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You may be aware that food plays an important role in human health. Did you know it is also critical to the health of our planet?

Food systems are major drivers of global forest and biodiversity loss, land and soil degradation, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

There is growing momentum in the international community to ramp up climate finance for mitigation and adaptation actions. Undoubtedly, a focus on climate change adaptation in the developing world must be a priority for the financing. At the same time, there is a rallying call for countries to focus post-COVID-19 recovery investment on green and resilient pathways that take into consideration urgency to address climate change priorities.

In a blog for IUCN's World Conservation Congress, GEF CEO and Chairperson Carlos Manuel Rodriguez writes how surfing has given him a deeper understanding of oceans and marine life, and a passion for addressing biodiversity loss and climate change.

As an implementing agency for the GEF-funded planetGOLD program, Conservation International has been proud to help deliver this innovative global initiative that supports countries in addressing mercury use in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM).

“As the world continues to struggle with COVID-19, it is faced with urgent, intertwined crises: climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation, pollution, and international debt.”

The Global Environment Facility’s CEO, Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, wrote a joint op-ed with Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). In the op-ed, they emphasize the need to tackle these challenges with coordinated and scalable financial instruments to provide needed debt relief and sustainable growth.

This year’s World Water Day is focused on valuing water and illustrating how water means different things to different people. Indeed, there is a constant running through the Global Environment Facility’s three decades of work in geographies around the world: water is fundamental to all of the issues we work in, supporting sustainable cities, energy systems, agriculture, and addressing ecological degradation and pollution.

Since it was signed 20 years ago, the Stockholm Convention has helped countries throughout the world to carefully manage the use, storage, distribution, and disposal of a particularly dangerous group of hazardous chemicals, the persistent organic pollutants or POPs. 

In an article for the Davos Agenda 2021, GEF CEO and Chairperson Carlos Manuel Rodriguez says a renewed focus on easing pressures on nature through a green and blue recovery has breathed new life into upcoming negotiations on biodiversity loss, land degradation, ocean conservation, and climate change. He writes that the right kind of recovery package can offer employment as well as environmental promise, if governments pair reform of damaging subsidies with their support for sustainable industries and nature-based solutions such as reforestation.

Temperatures in the Sahel are increasing 1.5 times faster than the global average, and around 80 percent of the farmland has lost some degree of its natural productivity. Together, these factors diminish the availability of land for food production or grazing, deplete water, and increase the vulnerability of the people living in the region. 

Alignment between policy, finance, and technology is spurring a rapid shift to a new kind of economic development