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5. The Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) Fund: Operational Mainstreaming through Multilateral Development Banks and International Finance Institutions

22 August 2023, 17:00- 18:30, session in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework Pavilion at the Seventh GEF Assembly

 Room 301, Vancouver Convention Center

GEF 7 Logo

The Seventh Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF Assembly), being held in Vancouver, Canada from 22 – 26 August 2023, will provide an opportunity for a critical stocktake on the 2030 goals to end pollution and biodiversity loss, combat climate change, and propel inclusive, locally-led conservation. Thanks to the assistance of the government of Canada and the Secretariat of the Global Environment Facility, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will convene a Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) Pavilion at the margins of the Assembly.  The Pavilion will provide an opportunity for participants to learn more about and discuss issues surrounding the implementation of the GBF.

The seventh GEF Assembly marks the historic eighth replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund (GEF-8), successfully agreed in 2022. In anticipation of the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF) by the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the CBD, GEF-8 places a major focus of its attention on biodiversity. At its fifteenth meeting, held in Montreal in December 2022, the CBD COP also requested the GEF to establish a dedicated Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) Fund, a vehicle for mobilising new and additional funding from all sources to support the effective and rapid implementation of the GBF. A highlight of the GEF Assembly is expected to be the approval and launch by the Assembly of the GBF Fund. The seventh GEF Assembly will therefore be an important step on the road to the successful implementation of the Framework.

The GBF Pavilion will be host to a curated a series of events and dialogues aimed to strengthen the capacity and networks needed to allow stakeholders and Parties to the Convention to effectively work with the GEF to leverage resources. Environmental leaders from over 185 countries will be participating in the GEF Assembly. With the recent adoption of the KMGBF, the GEF Assembly is a fitting place to examine, discuss and commit to the urgent actions that need to take place, among the attending government officials, indigenous peoples, prominent environmentalists, youth, civil society representatives and business organizations.


At COP 15 of the CBD, as part of the “package” of decisions associated with the adoption of the KMGBF, the Conference of the Parties adopted Decision 15/7 on Resources Mobilisation. 

This decision requested  “the Global Environment Facility to establish, in 2023, and until 2030 unless the Conference of the Parties decides otherwise, a Special Trust Fund to support the implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework (“GBF Fund”), to complement existing support and scale up financing to ensure its timely implementation, taking into account the need for adequacy, predictability, and the timely flow of funds”  

In addition, Decision 15/7  specifically calls upon Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) to support resources mobilisation for implementing the GBF, and more specifically for implementing the GBF Fund – as per the following excerpt of paragraph 17 of Decision 15/7: 

[The Conference of the Parties] Invites multilateral development banks as well as international financial institutions and philanthropy, to support the Strategy for Resource Mobilization contained in annex I, and in particular to: 

(a) Identify and report investments in their portfolio that contribute to achieving the objectives of the Convention, and the goals and targets of the Global Biodiversity Framework, taking into account relevant international guidance and good international practice; 

(b) Align their portfolios and financial flows with the objectives of the Convention, and the goals and targets of the global biodiversity framework by 2030; 

(c) Simplify access to financial resources for biodiversity 

(d) Increase biodiversity funding, through leveraging financial resources from all sources and deploying a full suite of instruments, including new and innovative approaches such as private capital mobilization and blended finance; 

(e) Report on their progress to future meetings of the Conference of the Parties. 

18. Also invites international financial institutions and multilateral development banks, in particular the World Bank Group and the IMF, to immediately consider supporting implementation of the global biodiversity framework, including by partnering with the GBF Fund, established as per paragraph 29; 

The 64th GEF Council meeting held in Brasilia on 26-29 June 2023 established the GEF Global Biodiversity Fund and its programming directions1.  This included consideration of the role of international financial institutions, informed by consultations with multilateral development banks and international financial institutions held on 21 April 2023, reported under Annex H of the programming document, and summarised in the document (page 28) as follows: 

65. During the consultations with MDBs and IFIs (see Annex 5), we heard very clearly that access to GEF resources was a limiting factor for MDBs and IFIs to increase their participation in the GEF portfolio as well as providing additional financing through loans and blended finance. These agencies normally engage with Ministries of Finance while GEF resources are normally accessed through engagement more centralized in the Environment Ministry. This has led to fewer opportunities for MDBs to access resources for GEF projects since country allocation decisions are usually all determined by the time they open a dialogue with the appropriate Ministry. 

