Fostering Environmental Security- A Synergistic Approach of the Global Environment Facility (GEF)
The Global Environment Facility was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to address environmental issues. It’s main objective is “to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems” (Anwar,2018). Global Environment Facility works as an independent financial organization providing financial grants to environmental projects on biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), mercury, sustainable forests management, food security, and sustainable cities.
The GEF is a unique partnership of 18 agencies- United Nations Agencies, multilateral development banks, national entities and international NGOs. I83 countries are covered under the workings of the GEF. The GEF also functions as a financial mechanisms for five of the international conventions- The Minamata Convention on Mercury, the Stockholm Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD),the United Nations Convention to Combat Climate Change (UNCCD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The GEF is considered to be the largest multilateral trust fund that provides financial support to developing countries to invest in promoting environmental security. “The United Nations Environment describes environmental security as a “conceptual envelop” including a variety of issues involving the role that the environment and natural resources can play across the peace and security continuum, including environmental causes and drivers of conflict, environmental impacts of conflict and, environmental recovery and post-conflict peace-building”(Blake,2018).
Environmental security is relevant to the focal areas of the GEF. The international waters portfolio focuses on investment in institutions for transboundary cooperation, in case of international river basins and for other large marine water bodies. The biodiversity portfolio addresses the food security crisis and overall well-being of humans in such situations. The land degradation, deforestation and desertification investment offers financial support to the people living in marginal regions with food and livelihood security. Explicitly addressing Environmental security is necessary for environmental stability.
One threat to environmental investment could be the violent conflicts resulting from any situation. It affects the efforts taken, the investment made for environmental protection. Violent conflict can bring drastic changes in our ecosystem as well as affect the well-being, livelihood and have a negative impact on human health. This can be solved by environmental cooperation which can increase the rate of prevention, recovery and management of conflicts.
The partnership between the GEF and the food and agriculture Organization have resulted in giving prominence to agriculture, forestry , food security and livelihood resilience. The GEF synergized it’s priorities with the international conventions and overall contributes to environmental sustainability.. The GEF also plays an important role in blending and synthesizing convention guidance. It provides grants to projects that directly or indirectly address the challenges to environmental security. It is a global alternative asset manager established in 1990 to invest in clean energy, environmental and sustainable resource management industries.
The GEF has also been working with UNEP for achieving its objectives. United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) is an environmental body of the United Nations playing a lead role in the International environmental governance system. It addresses environmental problems at regional as well as at global level for the United Nations. The GEF and the UNEP have been working together cooperatively to tackle environmental problems since 1992. Together both have implemented around 1000 projects for improving the quality of life of people across more than 160 countries.
Anwar, Shakeel. 2018. “What is The Global Environment Facility”. https://m.jagranjosh.com/general-knowledge/what-is-global-environmental-facility-1524664812-1
Blake, D. Ratner. 201. “Environmental Security: Dimensions and priorities”. https://www.thegef.org/council-meeting-documents/environmental-security-dimensions-and-priorities