CMS COP14 Opening Statement from Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility (GEF)


  • H.E. Abdulla Nigmatovich Aripov  Prime Minister of Uzbekistan
  • H.E. Mr. Aziz Abdukhakimov Minister of Ecology, Environmental Protection and Climate Change of Uzbekistan,
  • Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Ms. Amy Fraenkel Executive Secretary
  • UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Ms. Inger Andersen Executive Director
  • Gretel Aguilar Director General IUCN

Dear Friends and Colleagues

It is a great honor for the GEF and for me personally,  to attend the opening ceremony of the Convention for Migratory Species at the 14th session of the Conference of the Parties.

This is the first time the CEO of the GEF has attended the CMS COP.  Please allow me to tell you why this is important.

The GEF8 replenishment was all about integration. Integration across sectors, conventions and stakeholders.  For the GEF transcending sectoral and conventional boundaries is imperative for amplifying impacts and achieving sustainable results. 

Neither the climate nor migratory species recognize borders, languages, flags, or any other limitations to their habitats, so joint and coordinated financial and policy work across sectors is mandatory and urgent. 

Currently, our engagements with recipient countries primarily involve ministries of environment, with sporadic involvement from other sectors like Agriculture, Energy, and Health. To truly effect change, we must extend our reach across central governments more comprehensively. We need to go to the next level.

The GEF has always invested beyond the national borders.  If Nature has no borders so, the global conservation financial mechanisms shouldn’t have any.

I am ready and glad to engage with parties, scientists, stakeholders, and the Secretariat to chart a strategic long-term course of action within this convention.

If we fail to collaborate across all biodiversity-related conventions it will undermine the GEF institutional mandate.

When it comes to our own portfolio, GEF projects have provided significant support to the conservation of migratory species.  While the GEF is not a financial mechanism for CMS, we have enjoyed a productive relationship with the convention.

In our current funding cycle, GEF-8, our biodiversity strategy emphasizes integrated land and seascape-scale conservation that strengthens ecosystem connectivity and integrity. 

For example, China has invested significant GEF resources in wetland conservation providing protection and management of important migratory bird habitat along important migratory waterbird flyways.  Tiger and snow leopard range states, including Uzbekistan, have used their GEF resources for the conservation of important predator habitat and the GEF has supported regional coordination and transboundary conservation efforts and agreements for these species.

Also, several of the GEF’s integrated programs provide support for effective management of protected areas, Ramsar sites, Key Biodiversity Areas, and other important sites for migratory species.

Collectively these investments contribute to the maintenance of intact and connected ecosystems that are critical to the survival of migratory species.

Dear colleagues,

We note the constructive and forward-looking vision within the CMS COP 14 document on Resource Mobilization related to enhancing engagement with the GEF and we look forward to strengthening our engagement with CMS during the GEF-9 replenishment process.

I am pleased today to reaffirm that the GEF's actions as a strategic ally are to stand by your side, fighting to achieve common goals.

I hope that my presence here is a strong and compelling message to this COP. Central Asia's potential for sustainable development is immense, and we must seize this opportunity through increased investment and multilateral cooperation.

Our role as the financial mechanism for the Rio Conventions should not limit our engagement solely to these conventions. The GEF's institutional mandate necessitates collaboration across all biodiversity-related conventions.

We notice the successful implementation process of channeling actionable guidance and recommendations from the CMS through the CBD COP, and we believe this is a good practice that other biodiversity-related conventions should follow.  We are confident that we will achieve concrete, strengthened, and much higher impact results.    

Let us continue this vital work, expanding our horizons and striving for even greater achievements. Together, we can realize a sustainable and resilient future for all.

Thank you.











Last updated on 01 March 2024