The GEF funds projects related to the following Focal Areas, each with its own strategy based on guidance provided by the Conferences for which the GEF acts as a financial mechanism.
The goal of the biodiversity focal area is the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and the maintenance of ecosystem goods and services. To achieve this goal, the biodiversity strategy encompasses five objectives:
- Improve the sustainability of protected area systems;
- mainstream biodiversity conservation and sustainable use into production landscapes/seascapes and sectors;
- Build capacity to implement the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety;
- Build capacity on access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing; and
- Integrate Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) obligations into national planning processes through enabling activities.
Complete information is found in the GEF BD Strategy
Climate Change Mitigation
GEF’s overall goal in climate change mitigation is to support developing countries and economies in transition toward a low-carbon development path. The climate change mitigation strategy for GEF-5 consists of six objectives:
- Promote the demonstration, deployment, and transfer of innovative low-carbon technologies;
- Promote market transformation for energy efficiency in industry and the building sector;
- Promote investment in renewable energy technologies;
- Promote energy efficient, low-carbon transport and urban systems;
- Promote conservation and enhancement of carbon stocks through sustainable management of land use, land-use change, and forestry; and
- Support enabling activities and capacity building.
Complete information is found in the GEF CC Mitigation Strategy
Climate Change Adaptation
GEF’s goal in climate change adaptation is to support developing countries to increase resilience to climate change through both immediate and longer term adaptation measures in development policies, plans, programs, projects and actions. The GEF manages two separate adaptation-focused Funds under the UNFCCC — the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), which mobilize funding specifically earmarked for activities related to adaptation, and the latter also to technology transfer.
The GEF CC Adaptation Strategy consists of 3 objectives:
- Reduce vulnerability to the adverse impacts of climate change, including variability, at local, national, regional and global level;
- Increase adaptive capacity to respond to the impacts of climate change, including variability, at local, national, regional and global level; and
- Promote transfer and adoption of adaptation technology.
Complete information is found in the GEF CC Adaptation Strategy
The goal of the International Waters focal area is the promotion of collective management for transboundary water systems and subsequent implementation of the full range of policy, legal, and institutional reforms and investments contributing to sustainable use and maintenance of ecosystem services.
To achieve this goal, the Strategy for GEF-5 identifies the following objectives:
- Catalyze multi-state cooperation to balance conflicting water uses in transboundary surface and groundwater basins while considering climatic variability and change;
- Catalyze multi-state cooperation to rebuild marine fisheries and reduce pollution of coasts and large marine ecosystems (LMEs) while considering climatic variability and change;
- Support foundational capacity building, portfolio learning, and targeted research needs for ecosystem-based, joint management of transboundary water systems; and
- Promote effective management of Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ).
Complete information is found in the GEF IW Strategy
The overall goal of the Land Degradation focal area strategy is to contribute in arresting and reversing current global trends in land degradation, specifically desertification and deforestation. The strategy embodies the landscape approach and ecosystem management principle to maximize integration with other GEF focal areas on Biodiversity, Climate Change, and International Waters.
The following four objectives form the basis of a results-oriented framework that will guide implementation of the strategy:
- Maintain or improve a sustainable flow of agro-ecosystem services to sustaining the livelihoods of local communities;
- Generate sustainable flows of forest ecosystem services in arid, semi-arid, and sub-humid zones, including sustaining livelihoods of forest-dependent people;
- Reduce pressures on natural resources from competing land uses in the wider landscape; and
- Increase capacity to apply adaptive management tools in SLM.
Complete information is found in the GEF LD Strategy
The goal of the Chemicals focal area is to promote the sound management of chemicals throughout their life-cycle in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the global environment.
Four objectives are identified for Chemicals under GEF-5:
- Phase out Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and reduce POPs releases;
- Phase out Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) and reduce ODS releases; and
- Pilot sound chemicals management and mercury reduction.
- POPs enabling activities
Complete information is found in the GEF Chemicals Strategy
SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT (SFM) / REDUCING EMISSION FROM DEFORESTATION AND FOREST DEGRADATION (REDD+)
The goal for GEF-5 investment in SFM is to achieve multiple environmental benefits from improved management of all types of forests.
Two objectives will drive the SFM portfolio and contribute to the goal:
- Reduce pressures on forest resources and generate sustainable flows of forest ecosystem services; and
- Strengthen the enabling environment to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and enhance carbon sinks from Land Use, Land Use Change, and Forestry (LULUCF) activities.
Complete information is found in the GEF SFM Strategy