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CEO Ishii Discusses GEF Role in Transformational Change

27 February 2013: Naoko Ishii, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Global Environment Facility (GEF), noted the importance of a dialogue with the next generation of leaders regarding the GEF's role in transformational change during an address at the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Ishii addressed students, faculty members and nongovernmental organization representatives at the Washington, DC, US, based graduate school on 27 February 2013. On the theme of "Time for Transformational Change in Global Environment Policy: Role of the GEF," Ishii reviewed the need to address the tragedy of the commons, noting that the idea stretches back to Aristotle.

Ishii called attention to the GEF's work on a variety of issues, including the scientific assessment by the GEF Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP), titled "Climate Change: A Scientific Assessment for the GEF." This report recommends, inter alia, a strong GEF role in emerging sectors with high mitigation potential, including: urban systems combining transport, buildings, water supply, waste treatment, food supply and land use zoning; AFOLU (Agriculture, Forest and Other Land Use); and agri-food supply systems.

Ishii also called attention to examples of GEF projects, including: a Danube project that offers a model for integrated river basin management; work in the Amazon region, which she said has created a platform for regional development banks and civil society organizations to contribute their efforts; work in China on integrating ecosystem management; global partnerships for efficient lighting with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the private sector to introduce standards for efficient lighting; the Great Green Wall initiative in Africa, which creates a common platform across countries to facilitate their collaboration; energy efficiency projects in China; and geothermal energy projects in Africa.

Ishii said she is proud of the GEF's  efforts, but noted that global problems are getting worse and asked listeners to suggest how the GEF could catalyze transformational change. She welcomed suggestions on how the GEF could help bring coalitions of the willing together. [Presentation announcement and photos][Publication: Climate Change: A Scientific Assessment for the GEF][IISD RS Sources]