ISLAMABAD - As a part of the celebration of 2009 as the "National Year of Environment", Global Environment Facility (GEF) National Dialogue Initiative (NDI) is going to be held from today (Tuesday) with the objective to provide an opportunity for consultations on global environmental management and national development issues. The Federal Minister for Environment Hameed Ullah Jan Afridi will inaugurate the national dialogue participated by government agencies, international organisations, academics, non-governmental organisations and research institutions having a vast expertise in relation to environment. A press release issued here on Monday stated that while giving the detail of the National Dialogue GEF Focal Point and Additional Secretary Ministry of Environment Imtiaz Inayat Elahi told that this event has been organised as one of the major activity of the National Year of Environment 2009. He apprised that the two-day National Dialogue is designed to facilitate country level dialogues on GEF related issues and themes. He informed that the aim is also to promote awareness about GEF structure, policies, procedures and adaptation funds for increasing the capacity of stakeholders for effectively implementing environmental policies and programmes. He said that the event would help improve GEF coordination mechanism and sharing best practices (lesson learnt); highlight the experience and role of GEF Agencies and to overview their comparative advantages in project preparation and implementation. "Activity would chalk out national priorities in focal areas for availing GEF funds during remaining period of GEF-4 (2008-10) within a strategic approach, and discuss preliminary areas of interest for GEF-5", he added. He informed that the GEF National Dialogue Initiative (NDI) is tailored to facilitate a series of country level dialogues on GEF related issues and themes. National Dialogues aim to raise awareness about the GEF, strengthen country level coordination and ownership, and clarify and address country GEF needs and priorities linked to national development strategies. He continued that National Dialogues would provide a forum for consultations on global environmental management and national sustainable development issues in GEF recipient countries. Describing the mandate of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Additional Secretary said that GEF is a global partnership among 178 countries. He said that GEF works with international institutions, government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues, while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. The GEF is the designated financial mechanism for a number of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) or conventions. The guiding conventions for GEF are: Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs); and UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).