17 March 2023, Songdo: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has welcomed the Green Climate Fund’s (GCF) decision to approve funding for three new projects in Bolivia, Cambodia and the Philippines, valued at $145.3 million.
The national initiatives, supported by FAO, are focused on fostering climate change adaptation and resilience for smallholder farmers, local communities, and other value chain actors in three nations facing increasing weather and climate-related threats to their agricultural practices and livelihoods.
“Innovation in climate finance can trigger transformative change towards more inclusive and sustainable agrifood systems”, said FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo. “The approval of these three projects shows how, by leveraging global partnerships, FAO can help strengthen adaptation and resilience capacities of rural communities, especially women and Indigenous Peoples. This contributes to the implementation of the FAO Strategy on Climate Change 2022-2031.”
The funding announcement was made during the thirty-fifth meeting of the GCF Board held in Songdo, Incheon, Republic of Korea from 13-16 March.
“These projects in Cambodia, Bolivia and the Philippines demonstrate how partnerships can deliver innovative climate solutions for some of the world’s most vulnerable countries”, said Yannick Glemarec, GCF Executive Director. “Supporting efforts to transition to climate-resilient food and agriculture systems is a key priority for GCF.”
Projects benefiting both people and planet
In Bolivia, one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, the FAO-GCF project will support government efforts on the Valles macro-region, a strip from north to south of the country which extends from the Andes mountain range to the Amazon Basin at an average altitude of 2,000 meters above sea level.
The region, made up of 65 municipalities in an area of over 8 million hectares, is one of the most vulnerable to droughts due to Bolivia’s semiarid climate and the limited availability of water resources during the dry season. Climate change is jeopardizing the livelihoods of vulnerable farmers putting an added strain on water resources, while poor soil management is also threatening to reduce agricultural productivity.
Over five years, $63.3 million co-financed by the Ministry of Environment and Water and the Federation of Municipalities, will be destined to improve the management of agroecological zones, agricultural land, and priority micro-watersheds to build resilience and increase food and water security.
The project activities are expected to benefit more than one million people, or 53.7 per cent of the total population of Valles, including nearly 82,000 families, mostly from Indigenous Communities.
The initiative, which is the first high-impact GCF project in Bolivia, also includes a well-defined gender action plan to reduce women’s vulnerability to climate change, given that at least 48 per cent of the national agricultural production systems are managed by women.
In the Philippines, — a nation expected to experience increasingly more frequent and catastrophic extreme weather events, such as tropical storms, droughts, floods, and irregular precipitation—a $39.2 million investment ($26.2 GCF grant and $12.9 million co-financing) aims to adapt agricultural systems to climate change.
Over seven years, the project will benefit directly more than 1.25 million people, mainly low-income smallholder farmers in nine regions and five vulnerable provinces, by raising their awareness of risks and risk-reduction measures, building their capacity on climate-resilient agriculture practices and enterprises, and incorporating climate-resilient technologies into their work.
At the national level, the initiative aims to incorporate climate-resilient agriculture into the development agendas of both the national government and local government units.
The project, co-financed by the Department of Agriculture and the Philippine Atmospheric and the Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, is expected to also reduce 4.38 metric tons of carbon emissions over 20 years, thanks to better land use and climate-friendly agriculture practices.
The initiative will also generate socioeconomic co-benefits such as increasing farmers’ incomes, and thanks to the Land Bank of the Philippines, will enable farmers’ enterprises to access lending programs.
In Cambodia, $42.8 million will be invested to help smallholder farmers, especially women, to prepare and cope with the increasing climate threats in the Northern Tonle Sap Basin, one of the nation’s most important agricultural regions, and especially prone to floods and droughts.
The project is designed to address the climate and socio-economic vulnerabilities of about 450,000 farmers and other value chain actors by improving their knowledge of climate risks and introducing market incentives that promote climate-resilient, higher-value, diversified, and sustainable agricultural production and processing.
The initiative will also work on strengthening regulatory and institutional frameworks related to climate-resilient agriculture and will foster partnerships for financing and investment support.
The project includes $6.6 million of co-financing from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Environment and FAO.
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