The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established 30 years ago on the eve of the Rio Earth Summit to tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, it has provided more than $21.5 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $117 billion in co-financing for more than 5,000 projects and programs. The GEF is the largest multilateral trust fund focused on enabling developing countries to invest in nature and supports the implementation of major international environmental conventions including on biodiversity, climate change, chemicals, and desertification. It brings together 184 member governments in addition to civil society, international organizations, and private sector partners.
Recognizing the centrality of cities as key economic systems and drivers of environmental degradation, the GEF launched the Sustainable Cities Integrated Approach Pilot in 2017. In the first phase (GEF-6), the program supported 28 cities in 11 countries and a global platform to adopt integrated urban planning approaches and pilot urban sustainability solutions. The GEF-7 Sustainable Cities Impact Program, under its brand name UrbanShift, builds on the networks and experience from the pilot phase and supports an additional 23 new cities in nine countries to advance the integrated approach of urban planning, build the systemic capacity of urban actors and facilitate large scale investment in innovative sustainability solutions. Building on well-established partnerships involving GEF agencies, City-based Organizations, and technical entities, the program aims to foster collaboration between cities, national governments, financial institutions, private sector and civil society to promote low carbon, nature-positive, pollution-free, resilient pathways for urban transformation.
UrbanShift is the brand name of the Global Environment Facility's Sustainable Cities Impact Program. It builds on the lessons and experiences of the Sustainable Cities Integrated Approach Pilot, facilitated through the Global Platform for Sustainable Cities.
UrbanShift's project in China aims to support participating cities in achieving carbon neutrality and climate resilience by implementing nature-based solutions and urban biodiversity strategies and mainstreaming integrated planning at the city level.
Drawing from the experiences of cities under the GEF's Sustainable Cities program (including UrbanShift cities), this report looks at key urban sustainability elements and solutions and discusses strategies that advance green recovery.
The Rwanda Urban Development Project II is one of nine UrbanShift local interventions, and focuses on climate resilient infrastructure, service delivery and ecosystem rehabilitation in Kigali and additional cities.