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High-level Dialogue on Climate-Smart Agriculture: Global and Regional PerspectivePresented by: The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO)

L-R: Martin Frick, Director, Climate Energy and Tenure Division, FAO; Martin Bwalya, Co-chair, Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA); David Nabarro, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; Frank Rijsberman, CEO, CGIAR; Anette Friis, Knowledge Action Group (KAG), GACSA

This session was moderated by Martin Bwalya, Co-chair, Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA), who opened by stating livelihoods are important, policymakers cannot afford to ignore land and “we cannot fight nature” when it comes to agriculture.

Martin Frick, Director, Climate Energy and Tenure Division, FAO, said “COP 21 is the most adaptation focused COP we have ever had.” He noted that virtually all Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) mention agriculture or food security in one way or another, a fact he called “heartening.” He highlighted that if policymakers don’t act now there could be a reduction in crop yields of 18% in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2030.

Frank Rijsberman, CEO, CGIAR, emphasized the need for win-win solutions for adaptation and mitigation and highlighted a recently launched initiative on soil carbon as a good example since soil carbon helps agriculture and also reduces greenhouse gases (GHGs). He stated that there is a desperate need for dynamic agricultural practices and for more innovation and research to achieve this.

Anette Friis, Knowledge Action Group (KAG), GACSA, highlighted the work of the KAG and said stakeholders determine its focus, for instance on providing the knowledge that policy makers need to make decisions.

David Nabarro, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, said rural unemployment caused by climate change is a massive threat to global human security. He noted what is happening to smallholder farmers is a “gross injustice” with respect to climate change as they are the most vulnerable yet the least responsible. He stated issues related to agriculture are not taken seriously by the negotiators at COP 21, and that it is often labeled as a problem due to its emissions but that agriculture is in fact key to the solution given its capacity to capture and sequester carbon. He stated that change will only happen when people make “a very loud noise” and demand that all agriculture be climate compatible and mainstreamed so that at COP 22 in Marrakesh “we are not knocking from the outside but we are at the center.”

Discussion ensued on inter alia: the role of climate-smart agriculture and technology; priority setting for the technical working groups of GACSA; the role of youth in GACSA and its inclusive nature; strengthening local farmer associations and including them in GACSA; availability of resources to support climate-smart agriculture; and building capacity of smallholder farmers to co-create solutions with scientists.

Martin Bwalya, Co-chair, GACSA

Anette Friis, KAG, GACSA

Frank Rijsberman, CEO, CGIAR

Martin Frick, Director, Climate Energy and Tenure Division, FAO

+ More Information:

http://www.fao.org/gacsa/en/

+ Contacts:

Anette Friis (CGIAR) - a.friis@cgiar.org

Scaling Up Innovative Approaches to Climate-Smart Agriculture in AfricaPresented by: The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation European Union-African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (CTA)

L-R: Oladimeji Oladele, Professor of Agricultural Extension, North-West University; Isabelle Coche, Vice-President Strategy, Emerging Ag Inc.; Bernard Rey, Director General for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission (EC)

James Kinyangi, Regional
Program Leader, CCAFS

Isabelle Coche, Vice-President Strategy, Emerging Ag Inc.

Delali Kofi Nutuskpo, Representative, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

This session focused on innovation in climate-smart agriculture and was opened by Michael Hailu, Director, CTA. He lamented agriculture is not featured prominently within the COP 21 negotiations, but said more than 60% of countries do include agriculture in their INDCs which is promising. The challenge, he said, is to determine what kind of innovations will contribute to creating and scaling up climate resilient agriculture in Africa.

James Kinyangi, Regional Program Leader, CCAFS, said agriculture in Africa must be wholly transformed. When proposing an agricultural solution to climate change, he said, it is essential to be wary of the concomitant deforestation that comes with bringing new land into production. As a risky business, he said, agriculture presents tremendous challenges to the hundreds of millions of smallholder farmers in Africa. He noted that different organizations advocate for conflicting approaches, for example, the UN Development Programme prefers an agro-ecological approach compared with the UN Environment Programme which has advocated for an ecosystem based approach.

