Eritrea launched a new strategy on May 22 to finance sustainable land and natural resource management, which promises to significantly boost investments.
The Integrated Financing Strategy (IFS), the result of a long-term collaborative effort of the Government of Eritrea and the Global Mechanism (GM) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification.
The IFS contains investment priorities, in the form of concrete projects promoting renewable energy and land use practices which will contribute to the sustainable use of natural resources in Eritrea.
Some of these activities are already underway in the country. The IFS now brings forward the recommendation to scale-up such activities using the sources and mechanisms identified.
“Eritrea decided to adopt the IFS to ensure an efficient use of the financial resources already available and to increase investments in sustainable land management compatible activities” says Siv Oystese, Coordinator of the Economic Instruments and Innovative Finance Program of the GM.
Eritrea Assesses SLM Financing Sources while Planning National Strategy
(By CapitalEritrea, 15 November 2012) – Eritrea stands a step away from developing its Integrated Financing Strategy (IFS), having discussed and validated two studies on financial resources that would improve Sustainable Land Management (SLM) during a workshop hosted by the Eritrean Ministry of Agriculture in Asmara, Eritrea, from 17 to 18 October 2012.
The first study was a stocktaking of existing financial flows and innovative financing opportunities for SLM while the second focused on innovative approaches and best practices that could support or leverage additional resources.
Representatives of several Eritrean ministries, the Global Mechanism (GM), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Commission (EC) discussed the studies, establishing priority areas and a task force for IFS development.
“The Eritrean government is committed and will also use the IFS process to bring about actions in, for example, clean energy, innovative finance and dry-land products,” says Siv Oystese, GM Coordinator of Economic Instruments and Innovative Finance, referring to some of the priority areas defined during the two-day meeting.
In identifying best practices, participants recommended upscaling the use of the many SLM practices and local knowledge the Eritrean people have already. Moreover, the workshop proposed further developing renewable energy sources and technologies (such as, solar, wind and mogogo stove) and dry-land products (for example, oil and baskets made from and moringa and doum palm), all of which could be supported by microfinance and technical capacity-building.
As part of its IFS preparation, Eritrea is building partnerships to carry out projects that promote sustainable land-use practices and create an enabling environment for investments. For example, the East African country received funds, with GM support, from the EU for a conservation agriculture project and is working with UNDP on several land-related, including a pilot project on strengthened land rights.
The IFS process was launched in February 2010, when the Ministry of Agriculture and the GM co-organized a consultative meeting, “Towards the Development of an Integrated Financing Strategy (IFS) for Sustainable Land Management (SLM) in Eritrea”.
Situated in an arid and semi-arid region, Eritrea is coping with land degradation and climate change and now has less than one percent forest cover, down from 30 percent in 1952. By enhancing sustainable land and natural resource management, it aims to improve food security and the livelihoods of rural populations.