A milestone was reached in IUCN’s history with the recent news that it has been accepted as a Project Agency for the Global Environment Facility (GEF). This will boost IUCN’s impact on biodiversity conservation, ecosystem restoration and sustainable development around the world.
The GEF is a partnership for international cooperation with 183 countries working together with international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector to address global environmental issues.
On 22 May, after two years of preparation to ensure that IUCN complies with GEF policies and procedures, the GEF decided that IUCN has met all requirements for accreditation as a Project Agency.
GEF Agencies are responsible for creating project proposals and managing GEF projects. The list of current agencies includes the Asia and African Development Banks, the United Nations Environment Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Since 1991 the GEF has provided US$12.5 billion in grants and leveraged US$58 billion in co-financing for 3,690 projects in 165 developing countries. Developed and developing countries alike have provided these funds for activities related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, and chemicals and waste.
Among the results of these investments, the GEF has set up protected areas around the world equal roughly to the size of Brazil, reduced carbon emissions by 2.3 billion tonnes, transformed the management of 33 major river basins and a third of the world’s large marine ecosystems while contributing to better livelihood and food security of millions of people.
Project Agency status will increase opportunities for a broader and stronger implementation of IUCN’s work programme through the flow of additional resources and a strengthened position of IUCN in global environmental governance.
“IUCN and the Global Environment Facility share a long-term commitment to support biodiversity conservation at the local and global level,” says IUCN Director General, Julia Marton-Lefèvre. “This partnership is a milestone in IUCN’s history. It will improve our ability to achieve our vision of a just world that values and conserves nature.”
GEF Chief Executive Officer Dr Naoko Ishii welcomes IUCN as Project Agency