Tapping into vast potential of forest and farm
Accra, Nov.16, GNA - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Ghana’s Forestry Commission today launched the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) phase II in Ghana to empower forest and farm producers for sustainable development, poverty reduction and climate change.
With Forest and Farm Producer Organizations (FFPOs) as key agents of change, the FFF phase II specifically intends to contribute to the achievement of at least 11 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); particularly, SDGs 1, 2, 5, 13 and 15 on livelihoods, food security, gender equality, climate change and life on land.
Speaking at the launch, FAO Representative to Ghana, Abebe Haile-Gabriel said the facility in Ghana would help rural producers diversify local economies, increase resilience, reduce poverty while restoring and managing landscapes.
He observed that” the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is first and foremost about people’s well-being- alluding to the 5P’s of the SDGs – People, Planet, Prosperity, Partnership and Peace’’.
Abebe pointed out that “Forest and Farm Facility provides a useful framework to integrate and organically link two significant activities and actors – forest and farm – by putting people’s lives and livelihoods at the centre of sustainable management of resources, including land and forests”.
“Undoubtedly, the facility is responding to the tremendous potential of forest and farm producers by focusing on forest and farm producer organizations in forest landscapes representing small forest and farm producers, rural women’s groups, and local communities. These are the primary focal groups of the FFF’s Phase II’’, he stressed.
FAO Forestry Officer, Sophie Grouwels said, “the second phase also begins in Ecuador, Bolivia, Ghana, Kenya, Nepal, Viet Nam, and Zambia, with an initial budget of about USD 16 million, which is possible thanks to international donors, including Sweden, which has guaranteed a five-year commitment to the program.”
“The important components of this project include optimizing mitigation, adaptation and resilience services to climate change at the territorial level, through access to better environmental technical knowledge and integration with inclusive livelihoods approaches”, she added.
Phase II Support
The FFF phase II initiative started in Ghana when a consortium of civil society partners with support of the Forestry Commission of Ghana put out an expression of interest for country support.
The expression of interest stressed the importance of forest and farm producers in Ghana, key challenges, and priorities for the implementation of the FFF phase II support, with overall objective to build climate resilient landscapes and improved livelihoods of FFPOs.
A global panel of experts selected the core FFF countries for the second phase based on the received expressions of interest in May 2018, and the FFF steering committee endorsed the selected countries including Ghana. On October 2018, the Forestry Commission of Ghana and the FAO signed the Country Agreement for the implementation of the FFF in Ghana.
The launch today will highlight FFF’s successful approach to strengthening producer organizations so they may better support producers, and stimulate discussion around strategies and approaches that are necessary to ensure success of the initiative in Ghana.
About the FFF
The Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) is a partnership between FAO, IIED, IUCN and AgricCord that focuses on strengthening FFFPOs in forest and landscape linking with enabling partners.
Since the launch of Phase I in 2013, FFF has empowered forest and farm producers through their organizations in order to develop climate resilient forest landscapes and improved rural livelihoods.
The Forest and Farm Facility’s (FFF) Phase II comes at a time of renewed global efforts toward sustainable development, notably the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its goals (SDGs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to fight climate change as part of the Paris Agreement.
The launch is timely as a growing number of governments are developing integrated climate responses and strategies for sustainable rural economies and reducing poverty.
In 2018, FFF is significantly increasing the scale and range of its impacts by building on its past support to FFPOs and governments. This will strengthen the capacity of forest and farm producers and their organizations, deepen engagement in innovative cross-sectoral processes in government, and increase the delivery of landscape-scale climate responses.
Underpinning all of these include more inclusive and sustainable economic opportunities, increasing returns to FFPOs, while opening opportunities for improved social and cultural services for the rural poor.