FAO in Türkiye

Global Environment Facility pledges support for FAO climate change projects in Türkiye

Photo: ©FAO

Ankara, Türkiye –The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of the Republic of Türkiye, has been granted financial support of about USD 45 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the government to launch three new projects for the period 2022 to 2025. The projects will focus on biodiversity conservation, sustainable forest management, ecosystem management, water conservation, and climate change mitigation.

Biodiversity is a critical for national food security. The “Strengthening the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable management of forest landscapes in Türkiye’s Kazdağları region” project will improve biodiversity conservation and sustainable forest management for environmental and socio-economic benefits.

The “Enhancement of agro-ecological management system through promoting ecosystem-oriented food production,” project in Bolu will develop and promote a model for ecosystem-oriented food production of sustainable agriculture. In addition to strengthening small-scale agricultural enterprises, the project will provide the methods by which groundwater and surface water bodies can prevent soil pollution caused by agricultural activities.

The “Integrated water resource management in Gediz River Basin” project in Izmir and Manisa will work on the sustainable management of land and water resources with an emphasis on integrated natural resource management and biodiversity conservation practices.

Today, all three projects were officially launched at an event in Ankara that presented the projects, brought together project implementation partners, and highlighted how the projects will enable a strong and effective step forward in the challenge of responding to climate change in Turkiye. Participants included the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Vahit Kirişçi, FAO Subregional Coordinator for Central Asia and FAO Representative in Türkiye, Viorel Gutu, as well as senior officials from relevant general directorates, who are among the implementing partners of the project.

The event was opened by Viorel Gutu, who highlighted the success of already implemented FAO GEF-projects in Şanlıurfa and Konya-Karaman. Mr Gutu is confident that three projects will reach its aim: “With the GEF 7th Cycle Projects, we will continue to contribute to FAO’s Strategic Framework, and I have no doubt that in close cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, we will accomplish all of the outputs of the projects within the scope of GEF 7th Cycle Projects. To put it more concrete, we will implement innovative approaches for sustainable agricultural production, mitigate the negative impacts of climate change on agri-food systems and develop biodiversity and ecosystem services for food and agriculture.”

Minister Kirişçi emphasized that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will continue to work unceasingly to protect the environment and to ensure efficient use of the outputs of the already implemented GEF projects that they have realized with FAO. He expressed his hope that they will achieve very significant outcomes with FAO with these new projects as well.


 “We are the children of a culture that is in harmony with nature and the environment, respects them and knows the importance of using resources without wasting them. We understand better every day that our natural resources are not unlimited. Our biggest goal is to use these resources correctly and effectively, to ensure their sustainability, and most importantly, to manage the resources correctly while meeting the needs in the field of agriculture. It is vital for our world to keep global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius. For the 1.5 degree target, global emissions need to be reduced by 45% by 2030 and reach zero by 2050. It is a long-term goal to implement climate change policies in cooperation with all relevant stakeholders.

At this point, the importance of financing sources emerges. We have been a member of the GEF, one of the most important of these resources, since 1994, both as a donor and as a beneficiary.

Many projects were carried out in different focus areas from climate change to biodiversity, from land degradation to chemicals and waste.

I believe that all three projects that we have held the meeting with you today will make very serious contributions to our country, especially in the context of climate change and the protection of biodiversity” Minister Kirişci told the audience.

The three projects will particularly focus on the implementation of the SDGs and the FAO Strategic Framework 2022–31 of innovation for sustainable agriculture production, climate change mitigation, and climate-adapted agrifood systems, biodiversity conservation, and ecosystem services for food and agriculture.



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