Climate solutions that leave no one behind
Climate finance for better livelihoods in Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire and Pakistan with FAO-led Green Climate Fund projects
Colombia's REDD+ RBP GCF project, within the framework of the Amazon Vision Program
Time is running out to secure a carbon neutral world by mid-century and to end world hunger by 2030, but climate action offers solutions to help us achieve both. Unlocking climate finance can trigger a course correction and get the global community back on track to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As it stands, 3.1 billion people around the world still cannot afford a healthy diet and hunger is on the rise, affecting over 800 million people. The current global trajectory is also far off course from the low-emissions pathways that will keep global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) are responding to countries’ calls to accelerate climate finance for projects that increase vulnerable communities’ resilience to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector. Here are three examples of projects in Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire and Pakistan that are working with rural and forest communities to make agriculture more efficient, inclusive, sustainable and resilient to climate change.
Forests for food security in Colombia
Rural communities and Indigenous Peoples living in Colombia’s Amazon biome depend on forest resources for food, water, medicine and fibre; they are also critical allies in global efforts to halt deforestation and conserve biodiversity. The Amazon biome is not only home to half of the world's tropical forests and some 30% of the world’s biodiversity, but it also influences the global carbon cycle as well as climate and rainfall in South America.
FAO and Colombia’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development are collaborating on a USD 28.2 million GCF project, within the framework of the Amazon Vision Program (AVP), which supports the country’s efforts to fight deforestation in the Colombian Amazon biome. The project is aimed at strengthening the governance of indigenous and local communities, who are key actors in the transition towards a sustainable and forest-positive economy.
“The Amazon is a strategic ecosystem for life, and a region that the national government has already begun to work on as a whole, which needs opportunities for the people who live here," explained Susana Muhamad, Colombia’s Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development, during a regional binding dialogue held on 2 October 2022 in Leticia, Colombia.
Funding for the project – awarded under the GCF results-based payment pilot programme in recognition of Colombia’s emissions reductions achieved during the 2015–2016 time period – will advance the implementation of the National strategy to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, plus the sustainable management of forests, and the conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+), while reinforcing actions led by the Amazon Vision Program in the region.
Sustainable cocoa farming to reduce poverty and deforestation in Côte d’Ivoire
According to the World Bank, poverty levels in Côte d’Ivoire’s urban areas fell from 46.3% in 2015 to 39.4% in 2020; yet, in rural areas, they rose by 2.4% over the same period. Limited access to education, healthcare and employment opportunities are leaving the most vulnerable populations behind, particularly women and girls. What’s more, climate change threatens the livelihoods of smallholder farmers who depend on rain-fed agriculture (such as banana, cassava, taro and yam crops) for their livelihoods.
Cocoa farming – a cash crop – is an economic lifeline for about two million vulnerable small producers in Côte d’Ivoire, providing up to 100% of their annual income; but it is also one of the main drivers of deforestation in the country. FAO and Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development are working closely on a USD 11.8 million GCF project, titled “Promoting zero-deforestation cocoa production for reducing emissions in Côte d’Ivoire (PROMIRE),” which promotes sustainable cocoa production, income diversification, gender equality and benefit-sharing, as well as job creation.
“Sustainable agroforestry practices can help lift rural communities out of poverty and put Côte d’Ivoire’s vulnerable smallholder farmers on a path towards better production, a better environment, better nutrition and a better life,” says Colonel Assamoi Jonas, the Coordinator of the PROMIRE project, on behalf of Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.
Transforming Pakistan’s Indus Basin with climate-resilient agriculture and water management
Pakistan’s Indus River Basin is an agricultural powerhouse, producing more than 90 percent of the country's agriculture outputs. But climate change threatens the livelihoods of local people who rely on the agriculture sector as a source of employment and food security. News of the region’s vulnerability to climate change made headlines around the world when floods – caused by record rainfall during the monsoon season and melting glaciers in the mountains – transformed the southern part of the Indus River into a vast lake, devastating farming communities.
FAO and Pakistan’s Ministry of Climate Change, together with Punjab and Sindh provincial Governments, are collaborating on a USD 47.7 million GCF project focused on increasing the resilience of the country’s agriculture sector to the impacts of climate change. Farmer field schools and demonstration plots have been set up to train farmers in climate-resilient agriculture techniques and on-farm water management. Around 24 000 women among the farmer beneficiaries will receive training in climate-resilient agricultural practices, such as animal husbandry and growing fruit trees, to raise incomes and improve family health.
"Climate change is a major contributor of repeated flood situations in Pakistan, creating unprecedented challenges for agricultural and socio-economic development. This GCF-supported project is helping to develop Pakistan’s capacity to adapt to the impacts of climate change by transforming agriculture in the Indus Basin and promoting the use of climate-resilient agriculture and climate-smart water management with the help of state-of–the art technology," said Farrukh Toirov, Deputy FAO Representative in Pakistan.
Agrifood system transformation to leave no one behind
Transforming agrifood systems plays a big part in changing our common trajectory towards a low-carbon future, free from hunger, poverty and malnutrition. Together, we can achieve our shared goals of an equitable and sustainable future for all that leaves no one behind. Enough food is produced today to feed everyone on the planet, and with the right course correction, no one will go hungry.
See more about FAO's work with the Green Climate Fund here.