The project titled “Transforming Indian Agriculture for Global Environmental Benefit and Conservation of Critical Agricultural and Forest Biodiversity in Different Landscape” is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), a multilateral funding mechanism, partnering with Government of India (MoAFW and MoEFCC) and FAO as the GEF agency. With a budget of USD 37 million, the seven year ambitious project will cover globally significant biodiversity production landscapes in India, including project sites in Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.
The project aims to address the challenges occurring due to unsustainable agricultural practices and catalyse transformative change for India’s agricultural sector to support achievement of national and global environmental benefits, and conserve critical agricultural biodiversity and forest landscapes. These objectives will be addressed through two components.
Policy Transformation Component:
‘Policy Transformation’ will address constraints in the enabling environment by putting in place the tools required to strengthen and enhance the capacity of the agricultural sector to deliver biodiversity, sustainable land and forest management and climate change mitigation benefits. It will also help coordinate approaches including facilitating the adoption of appropriate fiscal and market incentives to promote or conserve diversity on-farm and across productive landscapes.
Management Transformation Component:
‘Management Transformation’ will demonstrate on-the-ground conservation improvements designed to drive higher-level changes. Under it, the project will work in high conservation priority landscapes to demonstrate replicable “best practices”. Interventions will be designed to show how ecosystem-based agricultural improvements can deliver social, production, and ecological benefits.
The Green Agriculture project synergises biodiversity conservation, agriculture production, and development
The focal areas under the project are agriculture and forest biodiversity, conserving endangered species, climate change mitigation, addressing land degradation and sustainable land and forest management to address the challenges emerging due to climate change, limited availability of natural resources along with increasing pressure on agricultural land. These thematic areas will feed into the larger Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of Sustainable Consumption (SDG-12), Climate Change (SDG-13) and Life on Land (SDG-15), and the FAO goal of increase and improve the provision of goods and services from agriculture, forests and fisheries in a sustainable manner.
Shri Shyam Khadka, FAO Representative in India said that “in the context of SGDs, it is important that project parameters remain sustainable in the long term” and that conservation should be linked to sustainable livelihoods enhancement.