Global Environment Facility

Overview of the Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Background

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.
The GEF serves as a "financial mechanism" for 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)
  • Minamata Convention on Mercury

Objective

To provide funding to developing countries and countries with economies in transition to meet the objectives of the international environmental conventions and agreements

Fund to support adaptation to climate change under the GEF's control and operation

  • Three funds related to climate change adaptation exist under the GEF's control and operation.
Fund Summary
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund The GEF trust fund provides funding to developing countries and countries with economies in transition to meet the objectives of the international environmental conventions and agreements.
Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) SCCF was established under the UNFCCC in 2001. Currently, it provides funding to Non-Annex I countries for climate change adaptation and technology transfer.
Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) LDCF was established under the UNFCCC in 2001. It provides funding to LDCs for the preparation and implementation of National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA).

Overview of GEF Funding

This section details three funds under the GEF.

(1) GEF Trust Fun

① Objective

To support developing countries and countries with economies in transition to meet the objectives of international environmental conventions and agreements

② Eligible Applicants

Countries may be eligible for GEF funding in one of two ways:

  • if the country has ratified the conventions the GEF serves and conforms with the eligibility criteria decided by the Conference of the Parties of each convention; or
  • if the country is eligible to receive World Bank (IBRD and/or IDA) financing or is an eligible recipient of UNDP technical assistance through its target for resource assignments from the core (specifically TRAC-1 and/or TRAC-2).

③ Areas of Support

To achieve the objectives of multilateral environmental agreements, it is required that the GEF support country priorities that ultimately aim to tackle the drivers of environmental degradation in an integrated manner.

Therefore, the Areas of Support are as follows:
Biodiversity, Chemicals and Waste, Climate Change Mitigation, Climate Change Adaptation, International Waters, Land Degradation, Sustainable Forest Management

④ Type of Funding

Grant including technical support, investment in infrastructure, planning, and the preparation of reports required by multilateral environmental agreements

⑤ Type and Size of Support

  • Full-sized Project (FSP): GEF Project Financing of more than USD 2 million.
  • Medium-sized Project (MSP): GEF Project Financing of less than or equivalent to USD 2 million.
  • Enabling Activity (EA): A project for the preparation of a plan, strategy, or report to fulfill commitments under a Convention.
  • Program: A longer-term and strategic arrangement of individual but interlinked projects that aim to achieve large-scale impacts on the global environment.

⑥ Eligibility Criteria

No. Eligibility Criteria
1. National priority: The project must be driven by the country (rather than by an external partner) and be consistent with national priorities that support sustainable development.
2. GEF priorities: The project has to address one or more of the GEF focal area strategies (Biodiversity, International Waters, Land Degradation, Chemicals and Waste, and Climate Change Mitigation, as well as cross-cutting issues like sustainable forest management).
3. Financing: The project has to seek GEF financing only for the agreed incremental costs on measures to achieve global environmental benefits.
4. Participation: The project must involve the public in project design and implementation, following the Policy on Public Involvement in GEF-Financed Projects and the respective guidelines.

(2) Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF)

① Objective

To support adaptation and technology transfer projects/programs in all developing country parties to the UNFCCC that:

  • are country-driven, cost-effective, and integrated into national sustainable development and poverty-reduction strategies; and
  • consider national communications or NAPAs and other relevant studies and information provided by the Party.

② Eligible Applicants

Organizations in developing countries (governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations (CBO))

③ Areas of Support

  • Adaptation
    Water Resources Management, Land Management, Agriculture, Health, Infrastructure Development, Fragile Ecosystems (including mountain ecosystems), Integrated Coastal Zone Management, and Climatic Disaster Risk Management
  • Transfer of Technology
    Environmentally sustainable technologies focusing on but not limited to technologies to reduce emissions or atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, aligned with the recommendations of the national communications, technology assessments (TNAs), and other relevant information

④ Type of Funding

  • Grant

⑤ Type and Size of Support

  • Full-sized Projects (FSP): Projects of more than USD 1 million
  • Medium-sized Projects (MSP): Projects of USD 1 million or less

