Stories tagged: COP18

Voice of Agriculture at ALL5 Day: “UNFCCC negotiators, do you hear us? No agriculture, No deal!”

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:

  1. Identifying key national and sub-national information for decision making on adaptation strategies
  2. Developing landscape approaches for adaptation
  3. Issues in considering GHG measurements in agriculture
  4. Dialogue on Scaling Up Risk Management for Food Security and Agriculture
  5. Making climate finance work for rural poor
  6. 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.

A new programme could mitigate climate change and adapt food production for the future. Tracy Gerstle reports.

Blog originally posted on the Global Food Security blog

Tracy Gerstle

Climate change is at the top of the United Nations agenda from 26 Nov to 7 Dec in negotiations at the Eighteenth Conference of the Parties (COP18) in Doha, Qatar.   Since 1995, the annual climate talks of theUN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have served as an important platform to focus global attention on identifying and starting to address the causes and impacts of climate change.

Increasingly in the talks, countries are recognizing the unique role of agriculture in the global climate change response as well as the importance of securing future food security and the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of farming families, despite climate-induced pressures on productivity. In addition, agriculture can be part of the climate solution providing mitigation co-benefits.

Progress on addressing agriculture is slowed by the lack of a cohesive approach and under representation of the sector in the talks. Currently, agriculture is tangentially discussed in various processes including Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), the Nairobi Work Programme and the Adaptation Fund.

Countries should agree at COP18 to set up a work programme on agriculture under the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technology Advice(SBSTA) to put a cohesive approach to agriculture on the road map of the UNFCCC.

A SBSTA work programme would facilitate better understanding and use of scientific and technological methodologies needed to underpin action and international support for agricultural mitigation and adaptation. It would also help to identify win-wins and trade-offs between adaptation and mitigation strategies.

For instance, there is a growing body of research on farming practices and technologies that can assist farmers to adapt, but this knowledge needs to be synthesized, identifying proven methods and knowledge gaps—particularly as the potential solutions are very contextual.  For example, no-till agriculture (no ploughing) has been hailed by many as a good means of assisting farmers to conserve moisture in soil and therefore reducing water requirements while conserving organic matter which leads to healthier andmore productive soils. However, no-till is not suitable for all agro-environments and indeed in countries such as Malawi , India and Zambia recent research has shown that no-till actually reduces productivity.

A work programme that assesses each strategy and determines its viability in different contexts would go a long way to safeguard our global food supply amidst amounting climate pressures. It would also open up opportunities for increased private investments in the means for adaptation and mitigation, as the Green Climate Fund and the Technology Executive Committee will look to this process for recommendations and a base of public-private partnerships on which to build.

The agricultural community convenes

Farmers around the world are experiencing the impacts of climate change today. Productivity is shifting due to changing and more volatile weather conditions and temperatures. By 2050, if farmers are not assisted to meet these changes, agriculture yields will decrease with impacts projected to be the most severe in Africa and South Asia, with productivity decreasing by 15% and 18% (PDF), respectively.

We urgently need to safeguard our food supply and to ensure continued growth in economies where agriculture is an important sector. In addition, while prioritizing the adaptation challenges, we should not overlook agriculture’s significant as part of the solution to climate change. For example, every dollar ($1 USD) invested in agriculture results in 68kgC fewer emissions (PDF).

This is the fifth occasion on which the agriculture community will convene on the sidelines of the meeting to call attention to the sector. In Doha, farmers, scientists, businesses and NGOs will unite at Agriculture, Landscapes and Livelihoods Day (ALL-5) to share solutions for protecting our food supply and the livelihoods of farmers across the globe in the face of climate change.

At the opening of ALL-5, a new infographic produced by Farming First, in partnership with the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCFAS), was launched.  Entitled ‘The Story of Agriculture and Climate Change: The Road We’ve Travelled’, it highlights significant events leading up discussions on the future of agriculture at COP18, including the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, the first discussions of the impacts of climate change on agriculture in IPCC studies in 2001, the initiation of REDD in 2005 and the first ever agriculture day in 2009.

