New grants will increase resilience to climate change & combat deforestation in Argentina, Guatemala & Sudan
13 November 2020, Rome – The Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved three new FAO-designed projects in Argentina, Guatemala & Sudan for a total amount of $158.6 million aimed at mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening resilience to climate change, & combating deforestation.
FAO Director-General QU Dongyu stressed FAO’s willingness to continue working closely with GCF in support of food system transformation on the ground for the benefit of society, environment, farmers & consumers at large. He participated, together with Yannick Glemarec, Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund, at the signing ceremony of the Funded Activity Agreement (FAA) approved for Argentina, worth a total of $82 million.
Qu also reaffirmed FAO’s commitment to the Paris Agreement & the global fight against the impacts of climate change & stressed the importance of taking action with “concrete projects”. At the twenty-seventh meeting of the GCF Board, held from 11-13 November, three projects have been approved with FAO as the accredited entity. FAO’s growing Green Climate Fund portfolio is now composed of 13 projects amounting to USD 793 million in funding that help countries tackle the climate crisis, paving the way for a greener & cleaner future.
Yannick Glemarec said the GCF was focused on obtaining “tangible results” & speeding up the approvals process to ensure funding was allocated as quickly as possible to countries in need.
Leandro Gorgal, National Director of Financing with International Credit Organizations of Argentina, said the funding initiative represented a big step forward for promoting better forest management & sustainability in Argentina & thanked FAO & the GCF for their support.
Combatting deforestation in Argentina
The $82 million FAO-led project to reduce deforestation & forest degradation, entitled “Argentina REDD-plus RBP for results period 2014-2016”, will help Argentina advance its sustainable development & the Paris Agreement goals. The new project, jointly executed by FAO & the Ministry of the Environment & Sustainable Development, will promote territorial forest management & forest restoration, the sustainable use of wood & non-wood forest products, & the improvement of prevention & early response to forest fires.
Fire management & prevention project activities are especially important & timely for Argentina, considering an increase in the frequency & intensity of wildfires this year. The project will also contribute to the country’s long-term, low-emissions strategy.
More specifically, the GCF funds destined for Argentina will be used to develop & implement 95 community forest management plans & 92 forest-friendly livestock management, six strategic plans for fire prevention & establish seven sustainable forest basins to support & serve 7000 families of producers, local & indigenous communities as well as timber workers.
Post-COVID-19 recovery will be an integral component of the project, demonstrating the role of forests in “building back better”.
RELIVE project in Guatemala
The RELIVE project in Guatemala, worth $66.6 million, will help vulnerable farmers in the Dry Corridor adapt to the impacts of climate change through climate-resilient agricultural & water management practices.
Smallholder farmers will learn how to use improved climate information systems, improved crop varieties, as well as efficient soil & water management techniques. The project will provide direct technical assistance to 116 000 smallholder farmers – many belonging to indigenous Achi, Quechi, Mopan & Chorti ethnic groups, including 46 000 women, in five departments of the country; it will also indirectly benefit another 583 000 people.
RELIVE has a total budget of $66.7 million, of which the Green Climate Fund will provide $29.8 million. The remaining $36.84 million will be funded by the Government of Guatemala & the Korea International Cooperation Agency, KOICA. The FAO-supported RELIVE project will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture & Food (MAGA), the National Forest Institute (INAB) & the German Cooperation Agency (GIZ).
Climate change mitigation & adaptation in Sudan’s gum Arabic belt
The Gums for Adaptation & Mitigation (GAMS) project in Sudan is the first GCF funding proposal approved in what FAO defines as the Near East & North Africa region. It aims to enhance rural smallholders’ resilience to climate change in the states of North, West & South Kordofan through climate-resilient gum agroforestry & rangeland restoration.
More specifically, the project will support the restoration of 75 000 hectares of smallholder gum agroforestry systems & 50 000 hectares of degraded lands while also improving smallholder gum value chains.
Offering a solid platform for the Great Green Wall umbrella programme, the project will build on Sudan’s considerable experience in gum Arabic production, which can be scaled up in other countries & adapted to different national contexts. The project will be implemented jointly by FAO & the country’s Forest National Corporation (FNC), in collaboration with the Higher Council for Environment & Natural Resources.
FAO’s work on climate change
Supporting countries’ efforts to mitigate & adapt to the effects of climate change is a cornerstone of FAO’s work. FAO believes that the transition towards low-emission, sustainable food systems can be achieved through climate-smart approaches, practices & techniques that preserve the environment & biodiversity, & at the same time, help build the resilience of millions of poor family farmers.
Through its work with the Green Climate Fund, FAO seeks to scale up climate investments in agriculture that offer socio-economic & environmental benefits that will support countries as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic & relaunch their economies on low-emission, climate-resilient development pathways.