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Dr. Nagulendran Kangayatkarasu is Malaysia’s Operational Focal Point to the GEF and Deputy Secretary-General in the Ministry of Environment and Water. In an interview, he reflected on why both international cooperation and individual action are needed to confront plastic waste and protect endangered species, from pollinators to apex predators.

What are the most pressing environmental concerns in Malaysia?

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The past year has been marked by bleak news for the global environment, intensifying public interest in climate change, ocean health, plastic waste, deforestation, and biodiversity loss. Important and alarming scientific research has underlined the scale of the future threat.

At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed jobs, health, and short-term economic remedies to the top of government agendas, often ahead of environmental commitments.

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Sara El Choufi studied as a biologist in Lebanon before deciding to dedicate herself full-time to bridging the gap between scientific research and environmental policy. In an interview, the analyst at the GEF Independent Evaluation Office reflected on the importance of impartial reviews of environmental projects’ performance and shared her optimism borne out of observation.

What is the IEO and what does it do?

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In a virtual meeting, representatives of the Global Environment Facility’s 184 member countries moved this week to financially support countries seeking to protect nature and tackle environmental priorities amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and endorsed new approaches to engage with the private sector and confront future zoonotic disease risks.

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A group of leading experts and scientists convened by the Global Environment Facility has issued a white paper on the nexus between emerging infectious diseases and environmental degradation aimed at informing international efforts to build back better from COVID-19.

The experts’ report, published ahead the 59th GEF Council, explores ways protecting and conserving nature can address the current crisis and prevent future outbreaks, and proposes new avenues for investment and cooperation to meet these goals.

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Yesterday our GEF agency partner the UNDP published an audit of its management of Global Environment Facility supported projects, produced by UNDP’s Independent Office of Audit Investigations. This report is an important step toward addressing shortcomings that have emerged with regard to multiple projects, which we at the GEF take extremely seriously.

Undefined

When a clan chief in Fiji dies, fishing stops for up to a year on part of the island nation’s extensive coral reefs to allow fish stocks to rebound. It is in the new chief’s interest that they do, since an abundant catch when fishing resumes is seen as a portent of his future success.

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Under the leadership of its new CEO and Chairperson Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, the Global Environment Facility has renewed its engagement with UN environmental conventions to share strategic priorities and enhance the GEF’s support for major landmark agreements on biodiversity, climate change, chemicals, land use, and more.

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The Global Environment Facility’s governing body will focus in its upcoming Council meetings on ways to assist developing countries emerge stronger from the coronavirus pandemic that has underlined how important it is for strains on nature from human activity to be addressed.

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Anna Teh is the Philippines’ Deputy Minister of Environment and Natural Resources and her country’s GEF Operational Focal Point. In an interview, she reflected on why the COVID-19 crisis has given her optimism about the world’s ability to confront climate change, and shared how her experience as a teen parent – and now as a grandparent – underlies her commitment to work in conservation.

What are the main environmental issues of importance to the Philippines?

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