1.7 Million Hectares to Be Improved through Landscape Management, Conservation and Climate Change Mitigation
WASHINGTON, June 7, 2013 – About 2,000 rural families, including indigenous communities in Chile’s poorest rural areas, will benefit from a US$5.86 million grant to the Sustainable Land Management project financed by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), which was approved today by the Executive Board of Directors of the World Bank.
“This project will help rural families and indigenous communities increase capabilities and apply knowledge necessary to help improve land management in an environmentally sustainable approach, combating land degradation, desertification and climate change.” said Eduardo Vial, Director of the National Forestry Corporation (CONAF).
Through coordination of the agricultural, livestock, forestry and environmental agencies, the project aims to promote a comprehensive approach to rural development and environmental sustainability over 1.7 million hectares of land. It also provides tools and capacities needed for scaling up improved land management at the national level. CONAF, in cooperation with The Chilean Agency for International Cooperation (AGCI) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will lead the effort, with strong support from the Secretariat of Agriculture (SAG), the Ministry of Environment (MMA) and the Institute for Agricultural Development (INDAP).
According to Susan Goldmark, World Bank Country Director for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Perú and Venezuela, “because land degradation is often accompanied by poverty, the project plays an important role in helping the country achieve the goals set forth in its development agenda, as well as create the building blocks for ensuring environmental sustainability in productive area.”
Farmers and communities are expected to participate voluntarily in the project, which is financed through the grant as well as national funds. The project includes participatory evaluations of land holdings, training and planning exercises, as well as technical support during the implementation of productive and conservation activities. By working hand-in-hand with landholders, the project will identify and apply best practices in land management in the context of producers’ own needs, capacities and desires. Local committees will work together to integrate activities across sectors on the ground, develop a long term vision for the landscape and coordinate work with producers to achieve these goals.
The grant consists of US$5.8 million with an additional US$58 million in national counterpart funding. The project’s tenure is around five years.