Statement on the appointment of Mafalda Duarte as the new GCF Executive Director

GCF Observer Network of Civil Society, Indigenous Peoples, and Local Communities

Statement on the appointment of Mafalda Duarte as the new GCF Executive Director 


The GCF observer network of civil society, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities looks forward to engaging with the new executive director of the Green Climate Fund, Mafalda Duarte, who currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF)

As the largest multilateral climate fund, the GCF is a critical enabler for realizing the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) mandate for developed countries to support developing countries in their efforts to implement the Paris Agreement. Ms. Duarte joins the GCF at a critical point as it is currently undertaking its second replenishment, which must be ambitious, with an update to its strategic vision to ensure the GCF is able to support developing countries, communities and people in their low-emission and climate-resilient development efforts. Ms. Duarte brings years of experience in steering climate funds, albeit a very different set of climate funds, as the GCF was intentionally set up to be different from the operational model of multilateral development banks (MDBs) with its ties to the UNFCCC, commitment to country ownership, and potential for direct access to funds. 

As long-time champions of the potential of the GCF to provide transformative climate finance that puts peoples’ needs and rights at the center of all efforts, we stand ready to share our experience, provide constructive input, and offer our support to Ms. Duarte. Since its inception, civil society and Indigenous Peoples have supported and contributed to improve the GCF and to amplify the concerns of communities in the international arena, demanding support and commitments from the GCF, developed countries, and financial institutions in addressing the climate crisis. We are confident that the GCF will continue to provide a platform for civil society and Indigenous Peoples to voice such concerns, as well as for constructively helping shape the projects, policies and direction of the Fund. The GCF observer network looks forward to working with the GCF and Ms. Duarte to ensure the continued support for accessible, country-driven climate adaptation and mitigation projects operating with inclusion, transparency, integrity, and accountability. 

Eileen Mairena Cunningham of Centro para la Autonomía y Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas (CAPDI) and the network’s Active Observer for the Global South, commented: “Civil society engages in discussions and negotiations with the GCF and the UNFCCC to ensure that the GCF prioritizes the welfare of the most vulnerable communities and economies. This is vital as we face the worsening impacts and threats brought by the climate crisis. We look forward to working with the new executive director, and hope to build on the relationship we have with the Secretariat and outgoing executive director to help the GCF reach its potential. Now, more than ever, we need the immediate delivery of effective climate action from the GCF. Likewise, we will continue to press the GCF and its new executive director to strengthen transparency and accountability from both contributor and recipient governments, to ensure faster and more effective progress in adaptation and mitigation initiatives, because everything is at stake.”