The Assembly brought together ministers, government officials, business leaders, environmentalists, leaders of international agencies and environmental conventions along with representatives of youth groups, civil society, and indigenous people.
The GEFs every-four-year gathering of 185 countries is taking place at a time when the world is struggling to cope with record air and sea temperatures, deadly and destructive wildfires, and extreme flooding. It has to set a path to end nature loss and turn down the heat.
Significantly, the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF) which was adopted in Montreal, Canada, commits the world to reversing biodiversity loss by 2030. It is being deemed as an equivalent of Paris Agreement under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Under Target 19 of the KMGBF, countries have to generate at least US$200 billion per year by 2030 for biodiversity. At its Brasilia meeting in June, the GEF Council had greed on a record $1.4 billion work program in order to advance efforts to address environmental challenges in an integrated way.
Recent months have seen significant advances in environmental diplomacy, among them the COP15 breakthrough on biodiversity, the UN pact to preserve the high seas, a pledge from world leaders to work toward a global deal on eliminating plastic waste, and a World Trade Organization agreement to bar harmful fisheries.
A joint international open letter by civil society institutions had underlined the importance of international public finance for combating global nature crisis. It has called for donor countries to announce ambitious contributions to the GBF Fund.
GEF was ceated three decades ago. It is the world’s largest multilateral funder of environmental action, and a trusted partner of both donor governments looking to make a global difference, and developing countries looking to tackle their biggest ecological and sustainability challenges.