The ECWs keep the GEF National Focal Points, Convention Focal Points and other key stakeholders, including civil society, up to date on GEF strategies, policies and procedures and to encourage coordination. These events enable focal points to meet with their counterparts from other countries in the region. They also allow other GEF partners, especially GEF Agencies, to discuss and review policies and procedures and to share experiences from GEF projects and their integration within national policy frameworks.  

Francoise Clottes

Ms. Clottes has been appointed as Director of Strategy and Operations as of February 16, 2017. Her top priorities will be leading the development of the GEF’s policy framework to enhance its impact on the protection of the global commons; enhancing internal systems to improve operational efficiency and result focus, and evolving partnerships to adapt to new opportunities and challenges.

Gustavo Alberto Fonseca

Dr. Fonseca is the Director of Programs at the Global Environment Facility. Responsibilities include overseeing the portfolio of investments in biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, forests and REDD+, transboundary marine and freshwater conservation, chemicals and sustainable land management. A tenured Professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Brazil, he was the first Executive Director of Center for Applied Biodiversity before becaming the Chief Conservation and Science Officer of Conservation International. He holds a Master's degree in Latin American Studies and a Ph.D. in Forest Management and Conservation from the University of Florida. He published close to 170 publications articles and books. He received the Oliver Austin Award of the University of Florida’s State Museum for outstanding research in the natural sciences, the Environmental Protection Award of Government of the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, the Distinguished Service Recognition award from the Brazil Biodiversity Fund (Funbio), and the Golden Ark Award, an official order of the Dutch government, the highest environment award of the Netherlands.

The International Day of Forests, which is celebrated globally on March 21, is an opportunity to remember the critical importance of forests for human and planet health.

Despite growing efforts to protect the forests, they continue to decline under the pressure of human population growth and competing needs for land. Over the past 25 years, the extent of the world’s forests has declined by about 3%. Business as usual isn’t enough and innovative approaches are both necessary and urgent to reverse this trend.


“Whoever you are, wherever you are – water is your human right.” The message behind the UN World Water Day 2019 campaign may seem obvious, yet about one out of ten people globally still lack access to drinking water, and one out of three people lack access to improved sanitation and adequate hygiene provision.

Environmental degradation, climate change, population growth, conflict and migration aggravate the water crisis, hitting the most vulnerable groups the hardest, as they try to access and manage the safe water they need.


One of the world’s most vital ecosystems is set to take a step closer to a sustainable future, with the announcement of a US$63-million programme to stabilize forest cover, peatlands, and wildlife populations across the Congo Basin.


For Phub Zem Doya, living in the remote village of Singye in southwest Bhutan, water is a precious resource – one not to be taken for granted.

In her village, climate change has led many water sources to dry up, causing shortages particularly during the dry winter season.