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.
The GEF provides funding to assist developing countries in meeting the objectives of international environmental conventions. The GEF serves as a “financial mechanism” to five conventions: Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and Minamata Convention on Mercury.
The conventions, for which the GEF serves as financial mechanism, provide broad strategic guidance to the two governing bodies of the GEF: the GEF Council and the GEF Assembly. The GEF Council converts this broad guidance into operational criteria (guidelines) for GEF projects.