NEW YORK, May 16, 2012 – The Global Environment Facility (GEF) tonight was presented with the 2012 Sustainable Standard-Setter award by the Rainforest Alliance at its 25th annual gala for work in supporting the sustainable cultivation of cocoa in rainforest regions. The gala honors individuals and organizations from the public and private sectors whose work in the environment protection and conservation proved great impact to communities around the world. GEF CEO and Chairperson Monique Barbut received the award on behalf of The Global Environment Facility.
The award recognizes the partnership between the Rainforest Alliance and the GEF to bring 10% of the world’s cocoa supply – some 1.85 million acres – into more sustainable systems of production that will help conserve the extraordinary biodiversity of tropical regions. The GEF has supported the Greening of the Cocoa project with a $5 million grant and cofinancing of $15 million, funds that will help improve farming practices to conserve the environment, increase farmers’ income, benefit families and communities, and provide long-term sustainability for the cocoa industry. The program involves cocoa cultivation in ten countries: Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ghana, Indonesia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, and Peru. The aim is to develop and apply sustainable agriculture standards and promote business production principles that will protect the environment while allowing local farmers and communities to benefit from viable business models.
“The GEF wants to engage the private sector to become more active at the local and international levels, and facilitate the transfer of technology for the valorization of resources” said Monique Barbut.
The Rainforest Alliance was established 25 years ago with the goal of conserving biodiversity and promoting sustainable livelihoods by providing farmers, forest managers and tourism businesses with the tools to realize greater economic benefits while conserving local biodiversity and ecosystems.
“Our anniversary gala awards ceremony provides us with the opportunity to recognize companies that have worked hard alongside us to promote environmental and social responsibility” said Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance.
John Diamond, Senior Communication Officer | Spokesperson
Phone +1 202 458 7953
About the Global Environment Facility
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) unites 182 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. Today the GEF is the largest public funder of projects to improve the global environment. An independently operating financial organization, the GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants.
Since 1991, GEF has achieved a strong track record with developing countries and countries with economies in transition, providing $10.5 billion in grants and leveraging $51 billion in co-financing for over 2,700 projects in over 168 countries. Through its Small Grants Programme (SGP), the GEF has also made more than 14,000 small grants directly to civil society and community based organizations, totaling $634 million. For more information, visit www.thegef.org.
About the Rainforest Alliance
The Rainforest Alliance works with people whose livelihoods depend on the land, helping them transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travelers. From large multinational corporations to small, community-based cooperatives, businesses and consumers worldwide are involved in the Rainforest Alliance’s efforts to bring responsibly produced goods and services to a global marketplace where the demand for sustainability is growing steadily. For more information, visit www.rainforest-alliance.org.