Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CEO of the Global Environment Facility Assembly, announced the launch of a new biodiversity financing fund during the GEF Assembly, which was held on August 22-26 in Vancouver, Canada, with the participation of representatives from 185 countries.
During his speech at the press conference in Vancouver, which was attended by Al-Ain News, Rodriguez said, "With regard to mobilizing the resources that we are looking forward to, we have set a set of very ambitious goals, as the parties announced their commitment to mobilizing $200 billion from all sources by 2030."
“Delegates from 186 countries took a historic decision, just eight months after the achievement achieved at the fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity last December in Montreal, with the decision to establish a new fund, and the objectives of this framework are to preserve biodiversity and protect 30% of the oceans and 30% of the land by 2030, with a commitment to creating sustainable activities in relation to the terrestrial and marine use of biodiversity," he said.
Canada's Minister of International Development, Ahmed Hussein, announced during his speech at the conference that Canada will invest $200 million in the new fund, and thus will be the first country to contribute to its financing.
The Canadian minister said the new fund will mobilize resources to finance biodiversity and help distribute them to developing countries to support their efforts to protect and restore nature and develop resilient economies. It will also invest in more diverse and richer ecosystems through three elements, which include funding to support the initiatives of indigenous people and local communities, small island developing states and least developed countries and the triple crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.
For the third element, Canada will provide an additional $22.8 million to fund replenishment in GEF-8, in addition to Canada's initial contribution of $219 million, announced at COP15.
In a press statement issued by the United Nations Environment Program, UNEP described the fund's announcement as an important step in supporting the sustainable development goals, as it represents a financing mechanism dedicated to preserving nature around the world.
"UNEP calls on governments, philanthropic organizations and the private sector to contribute to the Fund, and welcomes the Fund's strong focus on supporting actions by indigenous peoples, women and local communities, recognizing their critical role in implementing the global biodiversity framework," the release read.
This story was supported through Internews’ Earth Journalism Network's Reporting Fellowship to the 7th Global Environment Facility Assembly in Vancouver, Canada. It was originally published by Al-Ain News on August 26, 2023 and has been translated from Arabic and lightly edited for length and clarity.
Banner image: GEF CEO Carlos Manuel Rodriguez speaking at the announcement of the fund in Vancouver / Credit: Hadeer Elhadary.