Nineteen of the of the world’s leading agricultural organisations, including the World Farmers organisation (WF), the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and CGIAR Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centres, have issued a joint call-to-action to urge negotiators to approve this SBSTA programme.

The momentum for this programme to be approved is there. Let’s make 2012 the year that a cohesive, holistic approach to agriculture is put on the UNFCCC’s road map.

To find out more visit the Global Food Security Blog

About Tracy Gerstle

Tracy is the Director for Global Public Policy at CropLife International, the trade association for the plant sciences industry. Tracy leads industry engagement on issues in food security, climate change and sustainability to the United Nations, the OECD and the CGIAR. Prior to joining CropLife, she served for over a decade with leading international NGOs including Mercy Corps and CARE as an advisor on economic and rural development, working in over 25 countries. Tracy also served as the lead facilitator on the Economic Recovery Standards for the Sphere Project and the SEEP Network, and has assisted a number of multinationals looking at social, economic, environmental issues in food and agricultural supply chains, including Cargill, the Starbucks Coffee Company, and Kraft.

The Story of Agriculture and Climate Change: The Road We’ve Travelled


This blog was originally posted on GGIAR’s Agriculture and Ecosystems Blog

This week, amidst the ongoing UN climate talks in Doha, farmers, scientists, businesses and NGOs will unite at Agriculture, Landscapes and Livelihoods Day (ALL-5) to share solutions for protecting our food supply and the livelihoods of farmers across the globe in the face of climate change.

To illustrate the hugely important role that agriculture plays in both the adaptation and mitigation of climate change, a brand new infographic produced by Farming First, in partnership with the CGIARResearch Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCFAS), has been launched.  Entitled ‘The Story of Agriculture and Climate Change: The Road We’ve Travelled’, it highlights significant events leading up to discussions on the future of agriculture at COP18, including the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, the first discussions of the impacts of climate change on agriculture in IPCCstudies in 2001, the initiation of REDD in 2005 and the first ever agriculture day in 2009.

UNFCCC to consider agriculture issues under SBSTA

This important road, however, is not yet at an end. In Durban in 2011, the UNFCCC agreed to consider issues relating to agriculture, under the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). This would mandate SBSTA to research, document and share knowledge of improved agricultural practices to inform decision-making around agriculture and climate change to stakeholders, as they prepare national strategies to address climate change.

Nineteen of the of the world’s leading agricultural organisations, including the World Farmers organisation (WFO), the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and CGIAR Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centres, have issued a joint call-to-action to urge negotiators to approve this SBSTA programme.

Farmers around the world are experiencing the impacts of climate change today. Productivity is shifting due to changing and more volatile weather conditions and temperatures. By 2050, if farmers are not assisted to meet these changes, agriculture yields will decrease with impacts projected to be the most severe in Africa and South Asia, with productivity decreasing by 15% and 18% respectively. We urgently need to safeguard our food supply and to ensure continued growth in economies where agriculture is an important sector.

 

Part of the climate change solution

In addition, while prioritizing the adaptation challenges, we should not overlook agriculture’s significance as part of the solution to climate change. Agriculture and land use change (primarily from deforestation) contribute an estimated 31% of total greenhouse gas emissions, yet improvements to crop yields to date already have saved 34% of total emissions.  Every dollar ($1 USD) invested in agriculture results in 68kgC fewer emissions.

The road agriculture has travelled at the climate talks is long, but we need to ensure it reaches the destination that millions of farmers desperately need.

We need to make 2012 the year that a cohesive, holistic approach to agriculture is put on the UNFCCC’s road map.

About the Author: Anette Friis, from the Danish Food & Agriculture Council, is the spokesperson for Farming First.

View the infographic and call to action here.