Financial Mechanism and Resources

T7 (Pollution Reduction): How to Use GEF Funding

1. This page aims to provide information regarding the reduction of pollution risks and the negative impact of pollution from all sources for recipient Parties and relevant stakeholders, including how to access funding of the Global Environment Facility in this regard. It is a work in progress and will be updated as necessary.

2. Pollution, including from excess nutrients, pesticides, plastics and other waste, continues to be a major driver of biodiversity loss. Despite increasing efforts to improve the use of fertilizers, nutrient levels continue to be detrimental to ecosystem function and biodiversity. Plastic pollution is accumulating in the oceans, with severe impacts on marine ecosystems, and in other ecosystems with still largely unknown implications. Actions taken in many countries to minimize plastic waste have not been sufficient to reduce this source of pollution. Reported actions included: Regulatory approaches to pollutants; Setting up monitoring systems and standards; Promoting the development and improvement of infrastructure to improve waste management; Regulation of fertilizer use; Monitoring of agricultural runoff; Placing of caps on nitrogen use; Bans or restrictions on certain types of plastics; Awareness campaigns and community clean-up events on plastics; Increasing efforts related to recycling.

Guidance from the Conference of the Parties

3. Planing

  • Develop and implement national and regional targets as well as the related indicators for assessing progress towards these targets, within national biodiversity strategies and action plans, to reduce the pressures on biodiversity from pollution; (X/30, para. 4)
  • Encourage the integration of biodiversity consideration into strategies and policies to reduce pollution; (VI/22, annex, programme element 1, goal 2, objective 2, activity (c))
  • Integrate pollution and waste management into regional, national and sub-national regulations and plans to prevent ecosystem pollution and degradation, and reduce threats to wild animals, including poisoning of wildlife caused by use of pesticides, poison bait, veterinary pharmaceutical treatments, lead in ammunition and fishing weights and light pollution and pollution in the marine environment from marine debris, noise and unexploded ordinance; (Convention on Migratory Species (CBD/SBI/3/6/Add.3, 16 February 2021); VIII/1, annex, priority action; XIII/11, annex II, para. 5.1(c); VI/22, annex, programme element 1, goal 2, objective 2, activity (d))
  • Implement comprehensive watershed and coastal water quality management plans that reduce all major types of pollution, especially those causing eutrophication, sublethal effects on corals, lower seawater pH or other negative impacts, and implement watershed management policies that include reforestation; erosion control; runoff reduction; sustainable agriculture and mining; reduction of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer and other agrochemical use, and wastewater management and treatment, prioritizing the reduction of nutrient and sediment pollution from watersheds, and the management of pollution “hotspots” (areas that produce the highest pollution loads); (XII/23, annex, para. 8.2b-d)
  • Develop and implement national approaches to liability and redress measures, incorporating the polluter pays principle or other appropriate mechanisms in relation to damages to protected areas; (VII/28, annex, goal 1.5)

4. Monitoring

  • Identify and assess local and long-range pollution (air, water and soil) and take appropriate measures to prevent and mitigate the impacts; (VII/27, annex, action 1.1.8; goal 3.2)
  • Support monitoring programmes that help evaluate the impacts of air, soil and water pollution on biodiversity and ecosystems, and increase the understanding of the impact of pollution, e.g., acidification and eutrophication, and other pollutants (such as mercury and cyanide) on biodiversity at genetic, species, ecosystem and landscape levels; (VI/22, annex, programme element 1, goal 2, objective 2, activity (a) and (b))
  • Exchange information on the impact of pollution such as acidification and eutrophication related to deforestation and forest degradation on forest biodiversity and increase efforts to reduce their negative impacts; (IX/5, para. 2(f))

5. Agricultural Inputs

  • Implement an appropriate mix of regulatory and incentive measures aligned with national biodiversity objectives to increase the efficiency of use of fertilizer and pesticides and to avoid their inappropriate use; (XIII/3, para. 32)
  • Promote and support, as appropriate, sustainable agricultural production, through the enhanced use of a diverse range of well-adapted crops and livestock, and their varieties and breeds, and of associated biodiversity in agricultural systems, including pollinators, pest-control organisms and soil organisms that promote nutrient cycling, thereby reducing the need for or replacing chemical inputs; (XIII/3, para. 30)

