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The Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture welcomes new Coordinator Simon Leiva


26/08/2019

Tell us a little about yourself! Where were you before joining GACSA’s Facilitation Unit?

Before joining GACSA, I was in living back in my homeland of Australia, working as the Sustainability Manager of a Local Government in Sydney. I was working in the public and private sector for more than ten years and managing environmental projects focused on the water and natural resources sector. I have duel nationalities of Australian and Chilean and I have a knack for languages, so I am fluent in English, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

After the Annual Forum, what were your first impressions of the Global Alliance?

The Annual Forum was a great opportunity for me, as the new Coordinator of GACSA to meet the dedicated members of the Alliance. I was just three weeks new to the position when the Annual Forum kicked off mid-June in Bonn, Germany and I had learned very quickly that the members are the driving force behind GACSA achieving its strategic objectives. We welcomed a new co-chair during the Annual Forum, Dutch Ambassador Hans Hoogeveen. He is joining the other co-chair of GACSA, Ms. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda. It is great to have two very active, supportive co-chairs leading GACSA into a very busy next year, and I have no doubt that we will achieve a lot together.

What can GACSA members expect from the GACSA Facilitation unit this year and what are the next upcoming international events where our members can convene?

GACSA will be much more involved in events this year as we kick off the matchmaking investment facility for our members. The GACSA Co-chairs Ms. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda and Dutch Ambassador Hans Hoovegeen will be participating at the Africa Green Revolution Forum 2019 on 3-6 September in Accra Ghana. After Ghana, GACSA will be hosting a side event with its member at UN Climate Change Summit in New York in September. In October, GACSA will be actively engaged at the fifth Global Science Conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture in Bali, Indonesia and then again in December at the COP25 in Chile. With the marathon of events lined up this year, we will be keeping our members informed on where they can join GACSA in the continued discussion about the up-take of CSA.

As Coordinator, what are you looking forward to strengthening within GACSA over the next year?

The GACSA Facilitation unit is working on enhancing its communications so the Global Alliance can boost its platform to facilitate dialogue and collaboration among members. We are working on a new communications strategy and are calling among our members to share more information and key messages with us, so we can bring the voice of our members to the forefront of the Alliance. The Facilitation Unit will also be working with new potential members and try to build on the already robust network of stakeholders. Coming off the heels of the Annual Forum, GACSA’s three Action Groups will also be working more closely to deliver on the strategic objectives they created during the workshop session on the second day of the Forum.

What do you think GACSA’s greatest asset is?

GACSA is turning five years old this September and so I have joined the team of an Alliance that is already a well-established network in the climate smart agriculture world and has over 260 members from a variety of sectors. GACSA’s greatest asset is our members and we have a good majority of members that are very dedicated and active within the Alliance, and we are working to get all of our members more involved as well. Potential members should consider joining GACSA because the Alliance is a way to connect UN Organizations, NGOs, civil societies, private sector and academic institutions on projects related to climate smart agriculture. GACSA facilitates a matchmaking among members to help facilitate collaboration on various projects, discussions, events and knowledge products on CSA.