Climate Change: Farmers' Solutions
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…
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.