By Cecilia Schubert
The United Nations climate meetings in Bonn have now come to an end. On agriculture, there was much fruitful discussion and trust-building among parties. A contact group on agriculture met several times to share views informally. However, no formal decision on what the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) should recommend to the Conference of Parties (COP) on agriculture was made. Delegates chose to continue to exchange views on issues relating to agriculture (PDF) during COP18 in Qatar later this year. Read more »
Interview with gender grant recipient Some Laeticia, made by Moushumi Chaudhury and edited by Lisen Stenberg
In Burkina Faso’s agricultural sector, there are more women (52%) than men (48%), according to population analyses. Despite women making up of more than half of the labor force in agriculture, they have limited access to resources and extension services such as micro-credits, land rights, access to technology and know-how. And their contribution to their country’s current and future food security is not properly acknowledged either. “Gender equity is progressing in Burkina Faso” says Some Laeticia, Read more »
by Vanessa Meadu
A coalition of agriculture research and development organisations is working hard to put food and farming front-and-centre in next month’s Rio+20 conference, where world leaders will decide on the future framework for sustainable development.
Twenty years ago, the first United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development helped give birth to major international environmental treaties such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The 1992 meeting also shaped international and national discourse and environmental policies, and helped root the concept of sustainable development firmly into the mainstream. While even the UN environment chief has 'mixed' feelings as to whether the world has indeed achieved the goals laid out in 1992, it is certain that this year’s conference will help shape how sustainable development policies unfold for the next generation. Sustainable agriculture must not be left out. Read more »
By Joost Vervoort and Abdoulaye Moussa
What if governments in West Africa take a long-term perspective and play an active role in the development of climate-smart agriculture on a large scale - but also want to invest in women’s education, infrastructure, health care, the environment and other sectors? What are the socio-economic and political implications that would come up for such a broad push for development? What if catastrophe – such as a destructive crop disease - hits before governments have had the time to develop the capacity needed to adapt and respond to such crises? Conversely – what about a world where states are not proactive but where non-state actors (the private sector, NGOs, civil society) drive change, for better or for worse? What would be the limits and challenges in that case? What would be the consequences for agricultural development- such as changes to crop yields, changes in livestock production systems and agricultural land expansion- in any of these scenarios? How would these different worlds respond to the increasing pressures of climate change?
Why develop scenarios?
By Moushumi Chaudhury
Communication is key for changes to happen, but what might might be less known is how best to do it. Scientists can sometimes be viewed as being removed from “reality” where they make little effort to communicate science and understand local realities of farmers. They are also seen as designing research that is not demand driven because they do not listen or communicate with various actors around them. It could also be said, however, that non-scientists are also not engaging or communicating with the science community because they do not have access to scientists or because they speak a very different language from scientists, turning communications into a challenge. However, if we are to make transformative changes in the lives of farmers to improve their adaptive capacity or help mitigate greenhouse gases (GHG), we need to find innovative approaches to bridging communication gaps. Read more »
By Cecilia Schubert
Provision of climate services and weather data to small-holder farmers is important in order to adapt to an unpredictable climate. Without any knowledge of future conditions, there is no possibility to plan, which in turn might hinder investment and innovation among small-holder farmers in developing countries. The problem with today’s climate services is that they’re not reaching the end users and the most vulnerable, due to lack of understanding in how they can be reached effectively and timely. The importance of extension services for climate adaptation and the progress with the implementation of the Global Framework on Climate Services was discussed during a side event convened by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) at the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological (SBSTA) meetings in Bonn, Germany.
Progress with the global climate extension service framework Read more »
by Cecilia Schubert
“Small-holder farmers in developing countries are expecting urgent, decisive action coming out of the ongoing climate conference in Bonn”, said Manyewu Mutamba (SACAU) yesterday to a full packed audience at the Ministry of Transport in Germany. Mr Mutamba spoke as an official panelist at the United Nations intersession side event “The status of knowledge on how agriculture can contribute to adaptation and mitigation”, co-convened by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) at the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA).
With the inclusion of agriculture as a topic for discussion on the climate agenda, CCAFS took this window of opportunity to map out the importance of including agriculture in the future negotiations, not only for ensuring global food security but also because of its mitigation potential. Mr. Mutamba, together with moderator James Kinyangi, East Africa Regional Program Leader (CCAFS), and panelists Sonja Vermeulen, Head of Research (CCAFS), Henry Neufeldt from World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and Mohammed Asaduzzaman, Vice-Chair of the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change therefore showcased interlinked perspectives on how agriculture can contribute to adaptation and mitigation. The panel also discussed the prospects for a work program as a likely outcome from the SBSTA high level meetings.
by Cecilia Schubert
What do farmers need in order to adapt to climate change and build resilience? This topic was discussed vividly during the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) side event “Building resilience in the agricultural sectors for adaptation to climate change” held at the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) meetings. The ambition of the side event was to offer different perspectives and approaches for building resilience in agriculture for adaptation to climate change and pin down what we need to do in order to build resilience among farmers.
The side event took place on 15 May starting off with an introduction presentation by Alexandre Meybeck (FAO), signaling that now is really the time to showcase agriculture, to make sure it is discussed during the SBSTA meetings currently ongoing in Bonn, Germany. Read more »
By Cecilia Schubert
Dr Mohammed Asaduzzaman, Vice-Chair of the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change, writes in a newly published article about the importance of viewing agriculture as part of the climate change solution in the ongoing negotiations. At the moment, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (UNFCCC-SBSTA) meetings are taking place in Bonn, Germany, which is an opportunity for negotiators to address this one area that has received very little attention and its potantial role in both climate change adaptation and mitigation. Read more »
By Gopal Bhatta
Gopal Bhatta, Science Officer for the South Asia region, recently participated in a refresher workshop organized by Sheetal Ganj Gramodyog Sewa Samiti, New Delhi, India. The workshop included sessions that ranged from climate smart agriculture to group dynamics in resource management which attracted a total of 12 District Agriculture Officers and agriculture engineers from different parts of Nepal. Gopal talked to the officers about climate smart agriculture and how it could be piloted and up-scaled in different parts of Nepal. This blog post is a summary of the session held by Gopal Bhatta in late April.
Sensitizing climate change issues
In the first half of the workshop, the officers were sensitized on climate change issues that the world has been facing recently and will have to face in the upcoming future, in general but also in Nepal. The session started from general empirical findings from around the world followed by climate change evidences in Nepal. Participants discussed in depth the research findings that predicts decline in yield of major cereals in South Asia with rising global temperature. Nepal’s temperature has been increasing at 0.060C each year and the models predict that productivity of key crops will be reduced with this rising temperature and rainfall variability in Nepal in the near future. 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)