Integrated Approach Pilots, Integrated Programs

Tackling drivers of environmental degradation in an integrated way

The new GEF2020 strategy emphasizes the need to support transformational change and achieve impacts on a broader scale. The strategy calls for the GEF to focus on the drivers of environmental degradation, and it addresses the importance of supporting broad coalitions of committed stakeholders and innovative and scalable activities.

The three programs –Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa, Sustainable Cities, and Taking Deforestation out of Commodity Supply Chains – will test the delivery of more integrated approaches that address discrete, time-bound global environment challenges.

The programs are in line with priority themes of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, and constitute key components of the GEF2020 strategy:

  • Address drivers of environmental degradation – They will proactively seek out and promote interventions that focus on the underlying drivers of global environmental degradation, and support coalitions that bring together partnerships of committed stakeholders around solutions to complex environmental challenges.
  • Support innovative and scalable activities – They will advance and support innovative ways of doing business and focus on activities that are scalable across multiple countries, regions and sectors through policy, market or behavioral transformations.
  • Deliver the highest impacts, cost-effectively – They will keep a clear focus on maximizing the global environmental benefits by investing in cost-effective solutions to major environmental challenges.

Sustainable Cities

Cities are a critical entry point to address drivers of three mega-trends of global environmental degradation: urbanization, rising middle class, and population growth. The role of cities for sustainable development cannot be overstated. The GEF is  launching a US$100-million integrated program on sustainable cities that will engage with key partners to develop conceptual models in harmonized performance indicators and, for the first time, capturing global environmental benefits. The models will provide policy and governance support to facilitate integrated urban design, planning, and management that lead to sustainable, resilient development and sound ecosystem management.

Taking Deforestation out of Global Commodity Supply Chains

While feeding a growing population and meeting aspirations of a rising global middle class are social and economic imperatives, the environmental footprint of these products has been nothing short of dramatic. Three commodities soy, beef and palm oil have been responsible for some 80% of tropical deforestation worldwide, which in turn reduces the provision of ecosystem services such as clean water and soil productivity, increases the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon and methane (responsible for 12% of emissions globally), and contributes to the loss of biodiversity from some of the biologically richest ecosystems on Earth. This program is dedicating US$45 million to address one of the key global drivers of deforestation by harnessing the growing public and private sector interest in expanding the supply of sustainably managed commodities, in particular palm oil, soy and beef.

Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa

The Food Security Integrated Program will target agro-ecological systems where the need to enhance food security is linked directly to opportunities for generating global environmental benefits. The program aims to promote the sustainable management and resilience of ecosystems and their different services (land, water, biodiversity, forests) as a means to address food insecurity. At the same time, it will safeguard the long-term productive potential of critical food systems in response to changing human needs. The Food Security Integrated Program will be firmly anchored local, national and regional policy frameworks that will enable more sustainable and more resilient production systems and approaches to be scaled up across the targeted geographies.