Seeing a lionfish while diving in the Caribbean is a cause for mixed emotions. On the one hand, one marvels at the exquisite beauty of the fishes’ flowery fins and its amazing adaptability to a range of habitats, from shallow estuaries with low salinity to deep reef environments. But then you remember that these fish don’t belong in the Caribbean, and that the very versatility noted above makes them an invasive menace.

More than a thousand years ago, the Vikings lived and died by the sea while often taking to the oceans in specially designed wooden ships and sailing for the unknown. They dreamt of plunder, stories to entertain the long winter nights, and not least of new trading posts and farm-land, far surpassing the fertility of the land of their ancestors in which they resided.

In many ways the oceans remain an untapped and untamed resource, offering huge promise for future generations. Our oceans, however, are not unaffected by humankind.

Water is not a commodity and not a mere resource - it is the very foundation of life.  As poetic as it sounds, the meaning behind this simple truth nowadays provides reasons for concern.

Today, the GEF joins the global community in celebrating International Women’s Day. It is an ideal time to reflect on GEF’s efforts to advance the role of women in environmental sectors worldwide. When the GEF adopted its Policy on Gender Mainstreaming in 2011, only a minority of projects considered gender issues. Now, just five years later, we are strengthening our efforts to address gender gaps across all of our programs and projects. Furthermore, we are working to deliver on positive synergies between improved environmental management and greater gender equality.

En 2010, dos semanas después de graduarme de la universidad, con solo una mochila y una botella de agua antigua, me paré frente a un gran portón en que estaba colgado un cartel oxidado que me dio la bienvenida a la “reserva del tigre de Pench”. (i) Esta era la misma reserva que había inspirado “El Libro de la selva” de Rudyard Kipling. Ninguna de las entrevistas de prueba o disertaciones podría haberme preparado para el trabajo que tenía que emprender.

In 2010, 15 days after graduating from college, with nothing but a backpack and an old water bottle, I stood in front of a large gate with a rusted sign welcoming me to the “Pench Tiger Reserve.” The same reserve that inspired Rudyard Kipling’s, Jungle Book. None of the mock interviews  or standardized tests could have prepared me for the job at hand.

Apart from being invaluable in connecting us to nature, forests provide resources that we depend on for our livelihoods – food, fuel, water, and habitats for birds and animals. Also, forests maintain Earth’s biodiversity, water resources, protect soil, and play an important role in climate change mitigation by storing carbon.

Quando tento explicar a importância do Fundo para o Meio Ambiente Mundial (GEF) na protecção da biodiversidade, falo de dois dados fundamentais.

At the UN Biological diversity conference (COP13) in Cancun, Mexico, Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) discussed progress and experiences in integrating gender and social inclusion dimensions into biodiversity-related projects. 

Moving from the Paris Agreement to climate action is on everybody’s mind these days and transforming agricultural production to climate smart practices is central to the international community’s efforts of keeping the global climate well below 2 C.