Main Issue

Creating parks and protected areas is one of the most effective conservation strategies to protect biodiversity. Protected areas provide habitat for many species, but they also provide essential goods and ecosystem services for human well-being. For example, many protected areas act as natural reservoirs for agriculturally important biodiversity, including wild crop relatives, pollinators and pest control.  In addition, one-third (33 of 105) of the world’s largest cities including Mumbai, New York, Sofia, Bogotá, Dar es Salaam, Melbourne, Quito, Tokyo and Sydney receive a significant proportion of their drinking water supplies directly from forest protected areas. Read more+

What We Do

The GEF helps create sustainable protected area systems by providing support to countries to:

1) effectively establish and protect ecologically viable and climate-resilient representative samples of a country’s terrestrial and marine ecosystems and provide adequate coverage of threatened species at a sufficient scale to ensure their long-term persistence

2) ensure that sufficient and predictable financial resources are available to support protected area management costs

3) build individual and institutional capacity to manage protected areas such that they achieve their conservation objectives.

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GEF support to the establishment and management of protected area systems and associated buffer zones and biological corridors has arguably been the GEF’s greatest achievement during the last 20 years. Supporting the management of protected areas is not only a sound investment in biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, but also provides significant additional economic and environmental benefits beyond the existence value of biodiversity. Read more+