Aida Diongue Niang, Director, National Agency for Civil Aviation and Meteorology, Senegal, focused her remarks on the close linkage between agricultural productivity and weather. In Senegal, she said, although agriculture employs 60% of people the country has a very short rainy season. She displayed charts demonstrating wide inter-annual variation in rainfall in Senegal between 2013-2015 and noted the difficulty this creates for farmers. To solve this, she discussed the implementation of seasonal weather forecasts at the local scale that provide information about the best crops to be sown. In addition she showcased a “now-casting” system that informs farmers of imminent weather events by text message and suggests precautions to be taken with regards to livestock and crops.

Delali Kofi Nutuskpo, Representative, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, discussed the need for more stakeholder participation in agricultural policymaking in order to target investments, focusing on the case of Ghana. He said that decentralized systems are crucial in that they help allocate responsibilities based on priorities at each level in the system, be it local, regional or national.

Achiba Gargule, CEO, Agency for Rangelands, Information and Development, began by noting the importance of livestock to farmers and underscored drought is the most pervasive hazard for livestock production in East Africa. He discussed index insurance, which is an alternative to traditional insurance in that it provides security if rains don’t come. When a drought hits a pastoralist area, he said, the first thing farmers do is to sell livestock immediately, driving everything to the market. Index insurance reduces this type of “distressed selling” by 36%, he said, and also reduces the likelihood that families will eat less during a drought.

Oladimeji Oladele, Professor of Agricultural Extension, North-West University, presented on the importance of developing “agroweather tools” using the case of a pilot project in Ethiopia and Kenya. Such tools, he said, are based on a decision support system that combines historical data with geo-reference data to predict the distribution, intensity and availability of rainfall. Because the rate of phone subscription is rising, he said, information is released by SMS text messaging and is both prescriptive and advisory, telling farmers the actions to take during 10 day forecast periods. He noted that the project naturally incorporates sellers of agricultural inputs because it represents a new means for them to market their products in a targeted way that provides positive results to farmers.

Isabelle Coche, Vice-President Strategy, Emerging Ag Inc., said the private sector can bring knowledge, solutions, tools and technologies but that it is limited when governments do not have strong regulatory frameworks to help match supply of solutions with demand.

Bernard Rey, Director General for International Cooperation and Development, EC, recognized the need for more investment in agriculture to feed the world and said there is a need to address risk and that public goods must be safeguarded when scaling up investment. He highlighted four major objectives to pursue, including: eliminating malnutrition, making agriculture an engine of livelihood growth, empowering farmers to manage their landscapes and ecosystems, and building resilience to food crises among farming communities.

Anette Friis, KAG, GACSA

Achiba Gargule, CEO, Agency for Rangelands, Information and Development

+ More Information:

http://www.fao.org/gacsa/en/

+ Contacts:

Anette Friis (CGIAR) - a.friis@cgiar.org

Low Carbon Development, Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food SecurityPresented by: Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre and Network (HoA-REC) and Addis Ababa University

Samuel Ogallah Samson, Programme Manager, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA)

Haile Fisseha, General Manager,
Addis Ababa City Administration, Ethiopia

Almaz Tadesse, Deputy Director, Social and Ecological Sustainability Partnership Programme, HoA-REC

Muawia Shaddad, President, HoA-REC

Adane Kebede, Climate Change Programme Coordinator, HoA-REC

Chukwumerije Okereke, Professor, University of Reading

This session was moderated by Muawia Shaddad, President, HoA-REC, and focused on climate-smart agriculture, integrated land use and low carbon development in the Horn of Africa countries.

Samuel Ogallah Samson, Programme Manager, PACJA, highlighted that climate-smart agriculture is not new to most smallholder farmers, and that the prevalence of the concept “is the baptism of what our forefathers have been practicing for decades." He said that climate-smart agriculture is an issue that touches on poverty, equity, justice, economics and humanitarianism. He emphasized that COP 21 “does not have the solutions to our problems, the solutions are with us in Africa.”

Almaz Tadesse, Deputy Director, Social and Ecological Sustainability Partnership Programme, HoA-REC, presented the Integrated Land-use and Development Plan for the Gambella Region of Ethiopia that is focused on an area with high bio-cultural diversity. She noted that there are two primary interventions, namely the creation of the Plan itself and also a biodiversity management programme. She said the approach they are taking will focus on bottom-up planning by stakeholders rather than top-down planning for them.

