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Excerpt: 2024 Statement at the 66th GEF Council Meeting

7 February 2024-- Washington, DC, USA-- Statement made by Acting Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, David Cooper at the 66th Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council Meeting

"Clearly the focus of COP 16 will be to demonstrate momentum towards the goals and targets of the Kunming-Montreal GBF – the Biodiversity Plan – and to strengthen support for the implementation of this ambitious Plan. Finance will be a major focus of the COP, both on the official agenda and through high level parallel events. 

Currently, Parties to the Convention are working to translate the global ambition of the Plan into national ambition, setting national targets, and updating their NBSAPs. We acknowledge the important support from GEF-7 and GEF-8 for this vital process. 

Parties will present their national targets and updated NBSAPs to COP 16, and also have the opportunity to report achievements to date in terms of policies and actions on the ground. On this basis, COP 16, aided by a meeting of the SBI that will take place just before, will have a first opportunity to review progress. 

In this context, we very much welcome the second GEF-8 workplan approved by this Council on Monday. The workplans agreed last June and this week are the two largest ever, each with a large share for biodiversity, and with major contributions from the integrated programmes. Since countries have only a few years to achieve the 2030 targets, this frontloading of the GEF-8 resources for biodiversity is, of course, necessary. But this also underlines the need for complementary and further scaled up funding to be provided through the new GBF Fund if this pace is to be sustained – as indeed it must be. 

I’ll say more about the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund at the dedicated Council meeting tomorrow but allow me to reiterate our appreciation to the Council for the establishment of the new fund, responding so quickly to the requests from the CBD in COP decisions 15/7 and 15/15. We also welcome the recent contributions to the new fund from some donors and urge additional contributions to meet the call from the COP in those decisions and commensurate with Target 19 of the GBF. 

I’d also like to acknowledge efforts by this council to act on other requests from the COP including efforts to streamline the project cycle...  

... Let me reflect on the ambition of the GBF and the enormous common challenge we have: to achieve the goals and targets. I believe we can be encouraged by the widespread support for the GBF, including the synergies with the chemicals conventions..., as well as by the strong recognition of the role of nature in the climate agenda as reflected in the official COP28 outcomes. The GBF will require everyone – a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach. The GEF is a trusted partner in this endeavor. We look forward to further strengthening this partnership so that the GEF can support the full implementation of the GBF both directly and indirectly."

More information:

View Full Statement

Launch of the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund

Highlights from the Ministerial on Nature at the GEF Seventh Assembly