2022/005: Funding Relevant to CMS Implementation in GEF-8 Replenishment

The Secretariat of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) is pleased to inform Parties about funding opportunities for migratory species conservation through the eighth replenishment of the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund (GEF-8, July 2022 to June 2026).

GEF-8 will commence on 1 July 2022 following the endorsement by the GEF Assembly of the Report on the Eighth Replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund which includes the GEF-8 Programming Directions and the Financing Framework.

Although the GEF is not the financial mechanism for CMS, the GEF-8 Programming Directions reflects key CMS priorities, transmitted from the CMS Standing Committee to the GEF through the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), in accordance with CBD decision XIII/21. It also includes an explicit reference to CMS in a number of areas.

For biodiversity, one of the primary objectives of GEF-8 will be to support implementation of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and CMS priorities embodied in the framework can therefore benefit from GEF-8 support.

GEF-8 Integrated Programs and Focal Areas provide multiple entry points for the implementation of numerous CMS mandates.  Of note, GEF8 programming includes:

  1. An expanded Wildlife Conservation for Development Integrated Program that includes a focus on overexploitation of wildlife, not only for internationally-traded species but for illegal and unsustainable uses domestically;
  2. A focus on the importance of ecological connectivity in the establishment and implementation of area-based conservation measures, integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes;
  3. Work on wildlife health, as well as plastic pollution in both riverine and marine systems and sustainable infrastructure;

A detailed analysis of GEF-8 areas of work of particular relevance to CMS are described in the Annex of this notification.

In the frame of full flexibility for the use of GEF-8 funding under the STAR allocation system, priorities for use of this funding are determined by recipient countries, and discussions are already taking place in many countries to set such priorities.

CMS National Focal Points are encouraged to liaise with their CBD and GEF counterparts to ensure that their allocations support projects and initiatives that conserve and sustainably use migratory wildlife and their habitats. 

The CMS Secretariat is also reaching out to the GEF agencies to establish collaborations in the implementation of the GEF-8 programming directions.

For any further information please contact Laura Cerasi, Fundraising and Partnerships Officer, CMS Secretariat, E-mail: [email protected].



Areas of GEF-8 of Particular Relevance to CMS

GEF-8 has numerous areas of work relevant to CMS, both in the Integrated Programmes as well as in the Focal Areas.  Areas of particular relevance to CMS are summarized below, but other aspects of the GEF-8 may also relate to implementation of CMS within GEF-eligible countries.

(i) Promoting area-based conservation measures, connectivity and sustainable infrastructure

Ecological connectivity is a top priority for the conservation and sustainable management of migratory species and their habitats, as outlined in CMS Gandhinagar Declaration and CMS Resolutions 12.26 (Rev.COP13) on Improving Ways of Addressing Connectivity and 12.7 (Rev.COP13) on the Role of Ecological Networks.

The GEF-8 programming gives strong emphasis to spatial planning and the implementation of area-based conservation measures integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes that also aim at restoring, maintaining and improving ecological connectivity.

The following Integrated Programmes (IPs) and Focal Areas (FAs) of the GEF-8 support ecological connectivity in the context of:

  • Ecosystem Restoration IP: approaches for restoration of degraded ecosystems, with a focus on ecosystem types which are selected on the basis of various criteria including habitat and species connectivity.
  • Sustainable Cities IP: integrating nature in urban development and regional planning aiming at bringing nature into cities.
  • Amazon, Congo, and Critical Forest Biomes IP: improving connectivity of forest, freshwater and aquatic resources in each biome at national, sub-national, transboundary levels which also help resident and migratory species.

The objective of the programme is in line with the Jaguar 2030 Roadmap which has at its core the increasing the security and connectivity of core protected landscapes for the species.

  • Wildlife Conservation for Development IP: maintaining and restoring connectivity of wildlife populations and landscapes through generating value from wildlife and its habitats will reduce biodiversity loss and enhance human wellbeing. 
  • Greening Transportations Infrastructure Development IP: halting and mitigating increasing habitat fragmentation and loss of connectivity due to infrastructure development, by avoiding placing infrastructure in critical ecosystems; maintaining flows / connectivity for fluvial transport; and maintaining or enhancing wildlife crossings or other natural infrastructure to increase connectivity and facilitate the movement of animals.
  • Biodiversity Focal Area: supporting the implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework especially with regards to Goal A and B and Target 1, 2, 3 and 12.

