Financial Mechanism and Resources

T16 (Sustainable Consumption): How to Use GEF Funding

This page aims to provide information regarding the sustainable consumption choices encouraged and enabled 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.

While an increasing number of governments and businesses are developing plans for more sustainable production and consumption, these are not being implemented on a scale that eliminates the negative impact of unsustainable human activities on biodiversity. While natural resources are being used more efficiently, the aggregated demand for resources continues to increase, and therefore the impacts of their use remain well above safe ecological limits. Reported actions were: Developing sector-specific sustainability plans and regulatory measures; Promotion of green product labelling, corporate social responsibility practices and reporting; Promoting certification measures; Expansion and support for organic farming practices; Development of biodiversity-friendly criteria in public procurement; Promotion of strategies to address waste; Development of capacity to assess ecological limits as a means of informing policy decisions; Support to small and medium enterprises for sustainable development; Reported challenges were: Lack of funding and capacity to upscale activities; Limited involvement of industries and non-environmental ministries and agencies in plans and projects.

Financial support of the Global Environment Facility

GEF-financed projects related to sustainable consumption

  • Food Systems
  • Circular Solutions to Plastic Pollution

Guidance to Parties

  • Consider, taking into account nationally defined priorities, inclusion of specific criteria on biodiversity in national procurement plans and policies, national strategies for sustainable consumption and production, and similar planning frameworks, such as, for instance, policies that include avoided or reduced impact on biodiversity as a major procurement aspect, transparent information on procurement conditions, and fair procurement criteria; (XI/30, para. 7; VII/12, para. 2(a); XII/3, annex IV, para. 38(d))
  • Include or strengthen biodiversity considerations in sustainable consumption and production policies, plans and programmes that incorporate effective safeguards for biodiversity, as appropriate; (XIII/3, para. 89; XI/7, para. 3(d))
  • Promote the development and use of voluntary sustainability standards and/or of voluntary certification schemes for sustainably produced goods and services, and encourage the integration of biodiversity considerations into procurement policies; (X/21, para. 1(h); XIII/3, para. 17(h))

Sustainable Pattern
  • Change unsustainable patterns of production and consumption that impact on biodiversity, and take measures to address the impacts of unsustainable consumption patterns on forest biodiversity; (VIII/9, para. 18; IX/5, para. 1(q))
  • Identify opportunities for and promote healthy lifestyles and sustainable production and consumption patterns and associated behavioral change, that would benefit biodiversity and human health through, inter alia, the promotion of public health campaigns; (XIII/6, para. 4(f))
  • Explore, develop and apply ways and means to promote changes in the behavior of individuals, in particular, consumers and businesses engaged in the wildlife trade, so as to reduce the risks to biodiversity associated with legal trade, and prevent instances of illegal trade, in wildlife, including through engagement with the social sciences and the use of social media in targeted awareness campaigns, and through cooperation with wildlife trade organizations; (XIII/13, para. 4)
  • Consider changing consumption and production models to address the impacts of climate change and both the positive and negative impacts of climate change mitigation and adaptation activities on biodiversity; (IX/16A, para. 4(a)-(j))
  • Reduce loss and waste at all stages of production and consumption in the food system, including reducing post-harvest losses, to promote sustainable consumption; (XIII/3, para. 33-34)

Supply Chains
  • Implement sustainable consumption and production patterns for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, both in the public and the private sector, including through business and biodiversity initiatives, procurement policies that are in line with the objectives of the Convention, and develop methods to promote science-based information on biodiversity in consumer and producer decisions, consistent and in harmony with the Convention and other relevant international obligations, towards the achievement of more sustainable production and consumption systems; (X/44, para. 12; 14/6, para. 6(a))
  • Engage with the public and private sectors and community economy to promote behavioral changes that help to achieve sustainable production and consumption patterns, and to reduce resource waste at all stages of production and consumption in food systems, including through educational and public awareness campaigns; (XIII/3, para. 90)
  • Influence consumer choices for sustainably-sourced products certified as sustainably harvested and benefiting local community livelihoods, conservation impact and health, and promote responsible consumption of certified sustainably-sourced wild meat and wildlife products, as well as various consumer-based approaches for sustainable consumption, such as utilizing eco-labels for eco-friendly products; (14/7, annex, para. 38(d); X/32, para. 2(i); XII/3, annex IV, para. 38(e); XIII/3, para. 93)
  • Encourage sustainable forest management to achieve biodiversity outcomes, including by promoting sustainable consumption and production of forest products; (XIII/3, para. 56)
  • Develop and apply wildlife laws governing the trade and sales of wild meat (which are relevant, understandable, and enforceable) in provincial towns, cities and villages, to encourage legal, sustainable and traceable trade, and provide a disincentive to illegal traders and increase urban wild meat prices; (14/7, annex, para. 38(c)(ii))
  • Review and use existing tools and best practices, including policies oriented to business planning, design, supply and value chains, sustainable procurement and consumption and similar policies, to promote biodiversity-related sustainable production and consumption in the energy and mining, infrastructure, and manufacturing and processing sectors, to shift markets towards more sustainable consumption and production and innovation, as well as to continue collaborating, developing and implementing other corporate policies and measures; (14/3, para. 13(g), 13(h))

