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FAO's global GEF approved 26 projects worth USD 174.7 million

Rome [Italy], June 27 (ANI/WAM): Building on the growing momentum to tackle environmental problems by addressing the ways in which our food and fibre are produced, the Global Environment Facility has approved 26 projects led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

"To achieve the 2030 Agenda we need a healthy planet and healthy people. These projects will help countries conserve and use natural resources sustainably while providing nutritious diets and green and climate-resilient livelihoods and contribute to the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and the Paris Agreement" said FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo, welcoming the greenlighting of the projects by the 64th Council Session of the GEF, held in on 26 June in Brasilia.

The projects total USD 174.7 million in GEF funding and leverage USD 1.2 billion in co-financing. With these new projects, FAO's partnership with the GEF will have helped countries access over USD 1.4 billion in financing and leverage over USD 9 billion in co-financing to transform agrifood systems into solutions to biodiversity loss, climate change, ecosystem degradation, and pollution on land, in freshwater, and in our seas, Semedo said.

These 26 projects will support countries to create or improve the management of nearly 17.9 million hectares of protected areas on land and sea, improve the sustainability of fisheries, forestry, and agricultural practices on over 27 million hectares of landscapes and seascapes, restore 820,000 hectares of ecosystems, mitigate 275 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, improve cooperative management of 4 shared water ecosystems, and benefit 1.6 million women and men.

Six projects in Lao People's Democratic Republic, Nicaragua, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Thailand and Venezuela are part of the Critical Forest Biomes Integrated Program, which will support the protection and conservation of globally important forests and improve the management of forest resources.

Five projects in Cabo Verde, Cuba, Mauritius, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vanuatu are part of the Blue and Green Islands Integrated Program, which will address the interdependence of environment and economic systems in SIDS (Small Islands Developing States.

Four projects in Cote d'Ivoire, Nepal, Sao Tome and Principe, and Viet Nam are part of the Ecosystem Restoration Integrated Program.

One project in Costa Rica will join the Net Zero Nature Positive Accelerator Integrated Program.

One project in Pakistan will join the Eliminating Hazardous Chemicals from Supply Chains Integrated Program and utilize circular bio-economy principles to transform banana waste into a sustainable alternative to cotton.

FAO's global GEF portfolio currently exceeds USD 1.3 billion, assisting more than 120 countries in projects that respond to local priorities, deliver global environmental benefits, and advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). (ANI/WAM)