Three FAO project proposals focused on bolstering rural green growth, forest resilience, promotion of zero-deforestation cocoa production – amongst its many benefits – in Armenia, Colombia and Ivory Coast, respectively, are being assessed for GCF funding, leading up to GCF’s next Board meeting in August.
Moving forward, Qu and Glemarec shared a common vision – the need for big projects with big impacts.
In this respect, Glemarec expressed interest in FAO’s initiative to prevent a food crisis in the wake of COVID-19, and foster the creation of more resilient agricultural systems. For his part, Qu highlighted FAO’s aim to design more holistic, transformative initiatives that address an array of food security, sustainable production and environmental needs – all at once – and bring together a range of partners.
More integrated and comprehensive initiatives, said Qu, can combine and help reach shared goals - of greater green recovery as well as rural poverty and hunger eradication.
In this respect, Qu highlighted a new FAO initiative – Green Cities - focused on tackling environmental concerns and improving agri-food production and nutrition in urban and peri-urban areas. Glemarec expressed interest in the initiative, remarking that it was different from other urban initiatives supported by GCF, which tend to focus, in general, on ensuring energy-efficient buildings and transport.
The two chiefs also shared updates on recent developments and upcoming priorities for their respective organizations.
Qu highlighted the successful holding of the first virtual FAO Council and the approval of a more modular, efficient and holistic organizational structure that is better fit to respond to major global challenges through increased collaboration both within and outside of FAO. The revised structure includes a dedicated office for climate change, biodiversity and environment, which will integrate relevant technical expertise and knowledge across the entire Organization.
The FAO Director-General highlighted the launch of the Hand-in-Hand geospatial platform, and FAO’s comprehensive COVID-19 response and recovery programme, expressing appreciation for GCF’s support for the implementation of this programme in rural communities.
Qu also reiterated FAO’s commitment to collaborate with its partners, including GCF, to continue assessing how COVID-19 is affecting food security, food systems and farmers’ livelihoods.
Glemarec highlighted the following key priorities for GCF: minimizing COVID-19‘s impact on ongoing portfolios so that the Fund keeps delivering; using its readiness programme to help countries design green resilience and recovery programmes, exploring different financing processes; and accelerating the introduction of big projects as of next year.