By Published On: August 24, 2023

Unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territories [OTTAWA], 24 August 2023:

Today, Canada built on one of the key achievements of COP15 by pledging seed funding of CAD $200 million to the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) Fund – one of the first countries to do so. Climate Action Network Canada welcomes the announcement from International Development Minister Ahmed Hussen and Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault, and urges the federal government to continue showing leadership on fighting the nature and biodiversity crisis.

“Today’s pledge was an important step, kickstarting momentum to turn the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund from a promise on paper into a real and powerful tool,” said Pratishtha Singh, Senior International Policy Analyst at Climate Action Network Canada. “We hope that other countries will follow Canada’s lead and commit the resources needed to support the leadership of communities from the Global South and Indigenous Peoples on solutions to protect and restore lands, waters, species and ecosystems.”

Oscar Soria, Avaaz campaign director, added, “Avaaz welcomes the pledge by Canada – our host country for the 7th Assembly – to contribute $200 million to the new GBF Fund and to earmark specific funds to Indigenous People. Without additional support, Indigenous Peoples’ lands and traditional knowledge are threatened. It is crucial to support Indigenous Peoples’ self-determination, rights, and leadership.”

Josh Ginsberg, Lawyer, Ecojustice, said: “Canada’s pledge to commit $200 million to the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund is a positive first step to helping finance the global action needed to meet GBF targets. We still have a long way to go; the GBF calls for an increase of $30 billion USD by 2030. We hope this will set a promising precedent for other developed countries.

“As a wealthy nation, Canada has an obligation to help finance global action to halt and reverse nature loss. With the second-largest area of intact nature in the world, Canada also has a key role to play domestically. Enshrining Canada’s nature targets into law would help Canada realize its opportunity to be a global leader in tackling the biodiversity crisis.”

Justina Ray, President & Senior Scientist, Wildlife Conservation Society Canada, said: “It has been inspiring to witness Canada’s leadership on the global stage hosting this assembly and keeping the promise of COP15 alive. It will be vital now for Canada — and all Parties — to deliver on all their commitments to successfully halt and reverse biodiversity loss.”

Carl Friesen, Public Policy Adviser, Canadian Foodgrains Bank, said: “Canada’s contribution to the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund is a strong sign of Canada’s commitment to international cooperation addressing the inseparable challenges of biodiversity and climate crisis. It sets an example for other rich countries to contribute swiftly to support the Global South in meeting the global biodiversity goals and targets by 2030. It is critical that this funding is administered as grants and prioritizes direct access for Indigenous People and local communities.”

Dana Stefov, Women’s Rights Policy and Advocacy Specialist, Oxfam Canada, said: “Canada’s commitments to the Global Environmental Facility and the newly created Global Biodiversity Framework Fund are important steps for demonstrating leadership, accountability and goodwill. As a major polluting country and one with the capacity to pay, we welcome support to low income countries and vulnerable groups like women, girls, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities. Canada must do it’s fair share through climate finance and ensuring equitable access to resources. Furthermore, legislation and an accountability framework must follow.”

Key highlights:

  • The announcement midway through the Seventh Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Vancouver. The Assembly today ratified the decision to establish the GBF Fund, initiated at COP15 last December.

  • 20% of the GBF Fund will be dedicated to projects led by Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Direct access to funding for Indigenous communities, who play a major role in protecting lands and waters, is critical.

  • 25% of the funds will be dedicated through international financial institutions to leverage private sector engagement. Canada must ensure private sector involvement doesn’t commodify nature and respects Indigenous rights and sovereignty.

  • 36% of the funds will prioritize support for the most vulnerable people, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) as well as the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

  • As well as the $200 million initial pledge to the GBF Fund, Minister Hussen announced that Canada would contribute an additional $22.8 million towards the eighth replenishment of the GEF, building on its existing COP15 commitment of $219 million.

  • The United Kingdom also announced a symbolic contribution of 10 million British pounds to the GBF Fund.

  • While Canada is taking important steps to reduce fossil fuel subsidies, government funding for oil and gas still heavily outweighs finance for climate and biodiversity: federal support for fossil fuels was estimated at more than $20 billion in 2022. At the press conference today, GEF CEO and Chairperson Manuel Rodriguez emphasized the need to phase out “perverse incentives” that contribute to climate change and the loss of biodiversity, and move towards positive ones.


Canada’s farthest-reaching network of organizations working on climate and energy issues, Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada is a coalition of 150 organizations operating from coast to coast to coast. Our membership brings environmental groups together with trade unions, First Nations, social justice, development, health and youth organizations, faith groups and local, grassroots initiatives.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Vicky Coo, Communications Lead

Photo credit: IISD Earth Negotiations Bulletin