Main Issue

As national economies develop, river basin water resources are progressively diverted, channeled, dammed and consumed. This creates conflicts over water uses within countries and diminishes potential uses downstream. Many countries use up to 85 percent of their water for irrigation. The drive to produce food and generate foreign exchange from agricultural exports can outweigh environmental and health concerns. Read more+

What We Do

By taking an integrated water resource management (IRWM) approach, the GEF brings stakeholders together to balance competing water uses and secure local benefits for their communities. Whether it is the Niger River Basin or the Amazon River Basin, GEF projects are helping governments to work together on these important regional issues.

Our approach targets legal, policy and institutional reforms to address priority threats. It supports regional institutional development, provides technical assistance and investments. And it offers a forum for nations to discuss and resolve conflicting views in a transparent manner.


The GEF has invested more than US$1.1 billion investment in more than 50 international waters projects. Through these projects, the GEF and its partners are helping countries on four continents to improve their understanding and shared management of more than 30 lake and river basins. Read more+