GEF Approves First Two Projects Under the SFM/REDD+ Window
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The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has approved the first two projects under the SFM/REDD+ window approved as a result of the GEF's fifth replenishment, with a project in Azerbaijan focusing on restoring forests and pasturelands, and a project in Togo focusing on expanding sustainable forest management practices to those areas affected most by climate change.

GEF23 March 2012: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has approved its first two projects, in Togo and Azerbaijan, under the sustainable forest management (SFM) and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, as well as conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+) window approved as a result of the GEF’s fifth replenishment.

The SFM/REDD+ programme supports developing countries in developing sustainable forest management plans to reduce harmful emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. The overall goal of the project is to benefit most from the economic, social, and environmental resources of forests in such a way to support long-term sustainability.

In Azerbaijan, the project on “Sustainable Land and Forest Management in the Greater Caucasus Landscape” plans to restore forest and pastureland, as well as improve the management system, in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and foster the development of long-term sustainable forest resource use.

In Togo, US$9.1 million in GEF grants will be supplemented by co-financing adding to US$55 million, including US$7.3 million from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery and US$500,000 from the Terrafrica Trust Fund. The project will expand SFM in targeted areas affected most by climate change. This will increase biodiversity and food security, increase carbon stocks and reduce degradation. The project has a strong adaptation component focused on agricultural production systems and more than half of the resources are planned for activities on the ground for adaptation and Sustainable Land and Forest Management activities at community level.

According to the GEF, there are an additional 12 projects and three programmes already approved, and set to start in the near future. [GEF Press Release]