Guinea Bissau has committed to step-up action in its fight against land degradation, and to revitalize the productivity of its natural resource base, which holds significant potential to generate revenues and secure sustainable livelihoods.
Slash and burn agriculture, logging for timber and land degradation amongst other environmental threats have, to date, undermined efforts to fully exploit this rich potential.
Years of political instability, moreover, threaten to jeopardise commitment from development partners to invest in the country and to support measures for the rehabilitation of degraded areas.
Despite the complications of this financing backdrop, Guinea Bissau's Ministry of Agriculture is making real strides to ensure that land and forests receive increased attention. A crucial step was taken recently with the validation of Guinea Bissau's revised National Action Programme (NAP) to Combat Desertification and to promote sustainable land management (SLM), which sets out a clear path for addressing land degradation within the country.
The country has committed to strengthen the NAP, by developing a complementary component on a resource mobilization strategy for SLM, which will include an Integrated Financing Strategy (IFS) and an integrated investment framework (IIF) for SLM.
The design phase of Guinea Bissau's IFS and IIF is now underway, recently launched by the country's Ministry of Agriculture at an event in the capital Bissau, on the elaboration of a road map for a national strategy for resource mobilization for SLM. This 3 day event was held in the context of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Least Developed Countries (LDC) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Programme, with technical support provided by the Global Mechanism (GM).
During the mission, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Permanent Inter-state Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) and the GM all agreed to harmonize their support to the country.
The major outcome of the workshop is a clear commitment by Government and key partners for the future development of the IFS/IIF, with a roadmap for action already developed. At last, it seems that real momentum is gathering behind Guinea Bissau's push for investments, which will be instrumental in safeguarding the country's precious but imperilled lands and forests.
For more information:
Mr Sven Walter, Programme Officer, West and Central Africa
Tel. +39 06 5459 2150
s.walter (at) global-mechanism.org
Mr Alejandro Kilpatrick, Programme Coordinator, Latin America and the Caribbean and the Climate Change Finance Programme
Tel. +39 06 5459 2524
a.kilpatrick (at) global-mechanism.org