GEF 5 Biodiversity and SFM REDD+ Strategy Presented at the CBD COP10

October 18, 2010

Oct.18, 2010 - Nagoya, Japan

Noting that this event outlines key shifts in strategies from the Global Environment Facility’s fourth to fifth replenishments (GEF-4 and GEF-5), Mark Zimsky, GEF, said that these changes resulted from guidance from CBD COP-9.

Zimsky explained that protected areas continue to be a central focus, but that a theoretical shift from site-specific action to systemic approaches has occurred. He noted the increased robustness of the results-based management framework under GEF-5.

He outlined five objectives of the GEF-5 Biodiversity Strategy: improving the sustainability of protected area systems; mainstreaming biodiversity conservation and sustainable use into production landscapes/seascapes and sectors; integrating CBD obligations into national planning processes through enabling activities; building capacity to implement the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety; and building capacity on access and benefit-sharing (ABS).

Highlighting that the GEF is the largest financer of forests, providing US$1.5 billion supplemented by over US$4.5 billion in co-financing, Zimsky then introduced the GEF-5 Sustainable Forest Management/reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+) Program.

Zimsky said the Program aims to achieve multiple environmental benefits from improved management of all forest types. He explained that the GEF has a funding envelope of US$250 million for the Program and will contribute US$1 for every US$3 that countries provide through the three GEF Focal Areas on climate change, biodiversity and land degradation.

Yibin Xiang, CBD Secretariat, highlighted the GEF Secretariat’s willingness to incorporate CBD Secretariat recommendations into the GEF-5 strategy, including the provision of funding to renew and update National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans.

Responding to questions, Zimsky explained that the shift from a site to a systems approach does not mean that the GEF will no longer fund site-specific projects if these projects make sense from a systems perspective.

A United Nations Development Programme representative elaborated on their efforts to mainstream private sector involvement in biodiversity-related initiatives.

Participants also discussed: mechanisms under GEF-5 to stimulate multi-country initiatives; funding opportunities for climate change adaptation under GEF-5; the new System for Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR) under GEF-5; and the role of the private sector as a provider of innovative financing.


Mark Zimsky, GEF, stated that the GEF has increasingly shifted its focus to sustainable financing and representation over time.
  Yibin Xiang, CBD Secretariat, Yibin Xiang, applauded the GEF Secretariat for its inclusive and transparent development of the GEF-5 strategy.


Reported by Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI, Director, IISD Reporting Services
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