FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia
Photo: ©FAO/Tofik Babayev

As countries transition towards more climate-resilient, sustainable agriculture and food systems, FAO supports them through targeted projects and by helping with access to climate finance from the Green Climate Fund, Global Environment Facility, and the Adaptation Fund. Priority actions include promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, biodiversity, climate action, disaster risk reduction and crisis management policies; strengthening capacities in agriculture and climate statistics; improving agro-meteorology services, and early warning systems. This work contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement commitments, known as nationally determined contributions.

Managing natural resources sustainably and preserving biodiversity in a changing climate

An FAO Regional Initiative

In the Europe and Central Asia region, the agricultural sector is an integral part of economy of many countries. The effects of climate change already can be felt and pose considerable challenges for agricultural production and food security.

Regional Initiative 3 provides a mechanism for support to FAO member countries in building resilience to climate change and natural disasters for sustainable food systems. This promotes achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goals 2, 12, 13 and 15. Specific interventions also address multiple objectives such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Paris Agreement commitments (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs). 

The Initiative also creates the regional mechanisms to assist countries in accessing climate finance, such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF7). 

The Initiative works through three main components: 

1. Policy alignment, coordination and cooperation for sustainable use of natural resources and the integration of climate change and disaster risk reduction. 

2. Provision and collection of data.

3. Capacity development, strengthening national capacities for sustainable approaches to natural resource management, including landscape approach, agroecology, sustainable land use, genetic resources, water management and climate-smart agriculture.

Main areas of work:

Nature-based solutions

Climate governance

Preparedness and DRR

Photo: ©FAO/Dorin Goian

Photo: ©FAO/Riccardo Venturi

Photo: ©FAO/Igor Salinger

Regional Initiative 3 also contributes to the promotion of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS), supporting the acknowledgment of traditional, highly valuable agricultural systems in the region that are examples of heritage to be preserved. The GIAHS programme recognizes these systems as outstanding landscapes of aesthetic beauty that combine agricultural biodiversity, resilient ecosystems, and valuable cultural heritage. Located in specific sites around the world, these systems sustainably provide multiple goods and services, food, and livelihood security for millions of small-scale farmers.

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