ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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CONGRESS-Not Facing Facts

difficult. India, the second largest recipient, has invested $143 million in a dozen projects. Of these, only six are in slow operation while the others have not begun. In the last four years, the only GEF project to have been officially completed in December last is the Asia Least-cost Greenhouse Gas Abatement Strategy (ALGGAS) which will provide an inventory of emissions by sources and sinks. This will help in the development of a national action plan towards reducing greenhouse gases. Three of the projects under the UNDP are in the area of small hydel resource development in hilly regions and two others, under the World Bank, are on alternative energy development. In the various interventions and speeches by Indian delegates, it was pointed out that several important alternative energy projects need critical funding. This is even more true of nationally important concerns such as vehicular pollution, coastal land conservation, etc, The Delhi statement, in response to this concern, has laid emphasis on "country ownership of GEF projects" and GEF will focus more on national priorities and allow for country- driven efforts. But it is equally important that even as GEF procedures are simplified, bureaucratic hurdles to smoother coordination between the MoEF and the DEA be removed quickly. In fact, the process of reordering or at least modifying the economic reform process to reflect and accommodate ecological priorities needs to be given a jump start. In the absence of such efforts, GEF projects will remain isolated endeavours. To give some very obvious illustrations, the seeking of GEF funding for projects to control vehicular pollution can only become viable if supported by a reasonable and well integrated transport policy; or projects for water resource management through small dams will he duplicated more rapidly if the current indiscriminate emphasis on large dams and projects is abandoned: and then again, if biodiversity is to be preserved and ecological and environmental issues are to become concerns of economic policy, the integration should start with the planning process.

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