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Government ministers from across Africa and experts from around the world are gathering this week in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, for the African Ministerial Summit on Biodiversity. The meeting on November 13, which focuses on biodiversity conservation, land and ecosystem restoration in Africa, marks the opening of the United Nations Biodiversity Conference 2018

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The majority of the Arab States possess all the requisite elements to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. There’s a young, educated workforce, plenty of natural resources, a notable increase in investments in renewable energy, and a much-needed uptick in efforts to support equality. Climate change, conflict and other related factors threaten to derail this progress and ruin any chances of a Pax Arabica.

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The GEF Biennial International Waters Conference (IWC) opens today in Marrakech under the high patronage of His Majesty, King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

The conference will bring together some 300 participants from around the world — including representatives of beneficiary countries, non-governmental organizations, transboundary management institutions, UN Agencies, the private sector, and the GEF—to discuss crucial issues about how to sustain international cooperation regarding the conservation and sustainable use of freshwater and marine resources. 

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A new concept, “fish carbon”, recognizes the potential of marine life to address the climate change challenge and prevent global biodiversity loss. 

Oceans, and all marine life that lives under and above the water, play a central role in stabilizing the Earth’s climate. They provide a vital source of food to a vast number of land and water species and regulate the amount of CO2 that stays in the atmosphere by absorbing 30 per cent of global emissions.

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Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates have committed to joining a major global initiative to redesign the global “take-make-dispose” economy into a more circular one.

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UN Environment’s District Energy in Cities Initiative, which is unlocking private sector finance to cut greenhouse gas emissions from heating and cooling, has been named best State-of-the-Art partnership in the energy sector at a global summit, hosted by the Prime Minister of Denmark.

The initiative beat off competition from initiatives led by major development banks at Copenhagen’s Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 summit, which brings together world leaders, the private sector and civil society to accelerate partnerships that support sustainable development.

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World Food Day on 16 October reminds us that 821 million people in the world are undernourished and that sustainable agriculture requires mainstreaming of biodiversity.

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Tens of millions more dollars are to be devoted to the worldwide battle to beat the illegal wildlife trade, which is reaching unparalleled levels, endangering iconic species and human livelihoods alike.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) will increase its funding to combat the trafficking by $37 million over the next four years, a rise of close to 29 per cent. It has allocated $168 million over its new funding cycle - known as GEF-7 and running from 2018 to 2022 – up from $131 million over the previous four years.

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In recent years, many major producers and buyers of agricultural commodities have made ambitious commitments to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains. Yet, it is now clear that even if they meet their own commitments, deforestation will continue and many of the other underlying environmental and social challenges will also remain.

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The Global Environment Facility CEO, Naoko Ishii, was one of the main speakers at the annual ICCF gala in Washington DC last week. Each year, the U.S. Congressional International Conservation Gala offers an opportunity to recognize the outstanding work being done by government, non-governmental, and business leaders in furtherance of good conservation.

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