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27 May,
IYB Event
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Fourth GEF Assembly
Fourth GEF Assembly
Highlights for Thursday, 27 May 2010


On Thursday 27 May 2010 an event celebrating the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) was co-hosted at the Legislative Palace in Montevideo, Uruguay, by the GEF and the Uruguayan Council for International Relations (CURI).


Daily Highlights
Monday, 24 May - Tuesday, 25 May - Wednesday, 26 May - Thursday, 27 May

Danilo Astori, Vice President of Uruguay

Monique Barbut, GEF CEO

Graciela Muslera, Minister of Environment, Uruguay, Chair of the fourth GEF Assembly

Danilo Astori, Vice President, Uruguay, welcoming participants, said IYB is an opportunity for Uruguay to reaffirm its commitment to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and to taking steps to balance socioeconomic development with biodiversity protection. Dr. Sergio Abreu, President, CURI, said that biodiversity degradation is a reflection of a loss of ethical values and moral priorities, and that society must refocus its priorities and commitments.
Monique Barbut, GEF CEO, warned that by destroying our biological wealth we endanger the safety nets provided by nature on multiple fronts. She noted the fifth GEF replenishment adds more resources for biodiversity projects and additional elements to GEF’s strategy that will have positive repercussions for biodiversity.
Graciela Muslera, Environment Minister, Uruguay, declared there is not much to celebrate in IYB, rather it is a time to raise awareness and move everyone, all nations and social partners to action.


Barry Gardiner, United Kingdom

Graciela Muslera, Minister of Environment, Uruguay, Chair of the fourth GEF Assembly, Danilo Astori, Vice President of Uruguay, Monique Barbut, GEF CEO, and Jacques Diouf, Director General, FAO



Jacques Diouf, Director General, FAO

Thomas Lovejoy, Chairman, GEF Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP)

Inger Andersen, World Bank Vice-President for Sustainable Development
Jacques Diouf, Director General, FAO, stressed the strong linkage between biodiversity, sustainable agriculture and food security, and outlined various FAO activities over the last two decades to address that linkage. Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary, UNCCD, welcomed the increase in the envelope for land degradation in GEF-5 as recognition that fighting land degradation brings global benefits. He said fighting land degradation and conserving biodiversity are intimately linked.
Inger Andersen, incoming Vice President for Sustainable Development, World Bank, said that the challenge facing the Bank is to look at biodiversity, poverty reduction and economic growth and combating climate change in a holistic manner, to seek opportunities to link support for biodiversity into other areas of Bank lending, such as combating climate change.
Barry Gardiner, Member of Parliament, UK, said the classical economics treats the environment as an externality, but governments and accounting systems need to fully account for the true value of natural capital, and to assess how degradation of natural assets affects the poor.
Thomas Lovejoy, Chairman, GEF Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP), warned that the third global biodiversity outlook under preparation paints a very grim picture: nearly all indicators are negative. He said that in order to avoid crucial tipping points, nations need to look at ecosystem restoration on a global scale, requiring looking at the issue in new ways economically.
At closing of the event, participants were invited to a special exhibition, “Biodiversity is Life, Biodiversity is Our Life.”


Sergio Abreu, President, CURI

Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary, UNCCD

Related Links
GEF resources
*Fourth GEF Assembly web site
*Fourth GEF Assembly schedule of activities
*Fourth GEF Assembly documents
*GEF web site
*Information on the Fifth GEF Replenishment

IISD RS resources
*IISD RS coverage of the Third GEF Assembly, 29-30 August 2006, Cape Town, South Africa
*IISD RS coverage of the Second GEF Assembly, 16-18 October 2002, Beijing, China
*IISD RS report of the First GEF Assembly, 1-3 April 1998, New Delhi, India
*IISD RS Linkages Update Information on Trade and Finance
*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
*MEA Bulletin - Newsletter on key MEAs and their secretariats
*Climate Change Policy & Practice - News and information on the actions of international organizations in responding to the problem of global climate change
*African Regional Coverage
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