Green Climate Fund approves $60 million to support climate-resilient projects in Benin and The Gambia

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board has approved $60 million in funding to support climate-resilient projects in Benin and The Gambia promoting sustainable practices in vulnerable rural communities in these countries.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will offer its expertise both to projects for the sustainable management of natural resources and to improving the livelihoods of people threatened by the impacts of climate change.

As a unique global platform, the GCF invests in low-emission and climate-resilient development to help vulnerable communities adapt to the impacts of climate change. With its global partners, the GCF catalyzes climate investments to facilitate climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in its efforts to achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement.

“FAO welcomes the approval of these projects to accelerate inclusive climate action in Benin and The Gambia. We look forward to working with our partners to promote green and climate-resilient practices in the sectors of agriculture, forestry and fisheries to help move towards more efficient practices, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems,” said FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo.

GCF Executive Director, Yannick Glemarec, said: “GCF is proud to partner with FAO on climate resilient projects in Benin and The Gambia, which will help vulnerable rural communities increase their resilience to climate change and protect livelihoods in agriculture and fishing. projects will promote gender equality, help ensure the health, safety and livelihoods of women and girls who are disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change. »

Climate-resilient agriculture in the Ouémé basin in Benin

With the endorsement of the Ouémé Basin Climate Resilience Initiative (OCRI), FAO and partners will strengthen the climate resilience of communities in the basin and improve agricultural productivity for the 61 percent of the population who depend on farming for their livelihood.

The $35 million for this six-year project will reduce the vulnerability to extreme weather events and climate disruptions faced by rural communities. Through climate-resilient agriculture and agroforestry in the Ouémé basin, approximately 330,000 smallholder farmers are expected to directly benefit from these activities.

An integrated low-carbon and climate-resilient basin management approach, as well as the strengthening of climate-resilient value chains for maize, shea, mango and cashew, will ensure the long-term sustainability of the project. project and its future impact.

Improved land and water practices that are resilient to climate change will be applied over an area of ​​95,000 hectares in the basin. The project’s efforts will indirectly benefit the 6 million inhabitants of the basin.

An important component of the project will see FAO working with partners through the Dimitra Farmer Field Schools and Clubs. This includes engaging youth groups to promote and support gender equality, social mobility and people’s participation in the political, social and economic aspects of their communities.

Sustainable aquaculture for fishing communities in The Gambia

This FAO-led project, Climate Resilient Fishery Initiative for Livelihood Improvement in the Gambia, or PROREFISH, is the first GCF-funded project with a focus on fisheries, helping vulnerable people in fishing communities in The Gambia.

This six-year, $25 million initiative, designed with assistance from the FAO Investment Centre, will benefit approximately 168,000 people who depend on the fisheries value chain. Through climate change adaptation and mitigation techniques, the project will build the climate resilience of Gambian fishing communities who are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise and climate stressors.

Adaptation measures will include climate-resilient aquaculture, restoration of fisheries habitat through mangrove restoration and oyster farming, and climate-resilient small-scale fisheries infrastructure. Climate mitigation through the restoration of 2,350 hectares of mangrove forests will generate carbon sequestration benefits of approximately 238,519 tonnes over a 20-year lifetime.

Women will be the same beneficiaries in the activities of the mangrove restoration project, which are expected to support 750 households in the mangrove communities. PROREFISH will adopt women empowerment activities and also help women to actively participate in the project.

Funding from the GCF and its partners will kick-start the implementation of mitigation and adaptation strategies for vulnerable rural communities in Benin and The Gambia, to better address the threats of climate change. With the approval of these two projects, FAO’s GCF portfolio will now reach $1 billion.

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