Global Environment Facility issues statement of commitments stemming from Rio 20 Earth Summit
The Global Environment Facility today issued a 12-point “Statement of Commitments” for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNSCD), pledging to swiftly implement the guidance of the conference and to widen global access to GEF funds.
The statement, available on the GEF web site, lays out 12 commitments relating to the GEF’s core mission as reflected in the decisions emerging from the UNCSD summit, better known as Rio 20. The commitments cover a range of issues, from sound management of donations from the GEF’s 182 member nations to continued streamlining of the project cycle and steps to expand access to GEF funds by regional, national and international institutions.
“While we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the historic Earth Summit, our real purpose here in Rio is forward-looking,” said Monique Barbut, CEO and Chairperson of the GEF. “With these twelve commitments, we are setting a clear course going forward as to our goals and aspirations to protect the global environment and to further strengthen the GEF, a great institution and a product of Rio.”
The GEF was a new pilot program at the time of the first Earth Summit in Rio 20 years ago and got its core mission as a result of that conference. Specifically, the 1992 Earth Summit determined that the GEF would act as a financial mechanism of the three major environmental conventions to emerge from that gathering: the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
Since then the GEF’s portfolio has broadened, to include issues ranging from forest protection and preservation of the ozone layer to persistent organic pollutants and international waters. But always the GEF has drawn strong guidance from the Rio Convention process
Though not legally binding, the commitments provide the GEF, its partner institutions and its member nations with a clear road map to the organization’s priorities and goals.