About GEF


Introduction and background

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is the largest independent financial organization in the environment sector that provides assistance or grants to both government and non-government entities for the implementation of projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants.

Since its inception, the GEF has achieved a significant amount of success, particularly within developing countries and countries with economies in transition. To date the GEF has provided $10.5 billion in grants and has leveraged $51 billion in co-financing for over 2,700 projects in over 165 countries.

Resources made available by the GEF to South Africa through the department,  have  enabled the us GEF to implement projects that, at the same time, protect the integrity of the environment while stimulating economic and social development.

In this matter, the GEF partnership has made an important contribution The GEF operates within 5 year cycles. Currently it is operating within the GEF 5 cycle 2010-2014 and working towards the GEF 6 cycle which will commence from 2014-2018. For projects requiring funding it is important that each project follows a specific project cycle.

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Alignment of projects with DEA and broad government objectives

GEF has emphasized that projects must be consistent with government priorities and programmes (Climate Change, Biodiversity and other Focal areas); projects must benefit the global environment, linking local, national and global environment challenges and promoting sustainable livelihoods; they must also address one or more of the GEF Focal areas, improving the global environment or advance the prospect of reducing risks to it; it must be consistent with the GEF Operational Strategy and it must show that there will be global environment benefits; project proposal must give an indication that there is co-funding; it must have developed with the assistance of one of the GEF’s approved Implementing Agencies; it must not be on a study or research; it must involve the public in the project design and implementation thereof and finally the proposals must seek GEF financing for the agreed-on incremental costs in measures to achieve global environmental benefits.

The department emphasize that projects must be aligned with DEA and broad government objectives in the Climate Change and Biodiversity and other relevant focal areas; it must demonstrate that there will be national environmental benefits; it must involve the pubic in project design and implementation; it must benefit and improve the livelihoods of South Africans; if possible, it should contribute to the creation of ‘green jobs’; it must also demonstrate long-term sustainability and lastly after the completion of the whole process, skills transfer and technical capacity should have been achieved. 

Breakdown of the funds made available for the GEF 5 cycle

he GEF fund is replenished during every cycle, below is the breakdown of the funds that were made available for the GEF 5 cycle:


Allocation (GEF 5 Cycle) Amount
Biodiversity      21,680,000
Climate Change   25,710,000
Land Degradation  5,250,000
Total 52,640,000


List of projects


Name of project  Focal area Financing institution
Wild Coast Project
Biodiversity  GEF
National Grasslands Biodiversity Programme
Biodiversity GEF
Sustainable Public Transport -2010 Opportunity
Climate Change GEF
Energy Efficiency Standards and Labelling
Climate Change GEF
Conservation and management of Pollinators
Biodiversity GEF
Conservation in St Lucia Wetland Park
Biodiversity GEF


GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP)



The Small Grants programme (SGP) is a programme of the Global Environment Facility that specifically invests in the development of underprivileged communities impacted by the effects of environmental degradation. The work that has been done by the GEF SGP supported projects has contributed significantly to the environmental conservation.


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