Our dear and beloved colleague Leonardo Paat Jr., Environment and Social Safeguards, Gender and Indigenous Peoples Manager at the Green Climate Fund (GCF), passed away on 5th August. We at the Independent Redress Mechanism (IRM) offer his wife Carol, his daughter Loise, his sister Ina and his entire family our heartfelt condolences. His untimely passing is a loss not only to the GCF, but to the entire practice of environmental and social safeguards (ESS).
Leo fell sick in March. Since then, he and his doctors, nurses and hospital personnel battled for his life in Incheon, South Korea, with his wife and daughter by his side. We were all hopeful he would recover and return to work. But that was not to be. We all grieve his loss.
While we grieve, we must also celebrate his life, and his contributions to the GCF and the practice of ESS. Leo was one of the very first GCF colleagues IRM staff met when they joined the GCF. He was the one who gave us our first ESS orientations. Many are the conversations we had with him in our office and at meetings where he presented on ESS. He was always gentle, soft spoken, and knowledgeable and thorough in his work. He was able to respond to questions with precision and confidence. Above all, what struck us most about Leo was that he had his heart in the right place – a humanitarian, always concerned for project beneficiaries, the environment and the good reputation of the GCF. Leo always made time for his colleagues and was never “too busy” for any of us (despite his clearly heavy workload).
We give thanks for his life and for the countless, magnificent contributions he made to the GCF. We will always remember Leo and hold him dear in our hearts. His legacy will be a beacon to all who aspire to protect the environment, address climate change, and ensure social justice.
Head and Staff of the IRM, Green Climate Fund
Songdo, South Korea
6th August 2020