The unprecedented project will generate cash returns of at least $77.5 million
Nairobi, 1 July 2016 - A UNEP-backed project that will help The Gambia adapt to the devastating impacts of climate change is expected to raise the average annual income of thousands of households by as much as $770.
The Green Climate Fund, which invests in low-emission and climate resilient development around the world, has agreed to inject $20.5 million into the project, which will see Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) rolled out across rural parts of one of the world's poorest countries.
As climate change intensifies, The Gambia has begun to suffer from increasingly severe droughts and floods. The country - which relies on agriculture for about 40 per cent of national exports and 26 per cent of its GDP - is already struggling to cope with widespread environmental degradation, which has severely reduced the fertility of its soil and lowered agricultural productivity.
The unprecedented scale of the project, which will generate cash returns of at least $77.5 million, will see the Gambian government launch EbA across 7,000 hectares of degraded forest, woodland, savannah and mangroves and 3,000 hectares of transformed land, including cultivated land, fallow land and roadside verges.
Using methods like agroforestry, the project will increase crop yields and boost the harvesting of firewood, honey and medicine, benefiting 11,550 people - half of them women. Reforesting large parts of the country will also improve soil fertility, biodiversity and water quality, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by boosting carbon storage and sequestration.
The increased contributions to the budget of the national forest fund are conservatively estimated to be $380,000 during the project lifetime and $11.3 million over the 20-year investment lifetime.
For more information and to get involved with UNEP's work on EbA and with the Green Climate Fund, contact Ermira Fida, Climate Change Sub-programme Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org