Global Environment Facility approves $18 million to support FAO-led projects in Africa and Latin America
NNN: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has welcomed the decision of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to approve three FAO-led projects in five countries, totaling 18 million dollars in financing.
The three new projects, in Nigeria, Venezuela, and a regional initiative spanning Malawi, Mozambique, and Uganda, will improve the management of protected areas, protect biodiversity in lowland forests, and build water security and resilience.
“Resilient and productive terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are the foundation for the sustainable transformation of agri-food systems,” said FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo. “The approval of these three projects strengthens our ability to help countries navigate a path of sustainability that leaves no one behind.”
The biodiversity conservation project in Venezuela will address key barriers to the sustainable use of biodiversity in order to support the effective management of five existing Protected Areas in the Caroní river basin in the Guayana massif, one of the most virgin and biodiverse of the planet.
The regional project in Malawi, Mozambique and Uganda will bring sustainable groundwater management to the forefront of water security for resilient livelihoods, ecosystems and investments in Africa. It supports the African Water Ministers Council through its Pan-African Groundwater Programme.
The project in Nigeria will enhance the conservation, sustainable use and restoration of a lowland forest landscape to protect globally important biodiversity and strengthen the sustainable livelihoods of local communities. The project will improve the management of a highly threatened 1 million hectare landscape encompassing 12 forest reserves and the Okomu National Park. One of the goals is to replicate successes throughout Nigeria’s lowland forest ecoregion.
The three projects, approved Tuesday at the 62nd GEF Council Meeting, held in McLean, Virginia, United States of America, will improve management for the conservation and sustainable use of more than 8.3 million hectares of protected areas, will bring 10,000 hectares of land under improved management, and restore a further 24,000 hectares of forests and natural grasslands. They will also mitigate 4.3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and directly support nearly 92,000 people, including indigenous peoples and local communities.
The approval of these three projects marks the end of the GEF’s 2018-2022 funding cycle, the most productive four-year period in the FAO-GEF partnership to date, with more than $600 million in grant funding secured for member countries. . These grants help 96 countries address the most pressing issues at the intersection of agri-food systems and the environment.
The last four years of investments from the FAO-GEF partnership will help member countries improve the management of 150 million hectares of landscapes and seascapes, restore almost 4 million hectares of land and change more than 2 million tons of fisheries overexploited to sustainable levels. . The investments will also mitigate more than 570 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. More than 13 million women, men and children will benefit directly from the investments.
The GEF is a partnership of 18 agencies, including the FAO, and 184 countries that addresses the world’s most challenging environmental issues related to biodiversity, climate change, land degradation, chemicals, and international waters. It provides grants to countries to address these challenges while contributing to key development goals such as food security.
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