María Clara Ucrós
WASHINGTON, March 16th, 2010 – The World Bank (WB) has approved a US$7 million grant from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) for the Sustainable Stockbreeding Management Project in Colombia, which is to be carried out by the Colombian Federation of Stockbreeders (Federación Colombiana de Ganaderos, FEDEGAN), and whose focus is to improve production systems to benefit farmers and the environment.
The project, to be implemented in five of the country’s regions (Valle del Río Cesar, lower Río Magdalena, Boyacá and Santander, as well as in southern Meta), aims at promoting the adoption of Forest Grazing Systems (FGS) that allow improvements in natural resource management, increasing the provision of environmental services and augmenting productivity in participating farms.
“This project intends to support those regions in the country that have high levels of poverty and where stockbreeding is an activity that is carried out in areas with unequal income distribution, illiteracy, violence and inequitable land possession. It seeks to revert the negative impact that stockbreeding and the wrong use of natural resources are having on tropical forests. By doing so, we will contribute to the elimination of common structural barriers to Colombia’s rural development,” said Gloria Grandolini, World Bank Director for Colombia and Mexico.
Those regions were chosen because of their high biodiversity and their proximity to strategic ecosystems and protected areas. The project is proposing a strategy for the widespread adoption of environmentally-friendly FGSs by Colombian stockbreeders, which includes: loans and technical assistance for their implementation; short-term payments for the environmental services generated by FGS practices; and creating the institutional conditions to favor sustainable stockbreeding in the country.
Local participation is critical for the social sustainability of the project’s activities. To that end, the latter will be promoted through project backing aimed at increasing the cooperation between small- and medium-sized producers, and their respective associations, and by transferring knowledge between them in order to spread FGS practices to a wider audience.
It is hoped that this financing mechanism will generate important local and global benefits, as it will contribute to the conservation of global biodiversity critical to stockbreeding systems, to the reduction of emissions caused by deforestation and forest degradation, improvements in rural adaptation to climate change and to the reduction of land degradation.
Some of the expected results include:
- Implementing the 50.500 ha (125.000-acre) environmentally-friendly stockbreeding project in all five regions;
- FGS adoption-induced reduction in soil erosion (tons/hectare) to be measured in at least two pilot regions;
- 5 percent increase in beef or milk production per administered hectare at participating farms; and
- Elaboration of a strategy for the adoption of a wider FGS in Colombia, validated and adjusted during project implementation.
The project will focus on those changes in production systems that benefit both farmers and the environment by way of:
· Improvements in the productivity of stockbreeding farms in project areas;
· Increases in connectivity and a reduction in soil degradation through different environmental payment service systems;
· Reinforcing sub-national institutions through monitoring and evaluation efforts that contribute to the spread of FGSs; and
· Improvements in the institutional and coordinating capacity to develop the project.
The body responsible for implementing the grant is the Colombian Federation of Stockbreeders. The project will cost a total of US$41.99 million, of which US$7 million will be financed through a GEF grant, US$25.3 million by the governmental counterparty (FINAGRO), US$3.65 million from NGOs associated to this project, and US$6 million from local farm organizations. The project is expected to end on February 31st, 2015.
About the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and the World Bank
The Global Environmental Facility is a mechanism that provides grants and funds with the intention of achieving global environmental benefits in six focal areas: climate change, biodiversity, international waters, persistent organic pollutants, land degradation and the ozone layer. The GEF also supports the work of global agreements to combat desertification.
The World Bank Group is one of the GEF’s implementing agencies and helps countries prepare projects that are co-financed by the GEF, as well as supervising their implementation. The Bank plays a primary role in ensuring the development and administration of investment projects. It relies on its experience of investing in eligible countries to promote investment opportunities and mobilize private-sector, bilateral, multilateral, governmental and non-governmental resources that are consistent with GEF objectives and different national sustainable development strategies.
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