New support programme from the BMU, UNDP and FAO for climate-friendly land use in developing countries
Today at the UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Federal Environment Minister Schulze launched new funding of 20 million euros for supporting up to 12 developing countries in implementing national climate targets in the area of land use and agriculture. Together with Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Qu Dongyu, the new Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Minister Schulze announced a focus on climate change adaptation and low-emission agriculture. The initiative of the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU), UNDP and FAO is closing a gap in international climate financing. The funds come from the BMU’s International Climate Initiative (IKI).
Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze commented: "Too little attention has been paid to land use and agriculture in international discussions on climate until now, ddespite the fact that soil is the largest carbon sink on the planet after the oceans. Soil holds more carbon dioxide than all forests and the atmosphere combined. Overexploitation and erosion, however, release large amounts of CO2 from soil. In addition, adaptation to climate change is confronting agriculture with ever greater challenges, especially in developing countries, where especially high priority is attached to food security and farming incomes. But agriculture is also a major greenhouse gas emission source. These are issues that we want to tackle together with our partner countries."
The IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land, published at the beginning of October, illustrates the inseparable links between people, the land and the climate. Worldwide land use is responsible for almost 25 percent of greenhouse gases. Beyond agriculture, this also includes the use of forests and their conversion into land for infrastructure, industrial areas and other uses. At the same time, climate change causes droughts, flooding and reduced farm productivity, mainly in poorer countries. This makes it essential worldwide to fundamentally transform land use in the direction of sustainable low-emission management and better food security. Forests, peatlands and natural landscapes must also be protected.
The BMU is providing the new UNDP/FAO programme with 20 million euros to address this global challenge. The Support Programme on Scaling up Ambition on Land Use and Agriculture through NDC and NAP Implementation aims to assist developing countries to implement national targets in important agricultural value chains and in land use.
The programme is planned to run from 2020 to 2025. The objectives of the programme are closely linked to the UNDP Climate Promise, which the UNDP made to help 100 countries enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions by the end of 2020.
The IKI fulfils some of Germany's funding pledges under international climate and biodiversity agreements. Since 2008, the IKI has supported more than 730 projects throughout the world with total funding in excess of 3.6 billion euros. A key focus is to support partner countries in implementing their obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Paris Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Conditions for programme approval include compliance with strict fiduciary terms, ambitious human rights safeguards and stringent environmental and social standards.