What to expect from Super Year 2020: environmental leaders look ahead

Posted on: December 20, 2019

Watch interviews with the GEF’s government partners, agency representatives, civil society leaders, and in-house specialists on climate change, cities, oceans, biodiversity, illegal wildlife trade, and more, recorded on the sidelines of the 57th GEF Council meetings in December 2019:

Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, GEF

In her GEF Live interview, Naoko Ishii talks about the urgent need for transformational change of key economic systems, explains the systems change approach underpinning programs on sustainable cities, food and land use, and marine protected areas that were presented to the GEF Council, and shares her aspirations for the Super Year 2020 when the international community will seek new deals on biodiversity, nature, and climate change.


Steven Broad, Executive Director, TRAFFIC

Steven Broad tells GEF biodiversity specialist Jaime Cavelier about approaches to tackle the illegal trade of wild animals and plants from a conservation standpoint; why demand is the major driver of over-exploitation; and how options for sustainable wildlife development can undermine illegal activities and help get criminals out of the business.


Kaddu Sebunya, CEO, Africa Wildlife Foundation

In conversation with Pilar Barrera of the GEF, Kaddu Sebunya underscores the need to mainstream wildlife and biodiversity within the aspirations of Africa’s economic growth, talks about conservation as a human rights issue, describes the link between wildlife conservation and tourism, and outlines crucial roles for local communities and government.


Kevin Rabinovitch, VP of Sustainability, Mars

With supply chains all over the world, Mars’ sustainability program examines its environmental and social impacts across the value chain, with particular focus on three areas: greenhouse gases, water use, and land use. Kevin Rabinovitch discusses the positive trend of impact-focused business targets, the potential for collaborations and partnerships to drive transformation of systems, and the importance of public and private sector alignment.


Helen Crowley, Conservation International Fellow, on sabbatical as Conservation and Ecosystems Services Specialist at Kering

Helen Crowley, a Conservation International Fellow on sabbatical from the global luxury fashion company Kering, describes how natural capital accounting can offer a picture across all supply chains related to fashion -- namely, raw materials, such as cotton, cashmere, and leather, and connects the dots between sustainability, biodiversity, and business.


Laure Katz, Blue Nature Senior Director and Technical Director for the Ocean Fund, Center for Oceans, Conservation International

Laure Katz describes the new Blue Nature Alliance as a new partnership between the GEF, Conservation International, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Walton Family Foundation designed to accelerate the development of marine protected areas and safeguard those that now exist.


Lucy Mulenkei, Executive Director, Indigenous Information Network; Co-chair, Indigenous Women’s Biodiversity Network; Chair, GEF’s Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group

Supporting indigenous peoples is key to protecting the global environment. Mulenkei describes her work with different indigenous pastoralist and hunter-gatherer communities, as well as the challenges that indigenous peoples face in conserving land and protecting livelihoods.


Giovanni Reyes, President, Philippine ICCA Consortium

Some 80 percent of the planet’s biodiversity coincides or is located in indigenous peoples’ territories. Reyes works to ensure the full and effective participation of indigenous communities in conservation planning, using technology such as 3D mapping to translate indigenous peoples’ knowledge about their terrain into the physical dimension.


Elizabeth Mrema, Acting Executive Secretary for the Convention on Biological Diversity

Elizabeth Mrema discusses the developments and challenges that the Convention on Biological Diversity has faced since its founding in 1992 and describes the reasons 2020 needs to be a Super Year for nature. Watch to learn more about the processes driving action for biodiversity conservation on the road to the CBD Conference of Parties in Kunming, China.


Lauren Gisnas, Senior Advisor at Norad and GEF Council Member for Norway

Lauren Gisnas, who represents the governments of Norway, Denmark, Latvia, and Lithuania at the GEF Council, underscored the importance of partnerships to tackle environmental issues including climate change, food security, renewable energy, sustainable forests, and marine plastics. She also shared her views on the importance of youth voices and the need for a global agreement addressing marine litter. 


Rosina Bierbaum, Chair of GEF Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel

For Bierbaum, the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel works to bring the scientists’ world into the Global Environment Facility - and, equally importantly, it also communicates to the academic community the needs of the GEF. Learn more about how academics and practitioners work together in pursuit of shared goals for the global environment.


Rossana Silva Repetto, Executive Secretary, Minamata Convention

The Minamata Convention aims to reduce the negative effects of mercury on human health and the environment. Silva Repetto, Executive Secretary of the newest environmental convention, reflects on the Minamata Bay tragedy of Japan, the importance of the participation of indigenous peoples as a part of the Minamata family, and the need for innovative alternatives to mercury in small-scale and artisanal gold mining.


Julio Ingles Ferreira, Advisor to the Minister of the Environment of Angola, GEF Council Member, and Operational Focal Point, Chair of the Southern Africa Region

Representing the southern African region, Julio Ingles Ferreira’s work connects not only people, communities, and governments, but also ministries in order to tackle challenges such as biodiversity, climate change, and land degradation. In his GEF Live interview, he notes the importance of working on a whole-of-government approach and discusses regional projects and capacity-building efforts in southern Africa.


Carola van Rijnsoever, Director of Inclusive Green Growth, Ambassador Sustainable Development for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands


Juha I. Uitto, Director, GEF Independent Evaluation Office

Uitto describes the Independent Evaluation Office’s accountability role as an internal and autonomous unit with the Global Environment Facility. Watch to hear more from Uitto about the importance of learning lessons from the past and the importance of scientific evidence and the youth voice.


Aloke Barnwal, Leader of GEF Sustainable Cities Impact Program

The Global Environment Facility’s new Sustainable Cities Impact Program is designed to help policymakers adopt an integrated approach to plan and invest in cities. Aloke Barnwal says that cities are critical to the achievement of global climate and other environmental targets. Watch to find out what city planners could do differently in order to meet sustainability goals.


Gustavo Fonseca, Director of Programs at the GEF

Fonseca discusses highlights from the 57th GEF Council, including the adoption of a work program focused on sustainable cities, marine protected areas, climate change, and indigenous peoples. Hear more about the power of youth as stakeholders and how blended finance could be deployed to support biodiversity protection, land restoration, and sustainable forestry.


Francoise Clottes, Director of Strategy and Operations at the GEF

Reflecting on the 57th GEF Council meeting, Francoise Clottes, Director of Strategy and Operations at the GEF reflects on how countries can and must work together to solve the problems of our planet. Listen to Clottes share her perspective on making multilateralism work, catalyzing collaboration in 2020, and uplifting youth as leaders, allies, and sources of learning.

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