⑥ Eligibility Criteria

No. Approval Criteria
1. Basic project idea (adaptation benefit and additional cost argument for adaptation projects)
  • What is the likely Business-as-Usual (BAU) development for the targeted sector in the absence of climate change?
  • What are the climate change vulnerabilities?
  • With the SCCF investment, what specific adaptation activities will be implemented to increase the climate resilience of the baseline or BAU development activity?
2. Fit with country priorities
  • Does the project respond to the priorities identified in the national communications and national and regional programs, plans such as NAPAs in the case of LDCs, and TNA if applicable?
3. Implementation setup
  • Who will implement the project and why (including comparative advantage of the Implementing Agency/ies)?
  • Is the project being coordinated with related projects and programs to avoid duplication of activities?
4. Indicative budget and co-financing
  • How will the project components be weighted in terms of budget and why?
  • What levels and sources of co-financing (see next section for clarification on co-financing) is the project expecting?

(3) Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF)

① Objective

The NAPA process including preparation and implementation has two main objectives:

  • Identifying adaptation priorities at the national level for LDCs
  • Expedited access to funds for LDCs to address the most urgent and immediate needs

② Eligible Applicants

Organizations in LDCs (governmental organizations、non-governmental organizations, CBOs)

③ Areas of Support

Climate change adaptation

④ Type of Funding

Grant

⑤ Type and Size of support

  • Full-sized Projects (FSP): Projects more than USD 2 million
  • Medium-sized Projects (MSP): Projects of USD 2 million or less

⑥ Eligibility Criteria

Approval Criteria for Project Identification Form (PIF)
No. Approval Criteria
1. Basic project idea (adaptation benefit and additional cost argument)
  • What is the likely Business-as-Usual (BAU) development for the targeted sector in the absence of climate change?
  • What are the climate change vulnerabilities?
  • With the LDCF investment, what are the specific adaptation activities to be implemented to increase the climate resilience of the baseline or BAU development activity?
2. Fit with NAPA priorities
  • Does the project respond to the highest priority/ies identified in the NAPA, and if not, why?
3. Implementation setup
  • Who will implement the project and why (including the comparative advantage of Implementing Agency/ies)?
  • Is the project being coordinated with related projects and programs to avoid duplication of activities?
4. Indicative budget and co-financing
  • How will the project components be weighted in terms of budget and why?
  • What levels and sources of co-financing (see next section for clarification on co-financing) is the project expecting?
Approval Criteria for CEO Endorsement Request
No. Approval Criteria
1. Project idea and additional cost argument
  • Similar to the information provided at the PIF stage (see section on PIF above), but in more detail, especially in terms of specific adaptation activities for each of the project components and how such activities will contribute to the overall objective of the project
2. Implementation setup
  • " Similar to the information provided at the PIF stage (see section on PIF above), but with more detail on the implementation and coordination arrangements
3. Indicative budget and co-financing
  • " Similar to the information provided at the PIF stage (see section on PIF above), but with a detailed, itemized budget
4. Letters of endorsement for all co-financing
(Co-financing is clarified in the next section.)
5. Monitoring and Evaluation Framework
  • A clear description of the process and timetable for the monitoring and evaluation process.
  • A project strategic results framework identifying clear impact indicators as well as baseline and target values for each of the project's outcomes and outputs.

Apply for GEF Funding

The diagram below shows the application flow for the three funds mentioned above.

Organization Summary
GEF Agency
Country Institutions
  • Country Institutions
  • Country Institutions are institutions in developing countries, especially governmental organizations, which propose GEF projects/programs.
Other relevant Partners
  • Other relevant Partners are organizations that implement GEF projects/programs on the ground and propose GEF projects/programs.
GEF Operational Focal Point (OFP)
  • OFP is a focal point in each developing country to communicate with the GEF.
  • OFP confirms and assesses the PIF and/or requests before the GEF Agency submits it (them).
GEF
  • The GEF comprises a secretariat, CEO, Scientific Technical Advisory Panel (STAP), and Council.
  • The GEF assesses the PIF and/or requests and approves or rejects them.

Forms

Application forms are according to the size/scheme of the project such as FSPs and MSPs.

Project List

Reference

  • GEF Project and Program Cycle Policy
  • Accessing Resources under the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF)
  • Accessing Resources under the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF)

Approved GEF projects list