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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.

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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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The global spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) is a source of great concern to all of us. The Global Environment Facility is working with our partners and stakeholders to ensure the continuity of urgent environmental projects and programs in developing countries.

GEF Operational Updates

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Gustavo Fonseca is Director of Programs at the Global Environment Facility, one of the world’s largest funders of actions to combat the illegal wildlife trade. In an interview, he addressed the animal origins of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the potential power of wildlife trading bans, and the need for greater alignment between science, policy, and environmental action. 

What do we know about where COVID-19 came from?

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Yi Liu has been the National Coordinator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) administered GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) in China since 2009. In an interview, she reflected on the ways the COVID-19 crisis has impacted efforts to help local communities address environmental challenges, and shared life lessons from her work.

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Naoko Ishii is CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility, a multilateral trust fund whose $1 billion annual work program helps developing countries address the drivers of environmental damage and degradation. In an interview, she reflected on the root causes of the coronavirus outbreak and the message the pandemic is sending us about the way we live.

What does the coronavirus outbreak mean for international action on the environment?

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Gabriella Richardson Temm leads the Global Environment Facility’s efforts to ensure that gender is systematically addressed in GEF-funded projects and programs, and to coordinate such efforts across the GEF partnership. In an interview, she reflected on her professional path and shared her hopes for International Women’s Day 2020.

Q: When did you first realize that gender and environmental issues are linked?

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Clément Chenost is Co-founder and Managing Director of the Moringa Fund, a private equity investment vehicle supporting sustainable agroforestry in Latin America and Africa. The Global Environment Facility became an equity partner in Moringa in 2015, as part of the GEF’s blended finance portfolio. In an interview, Chenost shared his motivation to launch the Fund, the power of organic certification, and what cashew nuts have taught him about farm-to-fork value chains.

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