Millions of African farmers to benefit from new Climate Smart Agriculture alliance

The NEPAD Agency has launched an alliance of diverse partners to reach six million farming families through Climate-Smart Agriculture processes over the next seven years.

Known as the Africa Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance, the group will contribute to helping 25 million farmers become more resilient and food secure by 2025.

The Alliance unites the public sector with research and civil society organizations to scale up on-farm assistance, link to technological advances and support a favorable policy environment. This cross-sector collaboration is designed to achieve transformational impact; farmers, communities and systems for lasting change.

NEPAD CEO Dr Mayaki said that implementation and ensuring tangible results at grassroot level is a key factor that sets this Alliance apart. “It is in this regard also important that the Alliance has set itself clear targets. Within the context of the CAADP Results Framework, we should be able to monitor and follow progress in attaining the six million farm household target.” he said

Members of the Alliance include five INGOs which will lead scaling up activities: CARE, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Concern Worldwide, Oxfam and World Vision. Four technical partners will ensure the best, most up-to-date technical information and evaluation capacity. They are the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the African policy and advocacy NGO known as the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), the research consortium CGIAR, and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA).

“If we do not do something urgently to forestall the impact of climate change, it will lead to a downward trend in Africa’s development. Africa needs to come up with strategies to reduce the negative effects of climate change. These include green economy approaches, government policies and other mechanisms to protect our ecosystems,” said president Kufour.

World Vision Australia CEO, Mr Tim Costello cautioned that the world’s poor had a trust factor in leaders, that had to be fulfilled.. “If growth does not touch the poorest, then the trust deficit in leaders will only grow. So many of the worlds’ poorest are being left dramatically behind. This initiative is one of the powerful tools to address the challenges of the small-scale farmers” he said.

Representing Catholic Relief Services, the CEO, Dr Carolyn Woo said “As Africa starts to prosper, we have an opportunity to reach out, we need to provide prosperity for those small scale farmers and an effective way to do that is through climate smart agriculture”

The CEO of FARNAPAN, Lindiwe Sibanda, speaking on behalf of Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CICAFS), a programme tasked with dealing with climate change issues, reiterated that this alliance will need to address issues on food security, nutrition security, mitigation of agriculture and adaption to climate change strategies.

Source: NEPAD

Farmers’ battle to cope with climate change could spark rural renewal

Shifting world agriculture to a “climate-smart” approach will not only help prevent future food security crises but holds the promise of sparking economic and agricultural renewal in rural areas where hunger and poverty are most prevalent, argues a new FAO publication.

On the one hand, the magnitude and scope of climate change’s impacts on agricultural systems means that boosting rural communities’ resilience and adaptive capacities is essential to safeguarding world food security.

Rising temperatures and an increased frequency of extreme weather events will have direct and negative impacts on crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture productivity in the years to come, as clearly indicated in the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Vulnerable, farming-dependent populations in the developing world are particularly at risk.

But at the same time, the compelling need to deal with the challenges posed by climate change offers an opportunity to transform the way food systems use natural resources, improve agriculture’s sustainability and promote poverty reduction and economic growth, the publication adds.

Highlighting cases studies in “climate-smart agriculture” from around the globe, FAO’s document shows that many rural communities are already successfully making the transition to new forms of farming better suited to the rigors of a warmer world.

“A shift to climate-smart agriculture will not only help shield farmers from the adverse effects of climate change and offer a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but can also improve farm yields and household incomes, leading to stronger, more resilient communities,” said FAO Deputy Director-General Helena Semedo.

“We can no longer afford to separate the future of food security from that of natural resources, the environment and climate change – they are inextricably intertwined and our response must be as well,” she added.

Climate-smart agriculture

The model of climate-smart agriculture that FAO is promoting seeks to address three broad objectives:
• Sustainably increase agricultural productivity and incomes
• Help rural communities and farmers adapt to and become more resilient to the effects of climate change
• To reduce or remove agriculture’s greenhouse gases emissions, when possible.
Exactly how farmers go about tackling these goals can change from place to place, depending on local circumstances.

Source: FAO

Climate change adaptation can help to promote Sub-Saharan African Livelihoods.

Investing in ways to adapt to climate change will promote the livelihood of 65 per cent of Africans, the United Nations environmental agency reported, warning also that failing to address the phenomenon could reverse decades of development progress on the continent.

Africa’s population is set to double to 2 billion by 2050, the majority of whom will continue to depend on agriculture to make a living, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

“With 94 per cent of agriculture dependent on rainfall, the future impacts of climate change – including increased droughts, flooding, and seal-level rise – may reduce crop yields in some parts of Africa by 15 – 20 per cent,” UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said.

“Such a scenario, if unaddressed, could have grave implications for Africa’s most vulnerable states,” he added.

In a new graphical report, Keeping Track of Adaptation Actions in Africa (KTAA) – Targeted Fiscal Stimulus Actions Making a Difference, UNEP details the implications of climate change, and provides examples of adaptation projects that range from forest ecosystem management to aquatics and agriculture.

The report describes sustainable examples of how countries in sub-Saharan Africa enhanced environmental and ecosystem resilience through the use of native plants and natural infrastructure, land plans and rainwater harvesting, among other examples.

The projects are integrated into national development policies which can strengthen and enhance the resilience communities against the impacts of climate change, while also contributing to the realization of the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), according to the report authors.

“By integrating climate change adaptation strategies in national development policies Governments can provide transitional pathways to green growth and protect and improve the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of Africans,” Mr. Steiner noted.
The projects also highlight the urgency to act now in adapting to challenges, especially in developing countries where capabilities to respond to the magnitude of the problem are limited.

