Synthesis Report on Climate Change, Agriculture and foodSecurity in the Comesa Region: Links between research and policy Presented at the ReSAKSS Stakeholder Workshop on Strategic Analysis to inform Agricultural Policy 11th June, 2012 WILFRED NYANGENA
Presentation Outline Background Study objectives State of climate change knowledge within COMESA Responding to climate change for food and livelihood security: Success Stories Summary, conclusion and policy implications
Background (1) Climate change poses a serious risk to agricultural production and food security in Africa. In SSA, negative impacts are expected from projected warming and rainfall deficits. These effects are likely to be more serious due to: Heavy dependence of the region on agriculture & natural resources Over-reliance on rain-fed agriculture Weak capacity to adapt to climate change The poor and marginalized groups are likely to suffer more.
Background (2) Predicted the negative impacts of climate change: Decline in crop yields leading to food insecurity by as much as 50% due to reduced growing seasons and increased temperatures (IPCC) Increase in crop and livestock pests and diseases Increase in vector borne diseases such as Rift Valley fever, and declining levels of fresh water bodies This could jeopardize achievement developmental of targets Many policies, programmes & projects are being implemented to respond to anticipated CC effects. Whether they are supported by scientific evidence remains unclear
Study Objectives Review literature on scientific research on climate change in the COMESA region Review policies, programmes & projects being implemented and evaluate how far they are informed by scientific evidence Draft a synthesis Report to inform researchers, policy makers, RECs and other stakeholders. Special focus is paid to: Climate science evidence, its accuracy and suitability for the region. Likely impacts of CC on food production systems and food security. Suggestions on appropriate adaptation practices based on existing evidence.
Research Method(s) In developing this synthesis we did a literature search of several peer reviewed articles, books, case studies on food security and climate change in the region. A summary of the area of coverage, issues, context, theme is provided in the appendix of the main report. The case studies enabled us to focus on a specific project and its context. The whole approach produced a richer understanding of issues and dynamics around food security and climate change.
State of CC knowledge in the COMESA region Climate Science and Trends: GHGs emissions approaching upper limit of the IPCC projected range Increased frequency of weather extremes About 600 million people in the region could face hunger and additional agricultural crop losses of an estimated $ 26 billion by 2060 (IPCC 2007). But too little is understood about the African climate, its drivers and their links to global warming Obvious implication is that we cannot be too confident about the major climate trends for the continent and even individual countries.
State of CC knowledge in the COMESAregion The challenges with using regional models as PRECIS & GCM: Only in few locations is the local data available in sufficient quality and quantity lack of regular, detailed information on the African weather Vast areas remain unmonitored which makes it very difficult to predict with any degree of accuracy
State of CC knowledge in the COMESA regionSocial, Economic and Environmental Disruption: Agriculture and food security will be greatly affected by climate change in SSA African countries may lose up to 47% of their agricultural revenue because of global warming Hydrological systems & water resources will also be negatively impacted But all studies reviewed have some glaring weaknesses or omissions: Most analyze climate change impacts on African agriculture in isolation . They disregard how changes in the global demand and supply patterns will affect the production and profitability of agricultural systems. There’s little quantitative understanding of how these agricultural impacts would affect economic livelihoods. Thus policy makers are not able to determine gainers & losers, and the magnitudes of gains or lose
Adaptation to climate change in the COMESA region Many initiatives have attempted: Livelihood diversification Migration from affected areas Development & adoption of appropriate technologies/innovations Investment in infrastructure & public welfare Use of indigenous knowledge Climate Smart Agriculture→which has its serious limitations Adaptation to climate change has been hampered by: Lack of awareness, induced by endemic poverty levels Limited and/or lacking policy which inhibit innovative adaptation of climate change technologies. Lack of pool of resources on which farmers can rely in determining the right adaptation strategies Lack of financial capital among already impoverished farmers The region, thus, needs innovative and proactive adaptation strategies to empower the communities
Regional CC Adaptation Initiatives Within EAC→ Kenya has NCCRS; the rest have NAPAS/NAMAS EAC has formulated CC Policy COMESA has CC initiative that seeks to address CC & to build economic & social resilience There is little coordination of the regional initiatives to avoid overlaps Also, it is not clear to what extent these initiatives are informed by science In 2011,EAC-COMESA-SADC Tripartite launched a five-year climate change strategy to harmonize climate change programs by the three regional blocs for successful adaptation and mitigation actions
CC Mitigation in the COMESA region A number of mitigation options have been identified: Carbon trading platforms→ unfortunately SSA is marginalized in carbon markets CDM projects which have mainly targeted the energy sector, overlooking agriculture The mitigation potential of the agricultural sector cannot be fully exploited under the CDM because: Uncertainties in measurement of carbon sequestration potential and reduction of GHG emissions has made it difficult for agricultural projects to be included under CDM WB and FAO have been at the forefront in promoting carbon trading initiatives in the agriculture sector
