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Stakeholders Applaud Launch of New Global Diversity Framework Fund at 7th GEF Assembly

In a significant move towards promoting global diversity and environmental conservation, stakeholders from across the world applauded the launch of the Global Diversity Framework Fund at the ongoing 7th Global Environment Facility (GEF) Assembly in Vancouver.

The new fund aims to support initiatives that protect and enhance biodiversity while addressing the challenges posed by climate change.

The 7th GEF Assembly, which brought together representatives from governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and civil society, served as a platform for discussing and advancing environmental priorities.

The launch of the Global Diversity Framework Fund emerged as a highlight of the day two of the discussion, garnering widespread praise and enthusiasm.

Stakeholders including government officials, conservationists, scientists, and representatives from indigenous communities expressed their appreciation for the fund’s establishment, emphasizing its potential to drive positive change at local, regional, and global levels.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) commends the Global Environment Facility for the swift creation of a dedicated financing mechanism for worldwide nature conservation, the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund.

UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner in a statement reacting to the agreement said for three decades, UNDP has been a proud partner of the Global Environment Facility and community of environmental action that it has fostered in every corner of the globe.

UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner

He said the new Fund is a critical component in the effort to expand conservation and restoration in the context of the SDG agenda at the required scale.

Steiner calls on governments, philanthropic organizations, and private sector to capitalize the Fund.

“The new Global Biodiversity Framework Fund will be critical for delivering on the goals and targets of the Global Biodiversity Framework.

“It now needs contributions from both public and private sources to set off a chain reaction of new, momentous action on ecosystems and biodiversity,” he said.

Acting Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, CBD, David Cooper, said the fund is uniquely dedicated to support the implementation of the Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, its goals and its targets.

Acting Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, CBD, David Cooper.

“It provides an opportunity to receive funding from all sources, quickly disburse through streamlined procedures, with enhanced access for indigenous peoples and local communities, according to their own priorities.

“The fund will provide a much needed increase of support to the LDCs and SIDS while at the same time recognizing the important responsibility of countries with great biodiversity,” he said.

President and CEO Wildlife Conservation Society Monica Medina, while commending assembly said the new fund will change the trajectory of nature for the better and help address the climate crises.

“As the world’s largest on-the-ground conservation organization working in 50 plus countries, we welcome the launch of the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund (GBFF) which will help turn around our planet’s catastrophic biodiversity downward spiral.

“We commend the fund’s aspirational target of 20 percent to go to Indigenous Peoples and local communities, which represents a paradigm shift recognizing and enabling their crucial conservation leadership and contributions.

“Ultimately, this new fund is about investing in projects that will change the trajectory of nature for the better, help address the climate crisis, and prevent future pandemics,” she said.

Oscar Soria, Avaaz campaign director, while welcoming the development said the time for half-measures has passed; and now is the moment to confront the climate crisis head-on.

Avaaz called on the GEF to rise to this moment of urgency by ensuring robust and direct financial support to empower IPLCs in their critical roles and efforts, and by prioritizing indigenous-led ecosystem management strategies with the necessary financial resources to continue protecting our planet.

With wildfires wreaking havoc in British Columbia, where the meeting is taking place, but also in many other areas around the world, like Hawaii, the Amazon and the Congo basin, Avaaz stressed the pivotal role of Indigenous Peoples in safeguarding biodiversity and preventing environmental contingencies such as wildfires.

Lina Barrera, Conservation International vice president for international policy, said the formal launch of the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund is a pivotal step forward in moving from commitment to action.

“The official launch of the fund comes at a time when it is impossible to ignore the urgency of the crises we face.

“As the fund was launched in Vancouver, a blanket of wildfire smoke covered the city, floating down from a record-breaking fire season across northern British Columbia.

“The initial contributions from Canada and the United Kingdom are to be commended, without them the fund could not have been established on such a fast timeline.

“Unfortunately, there is still a $40 million gap before the fund can be operational,” she said.

The new fund was ratified and launched at the ongoing 7th GEF Assembly in Vancouver, where  Canada and the United Kingdom announced initial contributions of 200 million Canadian dollars and 10 million pounds respectively.

The fund will support initiatives that focus on the conservation and sustainable management of ecosystems, the protection of endangered species, and the promotion of sustainable practices in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries.

The contributions will support action towards halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030 and putting nature on a recovery path by 2050.

With the launch of this new fund, the international community takes a significant stride forward in its commitment to safeguarding biodiversity, nurturing ecosystems, and creating a sustainable future for generations to come.

By Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun is a dynamic media innovator, strategic communication professional, and seasoned climate and environmental sustainability journalist with over 10 years of influential contributions to the media industry.

He Currently serving as the Head of Digital Media, Senior News Editor, and a presenter at Sobi FM 101.9, a leading radio station in Ilorin, Nigeria.

Dare is on a mission to leverage his media innovation expertise and project management skills to produce high-quality, accurate, and engaging content, while advocating for reduced fossil fuel consumption, especially coal, to combat effect of global warming.

He has covered comprehensively environmental issues and COP conferences, including COP28 in Dubai last year , COP 27 in Egypt, and the United Nations Least Developed Countries conference in Doha, in 2023.

He is a recipient of fellowship to be part of a 15 team of journalists selected worldwide to cover the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2024.

He has a Master's Degree in Mass Communication, from the University of Lagos, a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Lagos State University and also a
Certification in Business Administration and Management, from the Babson College, Massachusetts, United States of America.

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