The GEF and the GEF IW Focal Area
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) (www.thegef.org) unites 183 member countries—in partnership with international institutions, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector—to address global environmental issues. An independent financial organization, the GEF provides grants to developing countries and countries with economies in transition, for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, land degradation, the ozone layer, persistent organic pollutants, and international waters. These projects benefit the global environment, linking local, national, and global environmental challenges and promoting sustainable livelihoods.
The GEF International Waters (IW) focal area targets transboundary water systems, such as shared river basins, lakes, groundwater and Large Marine Ecosystems. The cumulative 27-year GEF IW portfolio consists of 359 projects with about US$1.9 billion of GEF grants and $12.6 billion in co-finance invested in more than 170 GEF recipient countries. Since the inception of the GEF in 1991, the IW portfolio has delivered substantive results and replicable experiences to be scaled up and mainstreamed globally.
GEF Biennial IW Conferences
The GEF Biennial International Waters Conference (IWC) is the signature event of the GEF IW Portfolio. The IWC objectives are to facilitate cross-sectoral and GEF IW Portfolio-wide learning and experience sharing. They strive to solicit advice from the existing GEF IW Portfolio on burning issues and to assist in building participant capacity in key management and technical areas. Participants sum up progress achieved and look to the future of programming within and beyond the GEF IW Focal Area. The eight previous conferences were held in Sri Lanka, Barbados, Croatia, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, China, and Hungary.
IWC9 will convene about 300 participants—comprising GEF IW project managers, representatives of beneficiary countries, non-governmental organizations, transboundary management institutions, UN Agencies and the private sector—in Marrakesh, Morocco, from 5-8 November 2018. Collectively, the participants will represent 84 active GEF IW projects, 80 countries and the various GEF Agencies.