Digging down to the Roots of Resilience on World Environment Day

To celebrate this year’s World Environment Day, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) brought together international experts to look at sustainable land management (SLM).

The discussion on June 5 was part of  IFAD’s Environment and Climate Divisions Climate Lecture Series, which highlights environmental issues facing farmers in developing countries and promotes some of the solutions that IFAD is supporting to achieve a food secure future.

Among the panellists was IFAD Vice-President, Michel Mordasini, IFAD’s Environment and Climate Division Director, Margarita Astralaga and the Director of World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT), Hanspeter Liniger.

Representing the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Jeroen Van Dalen presented a global overview of the current state of SLM,  and UNCCD’s approaches for scaling up SLM globally. He tied UNCCD work closely to that of IFAD, stressing the importance of food security.

''In the new definition by UNCCD of land degradation, food security is part of it. It shows how important it is,'' Said Van Dalen.

WOCAT Hanspeter Liniger gave an overview of the recent  IFAD grant to WOCAT.

This grant is being used to scale-up adoption of SLM in three pilot countries.

''Our ultimate beneficiaries are the land users,” said Liniger “We don’t make the change, they do.”

“There is so much experience available, it is criminal if we don’t use it for the benefit of the people.''

A recording of the lecture can be seen here.

Recipes for Change

On World Environment Day, IFAD also launched its latest episode of Recipes for Change, a web tv series where top chefs raise public awareness by cooking foods that are threatened by climate change and show how IFAD is helping farmers adapt,

The episode featured Italian celebrity chef, Carlo Cracco, who recently visited an IFAD-supported project in Kandal province in southern Cambodia. While there, he met Cambodian farmer Somreth Sophat and cooked a traditional Cambodian recipe, Somlar Kako.

 “Climate change is a fact,” said Cracco. “Perhaps we can slow it down, but we cannot stop it. So we must help those people who work the land so that there is a change in the way we fight the battle of climate change.”

Rice, a staple food in Asia, counts for almost 80 per cent of farmland in Kandal province, but frequent droughts and damaging floods mean farmers here have seen harvests halved. See the full video here.