Demand Reduction
  • Develop and implement demand-reduction strategies for unsustainably managed wildlife, focusing principally on consumers in provincial towns and metropolitan cities where a reduction in wild meat consumption can be achieved without impacting livelihoods or land rights, using a cross-sectoral approach involving government ministries responsible for health, food, agriculture, business, development, economy, finance, infrastructure, and education, as well as those responsible for the environment, and relevant experts in the fields of consumer behavior change, including social marketing and behavioral economics, and in conjunction with the private sector and experts in fields that go beyond conservation; (14/7, annex, para. 38(a))
  • Assess and consider the role of wildlife consumption in livelihoods through national resource assessments and major policy planning documents, and maintain viable stocks of wild species for sustainable consumption by local and indigenous communities; (14/7, annex, para. 45(b)(iii); VIII/23A, annex, para. 3.4)

  • Promote and strengthen best practices on sustainable consumption and production implemented in the health sectors that favor conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; (14/4, para. 9(b))

  • Recognize the important role of women in the processing and sale of wild meat, while taking into account the needs, priorities and capacities of women and men; (14/7, annex, para. 45(b)(v))

  • Create and implement regional and national monitoring frameworks for wildlife products to inform policy and legal interventions, including ecological monitoring platform at key sites nationally to determine and track the impacts of wildlife hunting and the impacts of policy implementation; (14/7, annex, para. 45(c))
  • Record levels of existing wild meat consumption into national statistics, as a means of valuing the resource and recognizing the benefits of its legal and sustainable use, and giving it appropriate weight in public policy and planning; (14/7, annex, para. 45(b)(ii))

  • Review and reform incentives that might encourage unsustainable consumption of bushmeat and wildlife products; (XII/18, para. 12)
  • Provide incentives for best practices in supply chains, sustainable production and consumption and measures at the scale of sites or production plants, requiring reporting by businesses on biodiversity dependencies and impacts, strengthening voluntary disclosures, and adopting or updating laws on sustainable procurement, and similar policies to shift markets towards more sustainable products and technologies; (14/3, para. 13(f), 13(i))

  • Develop and implement communication strategies and tools for education and awareness-raising related to biodiversity as a means to promote behavioral change for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, including sustainable production and consumption; (XIII/21, annex I, para. 4; 14/1, para. 14(a))
  • Use targeted media campaigning including the use of social media, based on an understanding of the drivers of consumption and relevant substitutes, in urban towns and cities to inform citizens on issues pertaining to wild meat consumption, including wildlife conservation, human health issues, conservation impact, wildlife laws and available sustainably produced/ sustainably-harvested substitutes, with the aim of changing consumer behavior; (14/7, annex, para. 38(c)(i))
  • Include wild meat/wildlife issues, in particular sustainable production and consumption patterns, in relevant educational curricula (e.g. tertiary education, government training), for primary, secondary, and tertiary education, taking into account traditional knowledge; (14/7, annex, para. 45(b)(iv); XII/5, annex, A(a))
  • Develop and disseminate analyses of the compatibility of current and predicted production and consumption patterns with respect to the limits of ecosystem functions and production (VI/22, annex, programme element 2, goal 2(g))
  • Promote consumer awareness about sustainably produced forest products, as well as the impact of forest-related production and consumption patterns on the loss of forest biological diversity and the goods and services it provides; (VI/22, annex, programme element 2, goal 3(b), (d))
  • Promote greater awareness among consumers, e-commerce traders and managers and other stakeholders about the risk of biological invasions, and the relevant international standards and national regulations through, inter alia, e‑commerce market places and related social media; (XIII/13, para. 7(a))

Financial support of the Global Environment Facility

Food Systems

Circular Solutions to Plastic Pollution

  • 2016 Global Sustainable Supply Chains for Marine Commodities Costa Rica, Ecuador, Indonesia, Philippines, Global United Nations Development Programme $5,500,000
  • 2017 Supply Change: Promoting Reduction of Deforestation Impacts of Commodity Supply Chains Global United Nations Environment Programme $1,000,000
  • 2017 Adaptive Management and Learning for the Commodities IAP Global United Nations Development Programme, World Wildlife Fund - US Chapter $3,978,441
  • 2017 Taking Deforestation Out of the Soy Supply Chain Brazil United Nations Development Programme $6,600,000
  • 2018 A GEF GOLD/ Supply Chain Approach to Eliminating Mercury in Guyana's ASGM Sector: El Dorado Gold Jewelry Made in Guyana Guyana Conservation International $2,652,294
  • GEF - 6 Comm-IAP: Taking Deforestation Out of Commodity Supply Chains (IAP-PROGRAM) Global United Nations Development Programme, The World Bank, World Wildlife Fund - US Chapter, Conservation International, Inter-American Development Bank, United Nations Environment Programme $37,196
  • 2021 Deforestation Free Commodity Supply Chains in the Peruvian Amazon Peru United Nations Development Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization, International Fund for Agricultural Development $13,561,467
  • 2022 Building climate resilience in supply chains for the mobilization of adaptation funding Regional Conservation International $917,431

Potential implementation/project partners

Related references