Drawing on 32 case studies from the fields of Climate Change (CC), Chemicals & Waste (Ch&W), and Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS), the paper demonstrates how system thinking can enhance outcomes and lead to wider adoption of new technologies, changes and behaviours that protect and restore the environment. The paper offers guidance for the GEF on how to develop integrated projects and programs, based on a review of the literature on systems thinking and similar disciplines, drawing from examples [of GEF projects] demonstrating lessons on integrated programming in support of sustainable development and delivering multiple benefits.
In this paper, integrated approaches are seen as instruments that can bring about changes in the multiple domains necessary to achieve the desired long-term transformation. Thus "integrated projects or programs" are understood to consider causes across the environment and different realms of human activity, and to generate benefits in two or more GEF focal areas, as well as social and economic benefits. Given the multiple factors, interconnections involved and complexity of CC, and the processes related to Ch&W, the central conclusion of this review is that systems thinking can be used to derive key principles to guide the development and implementation of integrated projects that contribute to transformation at scale for both CC and Ch&W.