Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) day during the COP16 climate negotiations

4 December 2010.  Cancún, Mexico. More than 400 experts, including policymakers, farmers, scientists and representatives from the private sector and civil society, came together for the Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) day during the COP16 climate negotiations. The goal of the ARD day was to identify and discuss the best practices and technologies for the agricultural sector to help meet climate mitigation and adaptation targets, while advocating for the inclusion of agriculture in the new global climate agreement being discussed.

The one-day event featured keynote speeches, roundtable discussions, a marketplace of ideas and exhibits.


Giving farmers the knowledge and incentives needed to incorporate new farming techniques requires an aligned global policy environment and complementary regulatory frameworks, stated Bruce Campbell, Director of the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

Yet Farming First spokesperson Morgane Danielou of the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) highlighted that, "Solutions to climate change and food security need to be tailored to local conditions and local needs." She continued, "Public-private partnerships between research organizations, governments and industry are important collaborations to help adapt agricultural technologies to the unique climate situations faced around the world."

Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA), for example, brings private and public sector researchers together to improve the drought-tolerance of African maize varieties using conventional breeding, marker-assisted breeding, and biotechnology. The food company Danone has also partnered with IUCN and the Ramsar Convention to restore biodiversity and develop significant carbon offset programmes, such as mangrove restoration projects which have planted hundreds of millions of mangrove trees along coastlines next to vulnerable farming communities.

"If left unaddressed, climate change will seriously impact farmers' ability to grow sufficient crops, potentially leading to a world where food security is a luxury enjoyed by a minority," emphasised Howard Minigh of CropLife International. "The good news is that science is already helping farmers to do more with less, and we can intensify that effort to help reduce agriculture's carbon emissions."

Interview with Bruce Campbell (Director CCAFS)
Interview with Rodney Cooke (IFAD)
Interview with Yemi Katarere (UN-REDD Secretariat)
Interview with Lindiwe Sibanda (FANRPAN)
Interview with Pauline Kalunda (Ecotrust Uganda)

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