CC Mitigation in the COMESA region….. WB/FAO have encouraged farmers to utilize agricultural practices that maximize carbon stored in their fields The logic is that this carbon can then be measured, valued and traded on the market Creation of soil carbon credit markets is believed would increase small-farm productivity and mobilize private sector involvement in the sector However, participating in the carbon markets poses huge challenges to smallholder farmers: Huge costs involved in measurement and verification of the change in carbon emissions Most farmers have < 1 ha farmlands hence the amount of money they would receive from the carbon sequestered/year is likely to be very minute Technologies that increase soil carbon storage is quite costly Agricultural carbon sequestration from soil requires long term commitment and involve binding farmers to certain types of agricultural practices and land use patterns Smallholders could lack requisite information
Climate financing in the COMESA region Climate adaptation and mitigation are expensive activities to finance CDM has been one of the major sources of carbon financing but many countries in the region have been unable to take full advantage of it due to: Complex and stringent procedure to safeguard the integrity of the emission reduction credits The fact that Africa is a relatively small global player in terms of emission reduction Besides CDM, voluntary markets are evolving rather rapidly but quantitative data is lacking Basically, climate change adaptation or mitigation financing in the region remains low, and in some cases biased towards specific projects, mainly in the energy sector
Responding to CC for food and livelihood security: Case Studies Woodlot management in Makete District, Tanzania Before the project there was unsustainable land use which led to ecological degradation and limited farm productivity. Tanzania government and local communities, supported by development partners introduced woodlot management to improve smallholder livelihoods. User groups were assisted to develop their own woodlot operational plans and rules, in setting rates and prices for products and in determining how surplus income would be shared or spent. Results: Increased area under trees as well as the density of cover. Those working in woodland management and marketing of wood products benefited from research, gaining knowledge in species selection, land preparation, field planting and spacing, woodlot management, and marketing channels for wood products. Increased community income Makete District government achieved a 64% increase in council revenue through timber sales royalties
Case Studies…..Feed-in tariffs in Kenya Both biomass and petroleum are unsustainable owing to exhaustibility of biomass sources and high and unstable oil prices. The Kenyan government realized the potential of renewable energy In 2008 the government introduced feed-in tariffs Feed-in tariff is a policy instrument that compels the national grid operator to purchase electricity from renewable energy sources at a pre-determined price which is attractive enough for new investments in the renewable energy sector It is expected that it will enhance production of renewable energy; create employment and enhance poverty alleviation in rural areas; and increase income opportunities for business development.
Summary and Conclusion (1) Climate change is real and its effects are predicted to worsen, with serious implications on food security, incomes and livelihood systems. Most analyses have been done on large scales and this is likely to hide the actual micro-level implications. It’s also evident that there are very few peer reviewed papers by African scientists on practically all aspects of climate change Involvement of more foreign experts in analysis is perhaps an indication that either local capacity is lacking or there are no research funds or interest from local institutions. There is need to build a broad consensus now through credible climate change science covering various regions of Africa in better detail.
Summary and Conclusion (2) Governments have reacted by formulating policies and strategies to deal with climate change, both at national and regional levels. Main challenge lies in: Implementation of the identified priorities, a step that remains largely unfulfilled due to financial, technical and human capacity constraints Priority identification which may not be well embedded on science given the paucity of precise information on climate change at local scales. Despite its importance, little effort has been made to incorporate local knowledge into formal climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies No technological “silver bullet” that will quickly and painlessly transform contemporary SSA Long term targets for emissions reduction are essential if society is desirous to reduce the risk of dangerous climate change to acceptable levels
Policy issues Need for long-term investment towards building local capacity Rather than propose CSA, we should handle the well-known traditional barriers to existing agricultural practices (e.g. greater investment in critical infrastructure such as water, fertilizer use) for ensuring food security Need to improve the national and regional meteorological services to provide better weather forecasts that reach smallholder farmers Enhance early warning systems Need for a healthy relationship between scientific knowledge and traditional indigenous knowledge especially in SSA where technology for prediction and modeling is least developed.
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