Page 28 - Respond 2016 Magazine
P. 28

development finance

        Photo Credit: Pixabay

       These drivers of global environmental degradation primarily rise   engagement with the private sector, which must be a crucial
       from three global megatrends: a growing population, a rapidly   partner if transformational change is to be achieved.
       rising global middle class resulting in tectonic shift in consumption
       and diet patterns; and rapid urbanization which is expected to   The GEF must also remain the partner of choice for environmental
       add 1 billion new residents to the world’s cities. To “de-couple”   benefits. It was established to work in partnership: its role is to
       the impact of these megatrends on the global environment we   provide financial support – and to help develop and design projects
       must fundamentally transform our key economic systems – our   – while its partners implement and execute them on the ground. So
       energy system, food production system, our cities, and our goods   productive and trusting partnerships are vital.
       manufacturing system.
                                                            Much of that action must now focus on increasing resilience to the
       Many negative drivers cause many diverse problems    harm done by climate change and other environmental insults and
       simultaneously. Unsustainable agriculture, for example, degrades   on helping those affected to adapt to them.
       the land, fells forests, reduces biodiversity, pollutes rivers and
       the oceans, causes chemical contamination from pesticides, and   The GEF will help countries incorporate adaptation measures
       is responsible for about a quarter of the world’s emissions of   into their development programmes. And it is already beginning
       greenhouse gases. Everything is connected; if one facet of the   to make direct links to helping countries to meet their Intended
       global environment is in crisis, it will affect others and ultimately   Nationally Determined Contributions as part of the Paris climate
       lead to disruption of the whole planetary system.    agreement. Though concerned with global issues, we know that
                                                            country ownership is the key to success: after all, action takes place
       So it is simply not possible to address a particular environmental   at national and local levels.
       issue in isolation, as if it inhabited its own silo. Instead we need
       to address many challenges at once. We must focus on systemic   The aim must be to make the global environment everybody’s
       approaches rather than ones that are restricted to single sectors or   business. For this is not a matter of safeguarding natural systems
       technologies, as we scale up the good results achieved in national   alone, important as that may be. It is the best – indeed the only
       and regional projects to deliver sustainable effects that are big and   –path to prosperity. It is not just about avoiding disaster, but
       widespread enough to meet the challenges we face.    providing much greater and better-shared growth.
       Recognising this, international organizations, business, and civil   As the only mechanism that insists that projects generate global
       society have started to rally around a new movement to safeguard   – and not just local and national – benefits, the GEF is, and will
       the global commons. At the International Dialogue on Our Global   remain, a champion of the global commons. It will continue to
       Commons hosted by the GEF and the International Union for the   insist that there can be no separation between development and
       Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Washington DC in October, there   environment, that safeguarding these commons is, quite simply,
       was a strong sentiment that they were taking this action at a critical   the wisest investment we can make.
       juncture for the future of the planet.
                                                            Anniversaries should be more about looking forward than back.
       It’s increasingly clear to me that business as usual is a guarantee of   And, grave though the threats may be, a poverty-free future in
       disaster. We need a course correction. We must take ourselves out   harmony with the planet is within our grasp. We need to act swiftly,
       of our comfort zones to bring about disruptive transformation.  and at scale, to realize it – and that is just what the GEF intends to do.
       The GEF will continue to be a catalyst both in enabling action and in
       mobilizing resources. All this is particularly important in increasing

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