GEF’s $ 200 Million Support for Game-Changing Climate Change, Fight Covid-19 – Blueprint Newspapers Limited
In order to address the initial environmental challenges that continue to give humanity sleepless nights, the Global Environment Facility recently released $ 200 million to tackle climate change, pollution and the COVID-19 crisis; HELEN OJI report.
Member governments of the Global Environment Facility, meeting on the occasion of its 30th anniversary, have approved new funding to continue advancing international conservation priorities during the pandemic and to move closer to the 2030 goals.
Council members agreed to provide more than $ 200 million for initiatives to tackle pollution from chemicals, healthcare and plastics; support more sustainable fishing and farming practices; building resilience to climate change in low-income countries; and underpin a natural positive and carbon neutral recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
According to GEF CEO and President Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, the continued progress despite the headwinds of the pandemic signaled the need for further engagement in the years to come.
âThe GEF has a vital role in global efforts to make the world more nature-friendly, carbon neutral and pollution-free by 2030. These are very ambitious goals, but as the GEF enters its fourth decade , we are better placed than ever to work with our partners to make this a reality â.
The GEF was launched in 1991 as a pilot program to support joint action on biodiversity, climate change, ocean health and the ozone layer. Since then, it has grown into the largest and most experienced multilateral fund to support actions to tackle environmental degradation, tackle the illegal wildlife trade, and support cities, food systems. , more sustainable forests and waterways.
In a new publication launched for its 30th anniversary, including reflections from governments, agencies and other partners, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the GEF as “an important and trusted partner for developing countries. development “.
âOver the past two years, the Global Environment Facility has assisted developing countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on food security, land use and cities. It also helped analyze the link between infectious diseases, deforestation and ecosystem fragmentation, âsaid Guterres. “I commend the work of the Facility and urge developed countries to fully support the GEF as it concludes its Eighth Replenishment Period.”
Also speaking, World Bank Group President David Malpass, addressing the Board in a video also featuring UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen and UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, cited the Great Wall program for the Sahel and West Africa as a high impact initiative that first benefited from GEF and World Bank support, which is delivering results in land restoration and climate resilience.
Malpass said GEF investments have had transformational impacts for people and the planet â. âWe look forward to our continued partnership with the GEF as we move global efforts towards a green, resilient and inclusive future for all. “
The GEF Council meetings were preceded by a knowledge management session focused on finding ways to increase learning opportunities through partnership, and a CSO consultation co-hosted with the Network of GEF CSO focused on youth-led advocacy and solutions, where young environmentalists shared their priorities. and ideas on how the unique and diverse GEF network can support their work.
Green Generation Initiative founder Elizabeth Wathuti told council members attending the consultation to ensure that each of their policy and funding decisions is in the best interests of children and youth, and called for meaningful inclusion of youth voices in government body meetings.
Innovative climate adaptation
Biodiversity Hub International Founder and CEO Derrick Mugisha stressed that climate change awareness is an urgent area for people of all ages, given food security and other serious threats in developing countries. âCrises all change very, very quickly. If we don’t act so very, very quickly, we won’t be able to catch up.
âIt is so important that young people are at the table to discuss these issues,â he said.
During the week-long meetings, Board members also heard from the heads of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Group and the Independent GEF Evaluation Office, who presented their seventh comprehensive GEF evaluation and a review of the Special Fund for GEF. climate change, which provides support for innovative climate adaptation solutions in developing countries.
Leaders of the five GEF-funded environmental conventions shared updates on recent and upcoming international negotiations on biodiversity, chemical pollutants, climate change, mercury and desertification. Everyone called for a solid replenishment of the multilateral fund to enable developing countries to continue to make progress on complex challenges.
The Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, Ibrahim Thiaw, said: “We need to move quickly from declarations at the top to real implementation on the ground.” This was also echoed by Elizabeth Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Monika Stankiewicz, Executive Secretary of Minamata, Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Stockholm Convention, and by the Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention. United Nations on Climate Change, Ovais Sarmad.
The new funding approved by the Board included $ 191 million in grants and blended finance from the GEF, and $ 20 million from the Least Developed Countries Fund, which provides targeted support to low-income and climate-vulnerable states. This was the penultimate disbursement under GEF-7, the last four-year programming cycle ending in June 2022.
Programming to date in GEF-7 has achieved expected cycle outcomes on marine protected areas, improved management of marine habitat and shared aquatic ecosystems, avoidance of persistent organic pollutant emissions, and areas of restored land. To date, 44 countries have accessed funding from the Least Developed Countries Fund during the GEF-7 cycle.
âNegotiations are underway on GEF-8, the next four-year programming cycle which will begin in July 2022.
Mette MÃ¸glestue from Norway, who has co-chaired the GEF Council for the past year, called the GEF’s successes a âpioneer in environmental and climate financeâ and praised its recent efforts to work in an integrated manner and focus on innovative solutions in partnership with the private sector.
âThe GEF is not only an effective mechanism for delivering global environmental benefits, but it is also a well-functioning partnership with experienced agencies, dedicated operational focal points, a well-established Secretariat and a dynamic Board. and constructive, âshe said.