Today, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations welcomed approval from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).For four FAO-led programs in eight countries, which totaled more than $13.6million in funding. The main governing body of GEF Council, the 61st Meeting, was held virtually to make the decision.
The latest projects address urgent environmental challenges such as soil erosion and degradation, biodiversity loss and unsustainable fishing. These issues have a significant impact on the food security and livelihoods for hundreds of thousands around the globe.
“Preventing and reversing degrading is especially important for the transformation of global agrifood system,” stated QU Dongyu, FAO Director General. “These projects represent an important new effort in protecting and enhancing resources to achieve better productivity, better nutrition, and a better way of living for all.”
GEF’s latest projects will aid countries and communities in restoring degraded seascapes and land, as well as to adopt more sustainable practices that are climate-resilient and foster greater regional cooperation.
The projects will be implemented in partnership and co-financed jointly by the governments of Barbados and Cabo Verde Guyana. They will directly benefit more 135,000 people and restore more than 4,150 hectares degraded landscapes. In a key initiative that coincides closely with the upcoming Global Greening Initiative, more than 5 million hectares in land and marine habitats will receive better management. 37,000 tonnes of over-exploited fish stock will be transferred to more sustainable levels. International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022.
One of the four projects is a regional project in Golok/Kolok River Basin, near the border of Thailand/Malaysia. It aims to manage water, flood mitigation, and control erosion. The project will use a source-to sea approach to reduce the impact of upstream activities upon coastal and marine resources.
Initiatives in Cabo Verde and the Caribbean will focus on supporting countries to improve the food security, environment and livelihoods for Small Island Developing States, (SIDS), who face unique environmental challenges, and have been economically hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Cabo Verde, efforts will focus on landscape restoration and nature-based solutions for improved food security and nutrition, livelihoods and resilience, in support of Cabo Verde’s Land Degradation Neutrality commitments (LDN), particularly addressing needs on the islands of Santiago and Santo Antão where vulnerable farmers and their families have been severely affected by the pandemic.
Barbados, Guyana Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago will collaborate on a project that aims at reducing overfishing and promoting more responsible fisheries. Meanwhile, a Marshall Islands project aims restore degraded forests and improve the management of marine resources in an effort transform agrifood ecosystems.
FAO is a partner agency of the GEF, a partnership of 18 agencies and 183 countries which addresses the world’s most challenging environmental issues related to biodiversity, climate change, land degradation, chemicals, and international waters. GEF grants countries aid to meet these challenges and contribute to key development goals such as food security.
FAO has been able to mobilize more than $580 million in GEF grant funds for member countries since December 2018. The latest projects have benefited over 4.6 million people, making it one of the four top GEF agencies globally.