FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

Scaling up Climate Ambition on Land Use and Agriculture: A Focus on Egypt

30 May 2022, Cairo, Egypt – “Climate change has become one of the most serious challenges we face today, not only because of the threat it poses to economies and development efforts, but also to people's lives and the survival of all living things on the planet,” said AbdulHakim Elwaer, FAO Assistant Director General (ADG) and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa.

This came today during the inception workshop for the Scaling up Climate Ambition on Land Use and Agriculture (SCALA) programme in Cairo, Egypt, with the presence of H.E Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, and Dr. Abdullah Zaghloul, Head of the Desert Research Center, in representation of the Minister of Agriculture, and UNDP Resident Representative, Alessandro Fracassetti.

“The SCALA programme serves as a starting point for raising climate ambition, building on Egypt's voluntary contributions and national adaptation plans,” stated Elwaer.

“This is done by providing scientific evidence that supports directing resources to adaptation activities in agriculture and motivating the private sector to integrate into climate action in a way that ensures that all partners are on board. It is therefore critical to promote the integration of these activities into planning and budgeting in order to translate policies into tangible actions supported by all partners,” he added.


The SCALA programme responds to the urgent need for increased action to cope with climate change impacts in the agriculture and land use sectors. SCALA supports twelve countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America to build adaptive capacity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to meet targets set out in their National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and nationally determined contributions (NDCs), as well as contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

FAO and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are co-leading this programme (2021-2025) with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) through the International Climate Initiate (IKI).

Climate Change

Climate change is expected to reduce agricultural crop productivity by 15 percent globally by 2050, resulting in a rise in food prices of more than 50 percent, even if cultivated land area increases.

This might have ramifications for the 2.5 billion people who rely on agriculture for a living. Vulnerable groups, including malnourished and undernourished children and women, who cannot cope with the effects of climate change, will likely bear the brunt of the consequences.

Small farmers are not shielded against this. Despite being the poorest and least capable of adapting, they produce more than 70 percent of the world's food while receiving less than 2 percent of climate adaptation funding.

FAO and Climate Change in Egypt

The SCALA programme came to supplement a bundle of ongoing projects undertaken by FAO and aimed at transforming agricultural systems. FAO, through its climate change strategy, seeks to put small farmers at the top of its priorities, if not at the heart of it.

FAO, through projects implemented with the Egyptian government and development partners, continues to reach out to women in the fields and youth in schools and universities, offering its expertise and full support to realize their dreams and ambitions.