GEF Support to Sustainable Forest Management (SFM)


The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has supported sustainable forest management (SFM) for almost 30 years, from the GEF Pilot onwards. This is the first comprehensive evaluation of GEF support to SFM, which assesses the outcomes and performance of GEF's diverse portfolio of SFM activities and provides strategic insights and lessons for future forest-related interventions. It covers the entire span from GEF-Pilot to GEF-7 and offers useful pointers for GEF-8.

Over the years, the GEF has supported 640 SFM projects with a value of $3.654 billion. The portfolio covers a wide diversity of geographies, implementing agencies, focal areas, and financial values. 314 of these 640 projects have completed implementation (49 percent), 138 projects are under implementation (22 percent), and 188 projects are still in the pipeline (29 percent). The median grant size is $4.58 million, while the largest grant made is $60.33 million.



GEF support contributed to:

  • At least 78 million hectares of forests coming under new protected area status and/or improved protected area management.
  • At least 1.9 million hectares of forests restored
  • Notable biodiversity gains in 41 percent of projects, with gains in soil and water conservation and other protective functions in 25 percent of projects.
  • 24 percent of projects together created at least 139,300 new formal jobs, with local community income increases also reported for 55 percent of all projects.
  • Significant community empowerment in 55 percent of projects, and improved gender equity in 37 percent.
  • 21 percent of projects achieved transformative change, and 75 percent of projects were found to be well aligned with government priorities.

Supporting Documents

Approach Paper

Evaluation Reports