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Global Environment Facility

The GEF is the largest multilateral trust fund focused on enabling developing countries to invest in nature and supports the implementation of international conventions on biodiversity, climate change, chemicals, mercury and desertification.

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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.