Global Environment Facility (GEF)

The GEF is an independently operating financial organisation that provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), mercury, sustainable forest management, food security, sustainable cities.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, the GEF has provided close to $20.5 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $112 billion in co-financing for more than 4,800 projects in 170 countries. Through its Small Grants Programme, the GEF has provided support to nearly 24,000 civil society and community initiatives in 133 countries.

The GEF Partnership recently agreed to a new direction in its work to achieve greater results and help to meet rising challenges. This agreement is set out in the Summary of the Negotiations of the Seventh Replenishment of the GEF. In combination with its traditional investments under the Conventions, the GEF is:

  1. Strategically focusing its investments to catalyze transformational change in key systems that are driving major environmental loss, in particular energy, cities and food;
  2. Prioritizing integrated projects and programs that address more than one global environmental problem at a time, building on the GEF’s unique position and mandate to act on a wide range of global environmental issues; and
  3. Implementing new strategies and policies to enhance results, including stronger engagement with the private sector, indigenous peoples, and civil society, and an increased focus on gender equality.

Latest news and articles

Youth taking the lead: Reflections from the 2023 Asia Pacific Youth Environment Forum 

As next week marks the start of the sixth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) on 26 February, Rubina Adhikari from ICCCAD shares her reflections from last year's youth forum.

What I learnt over three years of reporting on the COP Resilience Hub

From resilience as ‘everywhere but nowhere at COP’ to resilience as central to equitable and efficient climate action – insights from COP26, COP27, and COP28 Resilience Hubs

The timeless wake up call

Knowledge Into Use award winner, Amava Oluntu, works with young people using arts and storytelling to address and convey the impacts of climate change in Cape Town, South Africa.

Food insecurity and climate change swings young creatives into action

Knowledge Into Use award winner, Nobel Arts Entertainment works with young people in Cameroon on how to use arts to come up with solutions to issues like climate change, food insecurity, and conflict.

The climate grant equation 

Adiba Bintey Kamal and Rubina Adhikari from the International Center of Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) highlight the benefits of grants over loans and share insights from the Catalytic Grants programme.