Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

Call to Action for COP17 Climate Change Negotiators on Agriculture
7 December 2011

Our world faces formidable challenges. The global population is now seven billion and is projected to grow by a further 1 billion by 2025. Feeding this population in the face of climate change is a major challenge, and threatens farmers' ability to produce enough to meet growing demand, and poor communities' ability to access nutritious food.

We have evidence of the impact of more frequent and extreme weather events on our food supply, infrastructure and livelihoods. Last year, Russia suffered its worst drought in more than 100 years. This year, the Horn of Africa is facing its worst drought in 60 years with more than 13 million people requiring emergency food.

We also have evidence on how we can help provide solutions through climate smart agriculture that:
  • Sustains the health of the land and increases productivity;
  • Does not pollute, degrade land or lead to the loss of forests and biodiversity
  • Delivers food, fibre, fuel and incomes; and,
  • Helps sequester carbon and reduce GHG emissions.
Today at the third Agriculture and Rural Development Day over 400 people - farmers, scientists, researchers, NGOs, the private sector and development practitioners - come together to determine what it would take to take to scale the successful examples of climate-smart agriculture. Examples included:
  • Niger regenerating over 5 million hectares of land benefitting 1.25 million people and producing an extra 500,000 tonnes of cereals per year while sequestering carbon.
  • China saving 1.7 billion cubic meters of irrigation water and reseeding 1.6 million hectares of degraded land while promoting low-emission, high-yield rice.
  • Ethiopia overseeing the Productive Safety Net Programme which has made about 1.3 million people food secure.
More productive, sustainable and resilient agriculture requires a transformation in how rural people manage natural resources and how efficiently they use these resources as inputs for agricultural production. For this transformation to occur, it is essential that changes are made in policy and increased investments made.

This transformation has to happen in Durban at COP17 with a recognition of the inseparable links between climate change and agriculture.

As a first step, we ask parties to agree to set up a Work Programme for agriculture under the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) so that the sector can take early action to determine the long-term investments needed to transform agriculture to meet future challenges in a sustainable manner.

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