GEF countries pledge 4.1billionUS$ to protect global environment

Published: June 29, 2018

The last official working day of the 6th Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) on Thursday saw the strong commitment by all the GEF member countries to global environmental protection, and especially showing their willingness to cooperate with Viet Nam to solve regionally and globally environmental issues to ensure the sustainable development.

 Some GEF-6 delegates visiting a plant which is effectively applying cleaner production and energy efficiency measures in the Hoa Khanh IP
Some GEF-6 delegates visiting a plant which is effectively applying cleaner production and energy efficiency measures in the Hoa Khanh IP

Notably, 29 GEF member countries have jointly pledged a total of nearly 2.9 billion SDR (equivalent to 4.1 billion US$) to the GEF to better protect the future of the planet and human well-being.

With the health of the global environment worsening, the funding is expected to help the GEF support its new 4-year investment cycle (known as GEF-7), in order to safeguard forests, land, water, climate, and oceans, build green cities, protect threatened wildlife, and tackle new environmental threats like marine plastic pollution around the world.

“We are pleased with the outcome of the negotiations; It is entirely in line with government priorities,” said Isabella Lovin, the Deputy Prime Minister and Climate Minister of Sweden, who hosted the donors at a meeting held on Wednesday in Stockholm Sweden.

She said the Fund’s working methods have been further strengthened, giving it more of a strategic climate focus and increased resources, including for biodiversity, chemicals and waste.

“A clear majority of donors have stepped up their support for the GEF, signaling the urgency of the global environmental agenda, and trust in the GEF to help tackle the problem and achieve even greater results,” said Naoko Ishii, the GEF's CEO and Chairperson.

“We need to forge the partnerships that will help transform the food, urban and energy systems in an integrated way. GEF-7 is designed to do just that,” she added.

Close to 30 countries have jointly pledged US$4.1 billion to the Global Environment Facility to better protect the future of the planet and human well-being.
Close to 30 countries have jointly pledged 4.1 billion US$ to the GEF to better protect the future of the planet and human well-being. (Photo: thegef.org)

In her remarks at the press conference closing ceremony, Ms Naoko Ishii said she was happy that GEF-6 had developed a strategy and policy on how to protect the global environment leading up to the GEF-7. 

In particular, Ishii also highly appreciated the commitment of the Vietnamese government in pursuing green growth and dealing with plastic waste in the ocean, as well as building regional partnerships in plastic waste management.

With an emphasis on addressing the drivers of environmental degradation, gender equality, and stronger collaboration with the private sector, the GEF is now poised to deliver even greater results for the environment, and better value for money: The new strategy doubles the target for greenhouse gas emissions mitigated from GEF projects compared to the last funding cycle, and increases by almost 50% the targets for the protection of biodiversity and valuable ecosystems.

Addressing the closing session of the 2-day 6th GEF Assembly, President David Granger of Guyana said that “The GEF is ideally suited to promote international environmental cooperation”, and said he had been convinced by the meeting in Da Nang that “a new day is dawning for the global environment”.

Meanwhile, the GEF's CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii said that the meeting had been “full of discussion about how the GEF can best accelerate change”, adding: “One clear message was that we must de-silo ourselves. We need to build broad coalitions of diverse stakeholders who share the same goal and who work together to get things done.” She concluded: “I am convinced, and the Assembly has convinced me even more, that the GEF can play an extremely useful and important role to catalyze the change we need”.

Vietnamese Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha, who chaired the meeting, said that it had “reached important agreements on solutions to the global environmental issues”, adding: “I am inspired by the enthusiasm and commitment shown by all of us in joint efforts to address pressing problems, particularly those related to emerging issues, such as marine plastic waste, loss of biodiversity and climate change. “Let us work closely to turn the agreements reached in these meetings into actions for a more resilient, sustainable and life-affirming planet, for current and future generations”,

Earlier a distinguished panel of ministers, senior government officials and other experts reported on the conclusions of 14 “round tables” held to address: Food, Land Use and Restoration; Sustainable Cities; the Blue Economy; Partnerships for Implementing the 2030 Agenda; Science Based Targets for Earth; the Circular Economy; Marine Plastics; Sustainable Landscapes in the Amazon and Congo Basin; Wildlife; Gender and the Environment; Innovation in Clean Energy; Conservation Finance; Sustainable Drylands; and Preventing a Toxic Legacy – Transforming the Chemicals Industry.

In the related news, LI Yong, Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), vowed, in the coming time, UNIDO would help Viet Nam ensure cleaner production and energy efficiency.

In particular, work will start on the 2nd stage of a project to build eco-industrial parks (IPs), including the Hoa Khanh IP.