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Agriculture In! (721 and counting...)

Posted by Jeffrey A Brez Wednesday, December 7, 2011

by Jeff Brez in Durban

Should agriculture be on the climate change agenda? What impact would this have? The ball is in the court of COP 17 attendees to assess the game changing impact of negotiations at COP 17 in Durban.

If you are at the COP – come to booth 18 to show your skill at getting ‘Agriculture In!’ 721 COP attendees have already played.

IFAD teamed up with the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) to design the game and raise awareness on agriculture’s role in climate change at COP 17 in Durban.

‘Agriculture In’ is a ball game with 3 targets designed to address the significance of agriculture and how it can contribute to poverty reduction, food security, building resilience, and improving environmental outcomes including reducing GHG emissions.

The Targets:
  • Green Climate Fund
  • SBSTA Work Programme
  • Mitigation Finance for Farmers

These are all opportunities for negotiators to ensure that the worlds 1 billion poor rural people, most of whom rely on agriculture for their livelihoods, benefit from climate finance.

“Poor smallholder farmers, typically women are on the front line of climate change impacts yet they don’t benefit enough from climate finance,” says Elwyn Grainger-Jones, Director of IFAD’s Environment and Climate Division, “climate finance can help scale up investments in sustainable agriculture and research that will help them adapt to changing weather conditions and contribute to global food security.”

“Agriculture is the foundation of most African economies and the most climate-sensitive sector so it is imperative that it forms part of the agenda at this year’s COP17,” said Ishmael Sunga, CEO of SACAU. “This game not only highlights that but also the specific areas of intervention such as the need for the establishment of Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) Work Program on Agriculture that covers both adaptation and mitigation and addresses the needs of African farmers.”

Journalists and all those attending the COP (especially negotiators!) are invited to test their ball skills while getting a better understanding of agriculture and its importance at stand 18 of the ICC/DEC.

Prizes allocated for winners name the many benefits for farmers and wider communities if agriculture is included: Improved Food Security, Lasting Poverty Reduction, Enhanced Biodiversity, Reduced GHG Emissions, More trees, More Resilient Livelihoods.


  1. Just like bio-fuels, a few years from now, CSA will be exposed not to be make development sustainable but poverty and hunger sustainable.

    I pity Africa.

    Read:: 'Climate Smart Agriculture': The new eco-imperialistic tool


  2. Jeff Brez said:
  3. Hi Rajan, We are getting a lot of positive feedback on the overall approach and concept. It would be helpful if you could be more specific about the pitfalls you perceive. In Durban we have had a few developing country representatives tell us they don't like the specific word "smart" because in common usage in some African contexts it implies a deception (a "smart weed" that pretends to be maize or millet, for example).