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Today, the GEF joins the global community in celebrating International Women’s Day.  It is an ideal time to reflect on GEF’s efforts to advance the role of women in environmental sectors worldwide. When the GEF adopted its Policy on Gender Mainstreaming in 2011, only a minority of projects considered gender issues. Now, just five years later, we are strengthening our efforts to address gender gaps across all of our programs and projects. Furthermore, we are working to deliver on positive synergies between improved environmental management and greater gender equality.

In 2010, 15 days after graduating from college, with nothing but a backpack and an old water bottle, I stood in front of a large gate with a rusted sign welcoming me to the “Pench Tiger Reserve.” The same reserve that inspired Rudyard Kipling’s, Jungle Book. None of the mock interviews  or standardized tests could have prepared me for the job at hand.

Apart from being invaluable in connecting us to nature, forests provide resources that we depend on for our livelihoods – food, fuel, water, and habitats for birds and animals. Also, forests maintain Earth’s biodiversity, water resources, protect soil, and play an important role in climate change mitigation by storing carbon.

Quando tento explicar a importância do Fundo para o Meio Ambiente Mundial (GEF) na protecção da biodiversidade, falo de dois dados fundamentais.

At the UN Biological diversity conference (COP13) in Cancun, Mexico, Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) discussed progress and experiences in integrating gender and social inclusion dimensions into biodiversity-related projects. 

Moving from the Paris Agreement to climate action is on everybody’s mind these days and transforming agricultural production to climate smart practices is central to the international community’s efforts of keeping the global climate well below 2 C.

 

My great-great grandfather was an innovative farmer. Working the sandy soils of North West Denmark, he was still able to produce a plentiful harvest of wheat and vegetables. The secret behind his success laid in the farming practices he used on his land. Instead of animal manure or crop rotation for soil enrichment, both popular at those times, he used a new, strange looking man-made fertilizer which he applied to his fields under cover of night to avoid unnecessary attention from neighbors and competitors. 

 

The theme of this year’s International Day of Biodiversity is “Mainstreaming biodiversity; Sustaining people and their livelihoods” and if you’re like 99% of people you will then ask – what is mainstreaming biodiversity?

Mainstreaming biodiversity is a broad term we use to describe a suite of changes in human activity and decision making to include the protection of biodiversity in everyday things that we do.

From national governments to businesses, from organizations to individuals, we all have a role to play in accelerating ambition and achieving bold climate action.