by Vanessa Meadu
In Sri Lanka, where climate change is expected to contribute to rising temperatures and changes in the quantity and distribution of rainfall, there are serious concerns about the impacts on farming. This extends to the livelihoods of smallholder farmers who rely on the land for income, and also the food security of Sri Lankans who rely on key crops for food.
The International Water Management Institute (IWMI), which has been working in partnership with Sri Lankan government agencies in 2009, has made a significant contribution to the development of Sri Lanka’s climate change adaptation policies. Read more »
by Cecilia Schubert
In Kenya, the government recently made a list of agricultural technologies, such as agroforestry and conservation tillage, that they believe could reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while building resilience. At the same time, Peru is planning a nationwide program that will scale up agricultural waste-to-energy initiatives.
A bit further up north, Costa Rica, is developing a mitigation strategy for its coffee sector, responsible for about 25 per cent of their agricultural GHG emissions. As a step towards their goal to become carbon neutral by 2021, the country is suggesting to apply nitrogen fertilizers more efficiently and establish coffee agroforestry systems.
So, what do these mitigation activities have in common? Read more »
The New York Times has published a piece by Bruce Campbell, on the failure of the UN Climate Talks to properly address issues of agriculture and food security. Bruce, who is director of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) writes:
Another round of international negotiations on climate change wrapped up in Doha, Qatar, last week without a major consensus on emissions. [...] Strikingly, though, there was a lack of consensus on addressing agricultural adaptation. Efforts to implement a formal program that addresses the dire problem of food security ended without agreement and the issue was punted to June for additional discussion.
But outside of diplomatic circles, a different consensus is forming — one that does not rely on negotiations. People are noticing that climate change has already taken hold. [...] Many governments are not waiting for an international consensus before taking action.
Countries are already taking action by implementing large scale initiatives that help farmers in a changing climate. CCAFS presented these solutions in Doha, along with a report detailing each of the case studies.
Read the full story: The Farming Forecast Calls for Change - New York Times, December 12 2012
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.
Climate funds for reducing greenhouse gas emissions can benefit small farmers and help achieve development objectives, according to a new report from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and EcoAgriculture Partners.
In a detailed study of six African agricultural carbon projects, researchers found that communities are benefiting from a range of activities related to planting and managing trees on farms. The carbon projects include the Humbo Ethiopia Assisted Natural Regeneration Project, coordinated by World Vision, which was the first African forestry project to be registered under the Kyoto Protocol, and the Cocoa Carbon Initiative in Ghana, which is working to improve tree cover while enhancing sustainability of cocoa production, which many farmers rely on for income. Read more »
The 2011 Global Food Policy report was launched today by the International Food Policy Institute (IFPRI), one of the centers participating in the CGIAR Climate Change, Agriculture , and Food Security (CCAFS) program. The report highlights the good news and the bad, related to food security in the last year including more political attention and better thinking on agriculture as part of a wider food system (good), and rising food prices and severe droughts (bad). Read more »
Co-written by: James Kinyangi and Maren Radeny
Following the conclusion of the COP17 Durban talks on Climate Change in December 2011, Parties agreed to mandate the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA) to consider issues related to agriculture and to prepare a decision to be adopted at COP18 later this year in Qatar. Consequently, Parties and Observer Organizations are expected to make submissions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat on issues relating to agriculture as well as on agricultural elements of a Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) by 5 March 2012. Read more »
Story by Christine Negra.
Following the release of The Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change report “Achieving Food Security in the Face of Climate Change: Summary for Policy Makers”, the Commissioners brought their recommendations to the climate change meetings in Durban.
On December 2, at a side event hosted by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on “Climate-Smart Agriculture – a transformative approach to food security, adaptation and mitigation,” Ethiopian Commissioner Prof Tekalign Mamo, talked about the challenges farmers encounter in taking up agro-ecological approaches. Despite widespread recognition that these approaches are key to building climate resilience, practices such as soil-building through organic material residues can be hard to implement when these materials are needed also for fuel and fodder. As pointed out by the Commission, Prof Mamo emphasized that one-size-fits-all solutions are not the answer given the specific needs and lifestyles of farmers, households and communities. To achieve feasible, integrated solutions, the critical elements are knowledge sharing, institutional support, and gender-focused extension services that interact with empowered farmers organizations. On December 5, Prof Mamo again shared his experiences and the Commission’s findings as a panelist at a climate-smart agriculture side event at the Africa Pavilion, where African farmers, researchers and high-level politicians joined to share opportunities and challenges for Africa.
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 »
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)