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Mafalda Duarte named as subsequent chief of UN local weather fund



The CEO of the Local weather Funding Funds has been picked to go the Inexperienced Local weather Fund as its board faces its first grievance case

The UN’s flagship local weather fund has appointed one of many few ladies leaders within the multilateral local weather finance area as its subsequent government director.

Mafalda Duarte, a Portuguese nationwide, joins the Inexperienced Local weather Fund from the Washington-based Local weather Funding Funds (CIF), the place she served as CEO since 2014.

She beforehand held senior positions on the African Improvement Financial institution and the World Financial institution, engaged on local weather finance.

Duarte is changing French UN veteran Yannick Glemarec, who served a four-year time period on the helm of the GCF and is because of step down on 2 April. In 2019, Duarte was among the many contenders to go the GCF however misplaced out to a shortlist of three white males.

The appointment comes because the board is confronted with its first grievance case after indigenous peoples in Nicaragua alleged {that a} venture to cut back deforestation is exacerbating violence with settlers invading their land.

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The Inexperienced Local weather Fund was established in 2010 as the primary funding arm to assist growing nations ship on the Paris Settlement objectives.

Nations have pledged $20.3 billion to the fund since its creation. Duarte will handle a portfolio of over 200 initiatives and oversee the subsequent replenishment section which can culminate in a pledging convention later this 12 months.

Victoria Gunderson, co-chair of the GCF board, mentioned the board was “impressed with her vision and drive” and that her expertise in managing local weather funds will likely be essential in serving to the GCF catalyse extra funding.

Gunderson added that the recruitment course of had been “highly competitive”.

The shortlist of candidates was not made public. However Local weather Residence Information understands that Duarte beat Woochong Um, a Korean nationwide and the managing director normal of the Asian Improvement Financial institution, to the function.

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In a press release following the announcement, Duarte mentioned she was “honoured” to have been chosen and appeared ahead to “accelerate the delivery of critically needed climate investments”.

“Developing countries are on the frontlines of the climate crisis. They can count on my resolve to support their climate aspirations in pursuit of a better climate future for all,” she mentioned.

Henry Gonzalez, the fund’s deputy government director, will function interim director till Duarte takes over.

Liane Schalatek, a civil society observer on the GCF board, welcomed having “an experienced climate finance leader” heading the fund.

However she informed Local weather Residence that Duarte might want to modify “to the very special role and accountability of the GCF as the core of the UN Climate Change financial mechanisms”, which she mentioned is “very different” from the modus operandi of multilateral improvement banks.

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On the fund’s board assembly in Songdo, South Korea, this week, the fund’s redress mechanism is dealing with its first take a look at.

Violence and human rights abuses

For the primary time, board members will focus on a grievance introduced by a coalition of native teams and worldwide NGOs about a $117m venture to cut back deforestation within the Unesco-designated Bosawás and Rio San Juan biosphere reserves, situated within the Caribbean Area of Nicaragua.

The area is house to 80% of Nicaragua’s forests and the vast majority of its indigenous populations. Authorised in 2020, the venture goals to cut back in depth grazing and introduce agroforestry methods equivalent to cocoa.

Nonetheless, the area is gripped by more and more violent battle between indigenous communities and settlers, who’re grabbing land to take advantage of the forest’s sources and farm cattle.

This week, the Middle for Authorized Help to Indigenous Peoples reported {that a} group of armed settlers attacked a group and killed as much as seven individuals. 5 individuals, together with two youngsters, from a separate group had been allegedly kidnapped.

Complainants, which stay nameless due to the chance of retaliation, allege that the venture will exacerbate the violence. They are saying it was accredited with out their free, prior and knowledgeable consent or correct due diligence.

The conclusions of an investigation by the GCF’s Unbiased Redress Mechanism (IRM) haven’t been made public. However excerpts from a draft report, seen by Local weather Residence, give proper to the complainants.

It finds that the venture clearly violates a number of GCF safeguards and procedures, together with the dearth of session with indigenous teams, and that the venture could exacerbate battle.

The draft report cited ongoing human rights violations within the venture space, together with the bloodbath of indigenous peoples.

Setting a precedent

Florencia Ortúzar, a Chilean lawyer on the Interamerican Affiliation for Environmental Protection (Aida), a regional NGO, supported the complainants carry their case to the GCF.

How the board offers with the case “is going to set a very important precedent” for future grievance circumstances, she informed Local weather Residence.

Due to the sensitivity of the case, the board’s discussions will likely be held behind closed doorways. The IRM  is predicted to advocate strong due diligence on human rights and impartial monitoring is carried out earlier than the venture is carried out.

However Ortúzar mentioned complainants would favor the venture to be scrapped. They’ve “no confidence” within the Central American Financial institution for Financial Integration (Cabei), which is co-financing the venture, nor the Nicaraguan authorities, she mentioned.

Earlier this month, the UN Human Rights Council discovered that widespread human rights violations that quantity to crimes towards humanity are being dedicated towards civilians by the Nicaragua authorities for political causes.

Human rights specialists mentioned this was a product of the deliberate dismantling of democratic establishments and the destruction of civic area.

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