While Togo has embarked on an accelerated growth and job promotion strategy, it is not neglecting the importance of sustainably managing its natural resources. Indeed, Togo is party to several multilateral environmental agreements and is making progress implementing these agreements with support from its partners.
As the main source of financing for natural resource management and environmental protection projects and programs in Togo, the GEF is providing substantial technical and financial support to the national sustainable development process.
During the fifth operational phase of the GEF, the Government accorded priority to the financing of small community initiatives, primarily through the implementation of the Integrated Disaster and Land Management Project (PGICT), the Project to Strengthen National and Decentralized Capacities for Environmental Management (PRCNDGE), the Project to Strengthen the Conservation Role of National Protected Areas System in Togo (PRAPT), the Adaptation of Agricultural Production to Climate Change in Togo (ADAPT) project, and the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP/GEF).
Among other things, this support has provided over 200 poor communities with resources and knowledge for the restoration, conservation, and sustainable development of national and community biodiversity conservation areas and sites, as well as agricultural land and water resources. Moreover, good land management practices are increasingly being adopted by farmers and agricultural producers, thereby promoting intensive farming. Chemical fertilizers are systematically being replaced by organic fertilizers in market garden fields and sites. “We discovered that cow dung and poultry droppings are less expensive than mineral fertilizers. They significantly boost yields, providing us with extremely high-quality, longer-lasting products. What’s more, the land remains productive, whereas we begin to see depletion of this farmland after just a few years of using chemical fertilizers,” noted Ms. Amélé Mensah, a vegetable producer. She further stated that “our products are organic; they are in demand. Customers are aware of their nutritional value and their positive effects on health and the environment. We have never experienced a slump in sales, even when the market is inundated with vegetables. We even charge slightly higher prices, which increases our income and is a reliable source of livelihood for the well-being of our families.”
Sustainable land management practices have therefore been promoted. Ms. Yendab Tani, a resident in Panabagou in the savanna region, declared that “in the past, as soon as it started to rain, we would have to evacuate our homes because they would be flooded. The children also had no access to their school and, most of all, the flood waters would wash away a significant portion of our fields. With support from the PGICT/GEF, we have built stone barriers and productivity has improved. We were also paid to collect and assemble the stones. The project also provided us with seedlings for replanting purposes. We were paid for digging holes and planting seeds. This helped pay for our children’s schooling.”
While welcoming the GEF’s invaluable support with the national sustainable development process, the Government is counting on this GEF partnership to finance selected priority actions in Togo’s National Investment Program for the Environment and Natural Resources (PNIERN) and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.