6. Nutrients

  • Increase actions to reduce pollution, including from excess nutrients, especially nitrogen deposition; (14/1, para. 14(f); IX/1, para. 40)
  • Implement measures to reduce nutrient loading and prevent eutrophication caused by, inter alia, wastewater and agricultural run-off and infiltration, and promote appropriate agricultural techniques, including organic and sustainable agriculture, to prevent unnatural run-off and eutrophication impacts; (X/34, para. 14; VIII/1, annex, priority action 7.2.3)
  • Ensure that no ocean fertilization takes place, reaffirming the precautionary approach; (X/29, para. 58, 13(e))
  • Enhance regional and international cooperation with a view to addressing transboundary pollution that has significant impacts on island ecosystems, including by reducing discharges from land-based sources, particularly with respect to excess nutrient inputs; (XI/15, para. 3(b); VII/27, annex, action 2.3.4)

7. Pesticide

  • Develop and implement national and as appropriate regional pesticide risk reduction strategies and avoid or reduce the use of pesticides harmful for pollinators, for example, by adopting Integrated Pest Management practices and biocontrol, taking into account the International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization; (XIII/15, para. 7(j))
  • Improve, as appropriate, risk assessment procedures for pesticides and, where necessary, for living modified organisms to better take into account possible impacts, including sublethal and indirect effects, on both wild and managed pollinators, including, inter alia, a wider range of pollinator taxa, beyond honeybees and managed bumblebees, and toxicological studies, in risk assessment protocols, applying the precautionary approach in line with the preamble of the Convention, consistent with international obligations and taking into account climate variations and cumulative effects; (XIII/15, para. 7(m))
  • Improve pesticide application practices, including technologies to reduce drift, to reduce exposure of pollinators, where pesticides pose a risk to pollinators, and avoid or minimize the synergistic effects of pesticides with other drivers that have been proven to pose serious or irreversible harm to pollinators; (XIII/15, para. 7(k), 7(n))
  • Remove or reduce perverse incentives causing the overuse of pesticides; (XIII/15, para. 7(q))
  • Promote and share further research to address gaps in knowledge regarding potential impacts of pesticides, in particular neonicotinoids and other systemic pesticides, taking into account their possible cumulative effects, on pollinator; (XIII/15, para. 7(x))

8. Aquatic Pollution

  • Avoid, minimize and mitigate the impacts of marine debris, in particular plastic pollution, on marine and coastal biodiversity and habitats, and consider, where appropriate, extended producer responsibility for providing response measures where there is damage or sufficient likelihood of damage to marine and coastal biodiversity and habitats from marine debris; (XIII/10, para. 6-7; 14/10, para. 1(a))
  • Identify all sources of significant land-based and sea-based pollutants affecting coral reefs and set up comprehensive national/local water quality monitoring programmes; (XII/23, annex, para. 8.2a)
  • Avoid, minimize and mitigate land-based and sea-based pollution, deoxygenation and introduction of invasive alien species through ballast water and biofouling to prevent adverse impacts on cold-water ecosystems and species; (XIII/11, annex II, para. 5.2(b))
  • Develop and implement measures, policies and instruments to prevent the discard, disposal, loss or abandonment of any persistent, manufactured or processed solid material in the marine and coastal environment; (XIII/10, para. 8)
  • Develop and enforce instruments to control ship-source pollution, and prepare contingency plans for oil spills. (VIII/1, annex, priority action
  • Implement best practice standards for marinas, docks, mariculture, tourism or recreational operations conducted in coral reefs or adjacent environments. (XII/23, annex, para. 8.2e)
  • Avoid, minimize and mitigate the significant adverse impacts of anthropogenic underwater noise on marine and coastal biodiversity (XIII/10, para. 2)
  • Identify and remove the sources, or reduce the impacts, of water pollution (chemical, thermal, microbiological or physical) on the biological diversity of inland waters; (VII/4, annex, para. 1.1.3)
  • Develop and implement watershed integrated management to prevent siltation and run-off impacts on island coastal ecosystems, and ensure that infrastructure developments include measures to mitigate run-off and siltation; (VIII/1, annex, priority action 7.2.2)

9. Waste Management

  • Develop and implement pollution and waste management plans, including contingency plans, with special attention to solid and hazardous waste; (VIII/1, annex, priority action 7.2.1,
  • Develop effective methods for effluent and waste control, including wastewater treatment plants and other appropriate systems for management of human waste; (VIII/1, annex, priority action; VII/5, para. 48(c))
  • Develop and promote specific guidelines and responsible codes for all tourism activities, including waste generation and disposal; (VIII/1, annex, priority action
  • Enhance and promote public awareness and action to minimize, manage and recycle waste, including appropriate facilities; (VIII/1, annex, priority action and

Financial support of the Global Environment Facility

Food Systems

Clean and Healthy Oceans

Eliminating Hazardous Chemicals from Supply Chains

Circular Solutions to Plastic Pollution

IWFA: Objective One

CWFA: Objectives One and Three

Potential implementation/project partners

Related references