By Joost Vervoort
What does the future hold for food security in East Africa? How do uncertain future socio-economic developments, such as changes in the degree of regional collaboration or changes in policies oriented to rural development, change East Africa’s capacity for climate adaptation and mitigation?
The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) has explored how different political and socio-economic futures for East Africa may affect food security and environmental change in the region, and how this may affect the region’s vulnerability to future climate change. These futures have been captured in four scenarios, developed and used by stakeholders from governments, civil society, the private sector, academia and the media in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Burundi.
WATCH: How scenarios are developed with regional partners
By Vivian Atakos
Kenya recently launched the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) that will guide the transition of the country towards a low carbon climate resilient development pathway.
The plan further encourages people centered development, ensuring that climate change actions support the achievement of Kenya’s development goals. Read more »
By Vanessa Meadu
Agriculture has taken a long and winding path through the global climate talks in the last decade. This despite two basic facts: climate change will affect the food we eat, and the food we eat contributes to climate change.
As the 18th round of UN Climate Change talks kicks off in Doha this week, the discussion will center on how to develop approaches that safeguard livelihoods (particularly of poor farmers) in a changing climate, while reducing agriculture’s climate footprint.
We’ll hear about success stories, innovative new ideas, and other solutions in the coming days, including an official side event on 29 November on Lessons learnt from scaling-up actions on food security, adaptation and mitigation and Agriculture Landscapes and Livelihoods Day on 3 December.
Meanwhile we have joined with other research groups, civil society and the private sector to call for action at COP18 – scroll down to read more and click the image to enlarge.
Vanessa Meadu manages communications for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). Follow the latest developments from the UN climate talks in Doha on our blog, on twitter @cgiarclimate and #ALLForest.
by Lini Wollenberg
Smallholder farmers in developing countries can contribute significantly to climate change mitigation. However, to have any meaningful impact on emissions, thousands if not millions of farmers will need to change their practices. For that to happen interventions will need to be scaled up and a wider range of incentives put into place. While selling carbon credits will work for some farmers, wider mitigation impacts are likely if climate finance and other sources of funds can be channeled through existing financial and technical services to directly support farmers’ needs. How can governments and others give farmers the incentives and support they need to transition to low emission agriculture in ways that are aligned with farmer’s livelihood and food security priorities? Read more »
By Chase Sova
Persistence and diversification. Oddly enough, these two themes prove common between successful climate change adaptation, as well as getting to meet the Prime Minister of Nepal, Mr. Baburam Bhattarai. At least, this is the light-hearted lesson that The Adaptation to progressive climate change- and Oxford University Research Team drew from their recent meeting with the Prime Minister in early August. 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 »
Last month’s UN climate conference in Durban achieved only modest progress for food and farming. Now, a group of international agriculture experts say this is is not enough, given the crucial role of agriculture in feeding people and sustaining livelihoods and economies worldwide, not to mention helping millions to adapt to a changing climate.
In an article published last Friday in Science, top agricultural scientists have outlined how the research world can develop the knowledge needed to support inclusion of agriculture and food security in climate change policies, and get agriculture at the top of the climate agenda.
The analysis, What Next for Agriculture After Durban?, was co-authored by a group that includes members of the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change, chaired by Sir John Beddington; many of the recommendations are informed by the Commission’s seven key actions for Achieving Food Security in the Face of Climate Change released in November. The Commission was set up by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS - that's us) to provide concrete policy options for food security in a changing climate. Read more »
African farmers, researchers and high-level politicians join to push climate-smart agriculture to the forefront at COP17 in Durban
“We must deliver the resources poor farmers need to sustain their lives,” said Honourable Professor Jumanne A. Maghembe, Tanzania’s Minister of Agriculture to a crowded room at the Africa Pavilion. He spoke to the opportunities and challenges of climate-smart agriculture for African farmers, one of the hottest, and sometimes contentious, issues at this year’s UN Climate Conference in Durban.
Prof. Maghembe was joined by Professor Tekalign Mamo, a State Minister at the Ministry of Agriculture in Ethiopia, as well as the leaders of African farmers unions’ from Southern, Eastern and Western Africa; the common message was clear – negotiators at COP17 must put agriculture up front and centre. The UNFCCC has largely ignored agriculture, especially the adaptation benefits. Climate smart agriculture can help African farmers adapt to climate change and safeguard their food security and livelihoods, while enhancing their ecosystems and supporting mitigation.
In Africa, the biggest threat to poor farmers is the increase in unexpected extreme events that come with climate change. Prof. Maghembe described the vicious cycle of droughts and floods that are currently affecting areas of East Africa, killing livestock and destroying farms. “Where are the priorities for agriculture faced with these conditions?” he asked.
There are solutions 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 »
Today, leading scientists from the BRICS+ countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - plus Indonesia and the United States) have joined to call for an agricultural work programme under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The call is directed at negotiators who are currently gathered in Durban to decide on the future of a global climate treaty. The call comes out of a conference in Beijing last month on food security, which was coordinated by CCAFS partners at the International Food Policy Research Institute
The experts say agricultural research expenditures must be increased substantially to address the needs for agricultural adaptation and mitigation, and highlight twelve priority areas for research, including pests and diseases, storage losses, land use change, international trade, and human capital development. 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)