Global Environment Facility

$140 million*

Minimum Requirement for American Leadership

With over 4,000 projects in 170 countries, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is the largest single financier of conservation in the world. GEF grants in developing countries protect biodiversity and critical habitats, and invest in sustainable management of freshwater, forests, fisheries, agricultural areas, and other natural capital.

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Justification for Funding

  • GEF supports local communities in addressing environmental degradation that threatens their livelihoods, particularly those of women. GEF provides financing to engage the private sector in solutions to environmental challenges by overcoming market and investment barriers to sustainable supply chain management. 
  • Over 27 years, with $17 billion in investment, GEF has leveraged $88 billion from private, philanthropic, and public sectors.
  • U.S. support for the GEF has resulted in the creation of 3,300 protected areas covering 2.1 billion acres, conservation-friendly management of more than 716 million acres of productive landscapes and seascapes (an area the size of Nevada), sustainable management of 33 transboundary river basins in 73 countries, an expanded forest protection, and an 80% reduction of deforestation in the Amazon.

Cost of Cuts Below $140 Million

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       President's Budget Request (Base + OCO)

  • Illegal logging in foreign countries costs the U.S. timber industry more than $1 billion annually. GEF works with the U.S. Forest Service to reduce illegal logging in places such as the Amazon and Congo Basins.
  • Water shortages can lead to instability and conflict. GEF safeguards water resources through participatory agreements and targeted conservation programs. 
  • The United States imports 86% of its seafood. The GEF invests in sustainable management of imported commercial fish stocks. This maintains healthy oceans and ensures U.S. consumers can choose high-quality seafood for years to come.


$140 million

Opportunity to Catalyze American Leadership


Justification for Full Funding

“The GEF support has been vital in promoting cooperation amongst governments, industry and the environmental community.”
- Chris Lischewski, President and CEO, Bumble Bee Seafood

  • Illegal wildlife trafficking creates billions of dollars annually that finance extremist groups, which threaten U.S. security interests. The GEF works with both supply and demand countries to strengthen national legislations to enhance wildlife law enforcement and improve monitoring of illegal wildlife trade.
  • Maintaining the U.S. government’s contribution is especially important for leveraging and expanding private investment in more sustainable development.
  • Every dollar America invests in the GEF generates another $40 from other countries, the private sector, and other partners.
  • For example, along with Mars Incorporated and Kraft Foods, the GEF has helped bring 10% of global cocoa production under certified, biodiversity-friendly production. These practices result in higher production and earnings for local farmers while protecting natural resources and enabling U.S. corporations to sell higher quality products to U.S. and global consumers.

*Enacted FY18 Omnibus Appropriation

For more information, please contact: Soshana Hashmie,

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