Since its inception, it has provided more than USD 21 billion in grants
On a rolling basis.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund aims to help developing countries and economies in transition contribute to the overall objective of the Rio Conventions including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to mitigate climate change, while enabling sustainable economic development. The GEF is intended to cover the incremental costs of a measure to address environmental issues such as climate change, relative to a business as usual base line. Additionally, the GEF has multiple, focused initiatives:
- Support for Programming Through National Dialogues, which provides resources so that countries can carry out multi stakeholder exercises that help prioritize actions that can be financed with GEF funding
- Non-Grant Support Program, which supports non-grant financial instruments to combat global environmental degradation
- Small-Grants Program, which promotes community-based innovation, capacity development, and empowerment of local communities and civil society organizations
Global Environment Facility
Each GEF Implementing Agency is responsible for project implementation and is directly accountable to the GEF Council. GEF Implementing Agencies conduct project-level monitoring and evaluation activities in accordance with the GEF Implementing Agency systems and consistent with the GEF Monitoring and Evaluation Policy. GEF Implementing Agencies undertake mid-term reviews for Full-sized Projects under implementation and submit them to the GEF Secretariat (See sections "Organizational and decision-making structure" above for the governance structure of the GEF). Agencies submit projects terminal evaluation reports to the GEF Independent Evaluation Office.
Information on the updated Monitoring and Evaluation Policies can be found here.
- Secretariat: The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) has an independent secretariat based in Washington DC. It coordinates the overall implementation and is headed by a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) appointed to serve for four years, with a maximum of two terms.
- GEF Assembly: The governing body of the GEF in which representatives of all member countries participate. It meets every four years and is responsible for the upcoming 4-years cycle approval including the GEF Trust Fund replenishment and policies.
- GEF Council: A 32-member Council made up of 16 developing countries, 14 developed countries and two economies in transition. It meets twice a year to develop, adopt and evaluate operational policies, and review and approve the Work Program (projects submitted for approval). Decisions are taken by consensus where possible, but if not, through a double-majority voting requiring 60% of Council members and 60% of contributions.
- Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP): Provides independent review and advice, including on GEF programs and projects. Its members are appointed by the Executive Director of UNEP, in consultation with the GEF’s CEO, the Administrator of UNDP, and the President of the World Bank.
- Independent Evaluation Office: An Independent Office of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) informs decision-making on amendments and improvements; and promotes accountability for the effective use of resources while supporting knowledge management and learning.
- Trustee: World Bank
- GEF Focal Points: Government officials, designated by member countries, responsible for GEF activities and to ensure that GEF projects are country-driven and responsive of national priorities. All the GEF projects operating in a country need to be endorsed by the Operational Focal Points. The list of the GEF Focal points can be found here.
All projects or programs must fulfill the following criteria to be eligible for GEF funding.
- Eligible country: Countries may be eligible for GEF funding in one of two ways: a) if the country has ratified the conventions the GEF serves and conforms with the eligibility criteria decided by the Conference of the Parties of each convention; or b) if the country is eligible to receive World Bank (IBRD and/or IDA) financing or if it is an eligible recipient of UNDP technical assistance through its target for resource assignments from the core (specifically TRAC-1 and/or TRAC-2).
- National priority: The project must be driven by the country (rather than by an external partner) and be consistent with national priorities that support sustainable development.
- GEF priorities: To achieve the objectives of multilateral environmental agreements, it is required that the GEF support country priorities that are ultimately aimed at tackling the drivers of environmental degradation in an integrated fashion. For this reason, the focal areas (Biodiversity, Climate Change, Land Degradation, International Waters, and Chemicals and Waste) remain the central organizing feature in the GEF-8 Programming Directions and provide countries with the opportunity to participate in selected “Integrated Programs” which aim to address major drivers of environmental degradation and/or deliver multiple benefits that fall under the GEF’s mandate (for more details, see the GEF-8 Programming Directions).
- Financing: The project must seek GEF financing only for the agreed incremental costs on measures to achieve global environmental benefits.
- Participation: The project must involve the public in project design and implementation, following the Policy on Stakeholder Engagement and the respective guidelines.
Countries are eligible for GEF funding in Climate Change if the country has ratified the UNFCCC and conforms with the eligibility criteria decided by the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC. Check if your country is eligible and the corresponding funding allocated to it here.