The Global Environment Facility (GEF) approved USD 35 million in funding to improve climate resilience to be channeled through the African Development Bank for programs in Côte d’Ivoire, Chad, Zambia, in addition to one which spans several countries. The announcement was made at the recent 48th session of the GEF Council Meeting during which the largest GEF work program in its 23 years of history – USD 709 million – was endorsed.
The approval of projects to enhance food security and nutrition in Chad; urban mobility in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; and natural resources management in Zambia’s Lake Tanganyika basin, for USD 6.5 million, 6 million and 7 million, respectively, reinforces the GEF’s dedication to help prepare the continent for the negative consequences of climate change and pave the way for sustainable development.
An additional USD 12 million under the GEF-6 Non-Grant Instrument Pilot program was authorized for projects in Africa through the Moringa Agro-forestry Fund, an investment vehicle expected to reach USD 100 million, which invests in profitable large-scale agro-forestry projects that integrate environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainable development. Moringa projects focus on restoring degraded lands in Africa as well as managing natural forests to contribute to positive outcomes in line with the Bonn Challenge, a global commitment to restore 150 million hectares of land around the world by 2020.
Speaking about the approvals, Kurt Lonsway, AfDB Manager for Environment and Climate Change, stated, “This funding channeled through AfDB will help decrease land degradation on 10,000 hectares in Chad; reduce emissions from vehicles in Côte d’Ivoire by 15-20%; and contribute to the sustainable management of 10,000 hectares of land in Zambia. In addition, as a result of Moringa Agro-forestry Fund efforts, 200,000 hectares are expected to be sustainably managed and 9.5 million tons of CO2 avoided during its lifetime.”
Since 2007, the growing partnership between the GEF and the AfDB has been working to generate environmentally smart and transformational change in Africa. As of end May 2015, the overall portfolio of projects managed by the AfDB amounts to USD 257 million leveraging more than USD 1.5 billion in co-financing allocated to 34 projects and programs on the continent.
The three-day meetings held on June 2-4, 2015 in Washington, DC, brought together GEF Council members and representatives from governments, international organizations and civil society.