The Wildlife Conservation Society offers condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Gustavo Fonseca, Director of Programs for the Global Environment Facility, who died this week. Gustavo, a friend and colleague to many at WCS and the entire conservation community, was a champion for biodiversity and his legacy will forever have a positive impact on our world.

As Director of Programs for the GEF, we had the privilege of working with Gustavo to protect wildlife and wild places around the world. Recently, his leadership helped to establish a program to protect the Putumayo-Içá river basin in the Amazon, home to some of the richest ecosystems in the world. His optimism has inspired a generation of conservationists to never give up. A tropical biologist, Gustavo, brought together top international scientists from multiple disciplines to strengthen conservation science and action. He contributed to many areas of tropical conservation biology, including advancing the science of biodiversity hotspots, conservation planning, and protected areas.

We will always honor Gustavo for bringing diverse groups of people together from science, government, NGOs, local communities, businesses and large financial institutions, in the service of biodiversity. He was a loyal friend, a mentor and a teacher to innumerable people around the world. He made the world a better place and he will be missed.