Sat, 24th June 2017 | Updated Tuesday 20 June 2017, 04:53:43
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) unites 182 member governments, in partnership with international institutions (including UNEP, UNDP and the World Bank), non-governmental organisations, and the private sector. The GEF provides grants to developing countries, and countries with economies in transition for projects within the three focal areas; Biodiversity, Climate Change and Land Degradation. The GEF has consistently provided assistance to Seychelles over the years, funding a number of major national projects in the areas below since 1993:
Defined as ‘the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part including diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.’ It simply means the “diversity of life on Earth.” Biodiversity is under heavy threat and safeguarding their status is today the most critical challenge to humankind as the destruction of biodiversity is (or can be) irreversible. The GEF supports projects that address the key drivers of biodiversity loss and focuses on the highest leveraging opportunities to achieve sustainable biodiversity conservation.
Defined by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as ‘a change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and that is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.’ The early impacts of climate change have already appeared and scientists believe further impacts are inevitable. GEF projects in climate change help developing countries and economies in transition ‘to achieve [...] stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system’ and it supports projects in Climate Change Mitigation and Climate Change Adaptation.
Defined as ‘any form of deterioration of the natural potential of land that affects ecosystem integrity either in terms of reducing its sustainable ecological productivity or in terms of its native biological richness and maintenance of resilience.’ Land degradation is a major threat to biodiversity, ecosystem stability, and the society’s ability to function considering the interconnectivity between ecosystems across scales which triggers destructive processes leading to other issues such as increased soil erosion, release of greenhouse gases contributing to global warming and other potential negative consequences.
The GEF therefore invests in conservation stewardship which is essential for sustaining the multitude of global environmental benefits that humanity obtains from ecosystems. Additionally, the GEF assists countries to meet the requirements of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) and the UNFCCC and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), by funding Capacity Development initiatives, designed to generate competence in and improve the effectiveness of the institutions that work with the conventions and implement GEF projects and to promote in the country a better-functioning political, economic, and social system-enabling environment.