The European Union (EU) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organizatin (FAO) in collaboration with the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) have launched a programme dubbed ‘Action Against Desertification’ perceived as crucial to tackling climate change, loss of biodiversity and food insecurity. The programme, worth 41 million euros, was launched in October 2014 and is set to run for a period of 4.5 years.
According to FAO, more than 70 per cent of people living in drylands and other fragile ecosystems across Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific derive their livelihoods from natural resources. But population growth and climate change put increasing pressure on these ecosystems, exacerbating degradation and desertification of increasingly overexploited lands.
According to the sponsors, ‘Action Against Desertification’ is a fundamental programme in fighting hunger and poverty, fostering stability and building resilience to climate change in some of the world's most vulnerable areas.
Set to benefit from the programme are African governments and civil societies in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal in the sustainable management and restoration of their dryland forests and rangelands. Furthermore, the programme will concentrate on Haiti in the Caribbean and Fiji in the Pacific. It is to help local communities adopt improved sustainable land and forest management practices.
Moreover, it is hoped that the programme will support agro-forestry and promote income-generation activities, as well as the creation of employment opportunities in rural areas, especially for youth and women, based on the sustainable production, processing and marketing of agricultural products and forest goods and services.
More information: FAO