Monday, 14 December 2009

Copenhagen Agriculture and Rural Development Day

12 December 2009. "Agriculture and Rural Development Day," a day-long event at the University of Copenhagen with more than 300 policy makers, negotiators, rural development practitioners, producers, civil society and leaders from the agricultural and climate change scientific community. The purpose of the event was to assemble a plan for incorporating agriculture into the post-Copenhagen climate agenda.

The event took place in parallel with the United Nations Climate Change Conference, including the fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the fifth Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 5), held in Denmark from 7-18 December 2008.

The Agriculture and Rural Development Day was co-hosted by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security, the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development, and the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. The event was attended by over 350 participants, including representatives from governments, UN and international agencies, business, NGOs, academia and farmers.

The key objectives of the meeting were to build consensus on ways to fully incorporate agriculture into the post-Copenhagen climate agenda and to discuss strategies and actions needed to address climate change adaptation and mitigation in the agriculture sector. Participants heard two keynote presentations during the opening session in the morning, and also attended four parallel roundtables before lunch. In the afternoon, there was a presentation by the US Secretary of Agriculture, and an “ideas marketplace” to provide an informal opportunity for dialogue and information exchange. The closing plenary was held in the early evening, during which a synthesis from the roundtables and a summary of the day were presented, followed by the premier of the film feature “Hope in Climate Change.”

The results of the Agriculture and Rural Development Day will be presented, along with outcomes from Forest Day and the FAO Climate Change and Food Security event, at a COP 15 Side Event on Monday afternoon, 14 December, titled: “Beyond Copenhagen: Agriculture and Forestry are Part of the Solution. How can forestry and agriculture help to mitigate climate change and feed 9 billion people by 2050?”

Hereunder is the speech of Dr Lindiwe Sibanda, CEO of FANRPAN, on agriculture and climate change:

Lindiwe Sibanda said the session had identified the key elements necessary to inform the negotiators at COP 15 on how agriculture should be addressed. She stressed that food security and climate change are inseparable, and questioned to the best way to communicate the message to ensure that agriculture is a part of the agreement. She identified priorities highlighted in the conference, such as: food provision; addressing overconsumption and waste; the role of women; sustainable land uses; the need to look at biofuels in a pragmatic manner; addressing invasive species; having small farmers and large producers accrue the benefits of the carbon trade; the need for clear communication and clean technologies; literacy; modalities to access financing; and bottom-up approaches. She said that all farmers have a stake in agriculture and climate change and need to speak with one voice, and cautioned against compartmentalizing agriculture.

Related: Africa Adapt at COP15 / AfricaAdapt à la COP15

IISD 12/12 Agriculture and Rural Development Day 2009

US Department of Agriculture 14/12 Vilsack highlights role of agriculture in climate change
Farmers Guardian 14/12 Copenhagen focus switches to farming
The Independent (blog) 14/12 Reversing climate change needs help from stewards of the land
Daily Nation 13/12 Food plan gives lifeline to the hungry
Reuters 12/12 Farmers must earn carbon market rewards