Adane Kebede, Climate Change Programme Coordinator, HoA-REC, presented on the landscape approach and climate-smart agricultural practices in the Gambella EcoHub and Central Rift Valley. He noted that projects are operating in six landscapes in countries throughout the Horn of Africa. He stated they are taking a multi-level and multi-sectoral approach, engaging stakeholders and promoting ecosystem based integrated development and climate-smart agriculture. He highlighted that the Gambella EcoHub is a learning and demonstration site for sustainable agriculture practices and value chains of production that can go hand in hand with conservation efforts.

Haile Fisseha, General Manager, Addis Ababa City Administration, Ethiopia, presented on Addis Ababa’s waste management and light rail systems. He explained the plans to transform an open landfill in Addis Ababa into a science park and to utilize landfill waste in a waste-to-energy facility that will open in late 2015 and that can generate 50 gigawatts of energy to meet one-third of the city’s energy demand. He also outlined the city’s light rail transit system that is already operational and noted plans to enhance the road network.

Chukwumerije Okereke, Professor, University of Reading, emphasized the need for Africa to “retool its understanding of what has to happen” with regards to development and to develop the agricultural sector, which is one of Africa’s comparative advantages, by mobilizing the youth and the skills available. He highlighted that adaptation is a global issue as livelihood loss and environmental degradation can lead to migration. He outlined that the role of debt is not mentioned in the negotiations at COP 21 and noted that due to debt-repayment obligations “Africa is not receiving but giving aid to the West.” He argued that the lack of an overarching mechanism for dealing with capacity building in the UNFCCC is a “major blind spot.” He also highlighted that if international property rights are not clearly addressed then the implementation of climate-smart agriculture could perpetuate colonialism and tie African countries to multinational corporations based in the North.

Fitsumbrhan Tsegaye, Sustainable Energy Programme, HoA-REC, highlighted that the waste management program in Addis Ababa is a flagship program that helps Ethiopia towards green development and noted that Addis Ababa has applied to be a part of the 100 Resilient Cities Challenge.

Discussions ensued on: whether Ethiopia, with its plan to cut 20% of emissions by 2030 primarily using its own financing, is the best example for Africa; and how African countries can leverage knowledge from each other.

+ More Information:

http://www.hoarec.org/index.php/en/

+ Contacts:

Araya Asfaw (HoA-REC) - arayaa@hoarec.org


Piloting Innovative Solutions for Climate Information Services in Africa:
Lessons, Best Practices and Scaling Up of Results from ClimDev-Africa Phase I Presented by: UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

Pa Ousman Jarju, Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Forestry, Water and Wildlife, The Gambia

Ato Teshome, Director, National Meteorological Agency, Ethiopia

Tom Owiyo, ClimDev-Africa Special Fund, African Development Bank (AfDB)

L-R: Andre Kamga Foamouhoue, Project Manager, African Centre for Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD); Alpha Jallow, Department of Water Resources, The Gambia; Pa Ousman Jarju, Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Forestry, Water and Wildlife, The Gambia; Ato Teshome, Director, National Meteorological Agency, Ethiopia; Tom Owiyo, ClimDev-Africa Special Fund, AfDB

This session presented the details of three programmes in Ethiopia, Rwanda and The Gambia designed to strengthen meteorological capacity, observing networks, early warning systems and data and information management.

Tom Owiyo, ClimDev-Africa Special Fund, AfDB, opened the session noting the three programmes are innovative because they were developed in close consultation with the countries themselves. Climate information services, he said, is an area that governments do not typically prioritize in their budgets. He underscored that the programmes have been able to improve significantly on traditional modeling that provides data at a resolution of only 50 kilometers and can now reach resolutions at detail of up to 1 kilometer. It is important, he said, to convince governments to invest in climate data networks that go beyond serving the aviation sector and reach out to smallholder farmers and the energy sector.

Pa Ousman Jarju, Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Forestry, Water and Wildlife, The Gambia, said data at the global level, such as that disseminated by the IPCC, is important, but there is need to downscale to regional and local level data. Traditionally, meteorological data is collected every three hours, but now, he said, the government can provide up-to-date and accurate information to end users on-demand. He underscored that Africa is a continent that depends almost 80% on agriculture for livelihoods. Thus, he said, information on both weather and market conditions is crucial. Farmers, he said, must be able to know when to grow, what to grow and in which areas.

