The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has approved a $2 million grant for a new venture in partnership with the MAVA Foundation, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which aims to increase investment in nature-based infrastructure that can help adapt to the impacts of climate change.

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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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The nonprofit organization Practical Action was wrapping up a bird conservation project in northern Peru funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, a program the GEF helps support, when the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe. Suddenly, the isolated community of San José de Lourdes was having difficulty acquiring not only cleaning and disinfectant products, but food as well.

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Asha Bobb-Semple is an Analyst with the Global Environment Facility’s land degradation focal area, and works with cross-cutting global programs related to food systems, commodities, land use, and drylands. In an interview, she reflected on her career path that has led her from Jamaica’s watersheds to the landscapes of Central Asia in support of a better tomorrow. 

When did you first become interested in environmental issues?

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An auspicious symbol of strength, health, and protection, the tiger features prominently in art, folklore, myth, and literature around the world. Tigers are also an important top predator, a critical piece holding together the complex puzzle of natural systems across more than a dozen countries in Asia.

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