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Global Environment Facility to Convene in Beijing
The Global Environment Facility (GEF), a mechanism to provide grants and technical assistance for environmental projects, is to convene its second assembly in Beijing Wednesday.

Nearly 2,000 individuals are expected to participate, including senior finance, development and environmental officials from GEF participant countries, officials of United Nations organizations, and representatives of non-governmental organizations. Some 1,300 participants have registered so far.

The three-day assembly will evaluate the operations of the GEF and what the world has achieved in environment and development issues since the fund was established in 1991, aiming to set new goals.

Symposiums on the GEF and China's and the global environments and sustainable development, science and the world environment, and other topics will be held during the meeting.

Initiated by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the GEF aims to assist developing countries in implementing projects that benefit the global environment in the areas of biological diversity, climate change, international waters and ozone depletion.

The first assembly of the GEF was held in New Delhi, India, in April 1998.

By the end of last year, China had obtained a total of US$350 million in GEF grants to carry out bio-diversity conservation, energy-saving projects in industries, renewable energy, protection of international waters, and programs on the prevention and treatment of desertification.

(Xinhua News Agency October 16, 2002)

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