By Carter Roberts, President and CEO, WWF-US
For 25 years, the GEF has played a unique role in international efforts to protect the future of the planet. Beginning with WWF’s backing for the GEF's establishment at the first United Nations Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, our organizations have shared a rich history of partnership and mutual support.
As one of GEF’s first Project Agencies, WWF has developed a strong portfolio across nearly all GEF focal areas including climate change, biodiversity, international waters, land degradation and sustainable forest management. We are a proud partner of many key GEF initiatives, including Global Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction program Amazon Region Protected Areas program, which helped Brazil establish and finance a system of Amazonian protected areas three times the sizer of all US national parks combined Taking Deforestation out of Commodities Supply Chains Integrated Approach Pilot.
As the GEF celebrates a quarter century of conservation, global commitments from governments and the private sector are setting the stage for a new way of working that will rely heavily on leadership from institutions like it to succeed. The GEF is uniquely positioned both to implement action on the ground and to play a key role in shaping the discussion over how to curb the biggest drivers of environmental degradation.
Looking forward, WWF strongly embraces GEF’s 2020 Strategy and its plans for collective action, including a focus on areas beyond national jurisdiction, better management of the global commons and habitats and protecting biodiversity. The international community can best deploy the GEF’s strengths to such achieve landmark commitments as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement by leveraging private investments and aligning conservation and business goals
WWF looks forward to playing a critical role in the hunt for innovative solutions and to many more years of success as part of the GEF community.