Arlington. Virginia, U.S.
– Conservation International (CI)
has been accredited as an agency of the Global Environment Facility (GEF)
, the world’s largest public funder of projects to improve the environment. This is the first time in the GEF’s 22-year history that non-governmental organizations will have the ability to directly access and disburse GEF funding to assist governments and civil society organizations to develop, implement and manage conservation and sustainable development initiatives across the world.
"Our partnership with the GEF will significantly strengthen CI's ability to ensure human well being by helping us direct financial resources to the communities and critical ecosystems that generate life-sustaining benefits for people, such as clean air, fresh water, storm protection, and livelihoods,” said Peter Seligmann, CEO and Chairman of Conservation International. “Agency status is a privilege that we are committed to making successful.”
An independently operating financial organization, the GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer and persistent organic pollutants. Since its creation in 1991, the GEF has provided $11.5 billion in grants for over 3,215 projects in more than 165 countries.
Traditionally, the GEF has channeled its funding through United Nations agencies and multilateral development banks, such as the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank. However, in order to broaden its global reach and to allow recipient countries a greater choice of agencies to work with, the GEF has now allowed non-governmental organizations and other institutions to apply for agency accreditation.
“I would like to sincerely welcome Conservation International and World Wildlife Fund-US to the GEF family. The accreditation of new GEF Project Agencies, enabling them to access GEF funds to implement environmental projects, is an important way to strengthen the GEF Partnership. I am very excited about having CI and WWF-US among us. CI and WWF-US will help us further diversify the GEF’s tool-box, and allow us to present countries with a broader array of options that can best support them to address the drivers of global environmental degradation,” said GEF CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii.
Niels Crone, Chief Operating Officer at Conservation International, who was invited to address Ms. Ishii at the 45th GEF Council meeting, where the accreditation was announced, said: “On behalf of our organization, I am excited and honored to receive our accreditation as a project agency. We have had a long and productive relationship with the GEF and this step with take our partnership to a whole new level further benefitting conservation and human well-being”.
Conservation International has worked with the GEF since its inception in 1991, ranging from engaging as a member of the GEF NGO network to supporting the execution of approximately US$80 million in GEF funding in the past seven years. CI’s vast experience in innovative funding for environmental projects and private sector engagement are complementary to the GEF’s current approach, and will add immense value to the network of agencies by providing it with additional expertise in addressing the most pressing environmental and development challenges.
Lilian Spijkerman, Vice President of Global Public Partnerships at Conservation International’s Center for Environment and Peace, led the team that successfully applied for agency status. She said: “Our vast experience in innovative funding for environmental projects and private sector engagement are complementary to the GEF’s current approach, and will add immense value to the network of agencies by providing it with additional expertise in addressing the most pressing environmental and development challenges.”
Note to editors:
Conservation International - Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature and its global biodiversity to promote the long-term well-being of people. Founded in 1987, CI is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area. CI employs more than 800 staff in nearly 20+ countries on four continents and works with more than 1,000 partners around the world. For more information, please see www.conservation.org or visit us on Facebook and Twitter.