IFAD Director presenting the Integrated Approach Pilot (IAP)

By Eric Patrick

On 9 June, Ms Margarita Astralaga, Director of the Environment and Climate Division, delivered a presentation on the Integrated Approach Pilot (IAP) to the Council members of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). IFAD is the Lead Agency for the Food Security IAP in Sub-Saharan Africa. The other two GEF IAPs on Green Commodities Supply Chains and Sustainable Cities are led by the United Nations Development Programme and World Bank respectively. The Food Security IAP comprises 12 country projects and one cross cutting knowledge/capacity building project for a total value of $116m in GEF grants and $700m in co-financing, including IFAD loans with which the grants are tightly blended.

©IISD/ENB | Francis Dejon

The objective of this IAP is to demonstrate how food production by smallholders can be enhanced while also improving the environmental health of soil, water and agro-biodiversity; the basis of smallholders’ production system, their natural capital and typically principal asset. The outcome of this 5 year program will be the scaling up of these approaches both through the 12 country projects and through influencing the policy discourse on agriculture and food security in the region. 

The presentation by IFAD was well received by Council Members, including by representatives of sub-regional constituencies of African countries, who also expressed the desire of non IAP countries to benefit from this program in the future; indicating a high level of support and demand for this approach. In response to Council's query on modalities to address challenges faced by the IAP, Ms. Astralaga clarified that the coordination arrangements of the cross cutting knowledge/capacity building project would instill collaborative efforts with key actors engaged in food security issues to optimize the diverse capabilities and opportunities available.

©IISD/ENB | Francis Dejon

The GEF is a fund intended to assist Member States meet their obligations and commitments under the Climate Change, Biodiversity and Desertification Conventions and other Multilateral Environmental Agreements. This IAP is innovative because it promotes integration among sectors on food security and directly links to development objectives. IFAD has been a GEF Agency since 2004, with the current GEF cycle worth $3.4b. The IAP modality will be evaluated in 2017 and if found to be promising will become a prominent instrument in subsequent GEF cycles.