Local Action Critical to Help Farmers Adapt to Climate Change
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This blog is from a member Conservation International attending the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Bonn, Germany.
How the UNFCCC will address agriculture — an issue not only critical to our food security, but the future of life on our planet — hangs in the balance. After two weeks of negotiations here in Bonn, country delegates were unable to resolve their differences and decided to take the issue up again at the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP 18) in Doha later this year.
Currently, 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture. Countries have been trying to decide on measures to enhance emissions reduction for several years. Progress was made last year when they decided to take the issue up on more technological grounds, giving them the opportunity to address not only agriculture’s mitigation potential, but also the need to help farmers adapt their practices in the face of climate change impacts. These impacts include increased frequency of droughts and flooding, and rising temperatures that are damaging the watersheds and other ecosystem services that sustainable agriculture depends on.
In order to effectively reduce vulnerability to and impacts of climate change, it is critical that adaptation actions are implemented at the farm level. The main goal should be not only to ensure food security, but also to maintain rural landscapes in order to guarantee provision of ecosystem services and the well-being of local populations. This holistic approach will help to reduce secondary impacts that come when a land is too degraded to support its people, such as decreased standards of living for small farmers and migration.
To read more of this blog from Conservation International, see link below.