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GEF Council Member and Operational Focal Point Gillian Guthrie is a chemist by training who has worked for decades to support the protection and conservation of Jamaica’s natural resources. In an interview, she reflected on the lessons of COVID-19 for international environmental action.

What do you do for a living?

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Albania’s Deputy Minister of Tourism and Environment Ornela Çuçi serves as her government’s official liaison to the Global Environment Facility and also represents a constituency of 12 countries at the GEF Council. In an interview, she reflected on the ways Albania is raising awareness about environmental protection as a vital part of economic growth, and shared life lessons from her career in public service.

What do you do for a living?

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Elizabeth Maruma Mrema is Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, a 196-country treaty that aims to conserve the diversity of nature, ensure nature is used sustainably, and ensure that the benefits to people from the use of genetic diversity is shared fairly. In an interview, she shared what gives her hope as countries prepare to set new global biodiversity targets in 2021.

Why is biodiversity important?

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Marking the 30th anniversary of the Global Environment Facility’s establishment, representatives of 184 member countries approved new projects supported by the GEF and Least Developed Countries Fund and welcomed the heads of five international environmental conventions who shared their priorities for the post-pandemic period. The GEF Council also endorsed a roadmap for long-term complementarity with the Green Climate Fund.

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Representatives of 184 countries have approved a new work program for the Least Developed Countries Fund, which together with the Special Climate Change Fund has provided more than $2 billion to date for the urgent climate resilience needs of small and vulnerable economies.

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The heads of five international environmental conventions – on climate change, biodiversity, desertification, chemical pollutants, and mercury – joined the Global Environment Facility’s governing body to discuss their 2021 priorities and pledged to work together in new and more collaborative ways to address the planet’s urgent and inter-related challenges.

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The latest work program will help developing countries’ clean, resilient, blue, and green recovery from COVID-19, with targeted support for marine biodiversity, fisheries, chemical management, biodiversity, climate change, landscapes, e-mobility, green buildings, and mercury-free mining.

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Developing countries’ climate change adaptation needs are vast, growing, and increasingly urgent.

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On the 30th anniversary of the Global Environment Facility’s founding, representatives of 184 member governments, heads of international environmental conventions, and agency partners will meet to consider new support for climate change adaptation through the Least Developed Countries Fund and GEF financing for programs and projects to help countries through and following the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Global Environment Facility Program Assistant Glynis Barber works to enable developing countries – including her native Sierra Leone – prepare for and cope with climate change. In an interview, she shared what she enjoys most about supporting and advancing climate change adaptation projects financed by the GEF-managed Least Developed Countries Fund and Special Climate Change Fund.

What is your role at the Global Environment Facility?

Undefined