Of particular importance is Target 3 - – to protect at least 30% of Earth’s land and sea by 2030 - and the key role of ecological connectivity in the establishment of systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.

  • Land Degradation Focal Area: avoiding, reducing and reversing land degradation through a wide range of sustainable land management (SLM) practices including those aimed at maintaining and improving habitat connectivity.
  • International Waters Focal Area: assisting countries in addressing a suite of stressors of key coastal and marine ecosystems and strengthening governance of transboundary water system, connectivity measures which are supported through policy legal reforms and management strategies.

(ii) Addressing unsustainable wildlife consumption and the risk of zoonotic spillover

For the first time, the GEF replenishment includes an integrated programme dedicated to Wildlife Conservation for Development. The program will ensure both global project and country specific investments to secure terrestrial, freshwater and marine wildlife populations and key landscapes through an integrated approach both at the domestic and international level.

The program component about combating “Illegal and High-Risk Wildlife Trade” supports measures to increase sustainability and decrease health risk of legal, local wildlife trade and consumption, including wildmeat. These measures include: i) site-based anti-poaching; ii) reform of national wildlife-related laws and policies, enforcement and prosecution iii) cutting- edge analytics to help reduce risks of emerging infectious diseases.

These activities are aligned with the objectives and work of the CMS National Legislation Programme as well as of the CMS Scientific Council Working Group on Wildlife Diseases. These activities also build on recent CMS work on terrestrial and aquatic wild meat and progress made by CMS to address illegal killing, taking and trade of migratory birds in the context of the Mediterranean Task Force whose success is being replicated in other regions such as East-Asia, Arabian Peninsula, Iran and Iraq and Caribbean.

(iii) Climate change mitigation

The GEF-8 replenishment, in its the Net-Zero Accelerator Integrated Programme and Climate Change Focal Area, aims to support an effective decarbonization of the energy system through, among other interventions, an expansion of sustained renewable energy. This is in line with the work of the CMS Energy Task Force which promotes the deployment and siting of infrastructure that does not negatively impact species and their habitats.

Attention is also given to preserving and enhancing carbon sinks in natural ecosystems, including forests and agroforestry systems, coastal areas with large carbon stocks such as mangrove forests and peatlands that are crucial for many migratory species including dugongs and many species of birds.

The Blue and Green Islands Integrated Program is to apply, among other tools, Nature-based Solutions in key ecosystems that support Small Island Developing States (SIDS) countries to achieve development goals and address humanity’s greatest interconnected challenges, including climate change mitigation.

iv) Pollution

Through promoting Circular Solutions to Plastic Pollution, including in the dedicated integrated programme, GEF-8 aims to tackle plastic pollution in marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems also building on the work recently carried out by CMS in this area.

Various integrated programmes, including the one on Food Systems, aim to reduce the use of chemicals, particularly in agriculture in the form of pesticides, which have severe impacts on biodiversity leading to significant species decline. This is particularly relevant to the Action Plan for the conservation of African-Eurasian Landbirds.

The Chemicals and Waste Focal Area supports interventions on these and other related areas of work.

(v) Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

While the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework will only be adopted later this year, the GEF-8 programming is already aligned to its four goals and 21 action targets.

The implementation of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is supported with investments and associated programming of the Biodiversity Focal Area and supplemented by those of other focal areas and integrated programs.

Goals A and B, and Targets 1-10 and 12 of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, which aim to improve conservation, sustainable use and restoration of natural ecosystems are most relevant to CMS. Target 3 - – to protect at least 30% of Earth’s land and sea by 2030 – is particularly important with regard to ensuring and improving connectivity in the establishment of systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.

For these two Goals and related targets, GEF-8 marks a shift in the GEF strategy by promoting complementary strategies to protected area management, sustainable use, and biodiversity mainstreaming that can be supported in an integrated landscape/seascape intervention.

The GEF-8 scenarios envisage an increased allocation for the Biodiversity Focal Area allocation to almost one third of the replenishment.


Last updated on 20 April 2022