s Executive Directors on May 24, 1994 (Resolution No. 94-2.
  2. For the purposes of this BP, “Bank” means the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
  3. Throughout this BP, “grant” includes concessional financing.
  4. Activation of a TF account is subject to certain conditions established by the GEF Executive Coordinator (ENVGC), as outlined in the processing guidelines available on the Bank’s GEF Operations internal website: SECTORS/INTRANETENVIRONMENT/ GLOBALENVIRONMENTFACILITYGEFOPERATIONS/0,,menuPK:285952~pagePK:151716~piPK:176772~theSitePK:285946,00.html. 
  5. The GRM is a web-based tool for the TTL to provide qualitative reports on the progress and results of grant-financed activities. Guidelines and detailed information about the use of the GRM are available at the GRM page of the consolidated TF website: INTRANET/OPERATIONS/INTOPETRUFUN/ 0,,contentMDK:21178862~menuPK:3302015~pagePK:64168332~piPK:64168299~theSitePK:1051751,00.html.
  6. SECTORS/INTRANETENVIRONMENT/GLOBALENVIRONMENTFACILITYGEFOPERATIONS/ 0,,contentMDK:20192184~menuPK:292839~pagePK:210082~piPK:210098~theSitePK:285946,00.html.
  7. INTRANETENVIRONMENT/GLOBALENVIRONMENTFACILITYGEFOPERATIONS/ 0,,contentMDK:20154474~menuPK:292838~pagePK:210082~piPK:210098~theSitePK:285946,00.html.

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