The Green Climate Fund's board on Friday approved $158.6 million of funding for new projects in Argentina, Guatemala and Sudan aimed at mitigatin greenhouse gas emissions, boosting resilience to climate change and combatting deforestation, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation said in a statement.
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. Together with Yannick Glemarec, Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund, Qu took part in the signing ceremony of the Funded Activity Agreement approved for Argentina, worth a total of $82 million.
Qu also reaffirmed Rome-based FAO's commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement and the global fight against the impacts of climate change and stressed the importance of taking action with "concrete projects", the statement said.
The three FAO-led projects were approved at the 27th meeting of the GCF Board, held from Wednesday to Friday, the statement went on. FAO's growing GCF portfolio now boasts 13 projects amounting to $793 million in funding that help countries tackle the climate crisis, paving the way for a greener and cleaner future, the statement added.
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.
The funding initiative represented a big step forward for promoting better forest management and sustainability in Argentina, said Leandro Gorgal, National Director of Financing with International Credit Organizations of Argentina, thanking FAO and the GCF for their support.
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, according to the statement.
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, which has experienced 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, the statement noted.
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 to establish seven sustainable forest basins to support and serve 7000 producer, local and indigenous community families 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", the statement underlined.
The RELIVE project in Guatemala, worth $66.6 million, will help 116,000 vulnerable farmers - over one-third of them women - in the Dry Corridor adapt to the impacts of climate change through climate-resilient agricultural and water management practices, said the statement.
The project will also indirectly benefit another 583 000 people.
The Gums for Adaptation and Mitigation (GAMS) project in Sudan is the first GCF funding proposal approved in the Near East and North Africa region, the statemenet said. GAMS seeks 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.
GAMS will support the restoration of 75 000 hectares of smallholder gum agroforestry systems and 50 000 hectares of degraded lands in Sudan while also improving smallholder gum value chains.