Sanctions hinder GEF to finance environmental projects in Iran

June 1, 2020 - 18:41

TEHRAN – Unfair and unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States has hindered the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to finance environmental projects in Iran.

In line with the continued health and safety measures being applied in most countries in response to COVID-19, the 58th Council Meeting of the GEF will be held virtually on June 2 and 3.

The GEF was established in 1992 aiming to help tackle most pressing environmental problems around the world. 

Iran got the GEF membership in 1994. Ms. Narges Saffar, head of the international affairs unit of the Department of Environment represents the country. Currently, the GEF has 183 participants.

The Council, the GEF's main governing body, comprises 32 Members appointed by constituencies of GEF member countries (14 from developed countries, 16 from developing countries, and 2 from economies in transition). Council Members rotate every three years or until the constituency appoints a new Member. The Council, which meets twice annually, develops, adopts, and evaluates the operational policies and programs for GEF-financed activities. It also reviews and approves the work program (projects submitted for approval), making decisions by consensus.

In a statement to the Seventh Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD7) which was held online on May 20, Ms. Saffar said that the U.S. sanctions have acted as a barrier to achieve the sustainable development goals. She noted that global solidarity is needed in moving towards sustainable development regardless of the abuse of political power to put pressure on others.

Iran has to grapple with its highly complex environmental issues such as severe land degradation, water scarcity, biodiversity loss, waste man Sustainable Development Strategies (SDSs), and climate change, she lamented. Besides, ceaseless conflicts in West Asia which eventuates insecurity and impurified decision-making exacerbate the impacts of the common environmental challenges we encounter especially SDSs, transboundary river and water management, and new pest attacks across the borders which threats our biosecurity, she added.


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