By Omar Bah
The Board of the Green Climate Fund has approved $17.2 million in funding to support climate-resilient projects in the Gambia, promoting sustainable practices in vulnerable rural communities. The project is part of four approved new climate projects valued at $380.7 million in GCF funding to other countries. With the newly approved projects, GCF’s portfolio now stands at 200 projects with a total value of $10.8 billion in GCF resources, $40.2 billion including co-financing.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) will offer its expertise to both projects for the sustainable management of natural resources and to help improve the livelihoods of people in Benin and the Gambia who are threatened by the impacts of climate change.
GCF invests in low-emission and climate-resilient development to help vulnerable communities adapt to the impacts of climate change. Along with its global partners, GCF catalyses climate investments to facilitate climate adaptation and mitigation strategies in its efforts to achieve the Paris Agreement goals.
The funds will help both countries to become more climate-resilient.
The FAO-led project, Climate Resilient Fishery Initiative for Livelihood Improvement in the Gambia, or PROREFISH, is the first GCF-funded project with an emphasis on fisheries, helping vulnerable people belonging to the Gambia’s fishing communities.
This $25m six-year initiative, which was designed with the assistance of the FAO Investment Centre, will benefit approximately 168,000 people who depend on the fisheries value chain. Through climate adaptation and mitigation techniques, the project will strengthen climate resilience for the Gambia’s fishery communities which are particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise and climate stressors.
Adaptation measures will comprise climate-resilient aquaculture, restoring fisheries habitat through mangrove restoration and oyster cultivation and climate-proofing small-scale fishing infrastructures. Climate mitigation through the restoration of 2,350 hectares of mangroves forests will generate carbon sequestration benefits of about 238,519 tonnes over a 20-year lifespan.
According to the GCF, women will be equal beneficiaries in project activities for mangrove restoration which is estimated to support 750 households in the mangrove communities. PROREFISH will also adopt gender empowerment activities and also support women to be active participants in the project.
The funding from GCF and partners will initiate the implementation of mitigation and adaptation strategies for vulnerable rural communities in Benin and the Gambia, to better combat climate change threats. With the approval of these two projects, the FAO GCF portfolio will now reach $1 billion.