The first International Day of Rural Women was observed on 15 October 2008. This international day, established by the General Assembly in its resolution 62/136 of 18 December 2007, recognizes “the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.”
Africa has great aspirations for the future. These are possible, but will require Africa’s agricultural sector and food systems to more rapidly and sustainably deliver incomes, food security, nutrition, and wider economic opportunities.The 2018 AGRF will take stock, evaluate actions, and learn from compelling evidence across the continent, presented by many of the most inspiring leaders turning agriculture into thriving enterprises. These leadership will include farmers, public sector thought leaders, private sector champions, agripreneurs, and many others.
The Global Climate Action Summit will showcase the actions states and regions, cities, companies, investors and civil society have taken already to reduce their emissions; secure bold commitments to do even more, show that decarbonization; job generation and resilient economic growth go hand-in-hand and galvanize a global movement for climate action that leaves no one behind. It will also be a launchpad for deeper worldwide commitments and accelerated action from countries—supported by all sectors of society—that can put the globe on track to realize the historic Paris Agreement.
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The world’s 200 million pastoralists find themselves on the frontline of climate change, contending with extreme temperatures, droughts and scarce resources.
While they face these challenges, they are also well-placed to offer lessons in how to adapt to these new conditions.
At this year’s Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock (GASL) meeting in Mongolia, two herders shared their experiences of striving for sustainability in livestock-keeping.
“Pastoralism is a very special livelihood,” said Elizabeth Katushabe, from the Pastoral and Environmental Network in the Horn of Africa, Uganda. “In Africa, livestock is a key social and economic asset. It’s very important to us.
“It’s the most viable livelihood in these complex and unique eco-systems.”
Elizabeth explained that as a people with an intimate knowledge of the land, pastoralists had important insights into their changing environment.
“Most people think that we move aimlessly. Herders move periodically with their livestock with a purpose – they move in search of these seasonal, scarce resources,” she added.
In many cases, pastoralists make use of land that is unsuitable for growing crops and so would otherwise be useless. It is estimated that two thirds of the world’s arable land cannot be used for cropping.
As well as traditional knowledge of land stewardship and livestock-keeping, Elizabeth explained that pastoralists were also making use of new technology, such as solar power to generate light and allow them to milk cows at night, when temperatures were cooler and flies were sleeping.
A new paper, presented at GASL, highlighted the importance of dairy interventions in poverty reduction, showing increases in household income of up to 600 per cent where cattle ownership or dairy production was improved.
In Mongolia, climate change is contributing to the challenge of maintaining adequate fodder for livestock, with as much as 65 per cent of rangeland now degraded.
“We have been seeing the negative consequences of climate change,” said Tseveenkhuu Buyannemekh, a Mongolian herder from Bogd Soum in Bayankhongor province.
“In the winter, it becomes extremely cold and, in the summer, it’s very hot. It’s difficult to do the hay-making in autumn time because of a lack of grass.
“If we grow some feed in summer time, it will help us generate more income.”
Tseveenkhuu explained that Mongolian herder groups had been agreeing land management plans with local authorities in recent years to help preserve the precious rangeland and improve productivity.
“We have been living for hundreds of years in this nomadic lifestyle,” he added.
“I have received good land from my ancestors and I aim to pass it on to future generations. I have daughters and when they are grown up, I believe they will continue being herders.”More information about the GASL meeting and its priorities is available online.
The Group of Seven (G7) is an informal grouping of seven of the world’s advanced economies consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The forum offers an opportunity for G7 Leaders, Ministers and policy makers to come together each year to build consensus and set trends around some of today’s most challenging global issues.
The European Union (EU) was first invited to attend the G7 in 1977 and the President of the European Commission has attended all of its sessions since 1981. Both the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission represent the EU at G7 summits.
Farmers are on the frontlines of weather events that challenge their work on a daily basis, putting in their production and revenues under threat. At the same time, the rapidly growing global population demands higher levels of food production, putting additional pressure on farming systems worldwide.
The WFO General Assembly will promote a thorough debate with the entire value chain, the research & development world and multilateral institutions on how to build a real farmer-driven agenda based on the best practices that farmers are already implementing, as practical solutions to climate change mitigation and adaptation.