Beyond Copenhagen: Agriculture and Forestry Are Part of the Solution
14 December 2009
Forestry and agriculture are where poverty reduction, food security and climate change come together and must be addressed in an integrated fashion was the key message to negotiators from agriculture and forestry communities at Cop 15, today.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and sequestering carbon from agriculture and forests must be an essential component of any strategy to keep global warming below the 2 degree Celsius threshold. Climate adaptation and mitigation measures must have multiple sustainable development benefits, including conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
• Agree it is critical that food security be integrated in the shared vision of the Long Term Cooperative Action text, in order to open the door to adaptation and mitigation support;
• Urge climate negotiators to agree on the early establishment of an agricultural work program under the SBSTA ;
• Look for agreement that REDD include agriculture, forestry and other land uses;
• Believe that the LULUCF accounting system needs to be favorable to agriculture.
The agricultural community is committed to playing an active role in reducing emissions, while increasing the productivity and sustainability of agriculture. We recognize that agriculture must nearly double food production to meet the demands of a growing population expected to reach 9 billion by mid-century while minimizing the sector’s emissions.
The forestry community is committed to helping to design and implement new mechanisms to mobilize forests for climate mitigation and adaptation, while exploiting synergies with sustainable development objectives and managing associated risks. We recognize the significance of forest-based emissions and the cost-effectiveness of early action to reduce them. The most important drivers of deforestation originate from outside the forestry sector, including agriculture. There are also significant opportunities to correct current market and governance failures that lead to perverse outcomes for climate change and food security. Forest and agriculture based adaptation strategies are available, but not yet fully appreciated by policy-makers and the general public.
Significant financial resources and political will are needed to better address food security, slow deforestation and forest degradation, and reach emission reduction targets. Investments must be transparent and additional to support for global food security and rural development. These resources must be accessible to all stakeholders, including researchers, civil society and especially forest communities, farmers and their associations. Resources must also be devoted to the research necessary to underpin needed advances in the effectiveness, efficiency, and equity of agriculture and forestry-based approaches to mitigation and adaptation.
Policy processes need to be empowering and adaptive to respond to realities on the ground, the desires and aspirations of local communities, and ensure good governance. In particular, the role of local institutions in sustainable natural resources management should be given increased recognition, and the rights and roles of indigenous and local and farming communities especially women and young farmers must be recognized in developing national mitigation and adaptation strategies.
We commit to strengthening cross-sectoral cooperation to address the drivers of deforestation, enhance sustainable agricultural growth and foster rural development. We recognize that addressing climate change is fundamental to food security and poverty reduction today and for future generations.
Agriculture and Rural Development Day during COP15
With a focus on “The road after Copenhagen: priority strategies and actions for ensuring food security and rural development in the face of climate change”, the event will bring together policy makers and negotiators, rural development practitioners, producers, civil society and the agricultural and climate change scientific community to highlight the importance of agriculture in climate change and to identify the ‘no-regret’…
With a focus on “The road after Copenhagen: priority strategies and actions for ensuring food security and rural development in the face of climate change”, the event will bring together policy makers and negotiators, rural development practitioners, producers, civil society and the agricultural and climate change scientific community to highlight the importance of agriculture in climate change and to identify the ‘no-regret’ priorities for agriculture and food security where the world needs to take action.