IFAD offers support to Ivory Coast’s environmental sustainability initiative, calls for heightened land restoration support

IVORY COAST – IFAD has announced its US$130 million support to the Abidjan Legacy Programme, an ambitious multi-partner initiative which aims to ensure the environmental sustainability of food value chains.

Announcing the US$130 million contribution through ongoing investments and new funding, the financial institution has called for immediate long-term investments in land restoration and climate resilience to ensure global food security.

This is paramount as land degradation is gaining ground and affecting up to 40% of lands on Earth.

Nations have pledged to restore 1 billion degraded hectares of land by 2030 requiring US$1.6 trillion in funding this decade.

In addition, annual costs to adapt to climate change in developing countries are expected to rise to between US$140 billion and US$300 billion by 2030.

Finance for adaptation is far from answering the needs and reached US$46 billion in 2019/2020, while small-scale farmers received less than 2 per cent of climate finance.

Speaking at the fifteenth session of the Conference of the parties (COP 15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in Abidjan, IFAD President, Gilbert F. Houngbo, said, “Food value chains need to be urgently put on a sustainable pathway.

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“We need to invest significantly more in ecosystems restoration and help small-scale producers who grow one third of the world’s food adopt the practices that will ensure healthy and productive lands, build resilience to climate change, provide a decent living and safeguard food security for all.”

He added, “A lack of productive lands can only lead to widespread poverty, hunger, migration and instability.”

Between 20% to 40% of land on earth is degraded, directly affecting nearly half of the world’s population and threatening roughly half of global GDP, amounting to US$44 trillion according the UNCCD’s Global Land Outlook.

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The report points out that poor rural communities, small-scale producers and indigenous peoples in developing countries are disproportionally affected by land degradation and desertification, as they are by climate change.

“Many solutions exist to conserve and restore lands and build farmer’s resilience to climate change. These practices generate multiple wins: better yields and livelihoods for small-scale farmers, biodiversity protection and carbon storage. We need to implement them at scale urgently,” said Houngbo.

The Great Green Wall is a strong example of how ambitious partnerships and financing can be mobilised to achieve impact at local level.

IFAD’s undertakes raft of initiative to promote climate resilience

IFAD supports the Great Green Wall (GGW) initiative through its own investments in the 11 Great Green Wall countries amounting to US$ 1.4 billion as well as through multiple regional programmes totalling about US$480 million in collaboration with partners that include the African Development Bank, African Risk Capacity, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Food and Agriculture Organization, UNCCD and the World Food Programme.

Furthermore, the institution will implement the GGW Regional Support Programme financed by the GCF, which aims to enhance knowledge management and collective impact of GCF projects across the GGW, and is developing a new complementary programme with the GEF focussing on climate adaptation innovations.

IFAD is also stepping up its investments to build small-scale farmers resilience to climate change by dedicating 40 per cent of its core resources to climate action over the next three years, up from 35 per cent (equivalent to US$1.2 billion) over the previous three-year period.

In addition, IFAD aims to catalyse climate finance at scale from a broad range of public and private partners, including though its flagship programme – the enhanced Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP+), which aims to mobilize US$ 500 million – while expanding partnerships with the three main climate funds: the Adaptation Fund, the Global Environment Facility, and the Green Climate Fund.

Since 2000, the institution has invested more than US$4 billion in programmes to combat land degradation and desertification, and promote sustainable land management.

The specialized agency works with small-scale producers to restore and regenerate lands and help them adapt to climate change by promoting many practices based on nature such as agro-forestry, crop diversification and rotation, planting shrubs, promoting indigenous species, using organic compost and simple water harvesting technics such as digging pits and half-moons which conserve soil moisture.

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