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Biodiversity Fund approves 18 new grants for project preparation – EnviroNews

The Global Biodiversity Framework Fund (GBFF) has approved a new round of project preparation grants, earmarking more than $70 million for 18 new projects in 21 countries, including 13 least developed countries and small island developing States. The approvals maintain momentum for the less than a year-old fund housed at the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to put nature on a path to recovery before 2030.

Carlos Manuel Rodríguez
Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CEO and Chairman of GEF

The funds will finance actions under the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (the Biodiversity Plan) in Angola, Belize, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Fiji, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Mozambique, Nauru, Palau, Peru, the Philippines, Samoa, Senegal, South Africa, Suriname and Tonga.

GEF CEO and Chairman Carlos Manuel Rodríguez celebrated the announcement during the week of the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB). “The approval of these grants demonstrates the new fund’s commitment to efficiently allocate resources to impactful projects that will advance inclusivity. We are part of the Plan,” Rodríguez said in reference to this year’s IDB theme, which is a call to action for all stakeholders to halt and reverse biodiversity loss.

The projects will promote many of the Biodiversity Plan objectives – in particular 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 13, 18, 19, 22 and 23 – and have high outcome targets for improving biodiversity, including support for more than 8 million hectares of protected terrestrial and marine areas.

The second round of preparatory grants includes projects from six GEF executive agencies: the Asian Development Bank, Conservation International, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the United Nations Development Program, the World Bank and WWF-US.

In March, the GBFF approved a first round of preparatory grants for four projects totaling nearly $40 million in Brazil, Gabon and Mexico. Together, the two rounds have committed $110 million to 22 projects in 24 countries, with 35 percent of this funding expected to support indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ action for biodiversity. GBFF funds are allocated to projects in a country-driven manner through successive selection rounds open to all eligible countries.

The GBFF was launched in August 2023 at the GEF Assembly in Canada in support of the Biodiversity Plan. So far, it has received contributions from six countries: Canada, Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, Spain and the United Kingdom.