66. The GEF experience with blended finance over the past decade has resulted in the crowding in of the private sector with additional financing from those sources well above the GEF average for other projects (18 to 1 compared to 7 to 1). 

67. A full 25% of the total GBFF resources is to be programmed through IFIs that are GEF Agencies. A report to the GBFF council will be presented at the GBFF council 2 years after the date of ratification of the GBFF at the GEF Assembly. This report will include the distribution of GBFF resources by agencies. The GBFF council can, at that time, discuss new measures as needed to ensure that the target for IFIs is achieved. 

68. The GEF Secretariat will convene periodic consultations with recipient countries to identify challenges related to engagement and programming with IFIs that are GEF Agencies.

Objectives of side event 

This side event will provide an opportunity for a conversation on the unique role that has been provided to the DFIs in the implementation of the GBF Fund. Central to the discussion will be how DFIs that are GEF agencies may support the programming of 25% of the total GBF Fund resources, as per the GBF Fund Programming Directions adopted at the last GEF Council meeting. 

The conversation will include a consideration of opportunities, challenges, and solutions, for DFIs to support countries in the implementation of the GBF, specifically through the use of GBF fund, through blended approaches with other funding instruments provided by DFIs. 

This may broaden how DFIs invest in activities that and protect biodiversity, and enable the sustainable use and equitable sharing of biodiversity-related benefits, both through directly targeted “nature-positive” investment and as co-benefits of other investments, in a manner consistent with the mandates of DFIs for sustainable social and economic development. This will provide an opportunity to explore approaches that have already been successfully applied, as well as other approaches under considerations, building on lessons learnt, identified challenges and opportunities, and synergies between the work of DFIs and other actors within the financial landscape. 

The issue of how to achieve long term economic sustainability for nature positive action will not be left out. This will including a discussion of drivers (regulatory action, consumer/ market expectations and others) for rapid and long-term acceleration of investments towards activities that restore and protect nature, but also help meet the productive needs of the people and enable sustained and resilience social and economic development. 

Consistent with the mandates of DFIs to support inclusive and equitable development, the discussion will touch on opportunities and challenges related to providing access to finance for indigenous people and local communities (IPLCs) as well as how to enable gender inclusiveness in projects. 

This will also be an opportunity to explore the “investment readiness” of the GBF Fund and the enabling conditions that DFIs may expect form GEF and the GBF Fund so that they can effectively leverage finance from the fund – following up on the April 2023 GEF consultation event with DFIs and the acknowledgement of the need to build appropriate connectivity between the mandate and operational /supervisory processes of DFIs and those of GEF. 

These aspects will be discussed with this main question in mind, “what role can DFIs play in successfully operationalising the GBF fund, supporting the mainstreaming of investment in support of the GBF, and consistent with the role of DFIs as expressed by the Parties to the CBD in COP Decision 15 on Resources Mobilisation.” 

1See the Programming Directions for the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund available online 


Times are listed in Pacific Daylight Savings time (PDT)

Title/Action Speaker Position Organization

Introductory note by the moderator

Neil Pratt (Moderator)

Senior Environmental Affairs Officer

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity

Short presentations by each panelist

Warren Evans

Climate Envoy

Asian Development Bank


Svetlana V. Klimenko

Global Lead for Sustainable Finance and Lead Climate Finance Specialist

World Bank


Siloshini Naidoo

Head of ESG

Development Bank of South Africa


Rene Garcia Gomez Palao

Coordinador de Biodiversidad Positiva – Positive Biodiversity Lead



Adonai Herrera Martinez

Director, Environment and Sustainability

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development


Gregory Watson

Principal Specialist and Co-ordinator, Biodiversity Cluster and Natural Capital Lab

Inter-American Development Bank

Moderated panel discussion




After the panel discussion, the audience is invited to participate in the dialogue by asking questions





More information:

Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework - 2050 Goals

Seventh GEF Assembly - Main Page