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Feasibility Assessment

Governments, national institutions, local communities, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, international organizations and private sector entities can submit medium-sized project concepts for consideration. The entity submitting a project concept is known as the project proponent. This same entity may or may not be responsible for implementing the project in the field.

They should be undertaken in an eligible country. Countries may be eligible for GEF funds in one of two ways: (1) if they are eligible for financial assistance through the financial mechanism of either the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or the Convention on Biological Diversity (those developing countries that have ratified the convention are eligible under the convention's rules); or (2) if they are eligible to borrow funds from the World Bank (IBRD and/or IDA) or to receive technical assistance from UNDP through a Country Program. For climate change or biodiversity projects, the country (or countries) in which the project will be implemented should have ratified the relevant convention.

They should be consistent with national priorities and programs. One important principle of GEF projects is that they should be country-driven. In other words, they should originate within the country and be supported by many national stakeholders. Most countries have plans and programs for achieving national and international environmental objectives that identify the country's principal challenges and priorities for action. A good project idea should be consistent with those national priorities.

They should address one or more of the GEF focal areas. The GEF's mandate is to finance activities related to biological diversity, climate change, international waters, and depletion of the ozone layer. Although there are many excellent ideas for addressing a broad range of environmental problems, proposals should address one of the four focal areas to qualify for GEF funding.

They should be consistent with the GEF Operational Strategy, which provides for operational programs and short-term response measures. The Operational Strategy provides program guidance for preparing initiatives. It includes basic policy principles that have been developed by the participating governments. The Strategy also identifies ten initial operational programs (OPs) to guide the preparation of project activities. These are frameworks for the design and coordination of a set of projects which collectively should contribute to achieving specific global environmental objectives. Copies of the operational programs can be obtained from the Secretariat and the Implementing Agencies, and are also available on the GEF home page (

They should seek GEF financing only for the agreed incremental costs of measures to achieve global environmental benefits. The GEF provides funds to assist recipient countries in making changes to existing or planned (baseline) activities so that the revised (alternative) activities benefit, or do not contribute to damaging, the global environment.

They should involve the public in project design and implementation. Public involvement is essential to developing quality, sustainable projects. GEF projects should involve stakeholders in project identification, design, and implementation. They should provide for information dissemination and address social and participation issues, such as the needs of vulnerable groups, potential social impacts of the project, and possible conflicts arising from project implementation.

They should be endorsed by the government(s) of the country(ies) in which they will be implemented. Before receiving any GEF funding, a proposal needs to be endorsed by the person or entity in the national government responsible for GEF projects (the GEF national operational focal point). Without this endorsement, a project cannot go forward.


The following list of questions can be used as a coarse filter to determine whether a project meets the basic requirements for receiving financing from GEF. To access this worksheet click here or on the worksheet itself

Normally, the following items would not be eligible for PDF funding: (i) (in order to distinguish project preparation costs from the administrative costs of the Agencies) costs associated with the work of specialized Agency staff or consultants retained by the Agency needed for a particular task (over and above those covered by administrative budgets) unless, on an exceptional basis, a country requests a particular staff member or Agency consultant by name. In these latter circumstances, travel and subsistence costs could be covered; (ii) non-project preparation costs including: project start-up costs, demonstration and pilot projects; the implementation of large-scale enabling activities including detailed country-wide inventories and country studies; training activities other than where they are directly related to project preparation; and major research; (iii) capital goods other than those directly required for project preparation, such as computers and engineering equipment; and (iv) goods and services that can be procured through funding channels other than the GEF.

Global Environment Facility (GEF) Previous Next Page 5(7)