Dear Friends and Supporters,
The past year has been one of unprecedented challenges, stress and grief for millions of people all over the world. Every one of us has suffered, in one way or another, the loss of lives, livelihoods and wellbeing that the coronavirus has wrought. Many of us have also realised that the virus and its societal fall-out are deeply connected to how we, as a species, have wrenched ourselves away from our place in nature. And so, in the dark, our minds have turned to the natural world as a source of immediate solace in troubled times and as a source of hope for a changed world, post-Covid. We have come to understand that ‘back to normal’ is not an option, but that this pandemic represents our generation’s greatest opportunity to reset our relationships with the natural world, to renew these deepest of connections.
The events of 2020 have encouraged the GDF team to pause and reflect on how we contribute to the healing that our planet urgently needs. We have renewed our determination for our mission to sustain livelihoods, restore nature and ensure justice. Through our field programme in Morocco, new grants have allowed us to launch work that focuses on conserving traditional agrobiodiversity, supporting the ancient practice of transhumance and establishing sustainable and equitable markets for High Atlas products. In the Global Environments Network, we are poised to enter a year in which deep connections with nature, communication in times of polarity and the building of resilient nature-based health systems take centre stage. We hope you enjoy reading our stories of hope, inspiration and learning.
As the darkest day of the year approaches, so does the return of the light. In that spirit, we salute this year with a warm wish for renewal for our supporters, friends, partners and allies.
Emily Caruso, GDF Director