The World Bank Group’s Partnership with the Global Environment Facility

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established in 1991 to provide new funding to achieve global environmental benefits in initially four and later six focal areas: biological diversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, ozone layer depletion, and persistent organic pollutants. The World Bank Group plays three major roles in the GEF: (a) as the Trustee of the GEF and related trust funds; (b) as one of the three original Implementing Agencies of GEF-funded projects; and (c) providing administrative services as the host of the functionally independent GEF Secretariat.

The principal objectives of this Review were (1) to help improve the relevance and effectiveness of the Bank Group’s partnership with the GEF, and (2) to draw lessons for the Bank Group’s partnership with the GEF and other large global partnership programs. The GEF is representative of the growing number of large partnerships in which the Bank has become involved that are financing country-level investments to achieve specific Millennium Development Goals, that have inclusive governance structures, and that subscribe to the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. Pre-dating the Millennium Declaration by a decade, the GEF also provides a longer time period from which to draw lessons about the Bank’s involvement in such programs.