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About the GEF

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is constituted by a partnership of 182 countries with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. Currently, the GEF is the largest public funder of projects to improve the global environment. As an independent financial organization, the GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants.

Since 1991, GEF has provided $12.5 billion in grants and leveraged $58 billion in co-financing for over 3,690 projects in over 165 developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Through its Small Grants Programme (SGP), the GEF has also made more than 20,000 small grants directly to civil society and community based organizations, totaling $1 billion.

In 2010 the GEF started its fifth phase (GEF-5) with a record-breaking replenishment of its Trust Fund of $4.25 billion, representing a 34% increase compared to the previous phase. The Latin American and Caribbean region received approximately $650 million of these new funds, mainly for projects under the Climate Change, Biodiversity, Land Degradation and Multifocal focal areas. This increased GEF-5, provided greater opportunities for the IDB to engage with its member countries in their quest towards sustainable growth and poverty alleviation.

The GEF is also the designated financial mechanism for a number of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) or conventions; as such the GEF assists countries in meeting their obligations under the conventions that they have signed and ratified. These conventions and MEAs provide guidance to the two governing bodies of the GEF: the GEF Council and the GEF Assembly.

Main Conventions:

A Partnership for Biodiversity Protecting the Reserve
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    A Partnership for Biodiversity

    As executing agency of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the IDB revitalizes vulnerable ecosystems and helps curb climate change in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • A Partnership for Biodiversity (2:54) Video Icon
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    Protecting the Reserve

    Guatemala makes strides in protecting the Maya Biosphere Reserve, Central America’s largest protected area, through green economic activities and low-impact ecotourism.
  • Protecting the Reserve (3:13) Video Icon

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