One of the privileges of the last decade of my career working on climate change and government partnerships has been to participate in an incredibly innovative partnership called the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force. This subnational collaboration of 38 states and provinces from 10 countries works to protect tropical forests, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and promote realistic pathways to forest-maintaining rural development.
As with many of us, GCF Task Force states and provinces, indigenous peoples, and local communities are facing devastating impacts from COVID-19, in particular in rural areas and indigenous territories. Many of the GCF Task Force states and provinces are taking leadership initiatives on the front lines of this pandemic, including seeking support from the Secretary General of the United Nations.
The GCF Task Force as a partnership is echoing this urgent request for support, including seeking to help identify medical equipment (ventilators, masks, rapid tests), logistical and telemedicine support, and early warning systems for rural areas. The GCF Task Force Secretariat, based at the University of Colorado Boulder, is also able to direct financial support to COVID-19 efforts on the ground in many of the states and provinces.
As we confront a changed world and its impacts on our families and our communities, the power of partnerships is more important than ever for our climate and forests, our public health and economy, and our humanity. I urge everyone to explore the incredible partnerships within the GCF Task Force, to read the UN letter referenced above, and to support in any way you can.
Find out more about the GCF Task Force here.
For those interested in donating support for COVID-19 response efforts in tropical members of the GCF Task Force, you can do so here.
Update: You can also directly support COVID-19 relief efforts of COICA (Coordinating Body of Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon Basin), a critical partner of the GCF Task Force and a guiding force for indigenous leadership in the Amazon Basin, here https://www.amazonemergencyfund.org