News monitored on the world stage revels that the sixth funding cycle of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is, with over 31 donor countries pledging US$4.43 billion to support programming over the next four years now targets rural poverty reduction as part of the solution to challenges posed by climate change.
The July 2014 GEF summit reportedly focused on creating and scaling up innovations in all its focal and the matic areas: Biological diversity, climate change, land degradation, international waters, persistent organic pollutants, ozone layer and mercury. The introduction of the three Integrated Approaches Programmes is considered instrumental in keeping the GEF on the leading edge of innovation and enhancing its responsiveness to regional and global issues. At the GEF-5 Assembly in Cancun the international community called upon to step-up efforts and to do so very quickly if the increasing impacts of environmental degradation and climate change on people and the planet are to be adequately addressed. This comes as a fundamental importance especially to rural people, most of whom are dependent on natural assets for their livelihoods. Environmental Pundits say anything short of the present support that is being garnered for these programmes will push the worries of climate change problems to an uncomfortable edge. The IFAD’s Environment and Natural Resource Management Policy, interlinking environmental and cli-mate change challenges was key to the GEF protocol. The IFAD policy ensures among other things that the solutions and problems need to need to be interlinked too if there is to be efficiency in the fight to stabilize climate change. The bonds therefore between the various agriculture sectors and rural poverty have become much more compelling with increased understanding of the various IFAD development programmes globally.
Even after the many the many strides in the fight against climate change in the past decade, global efforts to scale up innovative environmental practices and adaptation to climate change remain a challenge. The call for donors to raise the bar to measure environmental and adaptation results provides another test of global commitment to achieve holistic environmental benefits. The question is: what can be done to invest more in rural people to bring about lasting and profound change to preserve ecosystems and improve livelihoods?
IFAD has taken the lead to invest in rural people, support broad coalitions of committed partners and demonstrate its innovative approaches to achieve transformational behavioral change at scale not only at the policy and community levels, but also at the level of the household. In Sierra Leone, the IFAD climate change campaign brings into focus the development of Inland Valley Swamps in order that the traditional slash and burn farm model in rural agriculture in discouraged.
Global environmental activist largely hope that the coming GEF forum takes into consideration the interlink IFAD has been able to make in connecting global climate change solutions to the entrenched poverty of the rural poor.