The Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, was appointed director of the Global Environment Fund (GEF), a position that until now had not been held by anyone from a developing country, it was officially reported on Tuesday.

The appointment was decided by the GEF Council during a virtual session on June 2nd. Rodríguez will assume the post next September for four years, detailed an official statement from the Presidency.

“What we see here is one of the greatest recognitions of the environmental legacy that we have built over decades,” said President Carlos Alvarado, referring to the country’s environmental policies.

“Our leadership and commitments such as the launch of the National Decarbonization Plan continue to bear fruit and put the name of Costa Rica on high ground. As president and Costa Rican, I am very proud of Carlos Manuel and I know that he will lead the World Environment Fund under the Costa Rican vision, an example for the entire world,” said Alvarado.

According to the Costa Rican government, the appointment of its minister as director and president of the GEF is an acknowledgment to Costa Rica for its progress in reforestation, the development of a renewable electricity matrix, and sustainable tourism as a business model.

Rodríguez, for his part, said that “receiving the appointment of CEO of the Global Environmental Fund is something that makes me proud and committed, even more, in my task for a more equitable and sustainable world, but above all, this appointment is a tacit recognition to Costa Rica that over decades has shown that we can prosper socially and economically in a model of rational use and conservation of nature.”

“The planet is at a crossroads between the monetary-centered and the nature-centered economic recovery plans as a consequence of COVID-19. I will work tirelessly with members and stakeholders to make the GEF a global agent of change,” he added.

The GEF was created in 1992 during the Earth Summit in Rio (Brazil) to address the most damaging environmental problems. In these 28 years, the GEF has delivered more than         $20.5 billion in grants and $112 billion in cofinancing to more than 4,800 projects in 170 countries.

Resonance Costa Rica