Chile and the GEF: sustainable development with equity and environmental justice

September 26, 2016

Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile.
Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile.

By Mr. Pablo Badenier, Minister of the Environment, Chile

Over the past 25 years, the GEF has made a most considerable contribution to protecting the global environment through significant activities which have benefited various ecosystems. Chile has been an active participant in GEF activities and has had the privilege of implementing several GEF projects which have strengthened our country´s environment and sustainable development.

From 1992 to the present, the GEF has funded around 60 projects related to all focal areas, including global, regional, national projects and enabling activities. We have undertaken full and medium-sized projects and successfully completed our participation in the very successful Small Grants Programme, which has had a considerable impact in urban and rural communities with the participation of municipalities, NGOs, and civil society organisations in general. Lately, Chile has endeavoured to mainstream projects to the private sector and academia.

Chile has developed a working relationship with several implementing agencies, and particularly with UNDP and FAO, which have representation in the country. We have also developed projects with the World Bank, UNEP, UNIDO, the Inter-American Development Bank, and CAF, the development bank of Latin America.

The country's first Multiple Use Marine Protected Areas were created as a result of a GEF project. It was also possible, thanks to a GEF project, to provide electricity for rural areas from renewable energy. Other GEF projects have addressed energy efficiency, solar energy production, waste disposal, exotic invasive species, persistent organic pollutants, a system for monitoring forests, important inherited agricultural systems, transport and clean air, ecosystem services, and conserving endangered species and wetlands, as well as marine conservation.

Chile is in the process of instituting a new public service for public, private, marine and terrestrial protected areas and biodiversity, and this, too, has been significantly nurtured by a GEF project.

Chile’s Environment Ministry wishes to express our country’s gratitude and recognition to the GEF for its work as the world's most important source of funding for environmental projects. We also thank donors for their generosity, commitment and care, and acknowledge and thank the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel for its important work. And our country wishes to especially recognize and thank the GEF Secretariat’s teams for their support to recipient countries, for their contribution to capacity building, their technical assistance and their timely information and kindness.

We look forward to continuing our fruitful collaboration and joint work towards sustainable development, meeting global environmental goals that face growing demands and needs. Chile aims at achieving inclusive and sustainable development - ensuring equity and environmental justice - as stated by our President, Ms. Michelle Bachelet.