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Advancing More, Better and Faster Financing for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

The Financial Mechanism (GEF)

Basis for action:

“The purpose of the present Memorandum of Understanding is to make provision for the relationship between the Conference of the Parties and the Council in order to give effect to the provisions of Article 21, paragraph 1, of the Convention and paragraph 26 of the GEF Instrument and, on an interim basis, in accordance with Article 39 of the Convention” … MOU, paragraph 1.1

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established in October 1991 as a pilot program to assist in the protection of the global environment and to promote environmentally sound and sustainable economic development, in anticipation of the adoption of international conventions on biological diversity and climate change. GEF was part of the interim financial arrangement under Article 39 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and accepted by decision III/8 in 1996 as the institutional structure to operate the financial mechanism of the Convention. The GEF remains to be the only multilateral institution that has direct accountability to the Conference of the Parties.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the Conference of the Parties to the Convention and the Council of the Global Environment Facility is contained in decision III/8. The Memorandum provides legal basis for the relationship between the Convention and the Facility and sets out the role and responsibilities of each institution. This relationship was unprecedented in international financial cooperation system at the time of its formation. Over the past years, the two intertwining institutions have gained considerable experiences in enhancing mutual accountability and joining hands in advancing global biodiversity agenda.

The relationship between the Conference of the Parties and the GEF Council is reflected in five major areas: provision of guidance; reporting from the GEF Council; monitoring and evaluation; determination of funding needs; inter-secretariat collaboration.

Further readings

Decision III/8 (The Memorandum of Understanding between the Conference of the Parties to the Convention and the Council of the Global Environment Facility)

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme