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South Sudanese woman farming. (File Photo: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)

South Sudan launches $33 million project to build climate resilience

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South Sudan’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry, alongside World Vision, launched the Watershed Approaches for Climate Resilience in Agro-pastoral Landscapes (WACRESS) Project, in a move to combat climate change’s impact on vulnerable communities,

The 33 million U.S. dollar project aims to bolster climate resilience and restore ecosystems in Aweil Center and Aweil East, in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State.

Targeting over 75,000 people, the project will rehabilitate 15,000 hectares of land by December 2028.

The South Sudanese government, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), World Vision, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) are financing the project.

Highlighting the urgency, Josephine Napwon, South Sudan’s Minister for Environment and Forestry, said that South Sudan is among the countries most affected by climate change in the region.

“WACRESS will use participatory approaches to empower communities, strengthen agricultural value chains, and promote climate-smart practices.”

World Vision’s South Sudan Director, Mesfin Loha, emphasized collaboration’s importance for building resilience together, for vulnerable communities.

“WACRESS will focus on restoring ecosystems using watershed management, re-establishing market linkages for agricultural products, equipping extension agencies to support communities in adopting climate-smart agriculture, and integrating climate change adaptation strategies into local plans.”

UNDP Resident Representative Dominic Sam echoed the need for collective action. Sam said that the UNDP is committed to environmental conservation and working through partnerships to find green solutions.

The WACRESS project is set to have a state-level launch in Northern Bahr el Ghazal and precedes an inception workshop in Aweil Centre scheduled for May 21-23, 2024.

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