GEF Report Reviews Impacts of Land Management Financing
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On the World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) launched its published portfolio review of two financing windows for combating land degradation.

The review analyzed the catalytic effect of the GEF's integrated ecosystem management and landscape approach.

GEF17 June 2014: On the World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) launched its published portfolio review of two financing windows for combating land degradation. The review analyzed the catalytic effect of the GEF’s integrated ecosystem management and landscape approach.

GEF reviewed the practices put in place by four projects in Burkina Faso, China and India, including lowland agropastoral systems, highland irrigated terraces and institutional integration across all levels of administration. Findings revealed a range of insights for future projects, namely: national level priorities, such as food, water and energy security can drive adoption of integrated approaches to combating land degradation; and managing production systems at a larger scale can help avoid negative trade-offs when restoring ecosystem services. The findings also highlight integrated approaches that implement land management techniques alongside development priorities as models for replication that can boost income and improve livelihoods.

The review also highlights how global environmental benefits are achieved through improvement in local community practices while noting that changing needs of communities and dynamic nature of production systems complicates monitoring and quantification of these benefits. Formal agreements with communities can help ensure the longevity of outcomes, according to the review.

In conclusion, the review found significant evidence of the GEF’s catalytic role in promoting integrated approaches. GEF financing has enabled “countries to pilot integrated approaches for global environmental benefits linked to development projects.”

The portfolio monitoring and learning reviews were undertaken as part of the Fifth Replenishment Phase of the GEF (GEF-5). Countries received resources for reversing land degradation through two windows: Operational Programs on Integrated Ecosystem Management (OP12), which amounted to 68 projects totaling US$469 million; and Sustainable Land Management (OP15), which funded 33 projects for a total of US$146 million.

The GEF is a financial mechanism of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The GEF, TerrAfrica and Connect4Climate partnered with the World Bank to host the global observance event for WDCD 2014, which took place at World Bank headquarters in Washington DC, US, on 17 June 2014. [GEF Press Release] [Publication: Combating Land Degradation in Production Landscapes: Learning from GEF Projects Applying Integrated Approaches]


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