Agriculture Day Recap: Climate-Smart Agriculture, in Durban and Beyond

Although the outcomes from Durban do not go far enough to hold global temperatures at a two-degree warmer world, nor is there sufficient finance or appropriate mechanisms in place to tackle the major adaptation challenges faced by least developed countries, at least there were some outcomes that may eventually help poor farmers deal with climate change.

Now you can re-visit some of the top stories from Agriculture and Rural Development Day 2011, including the climate-smart agriculture success stories highlighted in our learning events, keynotes and plenaries, and media coverage.

Here’s a rundown of summary blogs and presentations from the day’s learning events:

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Victories for Food and Farming in Durban Climate Deals

by Vanessa Meadu, CCAFS

After a grueling two weeks of negotiations, where it looked at times like climate talks might be deadlocked, world leaders on Sunday agreed to a number of decisions including the Durban Platform, which contain some provisions for adaptation, progress on a green climate fund, and a deadline for governments to adopt a new universal legal agreement on climate change by 2015.

Regrettably, the outcomes from Durban do not go far enough to hold global temperatures at a two-degree warmer world, nor is there sufficient finance or appropriate mechanisms in place to tackle the major adaptation challenges faced by least developed countries. But at least there were some outcomes that may eventually help poor farmers deal with climate change, which threatens food security among the most vulnerable. Continue reading

Africans Put Agriculture in Climate Focus

African farmers, researchers and high-level politicians join to push climate-smart agriculture to the forefront at COP17 in Durban

“We must deliver the resources poor farmers need to sustain their lives,” said Honourable Professor Jumanne A. Maghembe, Tanzania’s Minister of Agriculture to a crowded room at the Africa Pavilion. He spoke to the opportunities and challenges of climate-smart agriculture for African farmers, one of the hottest, and sometimes contentious, issues at this year’s UN Climate Conference in Durban. Continue reading

Agricultural Adaptation Through Local Participation

by Caitlin Corner-Dolloff, Oxford ECI

Farmers, researchers, and government officials alike recognize that adaptation to climate change must take place now. But how can this be done most effectively? It was clear from the ARDD learning event on lessons from the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA) program, funded by the Canada’s IDRC and UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), that one of the biggest challenges is the need for climate change adaptation solutions to be context specific. A one size fits all approach to policy will not work. This has led many researchers, practitioners and funders to focus on local participatory approaches to adaptation planning and building adaptive capacity.

Why is local participation so important? Continue reading

Climate-Smart Smallholder Products: A New Product Label ?

by Jeff Brez, IFAD.
At Agriculture and Rural Development Day (ARDD) at COP 17 in Durban, IFAD teamed up with Cafédirect and Fairtrade Africa to offer a learning event on “Getting Climate-Smart Smallholder Products to Market.” The case study was based on an IFAD public private partnership in São Tomé and Principe with the Government, communities, Cafédirect and other private sector companies. Read more about the project, the objectives of the event, the moderator and speakers.
The two main questions posed by moderator extraordinaire Matthew Wyatt of DFID, were simple. Can smallholders offer climate-smart products? Will consumers pay for them? He led a lively and focused discussion – thanks Matthew!

Climate Smart Agriculture Can be Pretty Smart

By Brent Swallow, University of Alberta. This post is a follow up to his post How smart is climate-smart agriculture?. This post has also been published on the CCAFS blog.

Agriculture and Rural Development Day was a resounding success, with over 500 people participants and an excellent set of plenary presentations, small group “learning events,” and a fun engagement with the South African Minister of Agriculture. For me the highlights were threefold: Continue reading

How Smart is Climate Smart Agriculture?

By Brent Swallow, University of Alberta. Also read his follow up post Climate Smart Agriculture can be pretty smart. This post has also been published on CCAFS blog.

In 2010 a cluster of United Nations and pan-African organizations released a little book entitled Climate Smart Agriculture (PDF).

Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) “seeks to increase sustainable productivity, strengthen farmers’ resilience, reduce agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration.” The little book and the concept are getting a lot of attention here at COP17. Continue reading

How to Build the Resilience of African Smallholder Farmers in a Changing Climate

Reposted from Farming First blog. This post has also been published on the CCAFS blog.

African smallholder farmers are in the eye of the climate change storm. Increased flooding and droughts have seen crop yields diminish as many farmers struggle to support their own livelihoods. With over 70 percent of the continent’s populations dependent on agriculture, this is a problem which cannot be ignored. While Africa contributes less than 3 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, it stands on the frontline of the economic and social consequences of climate change. Continue reading

Making Climate Smart Agriculture Happen

Originally posted on the FAO Climate blog. This post has also been published on the CCAFS blog.

FAO led a learning event looking at what tools and policies are required to bring food security, adaptation and mitigation together at the Agriculture and Rural Development Day taking place in Durban, South Africa on the sidelines of UN climate change talks COP17 .

The impact of best practices were shared among some 60 participants attending the session looking at several examples: Continue reading

With 1 Billion Hungry, Climate Leaders Must Not Fail

by Rachel Kyte, World Bank. This post has also been published on the CCAFS blog.

Over 500 farmers representatives, scientists and development practitioners were out in force today at the third Agriculture and Rural Development Day (ARDD) in Durban. They are determined to put agriculture on the COP 17 agenda.

Their arguments are clear:

Any serious effort to reduce green house gasses must include agriculture. And COP 17 is the chance for Africa to shape the agenda and establish an agriculture work program that is informed by science and covers adaptation and mitigation. And even for some `No agriculture, No deal’.

And today these voices are being heard. Continue reading