Global Environment Facility (G.E.F) - A Brief Overview

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

Aspirants would find this article very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

Global Environment Facility (GEF) – Introduction

Since its inception, this multilateral financial mechanism has advanced $17.9 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $93.2 billion in financing for more than 4,500 projects in 170 countries.

  1. GEF was established during the Rio Earth Summit of 1992.
  2. It is based in Washington DC. United States
  3. The GEF is jointly managed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  4. 183 nations are united under GEF in partnership with civil society organizations (CSOs). International institutions, private sector etc with the purpose of addressing the environmental issues across the globe.
  5. The financial mechanism was established to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. It provides funds to the developing countries and transition economies for projects related to climate change, Biodiversity, ozone layer.

Global Environment Facility – 6 Focal Areas

As an independently operating financial organization, GEF addresses six designated focal areas which are listed below.

  1. Biodiversity
  2. Climate change
  3. International waters
  4. Ozone depletion
  5. Land degradation and
  6. Persistent Organic Pollutants

Global Environment Facility – Structure

The GEF has a unique governing structure organized around an Assembly, the Council, the Secretariat, 18 Agencies, a Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) and the Evaluation Office.

Global Environment Facility – Financing Important Global Conventions working on Environment

GEF also serves as financial mechanism for following conventions

  1. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) .
  2. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNECCC) .
  3. UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) .
  4. Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).
  5. Minamata Convention on Mercury
  • Although the Global Environment Facility is not linked to Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete Ozone Layer formally, it supports its implementation in countries with the economies in transition.

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Multiple Choice Question (MCQ)

Consider the Following Statements

  1. The GEF is jointly managed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  2. GEF Agencies are the operational arm of the GEF. They work closely with project proponents — government agencies, civil society organizations and other stakeholders to design, develop and implement GEF-funded projects and programs.
  3. Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants is an international environmental treaty, signed in 2001 and effective from May 2004, that aims to eliminate or restrict the production and use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs).
  4. The Minamata Convention on Mercury is named after the Japanese city Minamata the city which went through a devastating incident of mercury poisoning.

Which of the following Statements are true?

A) Only 3 and 4 are true.

B) Only 1, 2 and 4 are true.

C) All the statements are true.

D) None of the Statements are true.

Answer: C

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2020.

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