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Biological diversity has emerged in the past nineteen years as a key area of concern for sustainable development. It provides a source of significant economic, aesthetic, health and cultural benefits. Although estimates vary, there is general scientific consensus that the world is becoming less biologically diverse in terms of genes, species, and ecosystems. Rapid loss of biodiversity poses a global threat to human well-being.

Recognizing the immense value of the earth's biological resources, governments negotiated the Convention on Biological Diversity signed at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit with the GEF serving as the financial mechanism for the Convention.

All GEF funded biodiversity activities are in full conformity with the guidance provided by the Conference to the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and reflect specific GEF biodiversity criteria based on that guidance, particularly conservation, sustainable use and benefit sharing.

In addition, the GEF Operational Strategy sets out four Operational Programs (OPs) for the design, implementation, and coordination of a set of projects to achieve global biodiversity objectives:

  • OP 1:  Arid and Semi-Arid Zone Ecosystems
  • OP 2:  Coastal, Marine, and Freshwater Ecosystems
  • OP 3:  Forest Ecosystems
  • OP 4:  Mountain Ecosystems
  • OP 13:  Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity Important to Agriculture

The World Bank Group has been helping its client countries address the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity through lending and nonlending services. Over the past nineteen years, the Bank has focused its assistance on the protection aspect of biodiversity management. Top Icon


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Useful Biodiversity Links