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FAO Launches Green Cities Initiative in Cameroon

To impact at least 100 cities globally by 2030, the Green Cities Initiative aspires to lead in a fresh era of urban sustainability, fostering greener, healthier, and more inclusive communities worldwide.

Saurabh Shukla
FAO Launches Green Cities Initiative in Cameroon (Photo Source: Pexels)
FAO Launches Green Cities Initiative in Cameroon (Photo Source: Pexels)

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) made a significant step by officially launching its Green Cities Initiative in Cameroon on April 21, 2024. The initiative, already underway in the pilot phase in the country, has gained support from seven municipalities eager to join the cause.

At the launch event, FAO Director-General QU Dongyu highlighted the pressing challenges faced by urban areas worldwide, with projections indicating that two-thirds of the global population will reside in cities by 2050. Dongyu emphasized the crucial role of municipalities in addressing citizens' needs for better livelihoods, including access to nutritious food, clean water, energy, and housing. Moreover, he highlighted the importance for cities to confront the multifaceted challenges posed by climate change, environmental degradation, waste management, and urban inequality.

FAO's Green Cities Initiative, launched globally in 2020, envisages vibrant and inclusive urban spaces where green infrastructure catalyzes climate resilience, social unity, and economic prosperity. By bridging the gap between urban and rural areas and fostering a harmonious relationship between citizens and nature, the initiative aims to transform cities into hubs of sustainability.

Drawing on FAO's expertise in sustainable urban agriculture, forestry, and food systems, the Green Cities Initiative empowers local governments to implement innovative green actions. These actions include efficient agrifood systems, multifunctional green infrastructure, and natural resources management, ultimately enhancing the livelihoods of urban and peri-urban populations.

Georges Elanga Obam, Cameroon’s Minister of Decentralization and Local Development, welcomed the initiative, acknowledging the rapid urbanization in the country and the associated complexities. The Mayor of Yaoundé City, Luc Messi Atangana, echoed Obam's sentiments, expressing appreciation for FAO's effort.

Cameroon has witnessed a 50 percent surge in urban population between 2010 and 2020, with over 15 million residents now residing in urban areas, half of them concentrated in Yaoundé and Douala. Since March 2023, the pilot Green Cities Initiative project has been active in Yaoundé's 4th district, focusing on waste management, composting, and urban agriculture. The success of this pilot has attracted the interest of other municipalities in Yaoundé and beyond.

During the launch event, seven additional municipalities formally expressed their intent to join the initiative, handing over letters of commitment to Director-General Dongyu. He assured the mayors of FAO's unwavering support, promising innovative on-the-ground interventions aimed at scaling up impact and fostering sustainability.

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