The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established 30 years ago on the eve of the Rio Earth Summit to tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, it has provided more than $21.5 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $117 billion in co-financing for more than 5,000 projects and programs. The GEF is the largest multilateral trust fund focused on enabling developing countries to invest in nature, and supports the implementation of major international environmental conventions including on biodiversity, climate change, chemicals, and desertification. It brings together 184 member governments in addition to civil society, international organization, and private sector partners. Through its Small Grants Programme, the GEF has provided support to more than 25,000 civil society and community initiatives in 135 countries.
The GEF Partnership agreed to a new direction in its work - set out in the Summary of the Negotiations of the Seventh Replenishment of the GEF - to achieve greater results and help to meet rising challenges. In combination with its traditional investments under the Conventions, the GEF is:
- Strategically focusing its investments to catalyze transformational change in key systems that are driving major environmental loss, in particular energy, cities and food;
- Prioritizing integrated projects and programs that address more than one global environmental problem at a time, building on the GEF's unique position and mandate to act on a wide range of global environmental issues; and
- Implementing new strategies and policies to enhance results, including stronger engagement with the private sector, indigenous peoples, and civil society, and an increased focus on gender equality.