GEF Publishes Paper on Climate Resilient Development in Africa
November 2011: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has released a publication on climate resilient development in Africa focused on three initiatives - the Sahel program, the Lake Chad Basin program, and the Congo Basin program - and which addresses environmental challenges surrounding Africa's three vital resources, namely land, water, and forests.
The publication “Land, Water, and Forests: Assets for Climate Resilient Development in Africa” outlines three land, water, and forest initiatives in the continent, which were funded by a total of US$168 million in GEF grants, with co-financing of US$2.18 billion from various sources.
The Sahel program relies on the Great Green Wall initiative to address desertification in the Sahara. This program integrates the sustainable management of land, water, and agriculture in order to mitigate the effects of climate change by improving ecosystem resilience. The program has accomplished better knowledge dissemination regarding land and water management, more soil and water security in targeted areas, biodiversity conservation, and increased ecotourism, among other goals.
The Lake Chad Basin program serves to protect Lake Chad, Africa's second largest wetland, by financing projects to preserve the wetlands and groundwater through a more sustainable approach to resource and land management. Thus far, the program has reached successful outcomes, such as increased efficiency in energy consumption, and better approaches to water resource management.
Lastly, the Congo Basin program aims to preserve the world's second largest tropical rain forest, an area rich with biodiversity, vast amounts of carbon, and home to 60 million people who depend on its resources for their survival. To carry out this initiative, the program relies on the coordination of local populations and larger organizations to protect the forest resources. The program has succeeded in its goals through the creation of a regional coordination mechanism for sustainable forest management, a better-managed system for protected areas, more financial resources to protect biodiversity, and better data collection systems for evaluating carbon stocks and modeling for REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries), among other successes. Overall, these three programs function collectively to support climate resilient development in Africa for both an economically and environmentally sustainable future. [Publication: Land, Water, and Forests: Assets for Climate resilient Development in Africa]