Wildlife & Biodiversity

7th GEF Assembly: Global Biodiversity Framework Fund ratified

First projects under the new Fund likely to roll out ahead of CBD’s CoP16 

By Vibha Varshney
Published: Friday 25 August 2023
GEF CEO Carlos Manuel Rodríguez and Canadian Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen at the GEF Assembly 2023 in Vacouver. Photo: @theGEF / X (formerly Twitter)__

The Global Biodiversity Framework Fund (GBFF) was finally ratified and launched at the Seventh Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Vancouver, Canada. 

Governments, non-profits and the private sector can now contribute their funds here to ensure that the world meets the goals and targets of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) formulated by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) by 2030. Canada and the United Kingdom have already donated 200 million Canadian dollars and 10 million pounds respectively to the GBFF.

“We welcome the ratification and launch of the fund. We also welcome the contributions from donors which will facilitate the early operationalisation of the fund in advance of COP16 (16th Conference of Parties to CBD),” said David Cooper, acting executive-secretary of CBD.

The contributions announced in Vancouver will support action towards halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030 and putting nature on a recovery path by 2050. As much as 20 per cent of the funds would support Indigenous-led initiatives to protect and conserve biodiversity. 

It will also prioritise support for Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries, which will receive more than a third of the fund’s resources. This is the first time there would be funds channeled to non-state actors like the indigenous communities.

Under Target 19 of GBF, at least $200 billion per year will need to be raised by 2030.

The early donations are in line with the GEF Council Decision adopted in June that initial contributions for BGFF should reach $200 million from at least three donors by December 2023.

After donation from Canada and the UK, $40 million is still needed to operationalise the fund by the end of 2023, civil society organsiations like Avaaz and Conservation International have pointed out.

More funds are expected next year depending on the domestic fiscal processes of the major donors. The first GBFF Council meeting will be held in January 2024, with a view to approving the first work programme at the June 2024 Council meeting.The first tranche of the fund is likely to be disbursed after the council meeting to ensure that first projects under the new Fund can be launched ahead of CBD’s CoP16. 

This is a hugely positive moment that will be remembered far into the future. “We have shown at the Seventh GEF Assembly that even in difficult conditions – with wildfire smoke as our backdrop – we can move forward to build a more biodiverse planet for everyone’s benefit,” said Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, chief executive and chairperson of the Global Environment Facility.

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