GEF : Close to $1 billion approved for environment and climate action at GEF meetings GEF 56th Council and 26th LDCF-SCCF meetings signal “new way of doing business”
Governments have approved programmes and projects worth almost $1 billion to tackle growing threats to the natural world - and to help some of the Earth's most vulnerable people adapt to climate change - at two consecutive Global Environment Facility (GEF) meetings in Washington DC this week.
They range from an ambitious $232 million integrated programme aimed at a “transformational shift in the agriculture and land use systems that are major drivers of environmental degradation around the world” to helping fishing people in Timor-Leste, improving the management of soils in Caribbean islands, and tackling the illegal world wildlife trade.
The 56th GEF Council meeting passed its biggest ever work program, totalling $865.9 million from its Trust Fund. It was then followed by a meeting of two smaller GEF funds – the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) - which approved work programs adding up to a further $101.57 million.
In remarks at the end of the meetings, Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, said the new work programs pursue a new approach being pioneered by the GEF, and signify “a new way of doing business,” and, she added, “a new phase for GEF’s strategy and implementation.”
“We at the GEF have been evolving our strategy over the past few years,” Ishii said earlier in the week. “The GEF 2020 strategy adopted by the Council in 2014 shifted our focus from symptoms to causes or drivers of environmental degradation. Transformation, or systems change, is a centrepiece of our efforts to maximise impacts, and integration as an effective way of delivery.”
This approach lies at the heart of the GEF's $4.1 billion seventh funding cycle, GEF-7, which started in June 2018. It is particularly exemplified in the new GEF Trust Fund work program – which will benefit 91 countries - by four new Impact Programs, which bring together governments and the private sector to work collaboratively on common environmental challenges to have direct effects at regional and global scales on ecology, economics and societies.