, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 15 – Close to $ 1billion has been committed to initiatives aimed at tackling climate change and help build resilience for the world’s most vulnerable persons.
The funds were approved during the Global Environment Facility (GEF) council meeting in Washington this week.
Priority areas identified include food production and land use systems which have been cited as the major causes of global environmental degradation.
GEF was established in 1992 with the aim of helping mobilize consensus to tackle emerging environmental challenges and has since provided over $ 18.1 billion in grants and $ 94.2 billion in co-financing deals for over 4,500 projects in 170 countries.
At the recently concluded 56th council meeting, $ 232 million was pledged towards the transformation of land use systems in the agricultural sector to mitigate environmental degradation.
The council also adopted a work program totaling $ 865.9 million to establish a trust fund, according to a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting on Friday.
Meetings held at the sidelines of the main event mobilized $ 101.6 million to for a Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and a Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF).
GEF Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson, Naoko Ishii, said the new initiatives will usher in “a new way of doing business,” marking, “a new phase for GEF’s strategy and implementation.”
“The GEF 2020 strategy adopted by the Council in 2014 shifted our focus from symptoms to causes or drivers of environmental degradation. Transformation, or systems change, is a centerpiece of our efforts to maximize impacts, and integration as an effective way of delivery,” she remarked.
The organization in June 2018 unveiled a $ 4.1 billion funding plan, the seventh in its funding cycle, set to benefit 91 countries through public-private programs.
One of the programs will fund projects aimed at developing alternative sources of income to tackle poaching in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
GEF is also eying inter-agency pacts to boost the uptake of electric mobility in developing countries to combat air pollution.
The environmental initiatives will also support safe disposal of chemical waste.
Cumulatively, the projects will benefit 2.1 million people with at least 608,509 hectares of land projected to come under climate-resilient modules.
GEF’s Director of Programs lauded the new undertakings saying the revitalized efforts to address climate change are a step in the right direction.
“LDCs and SIDS are very exposed to irreversible damage to the development gains they have achieved, something that they cannot afford. The question of adapting to climate change is now on everyone’s mind,” he noted.
Other key outcomes the projects unveiled on Friday seek to achieve is the realignment of over 100 government policies and capacity building to help populations identify risks arising from climate change.