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Global Climate Fund approves $160 million to support FAO-led projects

New grants will increase resilience to climate change and combat deforestation in Argentina, Guatemala and Sudan

13 November 2020, Rome - The Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved three new FAO-designed projects in Argentina, Guatemala and Sudan for a total amount of $158.6 million aimed at mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening resilience to climate change, and combating deforestation.

FAO Director-General QU Dongyu stressed FAO's willingness to continue working closely with GCF in support of food system transformation on the ground for the benefit of society, environment, farmers and consumers at large. He participated, together with Yannick Glemarec, Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund, at the signing ceremony of the Funded Activity Agreement (FAA) approved for Argentina, worth a total of $82 million.

Qu also reaffirmed FAO's commitment to the Paris Agreement and the global fight against the impacts of climate change and stressed the importance of taking action with "concrete projects". At the twenty-seventh meeting of the GCF Board, held from 11-13 November, three projects have been approved with FAO as the accredited entity. FAO's growing Green Climate Fund portfolio is now composed of 13 projects amounting to USD 793 million in funding that help countries tackle the climate crisis, paving the way for a greener and cleaner future.

Yannick Glemarec said the GCF was focused on obtaining "tangible results" and speeding up the approvals process to ensure funding was allocated as quickly as possible to countries in need.

Leandro Gorgal, National Director of Financing with International Credit Organizations of Argentina, said the funding initiative represented a big step forward for promoting better forest management and sustainability in Argentina and thanked FAO and the GCF for their support.

Combatting deforestation in Argentina

The $82 million FAO-led project to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, entitled "Argentina REDD-plus RBP for results period 2014-2016", will help Argentina advance its sustainable development and the Paris Agreement goals. The new project, jointly executed by FAO and the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development, will promote territorial forest management and forest restoration, the sustainable use of wood and non-wood forest products, and the improvement of prevention and early response to forest fires.

Fire management and prevention project activities are especially important and timely for Argentina, considering an increase in the frequency and intensity of wildfires this year. The project will also contribute to the country's long-term, low-emissions strategy.

More specifically, the GCF funds destined for Argentina will be used to develop and implement 95 community forest management plans and 92 forest-friendly livestock management, six strategic plans for fire prevention and establish seven sustainable forest basins to support and serve 7000 families of producers, local and indigenous communities as well as timber workers.

Post-COVID-19 recovery will be an integral component of the project, demonstrating the role of forests in "building back better".  

RELIVE project in Guatemala

The RELIVE project in Guatemala, worth $66.6 million, will help vulnerable farmers in the Dry Corridor adapt to the impacts of climate change through climate-resilient agricultural and water management practices.

Smallholder farmers will learn how to use improved climate information systems, improved crop varieties, as well as efficient soil and water management techniques. The project will provide direct technical assistance to 116 000 smallholder farmers - many belonging to indigenous Achi, Quechi, Mopan and Chorti ethnic groups, including 46 000 women, in five departments of the country; it will also indirectly benefit another 583 000 people.

RELIVE has a total budget of $66.7 million, of which the Green Climate Fund will provide $29.8 million. The remaining $36.84 million will be funded by the Government of Guatemala and the Korea International Cooperation Agency, KOICA. The FAO-supported RELIVE project will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food (MAGA), the National Forest Institute (INAB) and the German Cooperation Agency (GIZ).

Climate change mitigation and adaptation in Sudan's gum Arabic belt

The Gums for Adaptation and Mitigation (GAMS) project in Sudan is the first GCF funding proposal approved in what FAO defines as the Near East and North Africa region. It aims to enhance rural smallholders' resilience to climate change in the states of North, West and South Kordofan through climate-resilient gum agroforestry and rangeland restoration.

More specifically, the project will support the restoration of 75 000 hectares of smallholder gum agroforestry systems and 50 000 hectares of degraded lands while also improving smallholder gum value chains.

Offering a solid platform for the Great Green Wall umbrella programme, the project will build on Sudan's considerable experience in gum Arabic production, which can be scaled up in other countries and adapted to different national contexts. The project will be implemented jointly by FAO and the country's Forest National Corporation (FNC), in collaboration with the Higher Council for Environment and Natural Resources.

FAO's work on climate change

Supporting countries' efforts to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change is a cornerstone of FAO's work. FAO believes that the transition towards low-emission, sustainable food systems can be achieved through climate-smart approaches, practices and techniques that preserve the environment and biodiversity, and at the same time, help build the resilience of millions of poor family farmers.

Through its work with the Green Climate Fund, FAO seeks to scale up climate investments in agriculture that offer socio-economic and environmental benefits that will support countries as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and relaunch their economies on low-emission, climate-resilient development pathways. 

Photo: ©FAO/
Thanks to the new funds, smallholder farmers in Guatemala will learn how to use improved climate information systems, improved crop varieties, as well as efficient soil and water management techniques.