About GEF

Prakrithi Rakshathi Rakshithaha’ or ‘Nature Protects if She is Protected’ is the slogan of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India. The slogan reaffirms India’s pursuit to ecologically sustainable growth path with an appropriate balance between environmental imperatives and developmental needs.


The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a partnership for international cooperation where 183 countries work together with international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector, to address global environmental issues. (www.gefweb.org) Set up in 1991 and restructured in 1994 as follow up to the Rio Earth Summit to provide additional grant and concessional funding to achieve global environmental benefits by covering the agreed incremental costs for environmentally sound development programs and projects in accordance with national development priorities and requirements. The GEF is the designated financial mechanism of Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UN Convention to Combat Desertification, Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and Minamata Convention on Mercury. The GEF has a well-defined organizational structure and network of stakeholders  [PDF](191.76 KB).

So far, GEF has provided USD 13.5 billion in grants, leveraged USD 65 billion in co-financing for 3,900 plus projects in more than 165 developing countries. Through its Small Grants Programme (SGP), GEF has made more than 20,000 grants to civil society and community based organizations for a total of USD 1 billion.

GEF administers three Trust Funds – the GEF Trust Fund (GTF); Least Developed Countries Trust Fund (LDCF); and Special Climate Change Trust Fund (SCCF). It provides secretariat services, on an interim basis, for the Adaptation Fund. GTF is replenished every four years by donor countries. Thirty countries pledged USD 4.43 billion for the GEF-6 cycle (July 2014 – June 2018).

About GEF in India

India is a founder member of GEF. It is both a donor and recipient of GEF funds. India represents the GEF South Asia Constituency (including, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka) in the GEF Council. The Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) is the designated GEF Political Focal Point (PFP) responsible for issues related to GEF governance, including policies and decisions, as well as relations between member countries and the GEF Council and Assembly. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) is the designated GEF Operational Focal Point (OFP) concerned with the operational aspects of GEF activities, such as endorsing project proposals to affirm that they are consistent with national plans and priorities and facilitating GEF coordination, integration, and consultation at country level. The GEF Empowered Committee chaired by the Secretary (EF&CC) determines national priorities for programming, approves projects/ activities and monitors their progress.

The Ministry directly administers the GEF Full Sized Projects and Medium Sized Projects. The GEF Small Grants India Program (SGP) India projects are coordinated by Centre for Environment Education, Ministry’s Centre of Excellence acting as the National Host Institution. The GEF SGP India projects are approved by the Ministry.