Sajjad Hussain, a farmer and social worker, lives in the remote Kanju Kohsal village in Gilgit-Baltistan, nestled within the Karakoram mountain range in Central Asia.

Like many other locals, Sajjad kept his household livestock in a communal stone-walled corral overnight.

In the middle of the night, he heard murmurings and yelps reminiscent of stray dogs, but upon waking and peering out his window, a snow leopard was spotted on the prowl.

In balance with nature

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Madagascar farmer Edmond is working on a rosewood conservation project coordinated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Its aim is to safeguard a group of trees that is the world’s most trafficked wild product by value and volume. From Guatemala to Madagascar to Thailand to Zambia, rosewoods have been targeted by timber traffickers who seek to profit especially from its growing demand in China and Viet Nam, principally for furniture.

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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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