Feature Story

The Junior Ranger Program in Papua New Guinea empowers local children - from pre-school to teenage years - to help look after nature. It's made possible through the GEF-funded and UNDP-implemented Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program.

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In the wake of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and realizing the need to disseminate information about the spread and prevention of COVID-19 and other health-related issues, the Community Tablet initiative, with support received from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the GEF, is conducting digital campaigns in Mozambique communities that are otherwise excluded from digital information.

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COVID-19 recovery provides an opportunity to future-proof economies: for cities to clear their air, green their open spaces, and embrace solutions that help decarbonize and drive down resource use and related impacts on ecosystems, while creating new jobs.

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In Somaliland, water is life. With support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and funding from the GEF Least Developed Countries Fund, the government of Somaliland has helped farmers like Fardosa Mohamed get access to water for drinking, cooking, and watering livestock. It’s a vital resource for Fardosa and her family – and now also key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 by making it easier to wash hands and clean household items.

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Monika Stankiewicz, Executive Secretary of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, reflects on its impact emphasizing how together we can #MakeMercuryHistory

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This story highlights the work being done through the GEF Small Grants Programme at the Green Creek Farmers’ Cooperative in Belize, where sustainable agricultural production and protection of flora and fauna define the community’s cultural identity.

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In times of crisis, it is typically rural areas that are most vulnerable to adversity, and it is often big cities that send humanitarian aid to the countryside. With the COVID-19 crisis, however, the situation has reversed. The pandemic’s mobility restrictions are disrupting food supply chains and hindering access to traditional and nutritious food in urban areas.

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“The sun isn’t even out. You get up, button your uniform, tie your boot laces, put on your beret, grab your field gear, and kiss your family goodbye. You close your eyes and take a moment to make peace with the reality that you may never see them again.” This is the daily routine of a ranger.

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The Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (CGIP), implemented by the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and funded by the GEF, has supported over 1,300 small and medium-sized enterprises developing disruptive technology that address climate change and energy challenges. CGIP alumni in Morocco, South Africa, Thailand, and Pakistan are now innovating responses to COVID-19.

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Living in the Lesotho mountainlands comes with more than its fair share of rigors, and small-scale farmers like Mrs. Maitumeleng Mabaleka struggle to survive. Land degradation and climate change have upended traditional agricultural practices for her and many others like her who struggle to make a living or grow enough food to feed their children and build a better future.

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