The GEF provides funding to assist developing countries in meeting the objectives of international environmental conventions. The GEF serves as “financial mechanism” to five conventions. The GEF also supports various UN Agency Action Programmes like the Barbados Programme of Action, the GPA and the FAO Code of Conduct for Fisheries. However more often the GEF supports and help negotiate regional conventions like the Barcelona, Cartagena, Bucharest, and Danube Conventions.
The conventions, for which the GEF serve as financial mechanism, provide broad strategic guidance to the two governing bodies of the GEF: the GEF Council and the GEF Assembly. The GEF Council converts this broad guidance into operational criteria (guidelines) for GEF projects.
The Stockholm Convention’s objectives include:
- Eliminating the production and use of specific POPs;
- Restricting the production and use of DDT only to disease vector control under WHO guidelines;
- Restricting exports of POPs;
- Developing strategies for identifying stockpiles of POPs and products containing POPs;
- Taking measures to ensure that POPs wastes are managed and disposed of in an environmentally sound manner;
- Developing strategies for identifying sites contaminated by POPs;
- Ensuring that PCBs are managed in an environmentally sound manner and, by 2025, take action to remove PCBs from use;
- Developing and implementing action plans to identify the sources and reduce releases of POPs byproducts; and
- Identifying other chemicals with POPs characteristics and bringing them under the control of the Convention.
On September 2003 the Conference of the Parties accepted the GEF as a financial mechanism of the Convention. The funds allocated by the GEF, support activities that address the issue of desertification and deforestation.
- Report of the GEF on the measure taken to assist the preparation and implementation of action programs of affected African country parties under the UNCCD.
The GEF has been charged with raising and disbursing grants for projects and programs to reduce and eliminate mercury pollution. GEF grants will support a wide range of activities under the Convention. These activities include inventories, implementation plans and investments in technology for reduction and elimination of mercury.
- The Global Ship Ballast Water Treaty
- The UN Law of the Sea Treaty
- The MARPOL treaty for shipping (International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships)
- The UN Agreement on conservation and management of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks.
For successful implementation of international conventions for which GEF is serving as the financial mechanism, developing countries need capable individuals and effective institutions and organizations to work together in a well-functioning political, economic ,and social system – also called as “the enabling environment.”
Capacity development is a primarily endogenous and domestically driven process that depends on clearly answering questions involving the appropriate capacity for what and for whom. Capacity development in the GEF is designed to adhere fully to the concerns and priorities expressed by the international community (for example, the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness), an inherently political and complex process that cannot be rushed, with outcomes that cannot be expected to evolve in a controlled and linear fashion.