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The 55th Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council meeting wrapped up today following the approval of its first work program under its new, four-year investment cycle, known as GEF-7, and a series of decisions that will firm up its implementation policies and procedures.

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A special session on gender gathered civil society organizations, representation of indigenous peoples, youth and women's groups, to dialogue on the links between gender equality and better environmental stewardship as part of the Civil Society (CSO) Forum, traditionally held on the day preceding the first day of the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) Council meeting. 

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55th GEF Council, December 18-20, 2018

On the agenda of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council, which opened today in Washington DC, are the first projects to be funded under its new, four-year investment cycle, known as GEF-7, and measures to further improve the GEF’s efficiency, accountability, transparency and environmental and social safeguards.

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UN Climate Change Conference (COP24), held in Katowice, Poland from December 2-14, 2018

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It’s nearing midnight, when our guide, Andry, darts into the undergrowth. In the velvet dark of the forest, lit only by the sharp stabs of our torches and the gentle glow of the waning moon filtering through the canopy, it’s hard to see what the excitement is all about until he crouches down, pointing. “Chameleon,” he says, barely louder than a whisper.

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Almost 150 countries, 94 of them Parties to the Minamata Convention of Mercury, are meeting in Geneva this week to strengthen their efforts to reduce and eliminate the adverse effects of mercury as a new report reveals that global mercury emissions into the atmosphere rose by around 20% between 2010 and 2015. Mercury is a serious pollution threat and very dangerous to human health and the environment.

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The second meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP2) opens today in Geneva, Switzerland. The Minamata Convention, the newest multilateral environmental agreement, was adopted in 2013 in Kumamoto, Japan and entered into force in August, 2017. The Convention commits to protect human health and the environment from the toxic effects of mercury.

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UNDP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) have kicked off a project under the GEF-financed, World Bank-led Global Wildlife Program that aims to curb maritime wildlife trafficking, targeting key routes and transit points between Africa and Asia.

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Government ministers from across Africa and experts from around the world are gathering this week in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, for the African Ministerial Summit on Biodiversity. The meeting on November 13, which focuses on biodiversity conservation, land and ecosystem restoration in Africa, marks the opening of the United Nations Biodiversity Conference 2018

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The majority of the Arab States possess all the requisite elements to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. There’s a young, educated workforce, plenty of natural resources, a notable increase in investments in renewable energy, and a much-needed uptick in efforts to support equality. Climate change, conflict and other related factors threaten to derail this progress and ruin any chances of a Pax Arabica.

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