Cook Islands join planning of GEF-8 program
The GEF is the largest multilateral environment fund for projects that focus on biodiversity, land degradation, climate change, chemicals and waste and international waters. The Cook Islands have conducted several projects with GEF funding, including the Ridge to Reef (R2R) project under the 5th funding cycle of the GEF (GEF-5), and will start implementing the GEF-7 project later this year. The Cook Islands are planning ahead for projects under the GEF-8 funding cycle, which opened in July of 2022 and will close in June of 2026.
At the workshop, the GEF Secretariat presented eleven integrated programs (IP) that will rollout under the GEF-8. These IP’s are designed to enhance synergy between country projects and achieve multiple environmental benefits. The workshop was an opportunity to explore how these programs, which have global goals and outcomes, can be applied at a country level.
The Cook Islands identified 3 IP’s that align with national environmental issues; the Blue and Green Islands, Net-Zero Nature-Positive Accelerator and the Circular Solutions to Plastic Pollution IPs.
The expressions of interest (EOI) window opened on the 16th of January and will close on the 17th February 2023. Moving forward, the National Environment Service will work swiftly to develop and submit EOI’s for some of these IPs before the deadline.