Canada and the Global Environment Facility
The Global Environment Facility (GEF), established in 1991, is the single largest source of funding and a catalyst for action on the environment. Through its investments, the GEF works with partners to tackle global environmental issues, while also supporting sustainable development including poverty reduction and greater equality between women and men.
The GEF helps recipient countries meet their commitments under various multilateral environmental conventions, including:
- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
- United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
- Convention on Biological Diversity
- Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
- Minamata Convention on Mercury
Canada has been a strong supporter of the GEF since its creation and is one of the GEF’s top donors. Projects funded by the GEF align closely with Canada's international development priorities. For example:
- The GEF is a catalyst for climate change action, including investments in energy-efficient technologies, greenhouse gas emissions reduction and climate resilience, which in turn support local economic development opportunities.
- The GEF supports food security through investments in water management, biodiversity conservation, land degradation, and deforestation prevention.
- The GEF's focuses on a healthy environment that contains fewer persistent organic pollutants and ozone-depleting substances is critical for the well-being of citizens including women and youth.
Canada also supports two other trust funds managed by the GEF: the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and the Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT). In total, Canada has provided $60 million to the LDCF to address the urgent adaptation needs among the poorest and most vulnerable countries. Canada has also committed $5 million to CBIT which supports developing countries meet their reporting requirements under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
As of 2016, with the support of Canada and other donors, the GEF has:
- Supported more than 50 climate-friendly technologies leading to energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable urban transport
- Helped directly reduce 2.7 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 560 million cars off the road for a year
- Supported the creation or management of more than 3,300 protected areas covering 860 million hectares
- Brought 103 million hectares under sustainable land management, benefiting more than 50 million smallholder farmers
- Provided biodiversity protection and planning for more than 350 million hectares of productive landscapes and seascapes
- Protected 46 river and lake basins, 8 ground water basins, and 23 of the planet's 64 large marine ecosystems
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