We are living beyond the carrying capacity of our planet, putting human systems and natural systems on a collision course: COVID-19 is a manifestation of this fact.

The fundamental cure and prevention for this will be to change how we live, eat, move, produce and consume. How can we protect nature and combat climate change while rebuilding our economies?

Moderated by WRI President and CEO, Andrew Steer, this event looked back over the last eight years of Naoko Ishii’s leadership as GEF CEO and Chairperson. With incoming CEO Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, it also looked forward towards the next chapter in the GEF’s journey to deliver transformational change and protect our common home.

The event was opened by GEF STAP Chair, Rosina Bierbaum. It also included a conversation between the two GEF CEOs, and an audience Q&A.


  • Agnes KalibataPresident, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa
  • Carlos Manuel RodriguezMinister of Energy and Environment, Costa Rica
  • Dominic WaughrayManaging Director, Centre for Global Public Goods, World Economic Forum
  • Izabella TeixeiraFormer Brazil Environment Minister
  • Johan RockströmDirector, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  • Naoko IshiiCEO and Chairperson, GEF
  • Paul PolmanCo-Founder and Chair, IMAGINE
  • Andrew SteerPresident and CEO, World Resources Institute
  • Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary, Economic Commission for Africa
  • Rosina BierbaumChair of the GEF's Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel