GEF Seventh Assembly 2023

June 13, 2023
GEF seventh assembly
Event Details

24 - 27 April 2023


Hangzhou, China

The Seventh Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is an opportunity for significant diplomatic momentum on the environment. The Assembly is expected to launch the new Global Biodiversity Framework Fund—a critical source of funding for the protection of endangered species and their ecosystems - as its key expected outcome.  

The world faces the impacts of environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, climate change and pollution with ever increasing frequency and severity. At a time when minimum Sustainable Development Goals are still not being met, UNDP recognizes the GEF Assembly as a significant milestone to accelerate action on nature targets, for a thriving future on a healthy planet. 

The fund will open new avenues for private sector and philanthropic support to enable rapid implementation of the historic Global Biodiversity Framework agreed at COP15 in Montreal, December 2022, and of the high seas treaty adopted in New York City, in June 2023. 

About the GEF Assembly and the UNDP-GEF partnership

The GEF Assembly, which meets every 4 years, is the global body that coordinates financing for international efforts to address climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and factors inhibiting land and ocean health. This meeting will bring together environmental leaders from 185 countries. It brings together government ministers and representatives of international organizations, businesses, academia and civil society, as well as Indigenous Peoples, women and young people. 

UNDP is a founding member of the GEF, and GEF’s leading implementing agency in a partnership that has continued to expand and strengthen across three decades, with a multi-billion portfolio under implementation today.  

An additional US$500 million to support nearly 100 through UNDP was approved in June. This vital additional funding will align closely with the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework targets for nature, scaling up financing from the public and private sector to tackle biodiversity loss and climate change mitigation as a priority. The new funding includes over $137 million for countries through the UNDP-implemented Small Grants Programme, which channels funding directly to indigenous and other local communities, driving locally-led action to enhance wellbeing, socioeconomic and environmental benefits. Resources will also be deployed to protect forest conservation, fight chemical and plastic pollution, and restore ecosystems, catalyzing sustainable blue and green pathways towards the Sustainable Development Goals. 

About the Global Biodiversity Framework 

We know that degrading ecosystems could trigger annual loss of US$2.7 trillion in global Gross Domestic Product by 2030.  

The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework provides a strategic vision, global roadmap, goals and targets for the conservation, protection, restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems for the next decade. 

UNDP supports communities including indigenous people at every level, in more than 140 countries around the world. Leveraging a nature portfolio of $3.2 billion across the continents, support will be channeled to meet and implement ambitious nature and biodiversity targets under the new Global Biodiversity Framework agreed at COP15.  

UNDP Side Events: 

UNDP is leading nine side events, and supporting three further events in partnership with others. We look forward to seeing you if you are attending the Assembly in Vancouver. Check back at this page for post-event recaps if you're following the Assembly online. 


EventsMore informationWhenRoom
Bluer, Greener and Better for SIDS: Scaling Action for Sustainable Blue Economy The event will introduce and launch the GEF8 BGI-IP. It aims to bring together agencies, country representatives, and partners to establish a collective vision and ambition for the program. The event will focus on the core technical pillars of the BGI-IP, aimed at achieving a sustainable blue & green economy in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Presentations will feature proposed strategies and interventions, encouraging collaboration and learning across the portfolio. The event aims to build a new global 'community' of 15 participating SIDS across three regions (Caribbean, Pacific, and AIS) and promote coherence and clarity in IP design and implementation, fostering collaboration, interaction, and sustainability. 

Date: 22 August

Time: 09:00 – 10:30 am (UTC-7)

Room 207
A new generation of national biodiversity finance plans This side event aims at sharing country journeys on designing and implementing Biodiversity Finance Plans. A story format will be used to enable covering the full process, which is a systemic analysis and rethink about the way biodiversity is financed in a country. The event also provides details on the new GEF funded Global Program on National Biodiversity Finance Plans implemented by UNDP. 

Date: 22 August

Time: 09:00 - 10:30 pm (UTC-7)

CBD Room 301 
Accelerating progress on the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework   This side event will showcase national and global efforts to accelerate progress on the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. The focus is on early actions, support and early implementation of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs), and on highlighting recent progress. The side event will include keynote speakers and three lively panels, highlighting efforts to date, challenges ahead, and areas for additional acceleration in the development and implementation of NBSAPs. The adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework represents an unparalleled opportunity to mobilize the world toward great ambition on biodiversity. UNDP and UNEP are collaborating on two major GEF grants, aimed at catalyzing early action and progress on NBSAPs in 138 countries.   

