At the fourth meeting of the GEF-8 Replenishment on 7-8 April 2022, twenty-nine countries agreed to pledge the record support of $5.25 billion for the Global Environment Facility (GEF), a 29% increase in funding from the GEF-7 replenishment period.
This is great news for the Minamata Convention, for which the GEF serves as one of the two parts of its financial mechanism. Funding pledged for the Convention increased to $265 million for the four-year replenishment cycle starting in July 2022. The replenishment results represent a resounding recognition by donors that action to address chemicals and waste, including through the Minamata Convention, is essential for the health of people and the planet.
At the second segment of the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention (COP-4), GEF CEO and Chairperson, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, spoke of the importance of addressing mercury in its full lifecycle and in global supply chains, highlighting that: "a successful GEF-8 replenishment will allow us to achieve the high ambition that we have proposed. We believe that we have designed a strategy that will address the needs of the countries and the obligations of the Conventions in an integrated way. Collectively, these will propel us forward towards our shared goals to end pollution and make mercury history".
Recognizing that programmes across the GEF portfolio, on biodiversity, climate change, land degradation, international waters and chemicals and waste must be mutually reinforcing to maximize their effectiveness, replenishment participants also agreed to launch a number of new integrated programmes, including one on Elimination of Hazardous Chemicals from Supply Chains. This programme, along with other integrated programmes, is expected to deliver important results for the Minamata Convention.
The Executive Secretary of the Minamata Convention, Monika Stankiewicz, expressed her appreciation to the GEF secretariat for their work and commitment, reaffirming to keep staying closely engaged as planning for GEF-8 moves forward. At the third meeting of the GEF-8 Replenishment on 2 February 2022, Stankiewicz underlined that the Minamata Convention is "ready to contribute to the collective efforts to further advance the recognition of the clear co-benefits that both flow from chemicals and waste action and can be sought across other focal areas and programmes to advance the implementation of legally binding obligations of our Convention".
The replenishment process benefited from the active participation of civil society organizations, environmental financiers, GEF's recipient countries, implementing agency partners and Convention secretariats.