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David Barron is Chairman of the ICCF Group, a foundation that works to advance US leadership in international conservation through public-private partnerships, awareness-raising among policy-makers, and support for tougher policies on conservation and natural resource management. In an interview, he reflected on the power of bipartisan and multi-partisan coalitions to tackle difficult challenges such as how to avoid the next pandemic.

What was your inspiration to establish the ICCF Group?

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“On behalf of the GEF, I would like to welcome the commitment by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Environment Minister Shinjirō Koizumi for Japan to become carbon neutral by 2050. The transition to a safer and healthier planet will require leadership and bold action as demonstrated by Tokyo today. The GEF is standing by to help governments all over the world embrace carbon neutrality and make systemic decisions about how to get ahead of climate change and its risks.”

Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, GEF CEO and Chairperson

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Rocío Cóndor is an FAO Forestry Officer working on the Enhanced Transparency Framework and coordinating the GEF-funded Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency work related to the forest sector, known as CBIT-Forest. In an interview, she reflected on the ways solid data can inform good decisions when it comes to sustainable forest management.

What does your work entail?

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Mercury can take many different routes to reach homes. To help inform the public on mercury's use and prevention, the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment (MINAM) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through the GEF-funded planetGOLD Peru project, have initiated the "Expedition Mercury" awareness campaign.

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GEF CEO and Chairperson Carlos Manuel Rodriguez sees the setbacks of 2020 as an opportunity to reset society’s relationship with the environment and shift business-as-usual approaches toward more sustainable models. Speaking with Mongabay in an October 2020 interview, Rodriguez says the pandemic recovery presents a chance to rethink the economic system that “got us in this problem,” through “confrontative relationships between humans and nature.”

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Miguel Stutzin is a Chilean veterinarian and international environment specialist who serves as his country’s Operational Focal Point to the Global Environment Facility. In an interview, he shared his hopes for a green recovery to the coronavirus pandemic. 

What do you do for a living?

Throughout my life, I have been able to complement my passion and work on environmental conservation with veterinary clinical practice, which has been really gratifying.

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As a Global Environment Facility Country Officer, Seo-Jeong Yoon helps government officials across Asia and the Pacific plan and advance GEF-supported projects to address environmental degradation and protection. In an interview, she reflected on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected her work across 14 time zones and how growing up in rural South Korea shaped her views about land stewardship.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

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Albania’s Deputy Minister of Tourism and Environment Ornela Çuçi serves as her government’s official liaison to the Global Environment Facility and also represents a constituency of 12 countries at the GEF Council. In an interview, she reflected on the ways Albania is raising awareness about environmental protection as a vital part of economic growth, and shared life lessons from her career in public service.

What do you do for a living?

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In an article for Foreign Policy, GEF CEO and Chairperson Carlos Manuel Rodriguez and World Wildlife Fund President and CEO Carter Roberts write that the choice is simple: accept devastating wildfires, extreme weather, species loss, and disease outbreaks or secure a sustainable future at a fraction of the cost.

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Pilar Barrera Rey is a Senior Operations Officer who manages stakeholder engagement for the Global Environment Facility, with a focus on supporting civil society organizations. She also oversees the GEF Small Grants Programme, which funds community-based environmental projects. In an interview, she reflected on the importance of seeking out diverse perspectives and voices and uplifting local conservation heroes.

Why are civil society organizations important to the GEF’s mission?

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