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Countries pledge over $5.25 billion to GEF

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam
11 April 2022   |   2:49 am
More than $5 billion has been pledged by 29 countries for the Global Environment Facility (GEF), providing a major boost to international efforts to protect biodiversity

[FILES] Hands on a globe — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

More than $5 billion has been pledged by 29 countries for the Global Environment Facility (GEF), providing a major boost to international efforts to protect biodiversity and curb threats from climate change, plastics, and toxic chemicals through collaboration action this decade.

The support totals $5.25 billion and increases the GEF’s funding by nearly 30 per cent compared to its most recent four-year operating cycle.

The GEF is the primary source of financing for biodiversity protection globally and the only multilateral fund working across all aspects of environmental health.

“This successful replenishment is not only important for the programmes and projects GEF supports around the world and global environmental benefits they yield. It is a strong signal that the international community is ready to work together on the tough challenges that require us all to be at the table, as we seek to restore the health of our planet and its people,” said Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CEO and Chairperson of the GEF.

“The robust result of the GEF replenishment is one that we can all be immensely proud of as it strengthens the Global Environment Facility’s role in environmental action for the benefit of nature and humanity,” said Akihiko Nishio, World Bank Vice President of Development Finance and Co-Chair of the replenishment process. “The GEF has never been better suited to deal with global environmental challenges than at this moment when the planet faces unprecedented risks and challenges.”

The GEF is the primary source of financing for biodiversity protection globally and is the only multilateral fund working across all aspects of environmental health.

Its financial and policy support helps developing countries meet their obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“These pledges are critically important for the successful implementation of the new post-2020 global biodiversity framework,” said Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema.

“This strong replenishment of the GEF, with the substantial share it for biodiversity protection, shows the global commitment to the transformative change needed to bend the curve on biodiversity loss. Matched by early action grants provided by the GEF in its seventh funding period, lays the groundwork for protecting biodiversity, using it sustainably, and sharing the benefits with equity.”

Biodiversity protection represents the biggest share of the GEF’s eighth programming period, known as GEF-8, which will run from July 2022 to June 2026. This support will be vital to the achievement of the biodiversity agenda, including the implementation of the new post-2020 global biodiversity framework, expected to be agreed upon at the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP-15) later this year in Kunming China.

The Convention on Biological Diversity recently held its first in-person meetings in two years. Following 15 days of negotiation in Geneva, world governments produced a strong basis for a post-2020 framework to safeguard the health of the planet.

Governments agreed to hold a fourth meeting of the open-ended working group tasked with developing the post-2020 framework in June, prior to the adoption of the framework in Kunming.