While many delegates feared that the COP would be consumed by tedious procedural debate, GEF discussions on Tuesday re-opened the proverbial Pandoras box proving once again that OECD and G-77 countries are polarized as ever on the financial mechanism, although not as divided as in Nairobi. While the EU and other Northern governments expressed their unanimous support for the GEF as the institutional structure for the financial mechanism, it is evident that the G-77 is itself divided on t he issue. The G-77s acceptance of the GEF as the interim measure has shown a certain degree of conciliation. Nevertheless, the debate within the group has pitted certain countries, such as China, who appear ready to support the GEF as a possible permanent mechanism against those countries, such as
Malaysia and Brazil, who continue to object to the GEF and prefer the consideration of a separate mechanism altogether. Unless a strong indication is given from this COP, man y Northern governments are concerned that funding for biod iversity projects in the immediate future will be jeopardized. But as well, they will face increasing difficulties in mobilizing support for future replenishment of the GEF back in national capitals. The irony in this debate is that the GEF Council is comprised of many of the same governments as those represented here in the COP. However, the fact that many delegations brought their GEF Council members is an indication of the potential for greater understanding and coordinati on between the COP and the GEF.