The USD 25 million PROREFISH is the first GCF-funded project with a significant focus on fisheries
18 July 2022, Banjul – The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved a USD 25 million project led by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to enhance the climate resilience of the most vulnerable women and men in fishing communities in the Gambia whose livelihoods are threatened by sea-level rise and other climate change impacts.
The six-year project, Climate Resilient Fishery Initiative for Livelihood Improvement in the Gambia, or PROREFISH, will benefit about 168 000 vulnerable women and men who depend on the fisheries value chain. Adaptation-focused activities will include promoting climate-resilient aquaculture, climate-proofing small-scale fisheries infrastructure, and restoring fisheries habitat through mangrove restoration and oyster cultivation.
The initiative is the first GCF-supported project with a major focus on fisheries, and it comes as FAO leads activities for the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022). The project will generate benefits in climate mitigation over its 20-year lifespan, including the sequestration of about 238 519 tonnes of carbon dioxide, mainly through the restoration of about 2 350 hectares of mangrove forests.
“The project scales up proven adaption measures adopted in several West African countries and focuses on climate-proofing fisheries and related infrastructure and value chain segments dominated by women,” Omar S. M. Gibba, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters, said.
“The activities will improve the livelihood of thousands of people dependent on fisheries, and it is a timely and welcome intervention for the nation,” he added, speaking on behalf of the Minister, Honourable Musa S. Drammeh.
The project, designed with the support of the FAO Investment Centre, includes a GCF grant of USD 17.2 million and co-financing of USD 7.8 million from partners, including the Gambia’s Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Ministry of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters (MoFWRNAM) and FAO. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs is the National Designated Authority for the project.
Partnership to Restore, Develop, and Adapt Fisheries to Climate Change
The Gambia is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change which threaten livelihoods and food security. Fish stock from capture fisheries is the primary source of protein for the Gambian population and a pillar of sustainable diets for the poorest and the most vulnerable people.
“Designed to help strengthen the Gambia’s response to climate threats, the PROREFISH project offers a holistic response to enhance adaptation and reduce the climate-related risks facing the country’s fisheries sector,” said Moshibudi Rampedi, FAO Representative in the Gambia.
“Women will be active participants and equal beneficiaries in project activities aimed at restoring degraded mangrove areas in key fisheries hotspots,” she added.
The project aims to catalyze a paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development, offering best practices in sustainable fisheries, such as using a community-led replanting approach to establish mangrove nurseries, reforest and monitor mangrove ecosystems.
Through the implementing period, partners will work together to ensure synergies with on-going and pipeline projects aimed at improving the Gambia’s artisanal fisheries infrastructure. For example, rice-fish farming will be promoted through collaboration with the IFAD-funded “Resilience of Organizations for Transformative Smallholder Agriculture Programme” (ROOTS) project, under the Ministry of Agriculture.
The project also takes a proactive approach to integrating women in decision-making processes related to climate change, and aims to strengthen their capacity to participate in the formal economy while sensitizing men to gender relationships.