International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

GEF International Water (IW) Focal Area

The GEF is the largest funding mechanism for multi-country collaboration on water and oceans with 156 GEF recipient countries and 24 non-recipient countries working together to manage their transboundary water resources.

The GEF International Waters (IW) focal area’s specific mandate is to support transboundary cooperation in shared marine and freshwater ecosystems. Since the inception of the GEF in the early 1990s, the IW portfolio has delivered substantive results and replicable experiences in integrated water resource resources management to be scaled-up and mainstreamed globally. The portfolio operates in transboundary water systems, such as shared river basins, lakes, groundwater and large marine ecosystems, fostering cooperation among various partners and stakeholders in addressing complex and long-lasting marine resource and/or freshwater-use conflicts and achieving long-term benefits.

GEF-7 (2018-2022) Objectives for IW

Objective 1: Strengthening National Blue Economy Opportunities

  • Strategic Action 1.1: Sustaining healthy coastal and marine ecosystems
  • Strategic Action 1.2: Catalyze sustainable fisheries management
  • Strategic Action 1.3: Addressing pollution reduction in the marine environments

Objective 2: Improving Management in the Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction

  • Strategic Action 2.1: Ensuring sound maritime legal frameworks for the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity in the ABNJ

Objective 3: Enhancing Water Security in Freshwater Ecosystems

  • Strategic Action 3.1: Advance information exchange and early warning
  • Strategic Action 3.2: Enhance regional and national cooperation on shared freshwater and groundwater basins
  • Strategic Action 3.3: Investments in water, food, energy and environmental security