The Global Environment Facility has received pledges from 29 countries totalling more than $5 billion. This provides a significant boost to international efforts in this decade to conserve biodiversity, curb climate change, plastics, toxic chemicals, and other threats.
The new support totals $5.25billion and increases the GEFs funding nearly 30% compared with its most recent four year operating cycle. It comes at a crucial moment for developing countries, whose ability to address worsening environmental problems has been limited by rising inflation and fiscal pressures from COVID-19.
This replenishment is vital for both the GEF programs and projects in the world as well as the global environmental benefits that they produce. It is a clear signal that the international community is willing to work together on the tough issues that must be addressed in order to restore the health and well-being of the planet. Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CEO/Chairperson of the GEF.
We can all be proud that the GEF replenishment has produced a strong result, which strengthens the Global Environment Facility’s role as an environmental agency for the benefit both of nature and humans. Akihiko Nisho, Vice President of Development Finance at the World Bank and Co-Chair for the replenishment process. The GEF has never been more well-equipped to tackle global environmental issues than this moment, when the planet is facing unprecedented risks and challenges.
The GEF is the principal source of funding for biodiversity protection worldwide and is the only multilateral fund that covers all aspects of environment health.
Its policy and financial support helps developing nations meet their obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Small Island Developing States are pleased with the increase in funding for the GEF’s eighth replenishment. This will allow them to be more ambitious on many fronts that require transformational change. Caroline Eugene, Saint Lucia’s former Operational Focal Point for the GEF, who represented Small Island Developing States at the replenishment negotiations. We are grateful for the efforts of the GEF in bringing together national and international priorities and working in an integrated manner to achieve global environmental benefits. This will help to strengthen resilience in the post-COVID-19 era.
Germany is a strong advocate for the Global Environment Facility. It brings together countries and stakeholders in order to tackle environmental problems in a way that no other institution can. This strong GEF-8 replenishment is great news for our efforts to address species loss and climate change. Jrgen Zattler, Director General for International Development Policy and United Nations Agenda 2030 Agenda and Social and Environmental Transformation in Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The largest portion of the GEF’s eighth programming period (known as GEF-8), which will run from June 2022 to June 2026, will be dedicated to protecting biodiversity. This support is vital for the achievement of the Leaders Take a Pledge for NatureThe aims to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 using safeguards of land- and ocean territory that contain globally important biodiversity.
GEF-8 also prioritizes addressing climate change, land degradation, chemicals and waste, as well as reducing pressures on international waterways and oceans. It supports projects and programs, as well as international negotiations and the outcomes. The majority of funding will be provided through 11 integrated programs that address multiple threats, including environmental degradation linked to cities and food systems, water, and forest management.
GEF’s continued support over the next four year will be vital for the implementation and maintenance of the new Global Biodiversity Framework. It is expected that the framework will be adopted at the Convention on Biological Diversity COP-15 summit, which is scheduled to take place in Kunming (China) later this summer. GEF’s seventh funding period provided early action grants that have set the stage for these efforts to reduce species losses and protect critical ecosystems.
GEF’s eighth replenishment was a strong signal of international support for ecosystems conservation and living harmoniously in nature. We look forward building on this momentum for COP-15, and pursuing a new Global Biodiversity Framework whose execution will benefit from GEF support. Yu Weiping, Vice Minister of Finance in China.
We are happy to welcome the ambitious GEF-8 replenishment plan and its increased focus upon biodiversity. Sylvie Lemmet is the French Ambassador for Environment. The GEF-8 period will see a significant increase in funds allocated to the biodiversity focal zone, which will reach 36 percent of total. The goal is for 60 percent of all GEF funding to be co-benefits for biodiversity. This includes a special focus on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). This extraordinary effort reaffirms that the donor community is committed to financing the implementation a future post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
GEF-8 replenishment is an important outcome of the international momentum toward sustainable development. It will be a positive signal to the biodiversity conference COP-15 and to address the plastics challenges. Lee White, Gabons Minister of Water, Forests and the Sea, is speaking as the regional representative for the GEFs Africa constituency.
The GEF was founded in 1991. Since then, it has provided close to $22 billion worth of grants and mobilized $119 million in co-financing. This money is used to address environmental threats and protect biodiversity on land as well as at sea. GEF investments have prevented more than 9 billion tons carbon emissions and helped Least Developed Countries (SIDS) to strengthen their defenses against climate change.
The GEF will continue to prioritise blended finance solutions and private sector involvement to mobilize additional funding to support biodiversity, nature, climate change, and other issues. It will also work with government to facilitate efficient and targeted funding. This will be done through enhanced Country Support Programs as well as knowledge exchanges and learning initiatives linking the 184 member countries of the GEF.
Brazil has a long history with the Global Environment Facility. Not only as a major recipient country, but also as a contributor. We are happy to continue to support GEF-8 as a donor and see an ambitious replenishment of the fund as an opportunity to strengthen the fund’s role as a provider for means of implementation to all countries in order to deliver global environmental benefits. Renato Barros de Aguiar Leonardi, Brazils GEF Council Member.
We are happy to support a strong replenishment of GEF-8. All stakeholders have reached a consensus on the programming directions and policy package to support and strengthen the mandate of the GEFs. GEF-8 is a significant step towards achieving our goal for a Healthy Planet, Healthy People. Indias GEF Council Member Rajesh Khullar.
It is essential that the GEF’s innovation capacity is used to find solutions that combine public-private sources of financing. The strong replenishment signaled that the GEF will continue to lead in blended finance for climate and SDGs 14 & 15. Life below water and life on land. Joan Larrea, CEO of Convergence, is a Member of GEFs Advisory Group of Financial Experts.
GEFs approach includes a commitment that all projects and programs include a small grant programme to support grassroots initiatives.
Global efforts to address environmental problems require the support of civil society organizations. They will play an important role in ensuring that GEF supported initiatives have the greatest impact in the crucial years ahead. I am grateful for the support given by the GEF CSO Network which includes more than 500 civil societies organizations. I also appreciate the willingness to work with all stakeholders to achieve game-changing results. Sano Akhteruzzaman is Chair of the GEF CSO Network.
The five negotiating sessions between GEFs donors (developed and developing countries) concluded with the signing of the joint pledges. GEF Council in June will likely make further donations. Individual country pledges will be made public.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused all of the GEF-8 replenishment talks to be held virtually. They included representatives from civil society and other environmental financiers, including the Adaptation Fund or Green Climate Fund, as well as the GEFs recipient nations and 18 implementing agency partners.
For more information, please visit: https://www.thegef.org/who-we-are/funding/gef-8-replenishment