Agri Business

Landscape management and public-private finance to improve 20 lakh hectares of land

Our Bueau NEW DELHI | Updated on September 06, 2019

Through zero-budget natural farming, the project will build commitment to sustainable farming.   -  THE HINDU

To directly benefit over 17 lakh people in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Up to 20 lakh hectares of land in India will be on a path to improvement through sustainable landscape management and public-private finance, states a report the Global Environment Facility on the financing of programmes and projects concerning desertification, land degradation and drought. The report has been released in the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in New Delhi.

Of this, 1.5 lakh hectares will be restored and 18 lakh hectares of landscapes will be under improved management, and directly benefit over 17 lakh people in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Funding of $6.85 million pouring in from Global Environment Facility (GEF), $4.47 million from Land Degradation Focal Area grant (LDFA) and $70 million will be co-financed.

This will be achieved by promoting sustainable agricultural production, supply chains through public-private finance. In Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, the project will enable institutional, fiscal, and strategic frameworks, at the national and state levels, promote sustainable agricultural landscapes and biodiversity conservation, scale-up of sustainable agriculture and landscape management, and inclusive economic growth among rural producers.

“Through zero-budget natural farming, the project will build commitment to sustainable farming by demonstrating a positive benefit-cost ratio for farmers, enabling their access to technical and financial services and generating a market commitment to source sustainably produced commodities,” states the report.

Of another 70,000 hectares, 10,000 hectares of land will be aimed at for restoration and 60,000 hectares for improved management. “Here focus will be on the most vulnerable and least developed districts of the three broad landscapes - highlands of the North-East, drylands of the central region and coastal regions. The intervention is expected to directly create carbon benefits of 50,000 tonnes of CO2e,” states the report.

A funding of $4.90 million from GEF, $0.85 million from LDFA and $11 million will be co-financed, for this project.

For north-east and coastal regions

For the north-east, central and coastal regions in India, a multi-stakeholder National Steering Committee will met out community grants, aimed at enhancing the communities’ skills, capacities, and resources required to enhance ecosystem services, improve the sustainability and productivity of agroecosystems, deploy efficient energy technologies, and manage waste in a way that realises multi-focal area benefits, the report further says.

The project aims to enable communities and organizations in the most vulnerable and least developed areas of India to take collective action through a participatory landscape planning and management approach aimed at enhancing socio-ecological resilience from innovative livelihoods producing local and global environmental benefits

“One landscape in each region will be selected for focused intervention, based on criteria that will include the existence of biodiversity of global importance, trends and patterns regarding threats and degrees of threat, appropriate policy frameworks at local and state levels, and other factors,” it says.

With 14 projects, Asia has the second-largest portfolio for the reporting period, including projects in ten countries - Afghanistan, Cambodia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vanuatu.

A total of 75 projects and programs were approved with funding from the LDFA and other related funding windows of the GEF trust fund. The total GEF grant for these projects and programs amounts to $857.76 million, which leveraged $5,673.87 million in co-financing, states the report.


Published on September 06, 2019

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