Agriculture day at COP21 in Paris #COP21

By Gernot Laganda

The 1st of December was Agriculture Day at CoP21 in Paris Le Bourget.
A number of journalists asked for interviews with IFAD today to find out if there are any new insights and innovative approaches to climate change in the agriculture sector.
Agriculture has traditionally been a difficult topic in these negotiations due to its twin nature of being on the one hand a contributor to, and on the other hand a victim of, global warming.
Only recently has the issue gained in prominence, mainly due to opportunities for scaling up and to reach climate change mitigation and adaptation objectives in one go.
One of the events that were organized on agriculture day at COP21 was a high-level event to present scaleable multi-benefit initiatives in the agriculture sector.
French Agriculture Minister Le Foll presented the new '4 per 1000' initiative to store more carbon in soils, WRI presented an initiative to reduce the 1.8 billion tonnes of global food waste per year, and IFAD’s President Kanayo F.  Nwanze showed how programmes such as ASAP (IFAD's Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme) can help to reduce 80 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions solely by investing in climate adaptation for smallholder farmers.
David Nabarro, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Food Security, told the audience - which included dignitaries such as the King of Sweden - how he followed the birth of ASAP  and saw it develop into the leading global flagship programme for smallholder adaptation over the course of only three years.
The general impression of this day has been very positive. Agriculture has finally made it into the consciousness of the COP as part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.
Agriculture is unlikely to feature in the main text of a global climate agreement, but it will be a building block of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) of many countries and thereby an integral part of turning an agreement into practice.
Gernot Laganda- Lead Technical Advisor