Global Environment Facility
Grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, chemicals and waste, international waters, land degradation, forest management, and ozone depletion
Principal Office: International
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a partnership for international cooperation in which over 180 countries work together with international institutions, civil society organizations, and the private sector to address global environmental issues.
The GEF is the financial mechanism for five international conventions (Biodiversity; Climate Change; Persistent Organic Pollutants; Mercury; and Desertification) in addition to supporting implementation of the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer. The GEF’s program areas are:
- Climate change (mitigation and adaptation);
- Chemicals and waste;
- International waters;
- Land degradation;
- Sustainable forest management; and
- Ozone depletion.
Grant Programs for Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Natural Resources
The grant-making programs in GEF are many and complex. GEF provides grants to various types of projects ranging from several thousand dollars to several million dollars.
- Full-Sized Projects — For grants over US$2 million, GEF’s implementing agencies work with an operational focal point in each country to develop project ideas consistent with the country’s priorities, and with GEF’s operational strategy and programs. Full-sized projects have to be approved by GEF’s Council.
- Medium-Sized Projects — Grants of less than US$2 million are available through expedited procedures that speed processing and implementation. They are intended to encourage a wide variety of interested parties to develop and propose project concepts.
- Enabling Activities — The GEF finances capacity-building activities under the conventions on biodiversity, climate change, and persistent organic pollutants. The GEF provides grants for developing plans, strategies, programs, and reports in support of the relevant conventions.
- Programmatic Approach — This framework connects GEF with the private sector, aid donors, and the scientific community in programs that integrate global environmental objectives into national and regional strategies. A program usually contains several projects to foster increased horizontal and vertical integration.
- Small Grants – The GEF’s Small Grants Program provides NGOs and community organizations with grants of up to US$50 thousand in GEF’s thematic areas. The Small Grants Program is implemented by the United Nations Development Program. (Note: The Terra Viva Grants Directory includes the SGP in our profile of the UNDP).
GEF’s operational focal points administer the in-country coordination of GEF’s projects. Grant seekers begin by contacting the country’s operational focal point to verify that project ideas will be eligible for GEF’s consideration. They subsequently prepare a Project Identification Form in close coordination with one of GEF’s partner agencies.
Many projects begin with a project preparation grant. Project ideas that meet initial criteria are submitted for further processing, depending on the type of grant requested. Larger projects are reviewed by GEF’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel and, when appropriate, the secretariats of the relevant conventions.
Geographical Distribution of Grant Activities in Developing Countries
GEF’s member developing countries are identified below in the regional geographical structure of the Terra Viva Grants Directory.
Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands: Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Kiribati, Laos, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Vietnam
East Asia: China, Mongolia, North Korea
South Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Eurasia and Central Asia: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Eastern Europe and Russia: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine
Middle East and North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen
Sub-Saharan Africa: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Dem Rep of Congo, Djbouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Latin America and Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela
GEF’s database of projects can be searched by country, focal area, operational program, dates of project approval, and project size.
The GEF works through operational focal points in each country.
The GEF-CSO Network is an important link between the GEF and civil society organizations around the world.
Note: The Terra Viva Grants Directory offers a separate profile of the French program of the GEF, which adheres to the same GEF program areas, but is managed by French institutions.
Last Profile Review