GEF Kicks-off its Sixth Programming Phase

 First set of projects approved for GEF-6 work program supports work across the environment Conventions; Brazilian FUNBIO becomes a GEF project agency


Washington DC, October 30, 2014 – The 32 members of the GEF governing Council today kicked-off the 6th GEF programing period (GEF-6.)  Funded at US$4.4 billion for the next four years, GEF-6 comes at a critical time, as the international community heads towards a climate agreement in 2015, and with discussions about the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda ongoing. ”By delivering truly integrated solutions, the GEF has a huge opportunity to show its unique contribution and value-added to these global efforts,” said Ms. Ishii. 

The Council meeting hosted executive secretaries from four multilateral environmental conventions, including Ms. Christiana Figueres (Climate), Mr. Braulio Dias (Biodiversity), Mr Rolph Payet (Chemicals) and Ms. Fatoumata Keita-Ouane (Mercury), who sent a strong signal about the importance of the GEF’s role in financing projects and programmes that work across conventions.


L-R: Fatoumata Keita-Ouane, Executive Secretary, Interim Secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury; CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Ferreira De Souza Dias; Co-Chair Winston Thompson; Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson; UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres; and Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions 

At the meeting, the Council approved 17 projects for a total of US$178 million.  The projects will benefit 53 countries, and deliver results across all GEF’s focal areas.  For example, in climate change, the approved projects will mitigate a total of 13 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent.  This is like avoiding burning over 3.2 million barrels of oil.

The Council also approved $70 million to launch a new phase of the GEF Small Grants Programme, the GEF’s dedicated window to finance local community actions.  “The work of local communities and indigenous people is critical to preserve the environment, both locally and globally. Their knowledge, innovation, and hard work are indispensable to protect the environment.  It is not a coincidence that much of the world’s most important biodiversity remains in the traditional lands of indigenous people,” said Ms. Ishii.

In addition, $31.8 million were approved trough the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) to fund six projects to demonstrate and mainstream climate change adaptation in the management of rural settlements; improve urban and agricultural sectors’ climate resilience; mainstream ecosystem-based adaptation into public and private sector policies; enhance the adaptive capacity of the fisheries and aquaculture sector; and climate-proof the infrastructure of ports.

The Council also welcomed FUNBIO, the Brazilian biodiversity NGO, as the 15th GEF agency. Accredited by an independent panel, the NGO can now access GEF grants directly. "With the accreditation of the Brazilian biodiversity fund FUNBIO, today the GEF family has grown to 15 agencies. FUNBIO brings additional strength to the GEF partnership, and I am very pleased to welcome FUNBIO as the second national agency that has been accredited as a project agency to the GEF," said Ms. Ishii.

Rosa Lemos de Sá, CEO, FUNBIO (on the left) 


Media Contact

Ms. Patrizia Cocca, GEF Communication Officer,



The Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (Funbio) is a registered non-profit civil association. It started operating in 1996 as an innovative financial mechanism for the development of strategies that contribute to the implementation of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Brazil. Throughout its 17-year existence, Funbio has been a strategic partner for the private sector, different state and federal authorities, and organized civil society. Thanks to these partnerships, it has been possible for the companies involved to make social investments, and reduce and mitigate their impacts, while also fulfilling their legal obligations. In the public sphere, they serve to consolidate conservation policies and enable environmental funding programs. More information about Funbio is available on their official website

 About the Global Environment Facility

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a partnership for international cooperation where 183 countries work together with international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector, to address global environmental issues. The GEF serves as financial mechanism for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the Minamata Convention on Mercury. It also works closely with the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances.

Since 1991, the GEF has provided $13.5 billion in grants and leveraged $65 billion in co-financing for 3,900 projects in more than 165 developing countries. For 23 years, developed and developing countries alike have provided these funds to support activities related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, and chemicals and waste in the context of development projects and programs.  Through its Small Grants Programme (SGP) the GEF has made more than 20,000 grants to civil society and community based organizations for a total of $1 billion.

Among the major results of these investments, the GEF has set up protected areas around the world equal roughly to the area of Brazil; reduced carbon emissions by 2.3 billion tonnes; eliminated the use of ozone depleting substances in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia; transformed the management of 33 major river basins and one-third of the world’s large marine ecosystems; slowed the advance of desertification in Africa by improving agricultural practices—and all this while contributing to better the livelihood and food security of millions of people.




Media Contact

Alexandre Pinheiro Rego
Senior Communications Officer

GEF Updates

Subscribe to our distribution list to receive the GEF Newsletter.

Sign up