The Global Environment Facility Trust Fund (GEF) is one of the two components of the financial mechanism of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, together with the Specific International Programme. It was established under Article 13 of the Convention, and the First Conference of the Parties (COP1) defined its guidance in 2017, on strategies, policies and eligibility for access to its resources (Decision MC-1/5). The relationship between the GEF and the COP is defined by a Memorandum of Understanding.
The GEF’s funding for mercury has been provided to developing countries and countries with economies in transition to prepare Minamata Initial Assessments (MIAs) and artisanal and small-scale gold mining (AGSM) National Action Plans (NAPs), and to undertake projects designed to support implementation of particular articles of the Convention. Some GEF projects are carried out under broader programmatic approaches, such as the PlanetGOLD programme to support the transition away from mercury use in artisanal and small-scale gold mining. PlanetGOLD has projects in eight countries and a powerful knowledge management component to foster the sustainability and scaling up of project results. Another example is GEF ISLANDS (Implementing Sustainable and Low and Non-Chemical Development in SIDS) program will work in 30 Small Island Developing States to manage the growing impacts of chemicals and wastes on their environments, including the management of at least 38 metric tons of mercury from products, health care and other use sectors.
At each COP the GEF reports on its work to support Parties and how it has responded to the guidance provided by the COP: GEF report to COP1 (UNEP/MC/COP.1/INF/3), COP2 (UNEP/MC/COP.2/INF/3) and COP3 (UNEP/MC/COP.3/INF/2). The Secretariat also provides a report on the financial mechanism to each COP: update on matters related to the Global Environment Facility at at COP1 (UNEP/MC/COP.1/8), COP2 (UNEP/MC/COP.2/8) and COP3 (UNEP/MC/COP.3/9).