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Advice to Council 96-05 — North American Fund for Environmental Cooperation (NAFEC)

The Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC):

IN ACCORDANCE with the request of Council has reviewed the Selection Committee’s proposed amendments to the NAFEC Administration and Funding Guidelines of the North American Fund for Environmental Cooperation (NAFEC); and

NOTING that the proposed changes to the guidelines strengthen the NAFTA orientation of the fund, emphasize sustainability and equitable partnerships, and clarify procedural submission requirements; and

SUPPORTING the Selection Committee’s inclusion of language regarding confidentiality of submissions; and

OFFERING recommendations aimed at enhancing the fund’s performance while strengthening the linkage between fund priorities and CEC work program objectives; and

RECOGNIZING that financing the North American Fund for Environmental Cooperation through the CEC (20% of the 1997 overall budget) places a considerable strain on resources available to the CEC for carrying out its mandate (see Advice to Council 96-4); and

CONFIDENT that the new approaches proposeds in the guidelines will bolster the linkages between the NAFEC, the CEC program, and the North American NGO community.

HEREBY RESOLVES that the JPAC advise the Council to adopt the Selection Committee’s amendments to the guidelines (see NAFEC Administration and Funding Guidelines), with the two changes noted below:

  1. Section V 1.b: The grant ceiling will be CAN $100,000 per year.
  2. Section V 1.d: Requests for multi-year grants will be accepted. Multi-year grants will however be dependent on the availability of funds and subjects to review each year;
  3. Section V 4: Urgent Request Fund (instead of Discretionary Fund); and

FURTHER RESOLVES that the JPAC advise the Council to:

  1. Convert the NAFEC to a CEC project-specific support program;
  2. Direct the Secretariat to clarify fund objectives for NGOs with project-specific Request for Proposals defining tasks, including both technical and institutional roles, recognizing there could be small sub-tasks for an NGO in each country;
  3. Continue to use the Selection Committee (with input from each CEC project manager) to select the most successful proposals (technical, institutional, cost, and leveraging with other NGOs, governments, indigenous peoples);
  4. Direct project managers, after selections are made, to work closely with the NGOs to optimize NGO contributions to project development and implementation;
  5. Assign NAFEC staff to work with foundations, industry organizations, and governments to identify private sources of funds to solicit support for capacity building funding of NGOs. For example, request the NAFEC staff to work with the CEC Communication Coordinator to broaden and improve CEC contacts with NGO networks in the three countries in order to help them to have access to internet; and
  6. Instruct the CEC Secretariat to perfect detailed guidance on this advice.