In November 2010, the first Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change in The Hague, The Netherlands brought together the agendas of agriculture, food security and climate change.
The themes of this first conference were:
- Agriculture, food security and climate change: framing the issue and taking stock of innovations
- Scaling up replicable models of climate change-smart agriculture: opportunities and challenges
- Mobilizing investments from all sources for a transformational change to climate-smart agriculture
- A road map for action
At this gathering a Roadmap for Action has been developed as a ‘living document’ to mobilize action for achieving climate-smart agriculture as a means to enhance sustainable productivity and incomes, resilience to climate change and carbon sequestration.
The Roadmap stressed the need for scaled-up action now and into the future and called-up partners to implement and further develop the roadmap, individually and collectively within a broad informal partnership between all stakeholders.
The Global Conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture (GCCSA) in Hanoi, Vietnam in May, 2012 will take stock of the implementation of the Roadmap for Action and set new and more concrete priorities for action while demonstrating early action on climate-smart agriculture as a driver for green growth.
The Vietnam Conference will build on the outcomes of several conferences and events which have taken place since the first conference.
a) The African Ministerial Conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture
This conference was hosted by South Africa in September 2011. Concrete actions have been appointed for implementation, especially for the African region.
At the meeting, African ministers and the FAO called for using climate-smart agriculture to sustainably increase agricultural productivity and build resilience to environmental pressures by helping farmers adapt to climate change while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The objectives of the conference were to share leadership perspectives, explore challenges, and grasp new opportunities for climate‐smart agriculture in Africa. Discussions focused on learning from country strategies, financing climate-smart agriculture, and agriculture within the UN climate negotiations.
b) The Global Science Conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture
This conference was hosted by Wageningen University and Research Centre, co-organized by The Netherlands, the World Bank and FAO in October 2011. The Wageningen Science conference focused on three themes:
- Sustainable intensification and climate-smart solutions – enhancing food production while reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
- Overcoming the barriers to climate-smart agriculture;
- Managing volatility and risks – technical and social-economic options for climate-smart risk management
In exchange of research are also two other important initiatives:
c) The Global Research Alliance
The Global Research Alliance, initiated by New Zealand has launched the margins of the climate negotiations in Copenhagen in late 2009. The Global Research Alliance (GRA) focuses on the exchange of research and coordinate research efforts in order to increase food production while reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the agricultural sector. Within this voluntary partnership between various countries, policy makers and researchers work together to this challenge and achieve the goal. The Global Research Alliance has grown into a global partnership among 36 official member countries, with a good balance between developing and developed countries. Only Africa is underrepresented.
The Global Research Alliance can also be found as one of the initiatives of cooperating countries in the Roadmap for Action, which was prepared at the Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change, held in The Hague at the end of 2010.
There are opportunities to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and increase soil carbon sequestration while still helping meet food security objectives. For example, improving the efficiency and productivity of agricultural systems through better management practices and techniques can go a long way to reducing emissions. This can also help build the resilience of these systems to meet the increasing demand for food in a sustainable manner.
Many countries already have research underway to better understand, measure and manage agricultural greenhouse gases emissions. By linking up these efforts through the Alliance, we can achieve faster progress towards the solutions needed for improving agricultural productivity and reducing its contribution to climate change.
d) The Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN).
This network supports decision-makers in designing and delivering climate compatible development. This will be established by combining research, advisory services and knowledge sharing in support of locally owned and managed policy processes. They work in partnership with decision-makers in the public, private and non-governmental sectors nationally, regionally and globally.