Who can apply and How

Who can Apply

The GEF funds a broad array of project types that vary depending on the scale of GEF resources, the project needs and the issue addressed. In order to be approved, each project follows a specific project cycle.

Each GEF country member has designated an officer responsible for  GEF activities, known as GEF Operational Focal Point , who plays a key role in assuring that  GEF projects are aligned to meet the needs and priorities of the respective country.

To be taken into consideration a project proposal has to fulfill the following criteria:

  • It is undertaken in an eligible country. It is consistent with national priorities and programs.
  • It addresses one or more of the GEF Focal Areas, improving the global environment or advance the prospect of reducing risks to it.
  • It is consistent with the GEF operational strategy.
  • It seeks GEF financing only for the agreed-on incremental costs on measures to achieve global environmental benefits
  • It involves the public in project design and implementation.
  • It is endorsed by the government(s) of the country/ies in which it will be implemented.
Community-based organizations (CBOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have the opportunity to apply for GEF grants through the Small Grants Programme.


How to Apply

Before drafting a project proposal, the applicant should contact the country GEF Operational Focal Point and verify that the proposal complies with the criteria mentioned above. If there are doubts about the eligibility of the project, it is advisable to have an informal consultation with the GEF Secretariat (Country Relation Officers in the External Affairs team).

GEF Agencies assist eligible applicants in the development, implementation, and management of GEF projects. They are the channel between countries and the GEF for the project approval process and participate in GEF governance as well as in the development of GEF policies and programs. The choice on the Agency should be based on its respective comparative advantages as stated in the document Comparative Advantages of the GEF Agencies Corrigendum.

Once these preparatory steps are taken, the proponent should develop the Project Identification Form (PIF), in close coordination with the GEF Agency and following the internal project cycle procedures. Once the PIF is ready, the Agency will submit it to the GEF Secretariat for approval.