News

Christian Severin is the GEF’s Coordinator for the International Waters focal area. In an interview in advance of World Oceans Day, he charted his academic and professional path spanning all aspects of water management, from sanitation to irrigation to problem-solving around transboundary rivers and oceans. He also reflected on the power of a vibrant community of practice in the international waters space.

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The Global Environment Facility’s governing body, meeting remotely, has agreed on $700 million for projects and programs to help developing countries keep advancing urgent environmental priorities through and beyond the coronavirus pandemic. The new and expanded programming under the GEF-7 replenishment cycle spans oceans, chemicals, land use, wildlife trafficking, green shipping, and climate change adaptation, and the LDCF work program focuses on helping vulnerable countries and communities continue to build their climate resilience.

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The Global Environment Facility’s governing body will meet online June 2-3 to consider $700 million for projects and programs spanning wildlife, biodiversity, oceans, land degradation, chemicals and waste, and climate change adaptation under the Least Developed Countries Fund. At its first-ever virtual meeting, the GEF Council will also select a new CEO and Chairperson to succeed Naoko Ishii, whose second term ends in July.

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Jean-Marc Sinnassamy is a Senior Environmental Specialist who oversees the GEF’s project portfolio related to land and forest management in Africa, including the new Congo Basin Sustainable Landscapes Impact Program. In an interview, he shared life lessons from his work with communities, activists, academics, government officials, and business leaders to prioritize nature at both the global and local levels.

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The coronavirus pandemic has forced us all to confront how environmental degradation bringing wildlife and people too close together endangers economies and societies alike. In a document prepared for the 58th GEF Council, the Global Environment Facility Secretariat outlines its planned response to COVID-19. Read it here.

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Aulani Wilhelm is Senior Vice President of Oceans at Conservation International. In an interview, she shared lessons from her work tackling challenges to coastal and marine areas around the world and shared how the Hawaiian core value of kuleana has informed her personal and professional approach.

What is the program you work on and what does it aim to do?

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David Rubia is the Africa Program Management Officer for the GEF-supported Global E-Mobility Program. In an interview, he shared his optimism about the benefits of electrifying multiple modes of transportation in Africa (from two and three-wheelers to buses to airport ground-support fleets), and reflected on what the COVID-19 crisis has reminded him about the value of connectivity.

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Françoise Clottes is Director of Strategy and Operations at the Global Environment Facility. In an interview ahead of the first-ever ‘virtual’ GEF Council, happening June 2-3 across 17 time zones, she reflected on the ways government, civil society, GEF agency colleagues, and the GEF Secretariat are staying connected and continuing to support the global environment through the coronavirus shutdown.

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Doreen Robinson is Chief for Wildlife at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and coordinator of the new GEF Congo Basin Sustainable Landscapes Impact Program, a six-country initiative working to address environmental degradation in Central Africa’s forests. In an interview, she shared life lessons from her work, including the value of ‘deep humility’ and the need to seek out others’ perspectives to find lasting solutions to complex challenges.

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High-level representatives from the five Riparians virtually signed a joint statement today, thus endorsing the Strategic Action Program (SAP) for the sustainable management of the extended Drin Basin, directly benefiting its 1.6 million inhabitants. Shared among Albania, Greece, Kosovo*, Montenegro, and North Macedonia (the five 'Riparians'), the Drin River Basin provides water resources for drinking, energy, fishing, and agriculture, biodiversity, tourism and industry.

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