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Library Integrated Financing Strategy for Combating Desertification in Lebanon.

Integrated Financing Strategy for Combating Desertification in Lebanon.

Integrated Financing Strategy for Combating Desertification in Lebanon.

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Date of publication
December 2005
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The Integrated Financing Strategy is a guiding framework for locating and developing a mix of financial resources to fund programs and projects related to combating desertification and sustainable land management. These resources can be either (i) available (resources that have been located and are awaiting activation, such as donor funds set aside for a specific priority) or (ii) created (generated by means of specific action steps, such as through a change in legislation or a political lobby). As combating desertification is intricately linked to sustainable land management (SLM) and the improvement of socio-economic conditions (poverty alleviation) in rural areas, the Strategy, therefore, considers SLM and combating desertification within the same scope, and regards poverty alleviation as one tool for combating the proliferation of land degradation leading to desertification.The Strategy addresses a cross-sectoral national issue and its implementation, therefore, requires the collaboration of a multitude of stakeholders across sectors.The overall objective of the IFS is to improve the investment climate and create a stable, predictable and enabling environment that ultimately increases investments in SLM. While helping to develop the appropriate blend of internal, external and innovative funds, the strategy also uncovers potential barriers to resource identification, allocation, and disbursement. An Action Plan is elaborated within the Strategy. This summarizes the activities recommended for raising the different financial resources and provides elements for a new approach to financing programs/projects that planners and decision-makers should adopt when addressing SLM in their respective institutions.The Strategy highlights four main Strategic Objectives to achieve the primary goal as follows (i) improve the enabling environment to integrate UNCCD principles and priorities into national policies, institutions, and strategies, with the objective of integrating SLM into overarching development frameworks; (ii) mobilize internal sources of funding originating primarily from the public budget, but also include funds from private corporations and non-profit institutions, optimizing fund allocation, reforming the laws governing the public budget process, increasing the budget dedicated to SLM and increasing the political lobby for SLM; (iii) mobilize external sources of funding such as bilateral and multilateral donors, multinational corporations, charitable foundations and the like that requires (a) to articulate national priorities for a long-term funding from donors through the development of concrete policies, plans and programs, (b) expedite the implementation of reforms, (c) develop the role of municipalities in resource mobilization, (d) build partnerships, (e) build capacity of human resources, and (f) create an online donor database; (iv) mobilize innovative financing mechanisms and instruments that may be utilized to fund initiatives to combat desertification causes such as poor water management, biodiversity and habitat loss and destruction, and climate change, among others. This objective shall be reached by investigating main innovative sources available in Lebanon.In order to make agriculture, forestry and fisheries ore productive and sustainable the Strategy proposes interventions at the fiscal level such as the introduction of (i) a tradable quota system to address over-exploitation by allocating quotas to individual harvesters or fishers so that the sum of the individual quotas does not exceed the carrying capacity of that which is harvested or fished. Quotas can be traded between groups of producers, or individually; (ii) deforestation tax that applies higher tax rate to certain logging activities to provide disincentive for activities that cause deforestation; (iii) tax exemptions or tax deductions to provide incentives for activities that support nature conservation and sustainable use; and (iv) removal or mitigation of perverse fiscal policies relevant to biodiversity protection in the agriculture, fisheries or other natural resource sectors.To reduce rural poverty an intervention is proposed in water pricing system that could incorporate elements of taxation or subsidies for different consumer groups in different areas, and thus be an income redistribution instrument. Profits that originate in economies of scale (urban areas) can be invested to improve water supply in poorer regions (rural).To enable a more inclusive agriculture and food systems, the Strategy aims at promoting local community participation in biodiversity conservation through Communal property rights (or common property resource management), a form of land right that limits access to public land and establishes governance rules for community users.Since no individual actor is able to combat desertification single-handedly, it requires many actors at different levels working together, including affected communities, local authorities, national government, the private sector and the donor community. Therefore, local communities need to be linked to decision-makers and to share responsibility for project implementation and decision-making. The participation of communities in affected areas is an essential ingredient of the strategy. Other actions aimed at combating desertification are (i) strengthen the knowledge base establishing an information database, raising awareness on SLM, establishing programs to raise awareness at local level, mainly among women and youth, and enhancing their participation in the combating desertification strategy; (ii) use dedicated funds, as the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), created to assist developing countries dealing with climate change and the Adaptation Fund created specifically to support concrete adaptation projects and programs in developing countries.As for the Governance, the Strategy focuses on the implementation of legal reforms that requires to clarifying institutional responsibilities and improving the legal framework.

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