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. Through its strategic investments, the GEF works with partners to tackle the planet’s biggest environmental issues. Our funding also helps reduce poverty, strengthen governance and achieve greater equality between women and men. As such, we occupy a unique space in the global partnership for a more sustainable planet.
The GEF is…
- A UNIQUE PARTNERSHIP of 18 agencies — including United Nations agencies, multilateral development banks, national entities and international NGOs — working with 183 countries to address the world’s most challenging environmental issues. The GEF has a large network of civil society organizations, works closely with the private sector around the world, and receives continuous inputs from an independent evaluation office and a world-class scientific panel.
- A FINANCIAL MECHANISM for 5 major international environmental conventions: the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
- AN INNOVATOR AND CATALYST that supports multi-stakeholder alliances to preserve threatened ecosystems on land and in the oceans, build greener cities, boost food security and promote clean energy for a more prosperous, climate-resilient world; leveraging $5.2 in additional financing for every $1 invested. Read more +
Over the past 25 years, the GEF has supported a range of notable achievements:
- Creation of more than 3,300 protected areas covering 860 million hectares, an area larger than Brazil.
- Conservation-friendly management of more than 352 million hectares of productive landscapes and seascapes
- 790 climate change mitigation projects contributing to 2.7 billion tonnes of GHG emission reductions.
- Sustainable management of 34 transboundary river basins in 73 countries.
- Improved cooperation and governance of one-third of the world’s large marine ecosystems.
- Sound management and disposal of 200,000 tons of highly toxic Persistent Organic Pollutants.
- Climate change adaptation to reduce the vulnerability of more than 15 million people in 130 countries.
Environmental threats are growing on a global scale. Although the GEF has had a huge impact in addressing these threats, it recognizes the need for a more comprehensive vision.
The 2020 Strategy positions the GEF as a champion of the global environment. It sets out a blueprint for tackling the root causes of environmental degradation through core projects and innovative pilots, while delivering cost-effective, high-impact results. To do all this, the GEF will mobilize local and global stakeholders — from national and local governments to the private sector to civil society, including indigenous peoples and research institutions.