CanadaBy Vishal Gulati,

Da Nang (Vietnam) : In a major commitment to advance climate action in developing countries, Canada has pledged $228.79 million towards the new investment cycle of the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau announced Canada’s pledge for the fiscal 2018-2019 through 2022-2023 to the seventh replenishment of the GEF.

A strong supporter of the GEF and also its sixth-largest donor, Canada reiterated its climate pledge at the Sixth GEF Assembly here in Vietnam, the GEF secretariat said on Thursday.

Developing countries constantly face the destabilising effects of climate change, with women and children facing disproportionate challenges, the Canadian government said in a statement.

Collaboration and partnerships between governments, global institutions, non-governmental and local organisations, as well as the private sector are key to moving forward on climate action.

Canada is committed to these efforts to empower the most at-risk communities to better adapt and mitigate the harmful impacts of a changing climate, it said.

Canada, through the GEF, works with partners to tackle global environmental issues and to support sustainable development, including poverty reduction and gender equality.

The GEF is the single-largest source of funding and a catalyst for action on the environment.

It funds programmes that have brought sustainable land management, benefiting smallholder farmers; provides biodiversity protection and planning for productive terrains and water bodies; and have protected river and lake basins, groundwater basins and large marine ecosystems.

GEF CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii told the opening session of its two-day GEF Assembly on Wednesday that humans must transform their key economic systems and move to a circular economy to restore the ecosystems.

“Every day we are receiving wake-up calls from nature; massive loss of forests and lands, species being lost, pollution of air and water. And we are suffering from increasingly visible impacts of climate, coastal cities such as Da Nang are vulnerable, and so are small islands states.”

The GEF was created in 1991 ago to help fight against these threats, she added.

Its assembly is the governing body of the GEF, a mechanism to provide grants for environment projects, and is composed of all 183 member countries.

Since the GEF was established, the initiatives it funded have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2,700 megatonnes and introduced more than 50 climate-friendly technologies, leading to energy efficiency, renewable energy generation and sustainable urban transport.

The GEF Assembly met two months after governments, in a demonstration of confidence, approved a $4.1 billion replenishment of its new four-year investment cycle, known as GEF-7.

(Vishal Gulati is in Da Nang for the Internews’ Earth Journalism Network Biodiversity Fellowship Programme at the Sixth Global Environment Facility (GEF) Assembly. He can be reached at