‘Loss & damage fund has to include impact on food security, loss of agricultural production of land’

FAO’s Zitouni Ould-Dada on what was achieved at COP27 on meals methods and highway forward

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Agriculture has not been a high precedence for a lot of nations after they have a look at local weather change adaptation. For the primary time this 12 months, the subject of meals methods and agriculture was extensively mentioned on the annual convention of events (COP) to the United Nations Framework Conference on Local weather Change and made it to the primary agenda. 

It was additionally the primary time the Meals and Agriculture Group (FAO) had an agriculture and meals methods pavilion, the place the linkages between local weather change and agriculture have been mentioned. 

Down To Earth spoke to Zitouni Ould-Dada, deputy director of FAO’s local weather and atmosphere division, on what was achieved on the twenty seventh COP (COP27) held in November this 12 months on this entrance and the highway forward. 

Shagun: What have been your expectations from COP27 and the way a lot do you suppose was truly delivered? 


Zitouni Ould-Dada: Issues have modified and now we’re in a brand new actuality. The entire world is fearful about meals and vitality safety. There was loads of expectation from this COP as a result of we’ve been dwelling via the pandemic, local weather change disaster, biodiversity loss and the battle in Ukraine. 

The pandemic confirmed that the agrifood methods are susceptible to shocks and we’ve seen a giant disruption of provide. There was a lot harm attributable to local weather change via the floods in Pakistan and in different elements of the world, and likewise the droughts that we have seen, notably in Europe. In nations like the UK we’ve by no means seen that depth earlier than. 

And all these have been affecting international meals safety. It’s the first time that we see meals safety actually given a giant consideration at COP. We had seen a bit of bit in Glasgow, however that is actually the primary time that it was seen. 

The primary week began with the World Leaders Summit the place there was a roundtable on international meals safety. Even on the highest political stage, the eye was seen. And for us, that is actually excellent news as a result of we’ve been ready for this recognition of meals and agriculture to be mentioned a lot broadly at COP27. 

I believe any further, it’s positively going to obtain extra consideration in making an attempt to repair the agrifood methods, as a result of we nonetheless have rising starvation around the globe and nearly 830 million individuals who go hungry every single day. After which, we’ve a giant difficulty with meals loss and waste. So, there are such a lot of contrasts that must be fastened. 

S: Progress on Koronivia joint work on agriculture, which was arrange in 2017, has made tardy. This time at COP it was expanded for 4 extra years. How do you suppose it is going to be totally different?

ZOD: The Koronivia joint work on agriculture carried out a variety of workshops on varied areas that concern totally different points of agriculture. It was a very good achievement at the moment, as a result of it recognises the vital position of agriculture in addressing local weather change. 

Now at COP27, it was agreed to develop that, but it surely’s known as ‘The Meals and Agriculture for Sustainable Transformation’ (FAST). The main target is to shift gear and transfer into implementation on the bottom. 

The FAST initiative that we launched with the Egyptian presidency at COP has been designed to assist notably with mobilisation of finance and to assist the transformation that we’ve been speaking about. 

And second is the facilitation of the data alternate, so we will pace up the deployment of revolutionary options, see some outcomes actually in tackling the local weather disaster for mitigation or adaptation, for constructing resilience and likewise for attracting extra funding within the agricultural sector, notably in relation to adaptation. That has been uncared for and now it is time actually to speculate extra in adaptation than we’ve been up to now. 

S: The loss and harm fund that was arrange was thought-about a win at this COP. How do you suppose agriculture can characteristic in it on the country-level or at a regional stage when it’s truly finalised.

ZOD: I hope so (that agriculture is factored in). Agriculture is without doubt one of the most susceptible sectors to the impression of local weather change. So, it is smart to think about the losses and damages in relation to the agricultural sector.

And likewise, for smallholder farmers from all around the globe that produce 80 per cent of the meals for human consumption. So these are the susceptible communities and the susceptible nations that must adapt and must have the assist to minimise or keep away from these loss and damages.

So, in fact loss and harm fund has to incorporate the lack of agricultural manufacturing of land and the impression on meals safety. As soon as it’s established, we will work with the nations to be sure that entry additionally reaches probably the most susceptible nations, probably the most susceptible communities, together with smallholder farmers and ladies in rural areas particularly. 

S: Until now we’ve seen that meals methods obtain a meagre local weather finance, between 3-5 per cent. How can this be modified, transferring ahead? 

ZOD: Whereas the general finance for addressing local weather change impacts has been growing within the final 20 years, the proportion of local weather finance in agriculture and land use sectors have been reducing. 

Present flows of public worldwide local weather finance don’t coincide with the priorities that growing nations have specified of their nationally decided contributions. 

Between 2000 and 2018, the share of world local weather finance within the agriculture and land-use sector has decreased, from a mean of 45 per cent of the entire flows originally of the millennium to 24 per cent in 2013 when it has since stayed secure.

Up to now 12 months, there was much less concentrate on financing within the sector. However now, there are a lot of causes for shifting that and giving extra consideration to investing in agriculture, for mitigation and for constructing adaptation and resilience. The agricultural sector has rather a lot to supply by way of options. 

S: What have been among the outstanding options and adaptation measures mentioned at COP27? Organisations working within the sector have expressed dismay concerning the negotiations, saying they didn’t handle sustainable meals methods as an entire and likewise neglected small scale farmers. 

ZOD: Our narrative was that agriculture is not only an emitter of greenhouse gasoline emissions, it is a vital a part of the answer to the local weather disaster due to the large potential for emissions reductions. 

The FAO pavilion was a chance to ask varied gamers and stakeholders to current their options, case research, issues which have confirmed to be working and the way we will scale them up. 

We’re on this emergency state of affairs the place we have to do way more to have the ability to keep beneath 1.5 levels Celsius. We have to perceive this by way of the motion that we have to take, each within the negotiations and outdoors the negotiations. 

We need to deploy extra local weather good agricultural practices that facilitate elevated manufacturing of meals. However on the similar time, we need to respect the atmosphere and biodiversity. So, we’re speaking about options that put sustainability actually on the coronary heart of practices. 

Options like climate-smart practices, effectivity in using water and vitamins, precision agriculture and using renewable vitality on farms that may permit entry to electrical energy can go a great distance. Entry to water and utilizing water via drip irrigation and environment friendly practices are additionally useful. 

The opposite options we have been searching for was in livestock, notably with regard to methane reductions. There once more, there’s a large potential for revolutionary options, innovation for animal feed that may facilitate the discount. 

And within the utility of practices, for instance, we’ve seen some revolutionary options like in rice fields the place you develop rice and on the similar time, use the area to develop fish as properly or to have geese to diversify the incomes to the farmers. 

The purpose about these is that we have to scale them up extra broadly in order that nations and farmers around the globe profit from these. 


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