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Feature Story

The Global Environment Facility’s latest work program, approved by the GEF Council in December 2020, includes a series of projects designed to help countries protect and regenerate nature amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is one of these projects.

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Forty-eight years ago, in the small village of Kuz Metakhil, local farmer Sawri was born into a country on the verge of wars that still haven’t ended.

Located east of Kabul along the Pakistani border, Sawri still lives in Kuz Metakhil with her husband, three sons, and two daughters. The unforgiving land provides few opportunities for off-farm work, and while Sawri and her husband Rahman pursed the odd jobs they could find, often the children would have to wander far into the hills, cutting firewood to sell to their neighbors.

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The latest work programs of the Global Environment Facility and GEF-managed Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) include a series of projects designed to help countries protect and regenerate nature amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is one of these projects.

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The Global Environment Facility’s latest work program, approved by the GEF Council in December 2020, includes a series of projects designed to help countries protect and regenerate nature in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is one of these projects.

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Today, when students file into the lunchroom at Mundika High School in western Kenya, they are greeted by a spread of nutritious local vegetables with exotic-sounding names, like spider plant. But that wasn’t always the case. Just a few years ago, that fare had largely disappeared from Kenyan plates, replaced by cheaper foreign-derived foods, like cabbage and maize meal.

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Over the last 30 years, more and more tea, coffee, and cocoa farmers have embraced climate-smart and sustainable practices by adopting “certification standards” that help to maintain soil quality, increase productivity, and reduce costs. The standards also assure buyers of agricultural commodities that the products in their supply chains are environmentally sustainable.

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Thanks to the support of the Global Environment Facility and UN Development Programme, the women of Río Jesús de Santiago de San Ramón formed an association, each one had a greenhouse installed in their property for the production of agrochemical-free vegetables, and received training with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, the National Institute of Learning and the National University of Costa Rica.

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Lake Bogoria in Kenya’s Rift Valley region is a soda lake – extremely salty and alkaline, unable to support fish. It has deep spiritual and cultural significance for the Endorois people, who have been its custodians for centuries. But it’s only in the last few years that they realized they are sitting on a potential gold mine.

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Paraguay is a country of friends. A common saying among citizens of this unique land, located in the heart of South America. In the evergreen city of Asunción, we have found this to be true in all areas of UNDP’s work.

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The International Development Association (IDA) and the Global Environment Facility have since 2016 provided funding to significantly reorganize Guinea’s fisheries sector. This allowed to curb illegal fishing, preserve the resources, share the benefits with communities, and transform the livelihoods of 50,000 people since 2015, mainly women. A newly constructed landing site and a smoking facility will enable to process, each year, 70 tons of fish under improved hygienic conditions.

Challenge

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