Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Reference work entry
Part of the The Statesman's Yearbook book series (SYBK)

Origin. The Global Environment Facility is an independent financial organization that brings together 183 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society bodies and the private sector to address global environmental issues and support national development initiatives. It was established in 1991 under the aegis of the World Bank, becoming a permanent, separate institution in 1994.

Activities. As of Feb. 2018 the GEF had provided US$17bn. in grants and co-financed more than 4,000 projects in 170 countries totalling US$88bn. since 1991. It also serves as the financial mechanism for the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and the Minamata Convention on Mercury (an agreement to protect human health and the environment from the effects of mercury emissions).

Organization. There is a GEF Assembly comprising representatives of each member country that meets every three to four years. The GEF Council is the main governing body, developing, adopting and evaluating specific programmes. The Secretariat is based in Washington, D.C., and there are also a scientific and technical advisory panel, an evaluation office and a number of agencies managing particular projects.

  • Headquarters: 1899 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, D.C., 20006, USA.

  • Website:

  • Chief Executive Officer and Chair: Dr Naoko Ishii (Japan).

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© The Author(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019

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