UNFCCC Toolkit: Engagement (Learning) 2

UNFCCC toolkit page
The role of the UNFCCC and SBSTA

The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) is one of two permanent subsidiary bodies to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established by the Conference of the Parties (COP) and the Conference and Meeting of the Parties of the Kyoto protocol (CMP). It supports the work of the COP and the CMP through the provision of timely information and advice on scientific technological matters as they relate to the Convention or the Kyoto Protocol.

SBSTA can act as a hub for agriculture and can handle the very unique aspects of agriculture in a way that cannot be handled elsewhere. SBSTA can also inform the various aspects of the UNFCCC so that agriculture is better incorporated into the various convention mechanisms.

Agriculture was discussed at the SBSTA meeting in June 2013, with parties agreeing on a text to be adopted. This text calls for submissions and workshops on agriculture. Key points of the text included:

  • The SBSTA invited Parties and admitted observer organisations to submit to the secretariat by 2 September 2013 their views on the current state of scientific knowledge on how to enhance the adaptation of agriculture to climate change impacts while promoting rural development, sustainable development and productivity of agricultural systems and food security in all countries, particularly in developing countries.
  • The SBSTA requested the secretariat to organise an in-session workshop at SBSTA 39 (November 2013). It further requested the secretariat to prepare a report on the workshop for consideration at SBSTA 40 (June 2014).


Explanation of the role of the UNFCCC and SBSTA, and why this is so important for agriculture.


The Story of Agriculture and Climate Change: The Road We’ve Travelled infographic from Farming First illustrates the role of agriculture in climate change discussion from their initiation at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 to present day.

  • This infographic can be used to illustrate the important role of agriculture in addressing climate change so that a new era of agricultural innovation and knowledge sharing can be achieved. Specifically, to advocate for approval of a work programme for agriculture under (SBSTA), in order to advance scientific and technical understanding and to inform decision-making on agriculture’s role in addressing future food security and climate change challenges.
  • SBSTA undertook 5 workshops in 2005 to address the scientific, technical and socio-economic aspects of mitigation of climate change.
  • Several sessions of these workshops discussed “Agriculture, forestry and rural development”