Farming First’s Linidiwe Sibanda expressed the frustration of industry representatives at Agriculture, Landscapes and Livelihoods Day 5 (ALL-5 Day) declaring: “UNFCCC negotiators, do you hear us? No agriculture, No deal!”. Sibanda spoke in response to the lack of recognition for agriculture at COP18 which is currently taking place in Doha, Qatar.
ALL5 Day, which took place alongside COP18, had representatives from the FAO, FANRPAN, CIFOR and USAID who took part in a variety of events including: roundtable discussions, an ideas marketplace and a high level panel session.
Farming First hosted one of the roundtable sessions entitled: Achieving emission reduction: new tools, technologies and practices across the agro-food chain. The Farming First session featured presentations from guest speakers including: Dr Mohammed Asaduzzaman, Research Director at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, Dyborn Chibonga, Chief Executive Officer of the National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM) and Belinda Morris, California Director of the American Carbon Registry, an enterprise of Winrock International.
Highlighting best practices and technologies across the supply chain, speakers discussed how farmers, businesses, NGOs and governments are collaborating to improve climate change mitigation and adaptation. Contemplating the need to develop reliable metrics that measure how mitigation and adaptation goals are being met from farm to fork.
Panelists also discussed challenges in adapting the agro-food chain to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Dyborn Chibonga said
Despite our will to assist as many smallholder farmers in Malawi as possible, financial and social problems have impinged our ability to do so.”
During the session Dyborn also mentioned the importance of sharing knowledge with smallholder farmers in the face of climate change, saying:
Farmer education for using crop protection products is essential so they know how to best advance their methods.”
Dr Mohammed Asaduzzaman expressed the need to develop climate information services, as farmers need reasons to change traditional farming methods, saying:
In Bangladesh, where 80 percent of farmers are smallholders, it will be a challenge to persuade them to adopt new practices and to disseminate the knowledge and technologies required for change.”
He encouraged farmers not to rush when adapting methods:
Even if you agree to mitigate emissions from farming, it doesn’t have to start right now, and when you start, it can go on for a longer period. It doesn’t have to be in a year or two – so you will have time to adjust.”
Belinda Morris highlighted one of the practical reasons why farmers should embrace adapting to the effects of climate change, simply stating:
Many agricultural practices that reduce emissions also increase yield.”
The roundtable session finished with a question and answer session with the audience, ensuring all questions on ‘Achieving emission reduction’ were answered.
Other roundtable sessions were also held on the day, including:
- Identifying key national and sub-national information for decision making on adaptation strategies
- Developing landscape approaches for adaptation
- Issues in considering GHG measurements in agriculture
- Dialogue on Scaling Up Risk Management for Food Security and Agriculture
- Making climate finance work for rural poor
- Climate change resilience in dryland agro-ecosystems: Improving food security and livelihoods in a land degradation neutral world
Call to Action
Farming First joined agricultural experts at ALL5 Day to unite in a call to action, urging negotiators to include a Work Programme on Agriculture in COP18 discussions. The call to action was showcased within Farming First’s infographic launched last week and also within an accompanying video premiered at ALL5 day. For more information about the call to action click here.
ALL5 Day Top Quotes
“This is the right place for action, researchers, policy makers, farmers and civil society – we’re all here” – Judi Wakhungu
“We’re heading for a four degree warmer world without any measures in place to deal with adaptation in agriculture” – Bruce Campbell
“The government of Swaziland calls for a UNFCCC Work Programme on Agriculture” – HRH Prince Hlangusemphi
“We need holistic solutions – we need social, economic and environmental solutions” – Robynne Anderson
“Are we waiting for COP100? We need progress on issues that matter to people” – Dr Lindiwe Sibanda
“UNFCCC negotiators do you hear us? No agriculture, no deal.” – Dr Lindiwe Sibanda
See Farming First’s policies on climate change and agriculture here.