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GEF Council Approves Record US$607 million Work Program

Global Environment Facility funding commitment also leverages $4.4 billion in co-financing, reflecting 'catalyst' nature of global environmental efforts


Washington D.C, June 7, 2012 – The Global Environment Facility's governing Council today completed its 42nd meeting approving the largest work program to date for addressing global environmental challenges.


The 32-member GEF Council unanimously approved an allocation of US$607 million for 84 new stand-alone projects, two conceptual programmatic approaches, and 13 projects under previously-approved programmatic approaches. In all, 111 countries stand to benefit from projects supported by these funds. Those funds will be bolstered by $4.4 billion in co-financing – funds raised from other sources such as non-governmental organizations, international institutions, the private sector, regional authorities, and recipient governments.

This co-financing ratio of $7.25 to $1 is significantly higher than the historical GEF average for cofinancing of $4.7 to $1. It reflects the effort by GEF CEO and Chairperson Monique Barbut to obtain maximum leverage from the resources GEF raises from among its 182 member nations.

"The GEF is not just a funder of global environmental projects," Barbut said, "It is a catalyst generating much broader financial support for addressing threats to our environment and toward our endeavors to bolster local and national economies through sustainable development."

Barbut was attending her last GEF Council meeting as CEO. Her second term as head of the GEF expires July 31st. The Council today unanimously named Naoko Ishii of Japan as her successor.

The work program involves the distribution of funds across all of the GEF's focal areas, including climate, international waters, persistent organic pollutants, desertification, biodiversity and ozone depleting substances. The Council expressed unanimous support for the robustness of the work program, congratulating the Secretariat, the donor nations, participating countries, the GEF's Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel, and the GEF Agencies for the work in putting together the ambitious program.


This latest GEF work program is remarkable not only for its size but also due to key innovations. The program seeks to address environment issues in a more holistic and comprehensive manner than has been typical previously. It is a strategy that reflects the growing understanding in the environmental community of the interrelationship of threats to the environment such as desertification and climate change, marine degradation and destructive land-use practices, and so on. In this program, 25 of the 84 projects cover multi-focal areas.


Among the single focal area projects, there are 23 in biodiversity, 26 in the climate change field, with the remainder split among a variety of focal areas. The work program includes notable large-impact programs. For example:

The Council endorsed two public-private partnership programmatic approaches for a total of more than US$35 million in climate change and bio-diversity. One program will enable the scaling up of renewable energy technologies on the African continent, contribute to the delivery of universal power supply in the region, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the African Continent. The other program will invest in clean energy and protection of natural resources in Latin America, creating partnership with indigenous communities, reducing deforestation, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

A global project in land degradation and encompassing 47 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, will finance activities in support of National Action Programs (NAPSs) to help bring them into alignment with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification 10-Year Strategy and reporting process.


A regional project involving Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St. Vincent and Grenadines, involves the implementation of Integrated Land, Water, and Wastewater Management in Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) has been approved with a grant of US$20 million. The aim is to accelerate the achievement of global targets on access to safe and reliable water supplies and improved sanitation. The project will enhance the functioning of ecosystems of global importance within the Caribbean Sea basin and Caribbean SIDS. In particular, it addresses adaptation to climate change through an integrated approach to water, land and ecosystem services management. It involves policy development, institutional and legislative reforms, improved technologies and methodologies. Ultimately, the best practices developed under this project may prove applicable across the globe.


The GEF Council expressed its continued support for the establishment of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), being set up under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This innovative initiative involves GEF efforts in the climate technology sector with about $9 million committed to each of three regions, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe and Central Asia.


As all documents and information resources, all GEF information related to the 42nd Council Meeting and anterior Council Meetings, and further background on the GEF can be found on the website 

Mr. John Diamond
Senior Communication Officer | Spokesperson
Phone +1 202 458 7953




About the Global Environment Facility
The GEF unites 182 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. Today the GEF is the largest public funder of projects to improve the global environment. An independently operating financial organization, the GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants.
Since 1991, the GEF has achieved a strong track record with developing countries and countries with economies in transition, providing $10.5 billion in grants and leveraging $51 billion in co-financing for over 2,700 projects in over 165 countries. Through its Small Grants Programme (SGP), the GEF has also made more than 14,000 small grants directly to civil society and community based organizations, totaling $634 million. For more information, visit

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