Integrating agriculture into climate change initiatives

Adeze Ojukwu

Do you know that more than, half of the world’s population, relies on agriculture and related businesses for survival?

Hence, experts and stakeholders are of the view, that agricultural initiatives should be integrated in the global climate change, especially among developing nations.

The agriculture sector, including crops, forestry, livestock, fisheries and aquaculture, is critical in the global response to climate change.

Pepper Soup a popular Nigerian delicacy among the Igbo people.


Jollof rice, a Nigerian delicacy

‘To sustainably achieve food security, agriculture must adapt to changing climatic conditions. At the same time, the sector offers major opportunities for climate change mitigation through GHG emission reductions and carbon sequestration. Many adaptation and mitigation options in agriculture hold potential for synergies.’

Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) in a recent report said ‘policies must support a transformation toward more productive, resilient and sustainable agriculture and food systems.’
‘For instance, policies aim to reform input subsidies and to adjust direct support mechanisms. Coherence between climate change, agriculture and food security policy processes is vital to accomplish this transformation.’

FAO said it supports national governments to assure coherence for instance by promoting collaboration between national stakeholders across ministries and sectors.

Clearly the campaign to ensure that countries must embrace new policies on agriculture and climate is gaining ground.

John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy on Climate, underscored this critical role of the agriculture and food sectors for achieving the global emissions goal of net zero by 2050, during the Glasgow COP26.

One of the events highlighted the potential merits of agroecology compared to other forms of CSA that may include soil-degrading chemicals.

Another event highlighted the findings of a Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO), regional analysis of NDCs for countries in the Near East and North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Experts harped on the fact that agriculture and food sectors are critical to achieve net zero emissions, and a series of events on the COP 26 sidelines explored aspects of this transition.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) convened the following discussions during the second week of the Glasgow Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 26), with one introducing a new private sector facility for climate action in agriculture and land use.

According to a statement from SDG Knowledge Hub, An event on 8 November explored the ways in which emissions-intensive sectors, like agriculture and land use, can decarbonize, and how can the private sector help. The event, Engaging the private sector to implement agriculture and land use priorities of NDCs and NAPs, brought together private sector actors in the agriculture and land use sectors to discuss their work in developing public-private partnerships based on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs).

It was organized by the Scaling up Climate Ambition on Land Use and Agriculture (SCALA) programme, which is jointly run through the FAO and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

During the event, Birte Derrix, International Climate Initiative (IKI), German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), described the SCALA programme’s work to use NDCs and NAPs as pathways to build adaptation in the land use and agriculture sectors. Srilata Kammila, UNDP, introduced a new private sector Technical Assistance Facility for SCALA. The facility will draw on lessons learned under SCALA and apply them to non-SCALA countries, allowing those countries to explore different ways to engage with the private sector.
She said least developed countries will be prioritized in the first round of the Technical Assistance Facility, but that all developing countries will eventually be able to apply for its services.
Participants at November 9, event discussed the requirements for a green and climate-resilient agriculture sector to emerge.

They identified the need for an integrated approach across thematic areas as well as at the institutional level, and ensuring that local work is supported by coherent government policies as well as adequate financing options.

John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy on Climate, underscored the critical role of the agriculture and food sectors for achieving the global emissions goal of net zero by 2050. Xiaoling Yang, on behalf of Xie Zhenhua, Special Envoy for Climate Change, China, highlighted that more than half of the world’s population makes its living through food systems, including its production and the supply/value chains. In closing remarks, Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General, called for system-based approaches in food production with greater socio-economic benefits, less impact on the environment, and more resilience against shocks and threats.

An event on November 10, titled ‘Voices from the Field: Participatory Approaches of Climate Smart Agriculture Practices (CSA), Farmer Field Schools (FFS) and indigenous Chakra Systems,’ highlighted the potential of community-based, bottom-up strategies in agriculture to implement and scale up climate change commitments.

Participants noted the potential merits of agroecology compared to other forms of CSA that may include soil-degrading chemicals and the need to integrate science and traditional knowledge and how best to do this as well as best practices in the implementation of sustainable agriculture.

Discussions also referred to national agriculture policy in Senegal currently incorporating agroecology to test its effectiveness and the importance of farmers’ and indigenous know-how and placing learning and decision making in farmers’ hands.

They also discussed ‘the myth’ that soil-degrading synthetic fertilizers are needed for higher yields; the need for evidence-based technical and participatory interventions to make CSA sustainable.

Other related topics were the need to recognize that some CSA represents improvements over traditional methods and a holistic approach requires connecting all angles, including research, FFSs, and CSA and linking CSA and sustainable agriculture practices.

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