Farming First has submitted its views on enhanced action on mitigation, Cooperative sectoral approaches and sector-specific actions in order to enhance the implementation of Article 4, paragraph 1 (c) of the convention to the UNFCCC Secretariat. This is for consideration by the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) at its 36th session in Bonn, Germany.
This submission is made in response to paragraphs 75 and 76 of the Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) report presented to the COP at Durban in December 2012.
Farming First’s submission outlines specific aspects that should be taken into account when establishing a work programme for agriculture. These are:
- Identifying existing available scientific knowledge: Significant work on various issues related to agriculture and climate change is underway in fora outside of the UNFCCC. A work programme under SBSTA could help coordinate and link with initiatives outside of the UNFCCC process to ensure the knowledge acquired elsewhere is shared, and the research, technical and practical efforts underway are fed into the UNFCCC process and complementary.
- Identifying gaps in existing scientific knowledge: As a corollary to the efforts to assess existing knowledge, carrying out gap analysis to help identify key research needs would provide helpful guidance to the donor and scientific communities, as well as governments and policy makers. In addition to areas linked to agronomy, ecology and other fields, assessing knowledge of engineering and other fields related to the food chain could be useful.
- Identifying the linkages between agriculture and existing UNFCCC mechanisms and tools: As negotiations under UNFCCC progress, a number of mechanisms have been set up, such as the Green Climate Fund, the Climate Technology Center and Network, the Adaptation Fund, the Clean Development Mechanism and potential future initiatives. Entry points and linkages for agriculture-related issues into these mechanisms, including entry points for farmer constituencies, should be examined.
The submission also includes Farming First views on possible areas for additional research. These areas are:
- Measuring, accounting and understanding GHG emissions from agriculture and food systems: Efforts to define commonly agreed methodologies for measuring and accounting GHG emissions from agriculture and promote work to establish global evaluation guidelines for measuring emissions from agriculture would provide a useful basis for further integration of agriculture in the various mechanisms and processes underway under UNFCCC and into Parties national action plans. It would also provide governments, farmers, businesses, scientist and others valuable common reference points
- Identify linkages, synergies and trade-offs between mitigation and adaptation strategies based on best available science, context specific practices and local knowledge; with specific attention to the strategies and techniques most likely to create ‘win win’ solutions, as well as the practical challenges in implementing these. The relationship between mitigation and adaptation actions needs to be clarified. Approaches to measuring and understanding co-benefits need to be explored and identified.
- Complement work taking place elsewhere under SBSTA to assist in identifying possible linkages between sustainable intensification of agricultural production and deforestation, bearing in mind different contexts and farming systems, and the actions and policies needed to implement landscape level solutions for food security, adaptation and mitigation.
- Identify the strategies and techniques to tackle climate extremes in the agricultural sector and the associated mechanisms to reduce social vulnerability to climate change.
- Further research in areas of high potential for carbon sequestration and resilience enhancements such as resilience of soil ecosystems, breeding and potential of perennial crops
- Further research in areas where climate change impacts are not well understood, such as impacts on pest and diseases affecting crop and livestock production, and impacts on grain quality.
- Further research into technologies, tools and techniques to improve resource utilization and efficiency as well as decision-making capacity, such as water storage and irrigation technologies, food storage methods, and spatial data collection and dissemination.
Ahead of COP17 in Durban, Farming First has jointly endorsed a letter along with the world’s leading agricultural organisations calling on COP17 negotiators to approve a Work Programme for agriculture. You can read more about this in our previous blog.