13 November, Songdo, Republic of Korea – The Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) today approved $161 million in funding to support climate resilient projects in Chile, Kyrgyzstan and Nepal benefitting 1.5 million people.
The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has been supporting the formulation of the projects that will build resilience and mitigate the effects of climate change in the three countries.
“FAO and GCF have forged a strong and strategic partnership to bring transformational climate solutions and help countries build resilience in response to climate change impacts,” said Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General, Climate and Natural Resources.
Addressing climate change is a cornerstone of FAO’s work and the Organization believes that effective climate action across the agricultural sectors will promote livelihood resilience and reduce poverty for vulnerable rural communities through the implementation of mitigation and adaptation actions, while preserving the environment and biodiversity.
FAO also actively supports countries to enhance their planning and capacities for climate change-related investments under the GCF Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme.
The GCF is a unique global platform that is responding to climate change by investing in low-emission and climate resilient development.
Rejuvenating Chile’s forests
The GCF approved a new $63 million REDD+ Results Based Payment Funding Proposal, designed by FAO and the Government of Chile, to restore and conserve about 25, 000 hectares of native forest in five regions of the country.
The project is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.1 million tons of CO2, while promoting afforestation in more than 7,000 hectares and the sustainable management and conservation of over 17,000hectares of forest.
Eve Crowley, FAO Representative in Chile, noted that of the targeted areas include more than 4,000 hectares affected by fires. “These will be restored with evergreen species including oak as well as Rauli beech and the coihue, which are both native Chilean species,” she said.
The benefit-sharing criteria for the allocation of resources emphasizes the role of gender, indigenous peoples and vulnerable populations, to ensure positive social and environmental impacts. Over 57,000 people, including members of indigenous communities, will participate in the project addressing afforestation, restoration and sustainable management.
Carbon sequestration while fighting degradation and climate change in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan will benefit from a $30 million grant from the fund which will be supplemented by another $20 million for a project to reverse forest and rangeland degradation. It is designed to increase forest coverage and rangeland productivity, and support the resilience of more than 430,000 people.
Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country with many high mountains, glaciers, and lakes. More than 40 percent of agricultural land is seriously degraded and over 85 percent of the country’s total land area has been affected by erosion due to poor pasture management and forestry practices.
The project aims to increase carbon sequestration through forest and pasture rehabilitation, supported by institutional reforms and green growth investments with backing from the private sector.
“The combination of a mountainous topology and rather dry climate limits the abundance of natural resources in Kyrgyzstan, further pressured by the negative effects of climate change,” said Dinara Rakhmanova, Assistant FAO Representative in Kyrgyzstan
“Now we aim to provide incentives for communities to preserve and expand forested areas, improve rangelands and diversify their production in order to increase climate resilience.”
To ensure sustainability of the natural resources improvements and related carbon sequestration, the project will also aim to reduce the dependence of rural communities on pastures and forest resources and improve their livelihoods by helping people diversify their income.
Helping Nepal work to mainstream climate resilience into vulnerable ecosystems
GCF allocated nearly $40 million as a grant for a project that will help nearly one million people respond to forest degradation, flooding and soil erosion in the Churia hills region of Nepal.
Nepal’s Government, through its Ministry of Forests and Environment (MoFE), is adding a further $8 million – for a total of more than $47 million. This first project approved by GCF for Nepal will be implemented over a period of seven years with technical assistance provided by FAO. It will help build planning and extension capacities within the newly-decentralised provincial governments, and contribute towards the goals of the national REDD+ strategy.
The Churia hills region in the Himalayan foothills is critical to Nepal’s food security but decades of unsustainable use of natural resources has resulted in forest degradation, floods and soil erosion.
Somsak Pipoppinyo, FAO Representative to Nepal, said the GCF contribution to FAO’s work in partnership with the government would benefit more than 200,000 households and help them become more resilient to the changing environment.
“It will also help them adapt to, and mitigate the effects of climate and extreme weather events in the years to come,” said Pipoppinyo.