International climate and environmental targets, such as those most recently laid out in the Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, lay out ambitious action-oriented goals for all Parties to limit global warming and curb the accelerating climate and biodiversity crises. Low- and middle-income countries, which are home to much of the world's remaining biodiversity and bear the brunt of global climate impacts, need funding and support to address these challenges and meet their commitments. That is where the The Global Environment Facility (GEF) comes in.
The GEF is a multilateral environmental fund that provides funding to assist low- and middle-income countries in meeting the objectives of international environmental conventions such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and Minamata Convention on Mercury.
Since its establishment in 1991, the GEF has enabled environmental action by providing over $22 billion in grants and blended finance. Some of the GEF funding projects include the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), which helps safeguard water resources, agriculture and food security, health, disaster risk management and prevention, infrastructure and fragile ecosystems. As part of its latest strategy, it seeks to support the adaptation needs of small island developing states (SIDS), and support countries to adopt climate-resilient technologies and adaptation solutions.
From August 22-26, the GEF will host its Seventh Assembly in Vancouver, Canada, bringing together more than 1000 attendees from around the world, including ministers, prominent environmentalists, government officials, business leaders, leaders of GEF agencies, civil society representatives and Indigenous Peoples, to make progress on adaption strategies, private sector engagement and to mobilize finance and reach it to the countries who need it most urgently.
With support from the GEF, EJN is organizing fellowships for journalists to cover the Seventh Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to report on real-time changes to global environmental and climate financing instruments and their implications. The Assembly meets every four years to coordinate financing for international efforts to address climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and factors inhibiting land and ocean health.
This opportunity enables journalists, primarily from low- and middle-income countries—the targeted recipients of GEF investments—to keep their audiences informed about key changes to environmental financing priorities and policies. With the support of EJN mentors, fellows will report on these high-level decisions and interview experts to learn how outcomes will affect their countries. EJN media trainers will offer valuable insight into the deliberations happening on the ground, and share feedback and guidance as needed to support Fellows’ story production.
Banner image: Orix in Etosha National Park, Namibia. The National Park is supported by the Strengthening the Protected Areas Network Project (SPAN) project, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) / Credit: Patrizia Cocca for GEF via Flickr.