On April 12, 2019, the Green Climate Fund (GCF)—the main global fund to finance actions to address climate change—announced that it will allocate over $25 million to a FAO-designed project in Paraguay aimed at combating deforestation, reducing hunger and poverty, and building the climate-change resilience of local populations.
The funding agreement was signed by FAO Assistant Director-General for Programme Support and Technical Cooperation, Roberto Ridolfi, and the Deputy Director of GCF’s Division of Mitigation and Adaptation, Andreas Biermann, at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.
“This is a very important step in the growing partnership between FAO and the GCF. PROEZA is the first fully-fledged Project funded by GCF. FAO will work with the Government of Paraguay and GCF to respond to adverse effects of climate change by investing in low-emission and climate-resilient development,” said Ridolfi. “The project targets the most vulnerable households through addressing poverty, deforestation and energy access promoting a holistic landscape approach to ensure climate change resilience in target areas.”
“GCF is proud to support PROEZA, a project which will enhance the resilience to climate change of the most vulnerable in Paraguay and enable them to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions by afforestation while at the same time improving their economic situation,” added Biermann.
The five-year $90 million project “Poverty, Reforestation, Energy and Climate Change (Pobreza, Reforestación, Energía y Cambio Climático – PROEZA)” aims to benefit some 17,000 vulnerable families, including those from indigenous communities, who depend on forests for their livelihoods, energy and income, by supporting the government’s efforts to safeguard Paraguay’s forests.
Funding will stem from the GCF grant and $65 million of co-financing from the Government of Paraguay.
The project seeks to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change in the country, while reducing rural poverty, deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions. It will also provide technical support and incentives to establish sustainable agroforestry and silvo-pastoral practices, strengthen land tenure and improve the efficiency of household biomass use in the targeted areas of Eastern Paraguay.
FAO and the GCF are currently discussing the funding Agreement for the Upscaling climate resilience measures in the dry corridor agroecosystems of El Salvador (RECLIMA) which seeks to restore and reforest degraded ecosystems in order to protect water sources and stimulate aquifer recharge.
Climate change is a cornerstone of FAO’s work. FAO believes that agriculture adaptation must be promoted through the implementation of climate-smart approaches, practices and techniques that also preserve the environment and biodiversity, and adaptation must help build the resilience of millions of poor family farmers.
Photo by FF MM (via Wikipedia) shows the Ovecha Ragué Festival in Paraguay.