Source: Tempo.co 
Date: 19 December 2020 

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) today, December 19, has welcomed the recent decision by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council to approve 13 FAO-led projects in 16 countries, totaling some $78.5 million. 

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle environmental problems. Since then, the GEF has provided more than $21.1 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $114 billion in co-financing for more than 5,000 projects in 170 countries.

The GEF-FAO projects address global environmental crises that impact the productivity and sustainability of agricultural systems on land and water across five continents. They will be implemented in partnership with and co-financed by the governments of the countries involved: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Benin, Brazil, Chile, Fiji, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Vanuatu, and Venezuela.

The projects will help the countries to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic while building long-term resilience against future shocks caused by increasing climate risk and environmental degradation. It will assist countries and communities to adopt more sustainable and climate-resilient practices, enact stronger policies to conserve biodiversity and natural resources on land and water, and foster policy coherence and transboundary cooperation.

"There is an urgent need to create pathways for building back better and greener, and the partnership between FAO and the GEF is creating opportunities for countries and communities to build more inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life," said FAO Director-General QU Dongyu.

There are two projects in Indonesia that are covered by the GEF–FAO namely IFish and ISLME (Indonesia Sea Large Marine Ecosystem). IFish, a $6.1 million project, is a joint FAO project with the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) for mainstreaming the conservation of terrestrial biodiversity and sustainable use of inland fisheries practices in terrestrial aquatic ecosystems with high conservation value.

FAO is also running a project on the management of the Indonesia Sea Large Marine Ecosystem, with MMAF. ISLME is located at the heart of the waters and the border area of the islands of Indonesia and Timor-Leste. The project is worth a total of $4 million which is allocated mostly for Indonesian waters. The area is located in the heart of the biogeographical area of the western Indo-Pacific ocean, which has the richest marine species in the world. There are 500 species of coral reefs, 2,500 species of marine fish, 47 types of mangroves and 13 species of seagrass.