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Climate Smart Agriculture

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There is a renewed interest in the role of agriculture at the climate change negotiations, as evidenced by a number of interesting side-events during COP 16 in Cancun. The reason is simple: …

There is a renewed interest in the role of agriculture at the climate change negotiations, as evidenced by a number of interesting side-events during COP 16 in Cancun. The reason is simple: Agriculture and related activities account for a third of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, most of which can be mitigated, an opportunity that policy makers simply cannot afford to miss. What’s more, some of the techniques that sequester carbon have the added advantage of building the water-retention capacity and nutrient content of soils, hence contributing to a triple-win situation where mitigation, adaptation and yield increases are all addressed.
In response to this, SIANI and Sida arranged a one-day workshop on the theme From Source to Sink: How to make Agriculture part of the Solution to Climate Change while contributing to Poverty Alleviation? The main purpose of the workshop was to link the multiple potentials of agriculture to other development goals such as over-all poverty alleviation and food security, with particular reference to the needs of smallholder farmers who make up 70% of the world’s poorest people.

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  • 1. Climate-smart AgriculturePeter HolmgrenFAO
  • 2. Peter Holmgren, FAO3 November 2009
  • 3. Two Goals of Our Time1. Achieving Food Security– 1 billion hungry– Food production to increase 70% by 2050– Adaptation to Climate Change critical2. Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change– ”2 degree goal” requires major emission cuts– Agriculture and Land use = 30% of emissions..– ..and needs to be part of the solution
  • 4. Climate Change and Food SecurityClimate Change, Food and Security
  • 5. Overlaps, Synergies andTrade-offsNational ->InternationalNational ->LocalClimateUNFCCC“Carbon”BiodiversityCBD“Species”Food SecurityWSFS“Calories”+ Human rights,Health, Trade,Education, .....LOCALREALITIESGLOBALOBJECTIVES
  • 6. Action Can helpFoodSecurityCan help meetCCMitigationIncrease productivity (yields perarea) under environmental andsustainability constraintsYes (yes)Reduce expansion of agriculture andsustainable forest managementYesEffective water use Yes (yes)Reduce losses in / more efficientagricultural practisesYes YesReduce losses in food processing andhandlingYes YesImprove agricultural markets andincentivesYes YesCarbon sequestration in vegetationand soil(yes) Yes
  • 7. But solutions also depend on• Demographic changes– population– urbanization• Economic growth• Structural changes in agriculture• Consumption patterns
  • 8. Remember:Climate change mitigationwill never be the main goalfor agriculture.
  • 9. Climate-smart AgricultureAgriculture that sustainably:• increases productivity• increases resilience (adaptation)• reduces/removes GHGsAND• enhances achievement of nationalfood security and development goals
  • 10. Key messages 1: Practises• Climate-smart practices exist• Ecosystem approach at landscapelevel is crucial• Investments are needed in– filling data and knowledge gaps– R&D of technologies, methodologies– conservation and production of varietiesand breeds
  • 11. Key messages 2: Policies• Smallholders need institutional andfinancial support for the transition• Strengthened institutions fordissemination and coordination• Consistency between agriculture,food security and climate changepolicies
  • 12. Key messages 3: Finance• Available financing, current andprojected, are substantially insufficient• Combining finance (public/private,climate change/food security) improvesoptions• Fast-track financing must take sector-specific considerations into account
  • 13. On scope of agriculturemitigation• It is not only about soils.• Vegetation in agriculture landscapeshas a very large potential• Emission reductions per producedunit will be a major contribution
  • 14. On MRV and Monitoring• Often said to be an obstacle• but, Don’t Worry!• Some consolation:– No need to measure Carbon oremissions everywhere– Only at strategic levels do we need tomonitor actual emissions– At operational levels, focus will be onproxies that help implement policies
  • 15. Links to REDD+• Emissions from forests are largelycaused by agriculture• So REDD+ is largely to be achievedin the agriculture sector• Which means that climate-smartagriculture should be included inREDD+ strategies and finance
  • 16. FAO actions• MICCA Programme– Mitigation of Climate Change in Agriculture– Knowledge – emissions, mitigation potentials– Pilots of mitigation payments• EX-ACT – incorporating climate impact inagriculture investment projects• Adaptation Framework Programme– Brings together adaptation in all FAO work areas• UN-REDD Programme
  • 17. Two GoalsAchieving Food SecurityAvoiding DangerousClimate ChangeWe must reach both.
  • 18. Peter Holmgren, FAO3 November 2009

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