Financial Mechanism and Resources

T12 (Cities): How to Use GEF Funding

This page aims to provide information regarding the area and quality and connectivity of, access to, and benefits from green and blue spaces in urban and densely populated areas for recipient Parties and relevant stakeholders, including how to access funding of the Global Environment Facility in this regard. It is a work in progress and will be updated as necessary.

Financial support of the Global Environment Facility

GEF-financed projects related to cities

Sustainable Cities Integrated Program

Guidance to Parties

Sustainable Urbanization
  • Increase efforts to enable, support and guide strategic and sustainable urbanization by working together with subnational and local governments, especially in promoting local and subnational biodiversity strategies and action plans; (XII/9, para. 2, 4)

  • Engage subnational governments and local authorities in the revision and implementation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans at the local level, recognize the role of cities and local authorities in national biodiversity strategies and action plans, and facilitate the adoption by cities and local authorities of practices that support the implementation of these strategies and action plans; (XIII/3, para. 96(a); X/22, para. 2, and annex, D, para. (a), (h), (j), (l), (m); IX/28, para. 3)
  • Encourage the development and implementation of subnational and local biodiversity strategies and actions plans in support of national biodiversity strategies and action plans and integrated into adaptation and sustainable development plans, applying the ecosystem approach and other holistic landscape management approaches, so as to ensure harmonious and coherent implementation at all levels of governance; (XI/8A, para. 4; X/22, para. 1, and annex, D, para. (b)-(c); XIII/1, para. 14)
  • Encourage, promote and support, as appropriate and through policy tools, guidelines and programmes, direct decentralized cooperation on biodiversity and development between local authorities at national, regional and global levels; (X/22, annex, D, para. (g))
  • Integrate biodiversity and ecosystems functions and services in the planning and development of cities, including approaches to conserving, enhancing, restoring and sustainably using biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services in spatial planning across cities, landscapes and seascapes; (14/3, para. 13(m))
  • Incorporate biodiversity considerations into urban, peri-urban, land-use and infrastructure planning, such as “green infrastructure”, and integrate biodiversity considerations into those projects that include infrastructure development for cities and local authorities; (XII/9, para. 3)

Economic Measures
  • Recognize and reward efforts of subnational governments and local authorities in implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity at their respective levels; (X/22, annex, D, para. (d))
  • Encourage subnational governments and local authorities, as appropriate, to integrate biodiversity considerations into public procurement policies and urban infrastructure investments (parkways and green transportation systems, public buildings, vertical gardens, water treatment and distribution, convention and conference centres, housing projects, waste management, etc.); (X/22, annex, D, para. (e))

  • Engage subnational governments and local authorities in the establishment and maintenance of systems of local protected areas, local conservation corridors and mosaics of land-use (such as biosphere reserves); (X/22, annex, D, para. (f))

  • Raise the awareness of subnational and local governments of the importance of biodiversity and ecosystems services and functions and of the role of indigenous peoples and local communities in the holistic conservation, preservation, sustainable use and management of biodiversity, and consider establishing strategies for the strengthening of contributions of subnational and local governments to the implementation of the Convention; (XIII/3, para. 96(b); X/22, annex, D, para. (n))

Monitoring and research
  • Engage cities and local authorities in the compilation of information on biodiversity status and trends, and support local biodiversity surveys and assessments or similar mechanisms as a means for local authorities to measure the state of their biodiversity and its management; (XI/8A, para. 6; X/22, annex, D, para. (k); IX/28, para. 6)
  • Promote research and technology development on urban biodiversity, and encourage the establishment of national and regional centres of excellence in urban biodiversity, and biodiversity‑friendly city design, planning and management, with links to global academic networks; (X/22, annex, D, para. (o))

Partnership and Participation
  • Support the development of landscape-level and ecosystem-based partnerships between subnational governments and local authorities on conservation corridors and sustainable land-use mosaics at national and transboundary levels; (X/22, annex, D, para. (i); XI/8A, para. 5)
  • Encourage local authorities to reach out to major groups such as children and youth, women, local parliamentarians and/or legislators, NGOs and businesses, to raise awareness about the importance of biodiversity and promote partnerships on local action for biodiversity; (X/22, annex, D, para. (p))
  • Support and assist cities and local authorities in encouraging and promoting practices, activities and innovations of indigenous and local communities that support the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity; (IX/28, para. 5))

United Nations Habitat

Second session of the United Nations Habitat Assembly, 5-9 June 2023, Nairobi, Kenya