GEF Council’s work program includes projects on chemicals, waste and international water | News | SDG Knowledge Center


The 61st meeting of the Board of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the 31st meeting of the Council of the Least Developed Countries (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) adopted work programs for worth $ 210.32 million.

Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, CEO and President of the GEF, stressed that the work program will contribute to efforts “to address environmental challenges in an integrated manner”, as well as a blue and green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The GEF work program consists of 25 projects and one program. The 43 beneficiary countries include ten Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and 16 Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The program prioritizes the chemicals and waste focal area, and will address agricultural chemicals and their management. GEF focus areas related to biodiversity, climate change, chemicals and wastes, land degradation and international waters are also addressed in the program. In total, the work program amounts to $ 190.7 million and represents 5% of the entire GEF-7 replenishment.

The work program includes the following program, projects and beneficiary countries:

  • Funding for Agrochemical Reduction and Management (FARM) in Ecuador, India, Kenya, Lao PDR, Philippines, Uruguay, Viet Nam;
  • Implementation of the Fanga’uta Lagoon Stewardship Plan and replication of lessons learned in priority areas of Vava’u in Tonga;
  • Institutional capacity building to secure biodiversity conservation commitments in India;
  • Strengthening biodiversity governance systems for the sustainable management of living natural resources in Cabo Verde;
  • Energy efficiency of buildings in the Marshall Islands;
  • Towards Land Degradation Neutrality for Improved Equity, Sustainability and Resilience in Cabo Verde;
  • Sustainable management and restoration of degraded landscapes to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) in India;
  • Integrated management and environmentally sound disposal of POP pesticides and mercury in the health and agricultural sectors in Sri Lanka;
  • Improving the management of e-waste and healthcare waste to reduce emissions of unintentionally produced POPs (UPOP) in Egypt;
  • Improve the sustainable management of the Senegalese-Mauritanian aquifer system to ensure access to water for populations facing climate change (SMAS) in The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania and Senegal;
  • Strengthening environmental security and cross-border cooperation in the Golok / Kolok river basin, Malaysia and Thailand;
  • Strategies, technologies and social solutions to manage bycatch in fisheries of large tropical marine ecosystems in Barbados, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago;
  • Towards a sustainable and non-conversion aquaculture in the large marine ecosystem of the Indonesian seas in Indonesia and Timor-Leste;
  • Use of marine spatial planning in the Gulf of Guinea for the implementation of payment for ecosystem services and nature-based coastal solutions in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Togo;
  • Implement the strategic action program of the Drin basin to strengthen cross-border cooperation and enable the integrated management of natural resources in Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia;
  • Conservation and sustainable management of valuable land resources and ecosystems in the Lake Sevan basin for multiple benefits in Armenia;
  • Ensuring sustainable land management resilient to climate change and progressing towards land degradation neutrality in the Federated States of Micronesia;
  • Sustainable food systems and integrated land and seascape management in the Marshall Islands;
  • Support the sustainable and inclusive transformation of the blue economy in IOA SIDS in Cabo Verde, Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Maldives, Mauritius, Sao Tome and Principe and Seychelles;
  • Promote sustainability in the agave-mezcal value chain through the restoration and integrated management of biocultural landscapes in Oaxaca, Mexico;
  • Promotion of sustainable approaches to ecosystem conservation in the Imatong landscape in South Sudan, UNEP;
  • Effectively manage networks of marine protected areas in the large marine ecosystems of the ASEAN region in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand;
  • Sustainable management of mercury in the non-ferrous metal industry in China;
  • Achieve rapid decarbonization of the energy sector in Saint Kitts and Nevis;
  • Improve thermal energy efficiency in the design, manufacture and operation of industrial boilers for micro, small and medium enterprises with low carbon emissions in India; and
  • Green finance and sustainable agriculture in the dry forest ecoregion of Ecuador and Peru.

In addition, the 31st meeting of the LDCF / SCCF Council adopted a work program totaling USD 19.62 million for three projects to address urgent climate change adaptation priorities in three LDCs: Malawi, São Tomé and Príncipe and the Solomon Islands. This funding supports the following projects:

  • Integrated economic development and community resilience;
  • Transformational adaptation for climate resilience in the Lake Chilwa basin in Malawi; and
  • Co-management of climatic extremes for the resilience of agriculture through innovative technologies for irrigation in São Tomé and Príncipe.

Also during the GEF Council meeting, the leaders of the five conventions for which the GEF serves as the financial mechanism briefed the Council on preparations for negotiations on biodiversity, climate change, chemical pollutants, mercury and desertification. They discussed the priorities of the conventions during the eighth replenishment period of the GEF Trust Fund (GEF-8), as well as the pandemic-related delays in finalizing this contribution.

In addition to decisions on the work program, the Board engaged in a lengthy discussion of the GEF 2021 Progress Report and the Seventh Comprehensive Assessment of GEF Results and Performance. Speakers emphasized that the GEF is a learning organization, and discussions focused on recommendations that should be incorporated into the planning of GEF-8. The Council was also informed of the recent work of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Group (STAP) and its plans for the coming months.

The Council meeting concluded with a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the GEF.

A GEF Council consultation with civil society organizations (CSOs) took place on Friday, December 3, 2021, ahead of the 61st meeting of the GEF Council. The discussion focused on the theme “GEF-CSO Consultations on Youth-Led Advocacy and Solutions to the Global Environmental Crisis”.

Council meetings, which took place online from December 6-10, 2021. The next GEF Council meeting will be in June 2022. This meeting is expected to approve the conclusion of negotiations on GEF-8. This next four-year programming cycle will begin in July 2022. [ENB summary of the GEF and LDCF/SCCF Council meetings]


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