ITTO Executive Director Sheam Satkuru (left) discusses collaboration opportunities with GCF Deputy Executive Director Henry Gonzalez (second from right), along with Director of the GCF Division of Country Programming Carolina Fuentes (second from left) and another staff member at GCF headquarters in the Republic of Korea. Photo: Hwan Ok Ma/ITTO
10 August 2023: ITTO Executive Director Sheam Satkuru and Green Climate Fund (GCF) Deputy Executive Director Henry Gonzalez agreed that their two organizations share a common interest in fostering collaboration to promote the vital role of forests in climate-change mitigation and adaptation, when they met at GCF headquarters in Sondo, Republic of Korea, on 27 July 2023.
During the meeting, Ms Satkuru and Mr Gonzalez presented the strategic action plans of their respective organizations and highlighted key areas of focus in coming years. Mr Gonzalez summarized the GCF’s plans for the period 2024–2027, including a commitment to advance nationally determined contributions, national adaptation plans and long-term climate strategies into climate investments and programming.
Ms Satkuru outlined successful ITTO projects in forest landscape restoration and transboundary conservation and the Organization’s Strategic Action Plan 2022–2026, the aim of which is to strengthen sustainable forest management in the three tropical regions, reduce deforestation and forest degradation, and improve the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities. Ms Satkuru also described ITTO’s programme lines, which address legal and sustainable supply chains, biodiversity conservation, forest landscape restoration, and emerging issues such as forest fire and promote capacity-building measures to ensure the sustainability of tropical forests. The status of ITTO’s accreditation application to the GCF was also discussed during the meeting.
“We are excited to forge partnership opportunities with the GCF, a significant stride towards achieving our common goals,” said Ms Satkuru. “These goals include enhancing the roles of tropical forests in mitigating and adapting to climate change. By synergizing our expertise and resources, we can drive transformative change, contributing to healthy and more resilient tropical forests and socioeconomic benefits for forest-dependent communities and people.”
Mr Gonzalez said, “The GCF recognizes the crucial role of forests in addressing climate change and achieving global climate goals. Through our strategic cooperation with partners, we aim to leverage our strengths and align our action plans to foster nature-based solutions, such as REDD+, that will have a lasting positive impact on the environment and local communities."
The discussion between the two leaders reinforced the mutual commitment of their organizations to sustainable tropical forest management and to supporting developing countries in their efforts to conserve, restore and pursue the sustainable management of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems.
“The meeting sets a precedent for enhanced cooperation among global organizations to address climate-change challenges collectively,” said Ms Satkuru.