Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and Agriculture - The challenge of effective international support

By Alessia Valentini

NDCs offer unique programmatic and dialogue tools for development institutions and are slowly paving the way for the achievement of the targets set out in the Paris Agreement.

This was one of the key messages at today’s NDCs side event at COP22, hosted by the European Union. The event was held to discuss how NDCs are integrating into the national strategies of developing countries; what are the new approaches to contribute to climate-relevant transformation through agriculture and rural development; and what are the new sources of blended finance for climate adaptation and mitigation.

In particular, the event focused on NDC achievements through the agricultural sector and addressed key aspects of the support that the international community is providing to developing countries.

The panel was composed of Cyrille Pierre from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Roberto Ridolfi, Director General of the European Commission's DEVCO; Martin Frick, Director of the Climate and Environment Division of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and Margarita Astralaga, Director of the Environment and Climate Division of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Martin Frick, FAO, said that “by investing in poor smallholder farmers we are already working on the NDC agenda." He was echoed by Margarita Astralaga who stated that for IFAD this commitment existed prior to the Paris Agreement thanks to its Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Porgramme (ASAP). In fact, ten countries explicitly recognise in their NDCs the role of ongoing IFAD-supported investments in achieving their climate commitment targets and moving smallholders out of poverty.

“Therefore, we can expect at least a similar trend in the coming years to support NDCs implementation and expand its coverage,” she added in her closing remarks.