Climate Change

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Farming First Recommendations to Governments

The Farming First coalition calls on all governments to:

1. Support the unique role of agriculture in the global climate change response.

  • Ensure that agriculture is included within the UNFCCC annual climate change negotiations.
  • Refrain from setting an absolute emission reduction target for agriculture as an industry.

2. Encourage the use of all available and applicable climate change solutions.

  • Promote agricultural best practices, particularly Integrated Crop Management (ICM), conservation agriculture, intercropping, improved seeds and fertilizer best management practices.
  • Support increased investment in agricultural research, including links between agriculture and climate change, involving research centres, programmes and industry R&D.

3. Promote funding mechanisms which support the needs of all levels and forms of farming.

  • Urge agricultural inclusion within multilateral financial mechanisms, potentially including the UNFCCC’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI).
  • Promote voluntary carbon credit systems for GHG offsets from agriculture and land use to reward farmers for their contribution.
  • Extend the scope of carbon markets to encompass the critical role of soil as a carbon sink.
  • Establish international technology assessment and sharing programmes for climate change, as well as capacity-building programmes, including the development of local and global centres of excellence.

4. Reward resource-based productivity improvements as a direct contributor to climate-change effectiveness.

  • Encourage productivity improvements – in a sustainable way – on existing agricultural land to avoid additional land clearing and give priority to the rehabilitation of degraded agricultural soils.
  • Recognise the positive contribution of sustainable land management practices through increased coordinated agricultural research.
  • Include robust methodologies and field-testing to overcome uncertainties around measurement, reporting and verification.
  • Provide incentives to farmers and other stakeholders which reward adoption of sustainable and responsible production systems, better performing technologies and the efforts of early adopters.

5. Invest in capability sharing to encourage all farmers to play a role in climate change while safeguarding local and global food security.

  • Enhance capacity building to implement sustainable land management policies and programmes.
  • Create a dedicated adaptation fund for agriculture accessible to farmers’ organisations in developing countries.

Download the Farming First Policy Paper on Climate Change

Farming First Submission to the UNFCCC SBSTA

At the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) in December 2011, it was agreed that the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) would consider issues related to agriculture at its 36th session in May 2012.

The text below is taken from Farming First’s submission to SBSTA on enhanced action on mitigation, cooperative sectoral approaches and sector specific actions, in order to enhance the implementation of Article 4, paragraph1(c), of the Convention. It outlines specific elements for SBSTA to take into account when establishing a work programme for agriculture.

To guide policy making, decision makers will need access to knowledge about best practices, scientific and engineering knowledge and technologies that are specific to their context. Additional work under SBSTA on a number of issues, with due consideration of linkages and synergies to existing mechanisms and initiatives both inside and outside the UNFCCC, would provide a valuable source of information to governments as they seek to design policies and action plans that benefit their farmers.

The following aspects should be taken into account when establishing a SBSTA work program:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

Download Farming First’s full submission to the UNFCCC SBSTA