29 November 2012

Africa: Charting the History of Agriculture and Climate Change

A new infographic that maps the progress of the agricultural sector in addressing climate change throughout the history of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations has been launched on the sidelines of this year's climate summit in Doha.

Launched ahead of Agriculture, Landscapes and Livelihoods Day 5 on December 3, The Story of Agriculture and Climate Change: The Road We've Travelled highlights significant events in the international calendar, such as the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, the initiation of REDD in 2005 and the first ever Agriculture and Rural Development Day in 2009.

"Agriculture is already being hard hit by climate change and the outlook is even worse. However there are many options for adaptation, and some of these even bring mitigation co-benefits," said Bruce Campbell, Director of the CGIAR Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security research program.

Agriculture supports over 1 million of the world's rural poor, yet is responsible for 80% of overall deforestation and an estimated 31 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. Increasing agricultural yields and improving farming techniques are just some the way that the sector could help reduce its overall contribution to climate change.

As such negotiators at COP18 in Doha must "support the unique role of agriculture in the global climate change response", argues Tracy Gerstle, co-Chair of Farming First.

The infographic features a call-to-action from 19 of the world's leading agricultural organisations, calling for the creation of a Work Programme on Agriculture under the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technology Advice (SBSTA) - a scientific advisory group to the UNFCCC.

It is hoped that a new SBSTA work programme would document and share knowledge of improved agricultural practices to inform decision-making around agriculture and climate change to the UNFCCC's Conference of the Parties as they prepare national strategies to address climate change.

"Now is the time to act. Farmers around the world are experiencing the impacts of climate change today and they need support if they are to adapt. Farming can also become part of the solution, given the potential of agriculture to mitigation," added Gerstle.

The infographic was created by Farming First, a coalition of farmers associations, engineers and scientists, in partnership with the CGIAR Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security research program (CCAFS) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).

Copyright © 2012 AlertNet. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.