Green Climate Fund OKs US$26.3M grant to PH agri sector

The United Nations Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved a US$26.3-million grant to the Adapting Philippine Agriculture to Climate Change (APACC) to help increase the resilience of vulnerable rural areas and transform the country’s agriculture sector towards climate resilience.

The APA project is a submission by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) as executing entities.

“We welcome the decision of the GCF Board to approve the APA Project, which will be instrumental in building the capacity of our farming communities, as well as of the government and private sector, to understand and manage climate risks and adopt climate resilient agriculture (CRA) practices,” Climate Change Commission (CCC) Vice Chair and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje said in a recent news release.

Domestic resources amounting to US$12.98 million will be used to co-finance the project, putting the total project value at US$39.3 million. The project will cater to at least nine provinces in five regions namely Cagayan Valley, Bicol, Northern Mindanao, Soccksargen, and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Three main outcomes are expected from the project: increased institutional capacities for the development and provision of climate information and CRA services; farmers (female/male) adopt CRA through CRA enterprises; and enabling environment for mainstreaming and scaling up CRA.

At least 1.25 million poor farming household members (50% of whom are women) are expected to directly benefit as farmers improve awareness of risks and risk reduction measures and incorporate climate-resilient and low emission technologies into agricultural practices. Over 5 million people living in the area will also benefit indirectly from enhanced information systems and strengthened institutional capacity that will create an enabling environment to promote the widespread adoption of CRA.

Borje said “high impact, climate-resilient agriculture initiatives such as the APA, have potential to significantly contribute in the country’s socio-economic development, while enhancing adaptive capacities of our agricultural systems to climate change.”

APA will be implemented this year until 2030 and is expected to reduce 1.86 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) over 20 years as a result of application of CRA practices and better land use.

CCC Commissioner Rachel Anne Herrera, who was a former GCF Board Member, said the “look forward to the implementation of the APA Project, which will certainly benefit Filipino farming communities living in vulnerable areas in the country,” stressing that “this is one critical project that can further enable our agriculture sector’s transformation towards sustainability and resilience.”

The project was approved by the GCF Board at its just concluded 35th Meeting in Songdo, South Korea.

The Philippines is currently part of the GCF Board, represented by the Department of Finance (DOF). The first Filipino and original member of the GCF Board was former Albay Governor and now Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda.

“We thank the DOF for pushing our national and global climate agenda forward through its representation and work in the GCF Board,” Borje said.