The Global Environment Facility (GEF) brings together 183 countries, the private sector, civil society organizations (CSOs) and international institutions to address the growing global environmental problem. Since its creation in 1991, the GEF has worked on the protection of the global environment and promoted environmentally sustainable development. GEF and IFAD have many common goals and interests, including addressing land degradation, biodiversity loss and climate change.
As one of its executing agencies, IFAD maintains a strategic partnership with the GEF to ensure rural development projects also result in local and global environmental benefits. IFAD’s Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division (ECG) oversees the GEF project pipeline, and works closely with country programme managers to contribute to the design and implementation of projects whose activities reinforce sustainable agricultural practices, and enable countries to meet their national commitments to environmental conventions.
IFAD’s current pipeline of GEF-funded projects invest in smallholder food systems to promote the judicious use of natural resources and address growing land and water constraints. In recent years, community-based adaptation to climate change has become a priority focus area.
Existing projects have succeeded in improving the health of fragile ecosystems, investing in approaches such as sustainable intensification technologies, climate-smart infrastructure, conservation agriculture, agroforestry, and other tried-and-tested solutions. These investments take care to include marginalized rural people, for example through drafting community land use plans and helping people secure access to land rights.
IFAD is leading the way in transforming rural livelihoods by scaling up innovative solutions that redefine the relationship between agriculture and the environment, resulting in higher returns for local communities. The GEF-IFAD partnership has promoted win-win solutions to deliver both global environmental benefits as well as business-friendly gains for rural poor people.
Integrated Approach Programme
The Integrated Approach Programme (IAP) on Food Security in sub-Saharan Africa, supported by the Global Environment Facility, focuses specifically on promoting sustainability and resilience through management of natural resources.