1. Voluntary offset Program to reward farmers for sustainable
    agricultural practices – November 2009
    This initiative is provided by the National Farmers
    Union (NFU), United States of America.
    Further resources

    National Farmers Union (NFU) of the United States has
    put in place in 2007 a voluntary offset program for farmers
    and ranchers to contribute to overall greenhouse gas (GHG)
    emission reductions through practices that sequester carbon
    and reduce emissions from livestock. Agricultural offsets
    provide the easiest and most readily available means of
    reducing GHG emissions on a meaningful scale in the U.S.A.
    while providing additional carbon sinks and associated cobenefits.

    NFU’s Carbon Credit Program allows agricultural producers and landowners to earn income by storing carbon in their soil through no-till crop production, conversion of cropland to grass, sustainable management of native rangelands and tree plantings on previously non-forested or degraded land. In addition, the capture of methane from anaerobic manure digester systems can also earn carbon credits.

    Monitoring and evaluation
    Protocols are in place to ensure science-based conservation
    practices, credit rates, third-party verification, full accountability in the event of non-compliance, and reserve pools of credits.

    NFU as aggregator of carbon offsets
    NFU has earned approval from the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) to aggregate carbon offsets (carbon credits) and sell
    them on behalf of producers. The NFU enrols producer
    acreage into blocks of marketable offsets that are traded on
    the Exchange, much like other agricultural commodities are
    sold. Proceeds from the sales are then forwarded to producers as each pool of carbon credits is marketed.

    NFU’s carbon credits as additional sources of income
    Farmers Union or other aggregators are the bridge between
    agricultural producers and the market for carbon offsets. For
    producers who can commit to a management system, carbon credits are an additional source of income.

    NFU’s Carbon Credit Program wrote more than $9.5 million
    in carbon credit checks to producers to date.

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  2. Agriculture: Where Poverty Reduction, Food Security and Climate Change Intersect
    Statement of Outcomes from Agriculture and Rural Development Day
    12 December 2009, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen

    A group of more than 300 policymakers, farmers and scientists meeting in Copenhagen today urged on negotiators at the United Nations Climate Change Conference to recognize agriculture’s vital role in climate change adaptation and mitigation.

    The group strongly endorsed the proposed target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to avoid a temperature increase of more than 2 degrees C. They stressed that reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture is essential for achieving the target. Farmers and researchers are already finding climate change solutions. On that basis, the agricultural community intends to play a pro-active role in actions aimed at reducing emissions, while increasing the productive capacity of agriculture through the development of sustainable practices.

    Agriculture faces the challenge of nearly doubling food production in order to meet the food needs of a population expected to reach 9 billion by mid-century but without increasing the sector’s emissions.. Across most of the tropics, agriculture will continue to face the enormous challenge of adapting to harsh and unpredictable growing conditions.

    To meet the climate challenge, substantial additional financing and investment will be needed across the entire rural value chain. New investments must be handled transparently to ensure that adaptation and mitigation are not undermined by reduced support for global food security and rural development. In addition, new investment must be accessible to all stakeholders, including researchers and members of civil society, especially farmers and their associations.

    Specifically, the group urged climate negotiators to agree on the early establishment of an agricultural work program under the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA).

    Agriculture and Development Day was organized by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development, the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, the International Federation of Agriculture Producers, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Global Forum for Agricultural Research, the Earth System Science Partnership.

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Climate Change: Farmers' Solutions

World Farmers

Agriculture everywhere is significantly impacted by climate change. At the same time, agriculture stands as a central player in contributing to solutions to climate change and other world challenges. In order that this potential can be realized, agriculture…

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Agriculture everywhere is significantly impacted by climate change. At the same time, agriculture stands as a central player in contributing to solutions to climate change and other world challenges. In order that this potential can be realized, agriculture must be included in any Copenhagen agreement on climate change.
Agriculture is very vulnerable to climate changes. Yet, most of the world’s population is engaged in the agricultural sector, and this sector provides the essential services needed for life, including: food, feed, fiber, energy and ecosystem services. Farmers, especially women farmers, interact daily with the environment, are thus well placed to implement sustainable agricultural practices that help adapt to and mitigate climate change while benefiting rural and urban populations.
Climate change should be integrated into the broader development context, taking into account hunger, environment, finance etc. Actions to adapt to climate change through an integrated approach to land and water management are urgently needed to secure sustainable development.

The Specificity of the Agricultural Sector has to be Recognized
Agriculture is different by nature and must be differentiated from other sectors Most of agriculture’s green house gas (GHG) emissions are directly linked to natural biological cycles. The future accounting framework should allow a distinction to be made between anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic emissions. Farmers cannot be held accountable for natural biological processes.
The origin, monitoring and reporting of emissions from agricultural land is inherently different from those associated with fossil fuels. Agriculture should not be penalized for natural emissions that are beyond human control, independent from management effects. Natural emissions are due to climate conditions such as variable rainfall, drought and bush fires.
Agriculture cannot compete with other sectors in terms of cost-efficiency in reducing GHG emissions, unless there is inclusion of the carbon sequestration and displacement potential - using soil and land use change as a carbon sink - along with energy efficiency improvements and supply of renewable energies embedded within the agricultural sector.

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