International Environment Financing: A Review of the Global Environment Facility
Keywords:INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL FINANCING, INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL CONVENTIONS, GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT FACILITY
After having played the part of a path-breaker and trend-setter in the early years of its existence, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) came to occupy a vital and wellestablished place in international environmental governance (IEG) from the end of the 1990’s onwards. At present, the GEF faces some obvious challenges that threaten to weaken its stature in the global environmental architecture, namely the issues of its efficiency and role in its current form. The proliferation of new funds and funding machineries over the past years is bringing about major changes in the roles of different funding institutions, including the GEF. Particularly, they result in shifting funds for the GEF’s focal areas from the GEF to other funding institutions, such as the World Bank and other Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), which in the opinion of many scholars may relegate the GEF to a minor role in the existing organizational architecture for global environmental financing. As an international funding mechanism approving hundreds of millions of dollars in grants each year, the GEF presents tremendous potential to address some of the most pressing environmental problems threatening human prosperity and survival. The paper, therefore, reviews the Global Environment Facility as an important player in the field of international environmental governance, particularly as it relates to its role within the existing organizational architecture for international environmental financing.
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