Unlocking GEF/GCF Opportunities for Central Asia

Publication date: 04 December 2023

Dubai – UAE – FAO hosted the side event “Central Asia's Climate Finance Synergy: Unlocking GEF/GCF Opportunities with FAO Support” at the COP28 CA Pavilion on December 4, 2023.

Opening the side event, Jeffrey Griffin, GEF Unit Senior Coordinator at FAO, said, that at COP28, we gathered to address the pressing environmental change challenges facing Central Asia. Central Asia with its diverse ecosystems ranging from deserts to mountains faces real vulnerabilities to climate change, and collective responsibility is to adapt solutions to climate change. 

According to him, FAO talks about solutions at COP28; and how sustainable agrifood systems in all of their forms are real solutions for countries facing climate change. 

Kaan Basaran, REU-GEF Support Specialist at FAO, told how the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) may help address such climate change challenges as food scarcity, disasters, loss of biodiversity, and land degradation. 

He said that GEF provides funding for projects dealing with land degradation, loss of biodiversity and climate change. It is aiming at transformatory change and it is providing incremental funding for the programs that are ongoing in the countries.

Martina Duncan, International Climate Change Specialist at FAO, briefed how the Green Climate Fund (GCF) provides financial help to combat climate change on a way toward sustainability. 

According to her, climate finance priorities in the GFC Regional Structure Dialogue (REU) include sustainable land and soil management, sustainable forest and pasture management, climate services, governance of natural resources and climate, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Early Warning and Early Action Systems, Risk monitoring. 

Reportedly, the side event demonstrates how by leveraging FAO's expertise in sustainable agriculture, natural resource management, and capacity building, countries in the region can harness the full potential of GEF and GCF funding. Furthermore, by facilitating a collaborative dialogue, the event endeavors to pave the way for impactful projects, enhance regional climate resilience and contribute significantly to global climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. Through collective action and informed partnerships, Central Asia can navigate the challenges posed by climate change and build a sustainable and resilient future for its people and ecosystems.

The event is organized by FAO and gathered GEF, GCF focal points, UNFCCC NFP, key experts and specialists of the countries in Central Asia, and international organizations. 

Video recording is at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIhBov5Ccf0 

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