GEF Current Affairs - 2019
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Union government (Agriculture and Environment ministries) along with UN body Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched agriculture project that seeks to bring transformative change in farm sector through conservation of biodiversity and forest landscapes. It will be implemented in five states viz. Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.
The project is being funded with US $33.5 million grant from Global Environment Facility (GEF). It aims to transform agricultural production to generate global environmental benefits by addressing biodiversity conservation, land degradation, climate change mitigation and sustainable forest management. It strives to bring harmony between conservation and development efforts of the country.
Agriculture along with its allied sectors, is the largest source of livelihoods in India, with 82% of country’s farmers being small and marginal. Existing unsustainable agricultural practices have resulted in depletion of water tables, biodiversity and habitat loss for wild species and land and soil degradation which have contributed to the environmental crisis in India. To overcome it, there is need for alternative paradigm to current extractive methods of agricultural production systems. Scientific research is need of time to focus on achieving greener landscapes along with efficient and effective resource use. Moreover, any effort to increase farmers income and food production must be within the framework of sustainable management of natural resources to avoid environmental degradation.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
It is specialised agency of UN that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Its parent organization is UN Economic and Social Council (UNESC). It was established on 16 October 1945 and its headquarters are in Rome, It has 194 member states, along with European Union (member organization).
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
It is multilateral financial mechanism that provides grants to developing countries for projects that benefit global environment and promote sustainable livelihoods in local communities. It was established on the eve of 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. It is based in Washington DC, United States. It addresses six designated focal areas: biodiversity, climate change, international waters, ozone depletion, land degradation and Persistent Organic Pollutants.
India announced to increase its grant to Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) new four-year investment cycle, known as GEF-7 from $12 million to $15 million. It was announced at the GEF Council meeting held at Da Nang, Vietnam and approved a $4.1 billion replenishment of GEF-7.
With India’s increased financing commitment, it is playing crucial role to mitigate climate change and other environmental challenges across the globe. India is among the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change, is both donor and recipient of GEF.
India has been a leading developing country participant in GEF since its inception and has played a major role in shaping GEF. India is both donor and recipient of GEF.
The GEF meeting Council will be followed be sixth GEF Assembly (June 27-28), which meets every four years. It is expecting 1,200 participants, including heads of state, environment ministers, United Nations (UN), NGOs and business leaders.
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
GEF is multilateral financial mechanism that provides grants to developing countries for projects that benefit global environment and promote sustainable livelihoods in local communities. It was established on the eve of 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems
It addresses six designated focal areas: biodiversity, climate change, international waters, ozone depletion, land degradation and Persistent Organic Pollutants. It unites 183 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and private sector to address global environmental issues.
It is based in Washington DC, United States. Since its inception, GEF has provided $17.9 billion in grants and mobilised an additional $93.2 billion in financing for more than 4,500 projects in 170 countries. GEF also serves as financial mechanism for following conventions:
- Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
- UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
- Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
- Minamata Convention on Mercury
The GEF, although not linked formally to Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete Ozone Layer, supports its implementation in countries with economies in transition.