The pressure is mounting on policy-makers, private citizens and businesses to make transformative changes as humanity faces a mounting biodiversity crisis and suffers more every year from the impacts of climate change. People from all over the world are calling for action in this the ‘Super Year’ for the biodiversity and climate change emergencies.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council, composed of government representatives from 32 of its member countries, met for their bi-annual meeting 17-19 December 2019 to discuss their plans for the ‘Super Year’. The Work Program that they approved will require $539.2 million from the organization’s trust fund, with additional funds coming from other sources through a co-financing system. This will support 48 projects and 5 programs in both developing countries and countries in transition.
Among the major priorities for 2020 are climate change, ocean protection and biodiversity loss. For instance, a new program, the Blue Nature Alliance, aims to provide and improve protections for marine areas. Another notable initiative, the Inclusive Conservation Initiative, will support and empower indigenous peoples and local communities in their efforts to safeguard biodiversity. In addition, the work program will continue to address issues related to land use, food and agriculture, sustainable cities, forest protection and more.
The GEF is an international funding mechanism, approving hundreds of millions of dollars in grants each year to address the most urgent environmental problems facing humanity, including: climate change, biodiversity loss, ozone depletion and degradation of the world's oceans and international water bodies.