Twenty-nine nations pledge record support to Global Environment Facility

Source: Pixabay

What is Global Environment Facility?

The Global Environment Facility (GEF), established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, is a catalyst for action on the environment — and much more. The GEF unites 184 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. Through its strategic investments, the GEF works with partners to tackle the planet’s biggest environmental issues. 

It has provided around $22bn in grants and $119bn in co-financing to date from the date it was launched in 1991 to address environmental threats and protect biodiverse areas, on land and at sea. GEF investments have also averted more than 9 billion tons of carbon emissions to date and have helped Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States bolster their defenses against climate change and other threats.

GEF Eight Operating Cycle

Twenty-nine countries have jointly pledged more than $5 billion for the Global Environment Facility for its eight operating period (GEF-8). It is 30 per cent increase compared to its most recent four-year operating cycle. The new cycle will run from July 2022 to June 2026. Individual country pledges will be publicly announced in June.

This commitment provides major boost to international efforts to protect biodiversity and curb threats from climate change, plastics and toxic chemicals through collaborative action this decade. It is 30 per cent increase compared to its most recent four-year operating cycle.

Funds raised through the Global Environment Facility are distributed globally to help developing nations meet their obligations under UN agreements on the environment, including the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the UN’s biodiversity treaties.

Biodiversity protection represents the biggest share of GEF-8. This support will be vital to the achievement of the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature, which aims to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 through safeguards of land and ocean territory with globally important biodiversity.

Other priorities in GEF-8 include addressing threats from climate change, land degradation, and chemicals and waste, and alleviating pressures on the ocean and international waterways, with support for projects and programs as well as international negotiations and their outcomes. Much of the funding will be delivered through a set of 11 integrated programs that address multiple threats at once, such as environmental degradation linked to cities, food systems, plastics, water, and forest management.

The GEF’s expanded support in the coming four years will be crucial for the implementation of the new Global Biodiversity Framework, which is expected to be agreed at the Convention on Biological Diversity COP-15 summit later this year in Kunming, China. Early action grants provided by the GEF in its seventh funding period have laid the groundwork for these efforts to reduce species loss and protect critical ecosystems.

In its upcoming operating period, the GEF will continue to prioritize blended finance solutions and private sector engagement to mobilize additional funding for biodiversity, nature, and climate change. It will also work with governments to facilitate efficient, targeted funding, with engagement through an enhanced Country Support Program as well as knowledge exchange and learning initiatives connecting the GEF’s 184 member countries.

Source: Countries pledge record support to the Global Environment Facility

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