This year’s Africa Environment Day, marked annually on 3 March, focused on combating desertification on the continent and enhancing its agriculture and food security. The continent has lost 65 per cent of its agricultural land since 1950 due to land degradation, according to figures cited by UNEP. Up to 12 per cent of its agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) is lost due to deteriorating conditions and 135 million people are at risk of having to move from their land by 2020 due to desertification.

Source; UN Report, August 2014.

The longer World waits to address climate change,the higher the cost.

The longer World waits to address climate change, the higher the cost
In September, the world’s top scientists said the human influence on climate was clear. Last month, they warned of increased risks of a rapidly warming planet to our economies, environment, food supply, and global security. Today, the latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) describes what we need to do about it.

The report focused on mitigation, says that global greenhouse gas emissions were rising faster in the last decade than in the previously three, despite reduction efforts. Without additional mitigation efforts, we could see a temperature rise of 3.7 to 4.8 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times by the end of this century. The IPCC says we can still limit that increase to 2 degrees, but that will require substantial technological, economic, institutional, and behavioral change.
Let’s translate the numbers. For every degree rise, that equates to more risk, especially for the poor and most vulnerable.

Source: Rachel Kyte.

Agroforestry a win-win for reforestation and agriculture

Agroforestry increases carbon storage and can enhance agricultural productivity, so it could be a win-win solution to the difficult choice between reforestation and agricultural land use in Africa, says scientists from the World Agroforestry Centre.

In most parts of Africa, climate change mitigation to date has focused on reforestation and forest protection. But this is in conflict with the need to expand agricultural production in Africa to feed the continent’s growing population.
Agroforestry however, can achieve mitigation and increase production but also help farmers adapt to the impacts of climate change.

“For example, a farm with trees will suffer less to the impacts of climate change because it will absorb some of these impacts, so agroforestry is a good response to develop resilience of agrosystems to the challenges brought about by climate change,” says Cheikh Mbow, Senior Scientist, Climate Change and Development at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and lead author of the article.

Mbow and co-authors suggest that agroforestry should attract more attention in global agendas on climate change mitigation because of its positive social and environmental impacts. Increasing the adoption of agroforestry requires support for smallholder farmers through building robust extension services.

Source: ICRAF

Carbondioxide emissions are being outsourced by rich countries to rising economies

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CO2 emissions are being ‘outsourced’ by rich countries to rising economies
Greenhouse gas output of China and elsewhere is increased by making goods that are then used in the US and Europe

The world’s richest countries are increasingly outsourcing their carbon pollution to China and other rising economies, according to a draft UN report.
Outsourcing of emissions comes in the form of electronic devices such as smartphones, cheap clothes and other goods manufactured in China and other rising economies but consumed in the US and Europe.
A draft of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, obtained by the Guardian, says emissions of carbon dioxide and the other greenhouse gases warming the planet grew twice as fast in the first decade of the 21st century as they did during the previous three decades.
Much of that rise was due to the burning of coal, the report says. And much of that coal was used to power factories in China and other rising economies that produce goods for US and European consumers, the draft adds.
Since 2000, annual carbon dioxide emissions for China and the other rising economies have more than doubled to nearly 14 gigatonnes a year, according to the draft report. But about 2 GT a year of that was produced making goods for export.
The picture is similar for other rising economies producing goods for export, the report finds.
“A growing share of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion in developing countries is released in the production of goods and services exported, notably from upper-middle-income countries to high-income countries,” the report says.
Other middle income countries, with smaller exports, saw a more gradual rise in emissions. For the poorest countries in the world, however, emissions have flatlined since 1990.
Factories in China and other rising economies now produce more carbon pollution than industries in America and Europe.
“A growing share of global emissions is released in the manufacture of products that are traded across international borders,” the draft says.
The newly wealthy elites of China, India and Brazil are flying more, buying more cars and otherwise fuelling the consumption that is drivingclimate change.
But their per capita greenhouse gas emissions are still below those in America and Europe – a gap that China and India regularly cite at climate talks to deflect pressure to cut emissions.
In addition, a large and growing share of the carbon pollution attributed to China and those rising economies was generated in the production of goods that ended up in America and Europe.
The outsourcing of those emissions has skewed efforts to account for all global emissions, which typically was conducted on a national basis. Those accounting efforts are no longer accurate, according to analysts.
“If we are just looking at our national inventory to understand the emissions trends, it is just not telling the full picture of our impacts,” said Cynthia Cummis, an expert on greenhouse gas accounting at the World Resources Institute. “We need to understand the full life cycle of all the goods and services that we are purchasing and selling.”
There is now growing debate about how to assign responsibility for emissions generated producing goods that were made in one country but ultimately destined for another.
“The consumers that are importing those goods have some responsibility for those goods that are happening outside of our boundaries,” Cummis said.
The 29-page draft, a summary for policy makers, was dated 17 December. An edited version is due to be published in Germany in April.
The report is the third in a series by the IPCC, summing up the state of the climate crisis since 2007 and prospects for solutions. The first part was released in September. It is stark about the chances of avoiding dangerous climate change – especially if deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions are pushed back beyond 2030.
Temperatures have already risen by 0.8C since the dawning of the industrial age, the report says.
Unless there are deep cuts in emissions – up to 70% of current levels by 2050 – or a near-quadrupling of renewable energy, governments may have to fall back increasingly on experimental technologies for sucking carbon dioxide from the air to avoid dangerous warming, the report says.

SOURCE: UN report.

How Africa can feed in the face of climate change the solution lies itself

Climate smart agriculture is one of the way Africa can cope with climate change problems. Engaging in this technology helping farmers to cultivate in small area and get enough crops for their families and for selling so as poverty can be reduced.

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climate change and food insecurity