The 36th meeting of the GEF Council convened in Washington on 12 November 2009 adopted the System for Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR)
which replaces the Resource Allocation Framework (RAF) implemented under the GEF-4 replenishment. For the first time in the history of the GEF, the STAR makes it possible for all eligible countries to access GEF resources for activities to combat land degradation (desertification and deforestation). Under the STAR, each individual country has access to an indicative allocation of resources for the focal areas of biodiversity, climate change and land degradation, while group allocations used in GEF 4 have been discontinued.
Focal Area Land degradation
Under the STAR, each individual country has access to an indicative allocation of resources for the focal areas of biodiversity, climate change and land degradation
The country allocations took into consideration three important criteria for the Focal Area:
1. extent of drylands,
2. area affected by land degradation, and
3. population affected by land degradation.
Of the total $405 million allocated under this system to the Land Degradation Focal Area, $324 million was allocated directly to countries.
The STAR includes a flexibility scheme that benefits 63 countries with small allocations in each of the three focal areas. This flexibility allows countries to combine allocations across focal areas – up to $7 million - as appropriate for achieving focal area objectives. This feature is of particular importance to the UNCCD because most of the countries with such flexibility could potentially direct their STAR resources toward sustainable land management, which has the potential to generate multiple benefits for people and the environment. A minimum allocation (floor) for the LD focal area was decided upon which stipulates that $0.5 M is assigned to each eligible country for it to plan and implement. Contrary to the total amount allocated to each individual country, the floors are kept at the same levels for the simulations for all three replenishment scenarios.