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Earth Fund

Operative since 2008, the Earth Fund, is an innovative pilot Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative, managed by the IFC, with a set-aside funding of $50 million. The Earth Fund initiative allows the GEF to demonstrate ways to engage more systematically with the private sector in order to reach beyond its traditional boundaries, foster innovation and open new markets, and demonstrate the potential for strategic partnerships to achieve greater scale of investment than generally achievable.

The Earth Fund is being managed based on the concept of "Platforms," under which a portfolio of projects will be managed. The portfolio has to be aligned with GEF Focal Areas or their equivalent, while projects within each Platform seek to address specific environmental challenges or to leverage particular business models or financial instruments. It functions with a delegated structure that allows projects to be approved by Agencies that manage Platforms approved by the GEF Council. The following are the platforms approved so far: 

  • The Earth Fund Platform (IFC)

    The first operational platform approved by the Council in May 2008, is an investment fund and advisory services fund managed by the IFC. The fund includes $30 million of GEF funding and $10 million of IFC funding. The objective of the IFC Earth Fund is to enable the private sector to access GEF Funding for the purpose of accelerating the emergence and replication of projects that will generate global environmental benefits in the areas of Climate Change, Biodiversity and International Waters (Biodiversity SP 1-8, Climate Change SP 1-6, International Waters SP 2-4; GEF OPs 1-11), in a streamlined and cost effective manner.

  • en.lighten Global Market Transformation for Efficient Lighting (UNEP)

    Electricity for lighting accounts for approximately 15 per cent of global power consumption and 5 per cent of worldwide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. If a global transition to efficient lighting occurred, these emissions could be reduced by over one-third. Few actions could reduce carbon emissions as cheaply and easily as the phase-out of inefficient lighting, making it one of the most effective and economically advantageous ways to combat climate change. The en.lighten initiative has been established to accelerate global market transformation to environmentally sustainable lighting technologies by developing a coordinated global strategy and providing technical support for the phase-out of inefficient lighting.

  • Greening the Cocoa Industry (UNEP - Rainforest Alliance)

    This project's objective is to change production and business practices in major cocoa producing countries and cocoa companies, such that they conserve biodiversity in cocoa production landscapes, provide greater long-term stability to the cocoa and chocolate industry and increase income for smallholders. In line with GEF's objective of accelerating the emergence and replication of projects that will generate global environmental benefits in biodiversity in a streamlined and cost effective manner, this project will bring 10% of the world's cocoa supply (350,000 tons, farmed on 750,000 hectares) into more sustainable production systems that will measurably improve biodiversity conservation in tropical ecosystems.

  • The Water Funds (IADB and The Nature Conservancy)

    Consistent with the purpose of the GEF Earth Fund, the objective of this Platform (the Platform) is to deploy public-private funding mechanisms, the Water Funds, and their related institutional structures that will subsequently be operated as sustainable long-term instruments to promote private sector participation in the conservation of freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity of global importance. With the Platform, it is expected that ecosystems and species of global importance will benefit from having larger and better protected territory, local communities will benefit from improved water quality and a healthy watershed, upstream farmers will benefit from improved sustainable farming practices and the economic incentives to continue to provide valuable water services and large water uses will benefit from reduced water treatment costs, delayed infrastructure replacement investments and increased water security.

  • Conservation Agreement Private Partnership Platform (UNEP and Conservation International)

    The objective of the Conservation Agreement Private Partnership Platform proposed by Conservation International (CI) under UNEP is to catalyze private sector participation in the conservation of biodiversity and provision of ecosystem services by enabling private sector companies to partner directly with local communities. The goal of the Platform is to forge mutually beneficial links between the private sector and local communities and landowners who commit to achieve biodiversity conservation, reduce land degradation, support climate regulation efforts, and promote sustainable natural resource management. The Platform proposes the use of conservation agreements to effectively engage local communities in biodiversity conservation and enable them to partner with private sector actors.