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Global Environment Facility

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Global Environment Facility

  • The Global Environment Facility was established in October 1992 as a $1 billion pilot program in the World Bank to assist in the protection of the global environment and to promote environmental sustainable development.
  • The GEF would provide new and additional grants and concessional funding to cover the “incremental” or additional costs associated with transforming a project with national benefits into one with global environmental benefits.
  • The United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Environment Program, and the World Bank were the three initial partners implementing GEF projects.
  • In 1992, at the Rio Earth Summit, the GEF was restructured and moved out of the World Bank system to become a permanent, separate institution.
  • The decision to make the GEF an independent organization enhanced the involvement of developing countries in the decision-making process and in implementation of the projects.
  • Since 1994, however, the World Bank has served as the Trustee of the GEF Trust Fund and provided administrative services.
  • An independently operating financial organization, the GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), mercury, sustainable forest management, food security, sustainable cities.
  • The GEF also serves as financial mechanism for the following conventions:
  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
  • Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
  • Minamata Convention on Mercury
  • The GEF, although not linked formally to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (MP), supports implementation of the Protocol in countries with economies in transition
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