The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) has signed an agreement with the government of Sri Lanka and Portugal’s Nativa Capital to launch a farming and forest protection project in Sri Lanka.

The agreement, worth US$120 million, will fund a farming and forest protection project aiming to bring prosperity to 15,000 farming families in the Anuradhapura District. This initiative is the first investment identified in Sri Lanka’s Climate Prosperity Plan, a comprehensive strategy designed to balance economic growth with environmental protection, according to the CVF.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed, now serving as the Secretary General of CVF, lauded the initiative at a press briefing. He highlighted the plan’s standout status as one of the most impressive he has seen and emphasised the significance of inaugurating a project within the Sri Lanka Climate Prosperity Plan.

The farming project, a collaboration with Sri Lanka’s ‘Our Movement Lanka,’ aims to introduce improved and more sustainable farming practices. With a total investment of US$100 million, each farming family stands to benefit from an allocation of US$6,000. This funding will cover modern technical equipment and address longstanding market access challenges faced by farmers.

Nativa Capital, the investment company, has committed to purchasing the produce generated by this project, thereby ensuring a sustainable market outlet, according to the Sri Lankan government. Many farms in Sri Lanka are currently on a micro-scale and suffer from low yields and erratic incomes. The forestry project also includes ascertaining the economic value of Sri Lanka’s forests, marking the first step towards forest ecosystem valorisation and preservation.

Climate Prosperity Plans are investment plans that aim to boost a country’s economic growth and create employment while also facilitating the adoption of clean technologies that help improve the environment and reduce pollution, such as greenhouse gas emissions.

Led by the CVF, the Climate Prosperity Plans promote low-carbon development strategies that balance economic growth with environmental protection. With successful implementation in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Ghana and interest from seven other countries, these plans are gaining traction worldwide. Notably, the Sri Lankan plan exemplifies environmentally friendly initiatives yielding economic benefits.

The agreement was signed by Ruwan Wijewardene, the President’s Senior Advisor on Climate Change, representing Sri Lanka’s Climate Change Secretariat; former President Nasheed, representing CVF; and Carlos Gomes, Executive Director of Nativa, representing Portugal’s Nativa Capital.