Global Environment Facility
The GEF is one of the Government of Canada’s key mechanisms to address global environmental commitments in developing countries. It is an independent multilateral financial mechanism that supports activities in developing countries to produce global environmental benefits in six interlinked focal areas: biodiversity, climate change, ozone layer depletion, international waters, land degradation, and persistent organic pollutants.
The GEF addresses international environmental issues that directly affect Canadians and the Canadian environment. Of particular importance to Environment Canada is the GEF’s work in the biodiversity, climate change, POPs and ozone layer focal areas. Since its inception in 1991, the GEF has provided $8.6 billion in grants and leveraged $36.1 billion in co-financing for over 2,400 projects in over 165 countries. It has generated a substantial quantity of positive environmental results, including:
- 41 developing countries receiving support for strengthening protected area systems to ensure their long-term sustainability, with 566 total protected areas, covering 137,234,149 hectares in 10 World Heritage Site, 47 World Wildlife Fund Global 200 sites, 32 Biosphere Reserves, and 40 Ramsar sites
- 186 416 megawatts of renewable energy power sector investments.
- 41.57 million tons of avoided CO2 emissions.
- funding the preparation of national implementation plans for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in 135 countries.
- support for international water management efforts for 22 transboundary surface water basins, 16 large marine ecosystems, and 5 cross-border groundwater systems.
The Canadian International Development Agency is the Government of Canada lead on the GEF, with Environment Canada providing technical and environmental advice on GEF programming and priorities.
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