Skip to Main Content
Page banner

We welcome you to use this space to share resources, tools, inspiring cases and opportunities with fellow members.

As essential reading we'd recommend starting with the 1) Little Book of Sustainable Landscapes, 2) Landscape Elements resource and Ecoagriculture Partners' 3) Business for Sustainable Landscapes report


Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Posted by Deesha Chandra (Admin) Oct 6, 2016 Posted in Finance

Overview: The Global Environment Facility was established in 1992 and the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund (GEF) now acts as the financial mechanism for five international conventions.  Every four years the Trust Fund is replenished based on donor pledges (currently from 39 donor countries). 

Note that the GEF also administers other trust funds, namely the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), the Nagoya Protocol Implementation Fund and The Adaptation Trust Fund.

What does it fund?: The GEF provides grants to meet the incremental cost of converting projects with national benefits into projects with global environmental benefits.  Project proposals have to address one of its six focus areas: biodiversity, climate change, chemicals & waste, land degradation, international waters & sustainable management of forests/REDD+.  This is in addition to a number of GEF programme areas that are more multi-focal and cross-cutting in nature, for example food security and public-private partnerships.  One of these cross-cutting programmes is of specific relevance - Taking deforestation out of global commodity supply chains (soy, beef & palm oil): nearly US$500m of funds ($40m from GEF; $443m co-finance) aiming to bring 23 million ha of land under sustainable management practices and to mitigate 80 million tCO2e.  The GEF places particular importance on linking efforts with the work of governments, effecting change across the entire supply chain and strengthening efforts from a wide-range of different stakeholders.  It will fund projects that can overcome current barriers in the supply chain or which create replication of existing siloed initiatives.  The sub-programmes of work include: support to production, enabling transactions, generating responsible demand and adaptive management and learning.  To-date this cross-cutting programme of work has been in the intuition phase: working on fund design and conducting consultations.

The GEF focusses on those countries that are members of the relevant convention, eligible under that convention’s criteria, eligible for UNDP technical assistance and eligible to borrow from the World Bank.  The full criteria are here. Support can be provided to government agencies, civil society organizations, private sector companies and research institutions. 

Fund mechanism: The fund provides grants – issuing $14.5 billion in grants to date.  Project grants can range from several thousand dollars up to several million dollars.  There is also a Small Grants Programme for Civil Society Organizations. 

Proposal process: There are a number of stages that an organization should go through in order to access GEF funding, including contacting the Operational Focal Point in the country, meeting the eligibility criteria, choosing a GEF Agency* and selecting a modality (full-sized project/medium-sized project/enabling activity/programme).

* Project proposals have to be in partnership with one of the 18 GEF Agencies, of which WWF-US is one.  GEF agencies are responsible for developing, implementing and managing the projects. 

Proposal templates

More information on the existing partnership between WWF and GEF can be found on PSP Share here

This post was edited on Feb 12, 2018 by Deesha Chandra

Subscribe This post has 1 subscriber

Comments (1)

Celine Beaulieu says... Nov 21, 2016

Hi Deesha, Thanks for the page, please change the key WWF Contacts to Hervé Lefeuvre and Andrew Hume at WWF US. THey are the experts in GEF, while David is overseeing all US government and multilaterals. Thanks! Celine

SIGN IN or REGISTER NOW to join the discussion