Global Commons Alliance appoints Dario Soto-Abril as new chair

NEW YORK: The Global Commons Alliance (GCA) is delighted to announce it has appointed Dario Soto-Abril, Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Global Water Partnership and former CEO at Fairtrade International as its new Chair. Dario brings with him a wealth of experience, strong strategic vision and a warm heart. He will begin his position in July 2022.

The GCA, which is fiscally sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, is a network of forward-looking organizations working together to ensure that societies and the global economy thrive, sustained by healthy global commons, on a stable planet.

Early next year the Earth Commission, GCA’s core science component, hosted by Future Earth, will deliver a groundbreaking scientific framework outlining safe and just boundaries for people and planet. This first of its kind framework combines frontier Earth system science and social science research to provide a clear direction of travel for the just transformations needed across society to safeguard our future on Earth.

Dario, whose experience spans environment, trade and justice, will help drive GCA’s efforts to shine a light on, and make sense of, the complex interactions between the natural world and human wellbeing, and the systems changes needed to secure a safe and just future as it delivers science-based targets for nature.

Dario said: “The team and core components of the GCA are deeply committed to building this extraordinary Alliance. We are working beyond siloes, taking a bold, holistic approach to today’s multi-faceted crises. The work is innovative, exciting and entrepreneurial, and I am so excited to be part of it. GCA is the place where climate, biodiversity, nature, justice and systems thinking come together for action in the decisive decade. I believe we are in a strong position to help companies, societies and governments secure a safe and just future for us all as stewards of the global commons.

Dario’s appointment comes at a time of rising energy and food insecurity, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, and a world still grappling with recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Greenhouse gas emissions are rapidly rising, deforestation continues unabated, while economic backsliding is driving millions more into poverty.

Just before Dario’s appointment, scientists announced that the planetary boundary for freshwater had been transgressed.

Dario remains confident the Alliance can contribute to a new direction. “GCA is hard at work developing the science and the systems-wide understanding, and sharing the stories that can empower citizens, cities, companies and countries to accelerate planetary stewardship. Despite, and especially because of the increasing challenges we face, the team at GCA and all its extraordinary partners still dare to envision the triumph of the global commons.” 

Kristian Parker Vice Chair of the Board of. Trustees for the Oak Foundation, which is a member of the GCA Investor Collaborative said: “We’re thrilled to have Dario on board at this extraordinary moment of growth for the Global Commons Alliance. He is the right person at the right time and will be a fine steer for the Alliance’s ambitious, collaborative efforts to bring solutions that tackle justice, climate and nature together so that we can all thrive and prosper on a stable, resilient planet”. 

Dario, from Colombia, has a law degree from Universidad Javeriana (Colombia), a Masters of Law from Tulane University (New Orleans), and a Masters in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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