New biodiversity fund approves project preparation grants


The Global Biodiversity Framework Fund (GBFF) has approved project preparation grants and set aside nearly $40 million to support new proposed initiatives in Brazil, Gabon, and Mexico, providing a boost to international efforts to put nature on a path to recovery this decade.

The project preparation grants from the less than 1-year-old fund, housed at the Global Environment Facility, will support strategies to ensure long-term financing, improved management, and expansion of protected areas, in partnership with Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

GEF CEO and Chairperson Carlos Manuel Rodríguez celebrated the initial set of project preparation grants, which were approved seven months after the GBFF’s launch in Vancouver as a means to support action on the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (The Biodiversity Plan). Collectively, the new projects are set to boost the implementation of Targets 2, 3, 4, 9, 19, 22, and 23.

“I am thrilled to see the GBFF up and running and providing high-impact support to biodiverse countries whose work to protect nature is critically important to 2030 goals. I congratulate Brazil, Gabon, and Mexico for their efforts to prioritize meaningful initiatives that the GBFF can support in a way that builds on and amplifies financing from the Global Environment Facility trust fund related to biodiversity. This is an excellent start and there is much more good news for nature to come on the road to COP16 in Colombia,” Rodríguez said.

David Cooper, Acting Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, welcomed the approval of the project preparation grants as a positive step ahead of the Cali-hosted Conference of the Parties, scheduled for Oct. 21 to Nov. 1. “I hope that this early progress ahead of COP16 will inspire more proposals from countries and also encourage further donors to contribute to the new fund,” Cooper said.

About half of the funding set aside for the initial four initiatives is to support actions by Indigenous Peoples and local communities for the conservation, restoration, sustainable use, and management of biodiversity. The GBFF has an aspirational goal of ensuring that at least 20 percent of its funding goes to conservation action by Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a family of funds dedicated to confronting biodiversity loss, climate change, and pollution, and supporting land and ocean health. Its multilateral financing enables developing countries to address complex challenges and work towards international environmental goals.

The GEF partnership includes 186 member governments as well as civil society, Indigenous Peoples, women, and youth, with a focus on integration and inclusivity. Over the past three decades, the GEF Trust Fund has provided more than $24 billion in financing and mobilized another $138 billion for more than 5,700 national and regional projects, in addition to support provided through the Small Grants Programme. The GEF family of funds includes the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund, Global Biodiversity Framework Fund (GBFF), Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), Nagoya Protocol Implementation Fund (NPIF), and Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency Trust Fund (CBIT).