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Global Environment Facility (GEF)

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a multilateral financial mechanism that provides grants to developing countries for projects...

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a multilateral financial mechanism that provides grants to developing countries for projects that benefit the global environment and promote sustainable livelihoods in local communities. This article shares details on the Global Environment Facility, its 6 focal areas, organization structure, and the financial assistance it grants to various International Conventions that work on safeguarding our environment.

About Global Environment Facility (GEF)

  • The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established it on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems.
  • It is a family of funds dedicated to confronting biodiversity loss, climate change, pollution, and strains on land and ocean health.
  • It provides financial assistance for five major international environmental conventions:
    • The Minamata Convention on Mercury.
    • The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).
    • The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD)
    • The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
    • The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • It has 184 member countries, including India.
  • The governing council is the main governing body of GEF which comprises 32 members appointed by constituencies of GEF member countries (14 from developed countries, 16 from developing countries, and two from economies in transition).
  • Its secretariat is based in Washington, D.C.

Latest News on GEF – COVID-19 Pandemic

Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

To help address the present situation and reduce the probability of new environmental crises emerging in the foreseeable future, GEF has formulated a set of plans that are divided into immediate, medium, and long-term plans. The response also includes efforts to support a green economic recovery consistent with sustainable and nature-based development. 

The pressures on ecosystems are bringing wild animals and humans in dangerous proximity to each other. The response of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) encompasses measures to address the following:

  1. Deforestation
  2. Trading of wildlife
  3. Urban Sprawl

The 3 different Plans of the Global Environment Facility are given below.

Immediate Actions
  1. Trading in Wildlife – There will be a focus on keeping a check and monitoring the consumption of wildlife products and bushmeat. GEF is collaborating with the World Bank and other partners in Africa and Asia to invest in innovative solutions.
  2. A group of experts will work on analyzing the risks that may arise from infectious diseases in the future. They will analyze the root causes of how it is connected with deforestation and the crumbling of the ecosystem.
  3. GEF will examine ways to sustain the current programs and projects by identifying risks associated with them due to the current pandemic and ensuring that the gains made in the past and the favorable outcomes expected in the future are not compromised.
Medium-Term Actions
  1. A blueprint would be developed for green recovery by exploring different ways of deploying upcoming and ongoing projects.
  2. The blueprint will also club the opportunities and risks arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will examine how the crisis will affect mining, cities, and food security.
Long-Term Actions
  1. It will explore ways to bring balance between natural systems and human systems and explore a lasting solution to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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