On Sunday, 19th June, civil society observers to the Adaptation Fund Board met with more than ten Adaptation Fund Board members for an informal dialogue session preceding the 14th AFB meeting. This was the first time that the AFB arranged an extra meeting with civil society. At the past two meetings of the AFB, there were brief one-hour dialogues at the very end of the meeting, which of course is productive only to a limited extent, given decisions were already taken and AFB members were waiting to catch their planes. Thus, this first real dialogue with civil society was quite important. Two key issues for debate, as suggested by civil society, were inputs to the review of the Operational Policies and Guidelines (OPG) and options for further engagement of civil society.
Presentations were given by Sven Harmeling from Germanwatch on proposed changes to the OPGs. Rob Verheem from the Netherlands Commission for Environment Assessment presented on different approaches for Environmental Impact Assessments. This was followed by a good exchange and questions from AFB members. In terms of actual impacts, the AFB already agreed on the OPGs in Bonn, earlier than expected, so the specific suggestions made by civil society could only be taken on board to a very limited extent. Nevertheless, there was the general perception that this kind of dialogue is quite useful, and the AFB decided to hold a similar event at the 16th AFB meeting right after the COP in Durban in December.
Sven Harmeling, Germanwatch