IFAD: To Guarantee Global Food Security, $1.6trn Required to Restore 1bn Degraded Hectares of Land by 2030

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Oluchi Chibuzor

With 20 to 40 per cent of land on earth degraded, directly affecting nearly half of the world’s population and threatening roughly half of global gross domestic products (GDP), amounting to $44 trillion, the International Fund for Agricultural Development 

 (IFAD) has revealed that it will require $1.6 trillion to restore about 1 billion hectares of land by 2030.

According to IFAD, the figure, which was released by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in its Global Land Outlook, prompted it to call for a significant increase in investments to help small-scale farmers protect and restore lands and ecosystems.

However, it maintained that nations must build their smallholders’ farmers’ resilience to climate change to ensure long-term global food security.

In a statement, IFAD revealed that nations have pledged to restore 1 billion degraded hectares of land by 2030. 

According to the statement, this will require $1.6 trillion in funding this decade adding that annual costs to adapt to climate change in developing countries are expected to rise to between $140 billion and $300 billion by 2030. 

It stated that finance for adaptation was far from answering the needs and reached $46 billion in 2019/2020, while small-scale farmers received less than 2 per cent of climate finance.

According to the statement, “IFAD is determined to increase its commitments to land restoration and building the resilience of small-scale producers. Today, IFAD will announce its support to the Abidjan Legacy Programme with a $130 million contribution through ongoing investments and new funding. Promoted by Ivory Coast, host of COP15, the Abidjan Legacy Programme is an ambitious multi-partner initiative, which aims to ensure the environmental sustainability of food value chains.

“IFAD also supports the Great Green Wall (GGW) initiative through its own investments in the 11 Great Green Wall countries amounting to $1.4 billion as well as through multiple regional programmes totalling about $480 million in collaboration with partners that include the African Development Bank, Africa Risk Capacity, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Food and Agriculture Organization, UNCCD and the World Food Programme.”

Furthermore, IFAD said it would implement the GGW Regional Support Programme financed by the GCF, which aims to enhance knowledge management and collective impact of GCF projects across the GGW, and is developing a new complementary programme with the GEF focusing on climate adaptation innovations.

It added, “IFAD is stepping up its investments to build small-scale farmers’ resilience to climate change by dedicating 40 per cent of its core resources to climate action over the next three years, up from 35 per cent (equivalent to $1.2 billion) over the previous three-year period.

“Also, IFAD aims to catalyse climate finance at scale from a broad range of public and private partners, including though its flagship programme – the enhanced Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP+), which aims to mobilize US$ 500 million – while expanding partnerships with the three main climate funds: the Adaptation Fund, the Global Environment Facility, and the Green Climate Fund.”

Speaking at the fifteenth session of the Conference of the parties (COP 15) of the UNCCD in Abidjan, IFAD President, Gilbert F. Houngbo, said: “Food value chains need to be urgently put on a sustainable pathway. 

“We need to invest significantly more in ecosystems restoration and help small-scale producers who grow one third of the world’s food adopt the practices that will ensure healthy and productive lands, build resilience to climate change, provide a decent living and safeguard food security for all.  A lack of productive lands can only lead to widespread poverty, hunger, migration and instability.”