By Bertrand Reysset
UN Rome-based agencies side event at COP21. 7 December
The International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Programme have presented their actions and commitments in the move towards a food secure world.
Smallholders have received special attention as key players and key beneficiaries in the solution to the climate puzzle. Janos Pasztor, United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) Special adviser on climate change, recalled that investing in the agriculture sector is one of the development activities that yields higher return rates.
Global Environment Faciility (GEF) representative, Elwyn Grainger Jones, highlighted that investing in climate adaptation for smallholders is showing incredible impacts both in terms of food security, biodiversity improvement and carbon mitigation.
Michel Mordasini, Vice President of IFAD, finally stated that “investing in adaptation for smallholder agriculture is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do”.
The Guatemalan Minister of Agriculture, José s. Marcucci, called for increased action on the ground. Through the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) prepared for COP21, more than 100 countries have planned their priorities to include adaption in agriculture. COP21 now needs to give the political and financial momentum to transform planning into action. Make the change!
With US$360 million already targeted to 8 million smallholders’ adaptation activity, IFAD is in a frontrunner position but there is so much more to do. The three Rome based agencies are committed to increasing their collaboration to ensure that we’ll be able to feed 9 million people without jeopardizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) success, or environmental sustainability. This will need substantive investments to ensure that the most affected by climate change and at the same time the least responsible for global warming, i.e. the smallholder farmers of the developing world, can seize opportunities to frame our most fundamental public good: food security. It is a question of climate justice.