3 February 2023, Ankara, Türkiye — The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of the Republic of Türkiye, has been granted financial support of about USD 45 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for three new projects between 2022 and 2025. The projects will focus on biodiversity conservation, sustainable forest management, ecosystem management, water conservation, and climate change mitigation.
Biodiversity is a critical for national food security. The project “Strengthening the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable management of forest landscapes in Türkiye’s Kazdağları region” aims to give environmental and socio-economic benefits with enhanced biodiversity and forest sustainability.
The “Enhancement of agroecological management system through promoting ecosystem-oriented food production,” project in Bolu will strengthen small-scale agricultural enterprises and deliver techniques to use groundwater and surface water systems to prevent soil pollution from agricultural .
The “Integrated water resource management in Gediz River Basin” project in Izmir and Manisa will emphasize integrated natural resource management and biodiversity conservation practices to achieve sustainable management of land and water resources.
Today, all three projects were officially launched at an event in Ankara. It presented the projects, brought together project implementation partners, and highlighted how the projects will enable a strong and effective step forward in the challenge of responding to climate change in Türkiye. Participants included the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Vahit Kirişçi, and FAO Subregional Coordinator for Central Asia and FAO Representative in Türkiye, Viorel Gutu, as well as other implementing partners of the project.
The event was opened by Viorel Gutu, who highlighted the successes of previous FAO GEF-projects in Şanlıurfa and Konya-Karaman and spoke with confidence of the positive future benefits of the three new projects. “With the GEF 7th Cycle Projects, we will continue to contribute to FAO’s Strategic Framework, and I have no doubt that in close cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, we will accomplish all the outputs of the projects. We will implement innovative approaches for sustainable agricultural production, mitigate the negative impacts of climate change on agrifood systems and develop biodiversity and ecosystem services for food and agriculture.”
Minister Kirişçi emphasized that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will continue its work to protect the environment and to ensure efficient use of the outputs of completed GEF projects. Minister Kirişçi expressed his conviction of the urgent need for action. “Our biggest goal is to use our natural resources correctly and effectively, to ensure their sustainability, and most importantly, to manage the resources correctly while meeting the needs in the field of agriculture. I believe that all three projects will make very serious contributions to our country, especially in the context of climate change and the protection of biodiversity.”
The three projects will focus on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the FAO Strategic Framework 2022–31 for innovations in sustainable agriculture production, climate change mitigation, and climate-adapted agrifood systems, biodiversity conservation, and ecosystem services for food and agriculture.