UNEP is an Implementing Agency of the GEF with the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and is the only GEF Agency whose core business is the environment.
UNEP plays a key role in supporting countries to develop and execute GEF projects that fit within its comparative advantage. UNEP’s comparative advantage within the GEF has been defined as:
- Scientific assessments, monitoring, early warning;
- Linking science to policy (Capacity Building, Enabling Activities) at national, regional and global levels;
- Innovation, technology transfer and lifting barriers;
- Regional and global cooperation;
- Awareness raising, advocacy, and Knowledge management.
UNEP also plays an important role in supporting the strategic and policy directions of the GEF, operationalising the Trust Fund and enhancing its scientific rigour and relevance, including by providing the secretariat of the GEF Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP).
The GEF is the financial (or an operating entity of) mechanism for the four Multilateral Environment Conventions listed below. The GEF assists countries in meeting their obligations under them and these Conventions provide guidance to the two governing bodies of the GEF: the GEF Council and the GEF Assembly.
- 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)
The GEF helps developing countries and those with economies in transition to meet the agreed incremental costs of measures designed to achieve global environmental benefits in six focal areas: biological diversity, climate change, international waters, ozone layer depletion, land degradation and persistent organic pollutants. An important component of almost all UNEP GEF projects is building capacity to manage the environment in a sound manner.
The 6 GEF focal areas are complementary to UNEP’s six thematic areas and have been closely aligned. The purpose of this is to build greater synergies, enhance impacts and their sustainability and leverage additional grant financing for global environment benefits.
Since the GEF was established in 1991, through to the third quarter of 2009, it has approved 464 projects to be implemented by UNEP with a total value of approximately US$ 922 million, which in turn has generated US$ 2.1 billion in co-financing.
Other Links : GEF Coordination Unit Organigramme
For more information on the GEF please go to: www.thegef.org