Let’s get smart

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Climate change, food security and agriculture. It’s a hot topic –  no more so than at the High Level Policy Dialogue on Investment in Agricultural Research for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific. Agriculture is a vulnerable sector and countries with the least ability to adapt to climate change are the ones who are affected the most. What will happen if the Earth gets warmer?

Dr. George Hall from Crops For the Future stated that the biggest threat that we will need to overcome particularly in the global south, is the lack of arable land. More attention needs to be focused  on the South, Southeast and West Asia. Fertility rates are still notably high and life expectancy is generally lower than 70 years. Rapid population growth will be a major challenge in addition to reduced land area through climate change.

Realizing the importance of addressing this issue, the United Nations – through UNFCCC COP 21 – is committed to limiting the increases in global temperature within two degrees. This is also a target in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Climate Smart Agriculture

Notable organizations who work in the field of food and agriculture, such as the FAO, introduced an approach to find a “safe space” for food and climate systems: namely ‘Climate Smart Agriculture’ (CSA). The pillars of CSA are increasing productivity, supporting adaptation and building resilience, and reducing the intensity of gas emissions.

However, in order to get there, CSA needs a supporting system of research, development and capacity building. We are talking about the investment potential.

Investing in Climate-Smart Village Programs

The research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) by CGIAR offered a very interesting solution that focused on the potential convergence of different investments at local level. They called it the ‘Climate-Smart Village Program’ or CSV. It is a farmer participatory approach to integrate CSA-technologies, institutions and village development plants. It works as an operational model for scaling up the local adaptation and mitigation plans, development and industry partners.

The community chooses its preferred options in a process that aims to be as participatory and inclusive as possible, encouraging women and more vulnerable groups to participate. Options might include climate-smart technologies, climate information services, local development and adaptation plans and supportive institutions and policies, all tailored to that community’s necessities. A steering group of community representatives and researchers will then together identify appropriate climate-smart options after potential sites are selected at that village.

Putting the Goals within Reach

Olaf, from the famous ‘Frozen’ movie might say, “some people are worth melting for”.

But the Earth is not a “person” and it is definitely not worth melting for.

There is an urgent need for farmers to adopt Climate Smart Agriculture and a local approach can be a better solution. Strong synergies between stakeholders, government, private sectors, NGOs, and media are expected to end hunger and climate change. This huge CSV opportunity is where we should be investing, assuring the future of this vulnerable planet.

 

Blogpost by Ratih Nawangwulan , #GCARD3 Social Reporter –ratih.nawangwulan(at)gmail.com

Picture courtesy the Clinton Foundation

This post is part of the live coverage during the #GCARD3 Regional Consultation for Asia and Pacific region. This post is written by one of our social reporters, and represents the author’s views only.


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