GEF commits to scale up biodiversity, climate resilience interventions  

Meeting in person for the first time since the COVID pandemic began, the Global Environment Facility’s governing body approved the final tranche of its seventh funding cycle and endorsed record donor contributions for the coming four years as the partnership rallied around the need to invest in improved planetary health.

The GEF Council’s June 21-23 gathering had a distinctly positive tone, with delegates from around the world describing their commitment to work together to prioritize environmental action despite ongoing headwinds from the pandemic and related crises.

Council members marked the end of the GEF-7 operating period with a $166 million work program, and finalized a $5.33 billion package for GEF-8 – a 30 percent increase over the last four years – to support scaled-up efforts to reach biodiversity, climate change, land use, and pollution targets this decade.

GEF CEO and Chairperson Carlos Manuel Rodriguez told the delegates he was heartened to see “convergence and collaboration” between the multilateral fund’s member governments and civil society partners on the many environmental challenges facing the planet, and stressed the need to work with the private sector, local communities, and Indigenous Peoples to adequately align sustainable policies and investment plans.

“If we do this by the end of the decade, we can make an enormous difference in the way that future generations will live,” the former environment minister from Costa Rica said.

The final GEF-7 work program includes projects related to climate change, biodiversity, international waters, chemicals and waste, and land degradation, one third of which will be based in Africa. 

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