Date: 22 August

Time: 11:00 – 12:30 pm (UTC-7)

CBD Room 301
Options and advances for Indigenous Peoples and local communities to directly access international climate and nature finance for renewed global ambition / Approaches to financing and upscaling locally led innovative development solutions   This side event responds to the recent announcement at the GEF Council in June 2023 that 20% of the funds mobilized under the new Global Biodiversity Framework Fund (GBFF) will be channeled to Indigenous Peoples and local communities. The GBFF aspirational target builds on the earlier $1.7B pledge announced at the UNFCCC COP26 in 2021 with respect to IPs and LCs access to international climate finance. The panel will discuss progress on the direct access principles, operational modalities, and opportunities to increase local action through culturally appropriate financing at territorial or landscape scales. 

Date: 22 August

Time: 01:00 – 02:30 pm (UTC-7)

Room 211
WHO-UNDP Side Event on Climate and Health / Science, Industry, and Society Climate Collaborative – Driving Positive Behaviour Change for People & Planet (UNDP & WHO) 

The side event will focus on promoting transformative action towards climate resilient and sustainable low carbon health systems and services and will be aligned with the objectives of the Healthy Planet Healthy People Forum. 

The side event builds upon the COP26 Health Programme and COP26 commitments for climate resilient and sustainable low carbon health systems joined by 60+ governments. The event will above all showcase results of the GEF-funded projects on climate and health, including GEF portfolio in South-East Asia, and how this portfolio helps unlock and scale-up financing for climate resilient and low carbon health systems. It will highlight above all:  

  • Most recent scientific knowledge on climate change impacts on health and health systems;  
  • Call for integrated climate resilient and low carbon solutions across the health-climate-water-food-energy nexus, including nature-based solutions;  

Finance gap and innovative financing instruments for climate and health, including engagement of private sector.    

Date: 22 August

Time: 09:00 - 10:30 am (UTC-7)

Room 211

Leveraging GEF’s and GFCR’s Blended Finance Approach for a Healthy Ocean (UNDP) 


This side event will showcase how blended finance approaches are key to mobilize private sector resources in support of the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) targets. A roundtable format will be used to provide concrete examples of ocean-positive blended finance solutions supported by GEF and GFCR, discuss challenges in building bankable pipeline of investible projects, and show how government support through policy actions is crucial for blended finance success. 

Date: 22 August

Time: 11:00 - 12:30 pm am (UTC-7)

Room 206

Transitioning to A Circular Economy and Zero Waste Society through Integrated Chemical and Waste Management  


Municipalities can be entry points for development policies: the role of municipalities and local governments in Zero Waste and Circular Economy approaches, and the importance of long-term planning to support effective action will be highlighted. This event, organised by UNDP, will bring participants from the central government, local government, CSOs, Youth, and execution partners of GEF projects to share experiences and insights on chemical and waste management towards a circular economy direction and zero waste vision. Participants will discuss challenges in eliminating harmful chemicals from the value chain for circularity, integrated planning, financing instruments, models of public-private partnerships, engagement with stakeholders, innovation, the role of central governments, local governments, and CSOs, and how to build trust of the citizens, bring opportunities to SMEs, and prompt behavioral change. 

Date: 22 August

Time: 11:00 - 12:30 pm (UTC-7)

Room 202
Scaling Up Finance for Renewable Energy Minigrids in Africa  This side event aims to unpack opportunities to accelerate sustainable energy access. Part of the 7th GEF Assembly, the event will explore strategic approaches to channel climate finance towards renewable minigrids and enhancing energy access in remote Sub-Saharan communities. The panelists will delve into innovative financing mechanisms, public-private partnerships and the risking strategies while exploring productive use of energy's potential to drive socio- economic development in off-grid communities. 

Date: 22 August

Time: 01:00 - 02:30 pm (UTC-7)

Room 109/110
GEF-UNDP-IMO Innovative and Transformative Partnerships for Ocean Governance  This Side Event will showcase a longstanding, successful collaboration between the GEF, UNDP and IMO to drive innovation and transformative action in ocean governance, incorporating a broad range of partners at all levels, and with a focus on public-private partnerships to steer the development of solutions and technologies for key marine environment issues. 

Date: 23 August

Time: 03:00 - 04:30 pm (UTC-7)

Room 207



Other side events with UNDP participation

The Digital to Environmental Dividend (D2ED) - Technology solutions for conservations, climate and biodiversity (Microsoft & soft & UNDP)

Date: 22 August

Time: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm (UTC-7)

Room 211

Nutrition sensitivity in environmental programming for a Healthy People/Agro-Environmental Allies: Working together to nourish the planet / Food Systems Transformation Pathways / Shifting the paradigm towards climate-resilient and nature-positive food and agriculture systems (FAO & UNDP)



Date: 22 August

Time: 03:)0 - 04:30 pm (UTC-7)

The Digital to Environmental Dividend

Room 211 

Celebrating Three Decades of the GEF Small Grants Programme: Local Action, Global Impact (UNDP & GEF)


Date: 22 August

Time: 05:00 – 06::30 pm (UTC-7)

 Room 202