Building stronger, climate-resilient farming and forest communities

Second phase of Forest and Farm Facility initiative launched at COFO24

20 July, Rome - Millions of small-scale farmers and foresters will be able to better protect their lands from the impacts of climate change, and improve their livelihoods thanks to renewed global efforts announced today on the sidelines of World Forest Week (COFO24).

The Forest and Farm Facility initiative - a partnership among FAO, IIED, IUCN and AgriCord initiated in 2013 - will scale up its efforts to help forest and farm producers and their organizations develop climate resilient landscapes, strengthen enterprises and generate  work opportunities for women and youth, and create more enabling policy environments for the rural poor.  

Launched today, the second phase of the initiative will be rolled out over the next five years, across 25 countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa, up from ten countries targeted during the initial stage.

Some 1.5 billion forest and farm producers make up 90 percent of the world's farmers. They provide about 80 percent of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa's food supplies, and manage 500 million family farms and 30 percent of forests in the global south. Globally, indigenous peoples also play a key role in sustainable forest management.

"These groups make up a large proportion of the rural poor and rely on farming, forests and agro-forestry systems to grow food and make a living. Rendering their lands resilient to climate change is key to their livelihoods and identity," said Daniel Gustafson, FAO's Deputy Director-General for Programmes on the sidelines of the World Forest Week.

"Forest and farm producers are more powerful when organized. By building their capacity, the Forest and Farm Facility initiative will help more producers and their organizations withstand the effects of climate change, create opportunities for their most vulnerable members, access benefits, and influence policies to better address their needs," added Gustafson.

The Forest and Farm Facility initiative at a glance:

The second phase of the Forest and Farm Facility initiative will focus on:

  • Forming and strengthening the capacity of forest and farm producer organizations (FFFOs) by providing financial and technical support;
  • Increasing enterprises, providing access to markets, finance and training with focus on vulnerable groups such as women and youth;
  • Rolling out landscape-scale mitigation, adaptation and climate resilience activities so that forest and farm producers can restore and manage their forest and farm land to better withstand the impacts of climate change;
  • Improving FFFOs' governance and representation to lead to more enabling policy environments for the rural poor.

Forest and Farm Facility – achievements to date

To date, the Forest and Farm Facility initiative strengthened the capacity of over 950 FFFOs in ten countries and has been successful in reducing poverty, influencing policies for the benefit of farming and forest communities, increasing tenure security, improving prices for producers, and involving more women and youth in business development opportunities.

Examples of impact of Forest and Farm Facility's support:

  • In Viet Nam, timber growers’ groups are obtaining prices that are up to 15 percent higher than before;
  • In the Gambia, cashew growers united in a single national federation, which led to an increase in the producer price of cashews. Some 116 community forestry groups secured land tenure thanks to policy changes;
  • In Bolivia, the government allocated over $90 million to programmes that strengthen the capacity and income of producers of cacao, coffee and non-wood forest products from the Amazon;
  • In Guatemala, the PROBOSQUE law provides one percent of the national budget over 30 years for restoration work, which benefits mainly small-scale producers.

Photo: ©FAO/Magnum Photos Chris Steele-Perkins
Farmers share results of new climate-smart agriculture practices in Nepal.