There is a challenge that concerns all of us: the future of the planet. Climate change is expected significantly to impact the global economy in the coming decades, while climate-related natural disasters are likely to increase in frequency and severity and exacerbate poverty in developing countries with limited ability to adapt.
Last year represented a turning point for the environment, with the universal recognition of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction. Thus the 25th Anniversary of the GEF is taking place at a critical juncture.
We are all responsible for delivering the commitments made in those historic agreements. This will require major environmental global challenges to be addressed effectively and in partnership with all members of the global community. Besides, a significant impact on the global environment cannot be achieved without private sector involvement. The GEF has a crucial role to play to promote a more integrated approach, combining environment benefits, sustainable development and poverty eradication. The new Integrated Approach Pilot “Sustainability and resilience for food security in sub-Saharan Africa” is a good example of an important effort to combine these three objectives.
Over the years, Italy has confirmed its support of the GEF in a strong signal of confidence in its capacity to generate global environmental benefits. We are convinced that it is in a position to increase its activity and scope, and to respond to a growing demand for global environmental management. Our sincere appreciation goes to the CEO and women and men of the Secretariat, for their passionate work in contributing to our common goal: ensuring an environmental-friendly world.