Donors Pledge $3.13 Billion for GEF

September 2006

The Global Environment Facility (GEF)—the world’s largest environmental funding body and a Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) donor partner—recently received a record financial boost with donor countries agreeing to contribute $3.13 billion for environmental projects during the next four years.

The GEF Council endorsed the agreement on Aug. 28 in a special session in Cape Town, South Africa, followed by the Third GEF Assembly.

GEF Chairperson and CEO Monique Barbut characterized the combined support as remarkable, but warned against complacency.

“The global environment is facing unprecedented threats, and these funds have to be translated rapidly into projects, programs, and policies that make a difference in developing countries,” Barbut said.

While the combined funds represent the largest replenishment for the GEF to date, they fall far short of the global need. The total also represents only approximately five weeks of net profit for a large oil business, according to U.N. Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner.

The Assembly attracted more than 1,200 participants representing GEF’s 176 member governments, as well as U.N. agencies, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the private sector.

The forum included a number of roundtables, side events, and exhibitions, including a CEPF exhibit and a stand featuring the CEPF-supported Cape Action for People and the Environment (C.A.P.E.) and Succulent Karoo Ecosystem programs.

C.A.P.E. also launched a publication illustrating results and lessons learned from the national program, which seeks to conserve the biodiversity of the Cape Floristic Region Hotspot while delivering significant benefits to people.

The publication, "Fynbos Fynmense – People Making Biodiversity Work," reports on results from the program’s many projects, from large to small, state-led to private, and chronicles hundreds of lessons learned that could prove valuable to other programs in the Cape as well as other hotspots.

Printed copies of “Fynbos Fynmense – People Making Biodiversity Work” are available from the . You can also download sections of the publication (in PDF format) now: