The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is an international fund whose mission is to catalyze 'climate finance’ that is invested in low-emission and climate-resilient development.
Its modus operandi is to use public investment to stimulate private finance, prioritizing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the effect of climate change, such as least developed countries and small islands.
US$90m pledged in total
The US$25m it has pledged to Paraguay on Friday (12 April) will support a five-year, US$90m project called PROEZA, led by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which aims to help 17,000 vulnerable families, including in indigenous communities, who are dependent on forests for their livelihoods.
Through the project, farmers in eastern Paraguay will receive technical support and incentives to establish sustainable agroforestry and silvopastoral practices, strengthen land tenure and improve the efficiency of household biomass use.
For instance, farmers will be given environmental conditional cash transfers (E-CCT) in exchange for switching to community-based, climate-sensitive agroforestry.
“This will serve as a bridge until new farming models are financially sustainable,” said the GCF.
The project will also provide credit for farmers to set up ‘forest plantations’ for bioenergy, timer and silvo-pastoralism, where forestry is combined with livestock grazing.
In addition to the money pledged by GCF, US$65m will be co-financed by the government of Paraguay.
A holistic landscape approach
Roberto Ridolfi, FAO assistant director-general for program support and technical cooperation said PROEZA was the first fully-fledged project to be funded by GCF.
He added: “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. The project [...] promotes a holistic landscape approach to ensure climate change resilience in target areas."
Andreas Biermann, deputy director of GCF’s division of mitigation and adaptation, said it was proud to support PROEZA.
“The project […] 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.”
The GCF first began mobilizing resources in 2014 and attracted pledges worth US$10.3 billion.
It also has projects in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile and Peru.