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Stepping up the challenge: six issues facing global climate change and food security
To this end, on 7 December 2014, a special seminar, Stepping up to the challenge – Six issues facing global climate change and food security, was co-organised by CARE International, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) to inform COP negotiators, global development planners and policy-makers. Dr. Olu Ajayi, CTA Senior Programme Coordinator, ARD Policy, presented one of the lead papers at the seminar. The African Union Commission (AUC), represented by Dr. Abebe Haile Gabriel, gave a keynote address at the event. CTA also invited individuals to chair some of the sessions during the seminar, including farmers’ representatives from the Caribbean and representatives of the ACP secretariat.
A hackathon event on climate-smart agriculture
One week earlier, CTA, the International Potato Center (CIP) and CCAFS organised a hackathon on Climate-Smart Agriculture to deploy ICT tools that provide better and easier access to climate information. These, enable stakeholders to manage climate variability and make better decisions, and bring solutions that will help farmers to reduce the risk of crop failure. CTA also facilitated the participation of youths from the Caribbean, as means to upscale the impact of the event and achieve an economy of scale.
Agriculture should be integrated into UN climate change negotiations
As expressed in a CGIAR blog on this topic, this year’s negotiations are “an important opportunity to bring agriculture into climate change commitments and activities and tackle issues related to agriculture and food security.” In fact, agriculture is expected to be higher up on the agenda at COP21, to be held in Paris next year. On that occasion, CTA, CGIAR and Farming First will team up to provide support and disseminate knowledge around the incorporation of agriculture within climate change negotiations. This builds on their efforts in 2013, when they jointly developed a Guide to UNFCCC Negotiations on Agriculture – Toolkit for Communications and Outreach.
Week two of COP20 is now underway in Lima, Peru. Here's a round-up of week one from Sharon Lindo, International and Regional Policy Officer at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre.
The Caribbean Community continues to carve out a niche for itself in the Climate Change negotiations underway at COP 20 in Lima, Peru. If the first week of COP20 were to be summed up in a few words, it would be one of celebrating small victories. But any seasoned negotiator would caution against celebrating now.
The Alliance of Small Island States welcomed the call by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change outcomes to inform the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform and other UNFCCC processes. This augers well for CARICOM, who have always supported science-based methods to inform action in the negotiations. The region looks forward to the use of the IPCC reports and other similar scientific processes to inform the 2015 Agreement. Undoubtedly the Region is encouraged by this first step.
In addition, the Caribbean Community considers the decision on bunker fuels timely. Under this arrangement the IMO and CMO will be allowed to continue their work and report to the COP without having any immediate financial obligations.
There has been much discussion and variance in positions on the Co-chairs Decision Text. While the current text does not offer all things to all Parties CARICOM believes that it contains enough substance for Parties to engage meaningfully. This is especially important if guidance is to be given to commence work on the INDCs.
The Region is also looking forward to receiving the Revised Elements Text and the finalization of the Executive Committee for Loss and Damage. CARICOM continues to advocate for a seat on the Committee for SIDS as the issue is of paramount importance to this group.
Small victories are being celebrated in Lima, but the region is treading carefully and looks with cautious optimism at the week ahead. There are a few crucial items to be decided by the Ministers, including how to address the INDCs and whether these should only be based on mitigation, which is currently only supported by CARICOM. The end of the next week will reveal whether CARICOM Ministers are able to hold its position and convince other delegations of its merit.
In typical COP tradition the next week will be a marathon for delegations. By all accounts there still remains substantial work if countries are to meet the 2015 deadline. The unified voice of small island states in the Caribbean Community and the wider alliance is essential in the days ahead if the Paris meeting will meet expectations. Like the rest of the world, we are eagerly anticipating the final decisions of Ministers on Friday.