GEF-8 Focal Areas
With FAO’s mandate and expertise in agri-food systems (including crops, livestock and aquaculture), forestry and fisheries, FAO is uniquely positioned to support the mainstreaming of biodiversity into these sectors, thereby assisting governments in implementing the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. In GEF-8, FAO will support countries in integrated management of food production landscapes and seascapes to maximize biodiversity values and sustainability, and to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity, crop wild relatives and wild food plants in and adjacent to protected areas. FAO will also assist countries in implementing national and regional measures on access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilization, operationalizing the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) mechanism of the Nagoya Protocol to achieve the third objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
In GEF-8, FAO will support countries in making transformational shifts in the agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sectors for climate change mitigation and climate resilience development. This will involve scaling up Nature-based Solutions (NbS) with high mitigation potential, such as in forest ecosystems, wetlands and agricultural landscapes. Interventions will also promote the protection and restoration of natural ecosystems, as well as sustainable and resilient agricultural practices that increase soil carbon and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Cross cutting transformational adaptation will be needed to achieve the Paris Agreement’s global adaptation goal, addressing food security and health, conflict, fragility and migration, and early warning and climate information systems.
Leveraging momentum from FAO’s leadership of the GEF-7 Sustainable Forest Management Impact Program on Dryland Sustainable Landscapes, FAO will scale up its assistance to countries in GEF-8 to achieve land degradation neutrality (LDN) through avoiding, reducing and reversing land degradation with a focus on drought, desertification and deforestation. Interventions will target sustainable land management, including agroecological intensification and diversification, climate-smart agriculture, drought smart land management, integrated watershed management, and community-based natural resources management; landscape restoration, including protecting and restoring agro-ecosystem services and forests; and participatory land and water governance to address desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) issues.
International watersBuilding on results from FAO’s GEF-7 Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) program, in GEF-8 FAO will continue supporting nations in transboundary cooperation in shared marine and freshwater ecosystems. Through a nexus approach, FAO will also focus on enhancing food, water and ecosystem security for a blue recovery and blue economic development.
GEF-8 programs and initiatives
Healthy Planet, Healthy People
At the core of the GEF-8 framework is a Healthy Planet, Healthy People approach, recognizing the interdependency of human well-being and a healthy environment. FAO’s work on zoonotic diseases (e.g. COVID-19, SARS, MERS), anti-microbial resistance, and food systems, food safety and veterinary services are essential in a Healthy Planet, Healthy People approach. FAO will assist countries in developing and delivering projects that apply this approach in each Focal Area, Integrated Program, and other GEF investments such as the Small Grants Program. FAO’s support will promote a blue and green post-COVID-19 recovery, including through One Health strategies and sustainable agricultural production, agrobiodiversity conservation and resilient food systems.