FAO led a learning event looking at what tools and policies are required to bring food security, adaptation and mitigation together at the Agriculture and Rural Development Day taking place in Durban, South Africa on the sidelines of UN climate change talks COP17. Read more »
African smallholder farmers are in the eye of the climate change storm. Increased flooding and droughts have seen crop yields diminish as many farmers struggle to support their own livelihoods. With over 70 percent of the continent’s populations dependent on agriculture, this is a problem which cannot be ignored. While Africa contributes less than 3 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, it stands on the frontline of the economic and social consequences of climate change.At his keynote presentation on Saturday 3rd December at the third Agriculture and Rural Development Day (ARDD), President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Kanayo F. Nwanze urged that “negotiators must recognize the critical importance of enabling smallholder farmers to become more resilient to climate change and to grow more food in environmentally sustainable, climate-smart ways.” Read more »
Agriculture and Rural Development Day was a resounding success, with over 500 people participants and an excellent set of plenary presentations, small group “learning events,” and a fun engagement with the South African Minister of Agriculture. For me the highlights were threefold:
Farmers, researchers, and government officials alike recognize that adaptation to climate change must take place now. But how can this be done most effectively? It was clear from the ARDD learning event on lessons from the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA) program, funded by the Canada’s IDRC and UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), that one of the biggest challenges is the need for climate change adaptation solutions to be context specific. A one size fits all approach to policy will not work. This has led many researchers, practitioners and funders to focus on local participatory approaches to adaptation planning and building adaptive capacity. Read more »
In an interview with Moushumi Chaudhury, we learn about the importance of research in the area of gender and climate change. Moushumi is a CCAFS Science Officer working on linking knowledge with action, with a special focus on gender and climate change. Ms Chaudhury also focuses on partnership and communication.
What examples can you give about the differences in the division of labour between men and women farmers? How might climate change affect this situation?
Well, I can give you a few examples from research that has been done in each of the three regions where CCAFS is working.
In Tanzania, there’s a distinct division of labour between men and women regarding the collection of water. In over three-quarter of the households, women are responsible for getting water for cooking and other domestic uses. IPPC scenarios indicate that as many as 250 million people will face water scarcity as a result of climate change. So a decline in the availability of water may have a particularly pronounced impact on rural women in Tanzania. It may mean that they will need to walk farther and spend more time looking for water, giving them less time to grow food, earn money and care for the family. This will increase women’s burden of work. Read more »
Worldwide, there are opportunities for agriculture to contribute to efforts to adapt to climate change while supporting food security and the fight against poverty, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
To realise the true potential of climate-smart agriculture, international climate change negotiations must take into these opportunities into account, and adopt policies that create incentives for farmers, help finance projects, and fund continued agricultural research. A new booklet from the Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security helps push the agenda forward. Read more: Making the case for climate-smart agriculture – successful cases and a call for action (PDF)
To support a transition to climate-smart agriculture, researchers at the CCAFS program been busy developing a range of tools and options for effective climate adaptation and mitigation in agriculture. These include climate-information tools, an analogues tool, and options for smallholders to truly benefit from international climate finance mechanisms. Read more »
by Chase Sova
Angela Merkel said recently in an address to the German Parliament, that “marathon runners often tell you that [the race] gets particularly tough after 35km. But they also say that the whole distance can be completed if you are fully aware at the start of what you are about to do. It’s not the one who starts quickest who is necessarily the most successful, but the one who respects the whole feat.”
Merkel made these comments reflecting on the slow progress being made to tackle the Eurozone debt crisis, but the analogy applies to the climate discussions leading up to Durban. The relative, but unbinding success of COP 16 in Cancun last December has succeeded in fueling another round of high expectations in Durban – expectations that seem to ignore the realities of our global economy and international community.
The major topic of debate, for the sake of variety, is the parties’ ability to arrive at a legally binding agreement on the Bali Action Plan, Cancun Agreements or the future of the Kyoto Protocol. Also weighing in heavily in Durban, as it did in Copenhagen and Cancun, is the refueled discussion of who should be responsible for tackling emissions given the developed world’s historical responsibility and the emerging economies’ increasing contribution to GHGs. Read more »
Written by David Lansley and Kristin Donaldson, World Vision Australia.
Spent Saturday at the Agriculture and Rural Development Day (that’s OK – I don’t mind giving up my Saturday for a good cause). The line-up of speakers was impressive, including Sir John Beddington, former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, and World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte. Read more »
In 2010 a cluster of United Nations and pan-African organizations released a little book entitled Climate Smart Agriculture (PDF).
Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) “seeks to increase sustainable productivity, strengthen farmers’ resilience, reduce agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration.” The little book and the concept are getting a lot of attention here at COP17. Read more »
South Africa’s minister of agriculture, Tina Joemat-Petersson, knows a thing or two about negotiating tough issues. So, she had these words of advice for more than 500 representatives of leading agricultural institutions, as they gathered at Durban today to call for action on agriculture in the UN-sponsored climate change deliberations: Focus on a common message, bury your divisions, and stand together. Read more »
CCAFS Coordinating Unit - University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Rolighedsvej 21, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, phone +45 35331046; Email ccafs [at] cgiar [dot] org, EAN 5790000279012
Lead Center - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)