Ato Teshome, Director, National Meteorological Agency, Ethiopia, emphasized the role of partnerships in going beyond national budgets to improve: human capacity, database systems and technology in meteorological data networks. He said Ethiopia currently has only 147 automatic weather stations and that the country must somehow scale up to 700. He noted the challenges of scanning and digitizing historical meteorological data and improving regional meteorological centers. He highlighted successes made in partnership with ClimDev-Africa including access to new datasets, improved capacity for data digitization and improved capacity at branch meteorological offices.

Alpha Jallow, Department of Water Resources, The Gambia, discussed an early warning project in his country that uses 10 automatic weather stations in combination with human observations to provide data for a variety of end users. He emphasized that accurate data is important but useless if it is not in an accessible format.

Faustin Munyazikwiye, UNFCCC Focal Point, Rwanda, presented about the Technical Support Programme to Rwanda on climate and hydrology, a Programme in collaboration with UNECA. The Programme’s ultimate objective is to provide investment and technical support to improve the hydrological observation and data management systems in Rwanda. The Programme helped to develop a baseline climate vulnerability index, he said.

Andre Kamga Foamouhoue, Project Manager, ACMAD, said ACMAD is focused on ensuring climate information for adaptation is high quality. ACMAD organizes regional climate outlook forums in the African sub regions, he said, to support discussions on future investments in climate services in Africa. During a brief discussion, participants hailed Clim-Dev Africa as the common thread running through all three of the featured programs.

+ More Information:

http://www.uneca.org/

+ Contacts:

Joseph Intsiful (UNECA) - JIntsiful@uneca.org



Other Events

Strengthening Climate and Disaster Resilience in Sub-Saharan AfricaPresented by: World Bank

L-R: Jeremiah Lengoasa, Deputy Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO); Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, France; Laura Tuck, Vice President, World Bank; Aly Abou-Sabaa, Vice-President of Sector Operations, AfDB; Fatimata Dia Sow, Commissioner, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); Aida Diongue Niang, Director, National Agency for Civil Aviation and Meteorology, Senegal; Richard Jones, Science Fellow, UK Met Office, UK; Tawonga Mbale, Environmental Affairs Department, Malawi

Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, France

Jeremiah Lengoasa, Deputy Secretary-General, WMO

Laura Tuck, Vice President, World Bank

Fatimata Dia Sow, Commissioner, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

Richard Jones, Science Fellow, UK Met Office, UK

+ More Information:

http://www.worldbank.org/

+ Contacts:

Raffaello Cervigni (World Bank)- rcervigni@worldbank.org

Integrating Climate Services Information Systems and Policymaking for Development of Smart African Agriculture and Energy Sectors Presented by: African Centre for Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD)

A view of the panelists

Daouda Kante, Deputy Director General, Centre d'Observation, de Surveillance et d'Information Environnementales, Guinea

Justus Joseph Kabyemera, Coordinator, AfDB

+ More Information:

http://www.acmad.net/

+ Contacts:

Andre Kamga- akamgaf@yahoo.com


Around the Venue

Dina Hestad, International Institute of Sustainable Development Reporting Services (IISD-RS) talks to Chukwumerije Okereke, Professor, University of Reading

Brett Wertz, IIISD-RS, speaks with Aida Diongue Niang, Director, National Agency for Civil Aviation and Meteorology, Senegal

The Africa Pavilion @ COP 21 Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is a special publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). This issue has been written by Dina Hestad and Brett Wertz. The Digital Editor is Liz Rubin. The Editor is Tomilola Akanle Eni-ibukun, Ph.D. <tomilola@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. Funding for coverage of the Africa Pavilion at COP 21 has been provided by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and funders. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>. Electronic versions of issues of the Africa Pavilion @ COP 21 Bulletin can be found on the IISD Reporting Services website at http://enb.iisd.org/climate/cop21/cdafrica-ap/. The IISD team at the Africa Pavilion at COP 21 can be contacted by e-mail at <brett@iisd.org>.

Funding for coverage of the Africa Pavilion at COP 21, has been provided by UNECA
UNECA