Photo for illustration (Source: VNA)

The 6th GEF Assembly will attract the participation of nearly 1,500 delegates, including the ministers in charge of environment and senior officials from 183 member countries, leaders of the United Nations agencies, regional development banks, socio-economic organisations and businesses. 

The Prime Minister of Vietnam will be present at the event.

A series of events are planned for besides the GEF Assembly, such as the meeting of the GEF Council, 14 round-table sessions, forums and meetings of socio-political organisations, 17 technical meetings of GEF units, about 70 sideline events, as well as exhibitions and fact-finding trips funded by the GEF. 

The GEF Assembly will review and adopt directions and solutions to current global environment issues, and allocate resources for environment projects during the GEF’s 7th cycle (GEF 7) from 2018-2022. 

Nearly 30 countries have committed USD4.1 billion to the GEF 7 to better protect the future of the planet and human health. 

The 6th GEF Assembly will also convey a message of Vietnam’s strong commitment to sustainable development, especially in delivering on international commitments on environment to which Vietnam is a member. It will also offer Vietnam a chance to foster bilateral and multilateral cooperation, seek opportunities to receive financial and technological support, and strengthen capacity in the fields of climate change response, biodiversity, chemicals, land degradation, sustainable forest management, popularisation of Vietnamese tourism, culture and people. 

Established in 1991 with a mission to deal with global environment issues, GEF has funded USD14.5 billion and raised additional USD75.4 billion for nearly 4,000 relevant projects. With 183 member countries, GEF is an independent financial organisation offering the largest volume of public capital to environment projects, mostly in biodiversity preservation, climate change, land degradation, chemicals and wastes, sustainable forest management and comprehensive approach. 

Vietnam joined the GEF in December 5, 1994, with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment serving as the national coordinator. 

Since its establishment, GEF Vietnam has raised USD457.18 million for 107 environment projects in different sectors and localities. Of them, 56 are national-level projects worth USD153.8 million and 47 are regional and global projects worth a total of USD294 million. Additionally, there are 4 projects funded by the Special Climate Change Fund with a total value of roughly USD9 million. 

During the GEF 6, Vietnam was allocated over USD26 million for projects in the fields of climate change (over USD11 million), land degradation (over USD1.5 million) and biodiversity (over USD13 million). As of late 2016, the GEF Vietnam Office gave nod to 15 projects worth USD24.6 million in the System for Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR) of which the GEF consented to 6 projects valued at over USD18.8 million. 

GEF also offered roughly USD15 million in aid to Vietnam in chemicals and wastes, international waters, sustainable forest management, and comprehensive approaches./.