About the GEF
The Global Environment Facility (GEF)
was established in 1991 and unites 182 member governments — in partnership with international institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector — to address global environmental issues. Today the GEF is the largest funder of projects to improve the global environment.
The GEF as Financial Mechanism of the UNCCD
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) became a financial mechanism of the UNCCD in May 2010, when the GEF instrument was amended by its Fourth Assembly. Since then, under the fifth replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund (2010-2014) and its Land Degradation Focal Area (LDFA), the GEF directly contributes to implementation of the Convention, including its 10-year (2008–2018) Strategic Plan and Framework (the Strategy) adopted by the Conference of Parties (decision 3/COP.8).
Although the LDFA strategy the UNCCD Strategy have different time frames, there are strong linkages at multiple levels, which both institutions are aiming to strengthen within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding between the COP and the GEF.
The LDFA provides the framework for eligible countries to utilize GEF resources for implementing the UNCCD. Through the focal area, the GEF provides incremental financing for countries to invest in sustainable land management (SLM) activities that generate multiple environmental and development benefits.
GEF 6 replenishment
The total amount allocated to the LDFA in the GEF-6 replenishment is USD 431 million, which will be invested through country allocations under the GEF System for a Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR) and focal area set-asides. The STAR will account for USD 346 million (80.3 %) of the LDFA resources allocated to 144 eligible countries. The remainder of USD 85 million (19.7 %) will be utilized for specific programming as set-aside funds.
Because the GEF-6 replenishment phase (2014-2018) coincides with the final four years of the UNCCD Strategy, links with the LDFA strategy ensure that countries can appropriately channel GEF resource toward implementing the strategy.
The GEF is also committed to assisting eligible countries to fulfil their core obligations under the UNCCD. It has allotted part of the set-aside fund (USD 15 million or 17.6 %) in support to national reporting and related capacity development needs. In addition, funds for enabling activities may be used for strengthening capacity to monitor implementation and progress towards achieving the relevant Sustainable Development Goals.
Following modalities already in place under the 5th replenishment period, the GEF Secretariat has informed on the resources available and funding modalities for UNCCD Parties to access GEF funds for enabling activities.
Further reading on the GEF-6:
Transforming Land Management Globally: Q&A about land in the 6th GEF replenishment phase (GEF-6)