Global Environment Facility
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was founded in 1994 as an independent financial mechanism for providing grants and concessionary loans to cover the additional costs of measures that strive to protect the global environment and promote sustainable development. This is done through six Focal Areas: climate change, biodiversity, international waters, land degradation, ozone layer depletion, and Persistent Organic Pollutants.
The GEF’s financial resources are replenished every four years and the fifth replenishment period is currently underway. In May 2010, negotiations for the fifth replenishment of the GEF’s resources (GEF-5) were completed, resulting in a significant increase in the total amount. This increase in the GEF’s resources was necessary as a result of the various international agreements that have recently been concluded. The GEF acts as a central funding mechanism for implementing the objectives of several major environmental conventions: the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biodiversity, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
Belgium pledged a contribution amounting to EUR 78 million for the GEF’s fifth replenishment period (July 2010-June 2014).