UNIDO and the GEF: promoting inclusive and sustainable industrial development

July 1, 2016

Photo: Mathias Appel via Flickr CC
Photo: Mathias Appel via Flickr CC

Two recent milestones – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement–have underscored the global community’s commitment to climate change mitigation. In order to fully take advantage of this political momentum, 2016 needs to be the year of action.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) as its strategic partner, stands ready to support Member States in achieving tangible results for the fulfillment of their commitments under the various multilateral environmental agreements.. UNIDO believes that partnerships are key in helping countries achieve inclusive and sustainable industrial development, at the same time observing environmental sustainability. The role of the GEF as a strategic partner within the industry-environment nexus is central. Since UNIDO first began executing GEF projects in the 1990s, and became a GEF Implementing Agency in 2006, the GEF-UNIDO partnership has grown and strengthened.

UNIDO Director General, LI Yong, noted in this respect: “The Global Environment Facility has, for many years, been a valuable partner of UNIDO. It supported us in implementing essential and impactful projects in the fields of climate change mitigation and adaptation, chemicals and waste, land degradation and international waters. On behalf of UNIDO, I would like to congratulate the GEF on its 25th anniversary.”

As UNIDO continues to broaden its technical expertise and comparative advantage, the partnership with the GEF has expanded to the provision of integrated solutions that not only target industry and environment, but also a variety of inter-connected issues, such as energy, gender, water, land use, etc.

Under GEF-6, the Integrated Approach Pilots (IAPs) have formed an important part of these efforts, with UNIDO implementing projects under the Food Security and Sustainable Cities IAPs in four countries. Senegal is just one example country, where. UNIDO is working with the GEF and World Bank to promote renewable energy and integrated waste management in sustainable industrial parks under the Sustainable Cities IAP and with IFAD on Food Security. This initiative will become an integral part of UNIDO’s Programme for Country Partnership in Senegal, which encourages strong country ownerships for the delivery of cross-cutting interventions fully aligned with the country’s industrial priorities.

Integrated approaches such as these allow UNIDO’s interventions to reach a diverse group of beneficiaries, ranging from entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises to large-scale industrial facilities, as well as policy-makers, industrial associations, government and civil society.

In the course of 2016, the GEF is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and UNIDO marks 50 years since its creation. Our anniversaries provide an opportunity to reflect on the past and to chart a new path for a sustainable future.

UNIDO is looking forward to further strengthen its partnership with the GEF, expand it into new areas of cooperation, and work together to provide beneficiary countries with innovative solutions that will help balance economic goals with environmental sustainability.