Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Launch of Africa Catalyzing Action for Nutrition (AfriCAN)

Launch of Africa Catalyzing Action for Nutrition (AfriCAN), a new network with a mission to mobilise and harness Africa’s untapped and underutilised resources towards improving nutrition sustainably on the continent.

Recording forthcoming 
25 May 2022. This event introduced AfriCAN and feature a panel discussion on sustainable solutions to eliminate hunger and malnutrition.

  • Professor Francis B. Zotor, Professor of Public Health Nutrition and Director AfriCAN (Moderator)
  • Dr. Namanga Ngongi, Former Deputy Executive Director WFP; Former Chair, UN Standing Committee on Nutritition (UNSCN) & Board Chair, AfriCAN
  • Ms. Isatou Jallow, Executive Director, AfriCAN
  • Ms. Julia Tagwireyi, Former Director, Food and Nutrition Council, Zimbabwe and Director, AfriCAN
  • Dr. Josue Dione, Former Director, Food Security and Sustainable Development Division, UNECA and Board Member, AfriCAN
  • Dr Charity Binka, Executive Director, Women, Media and Change
  • Dr Habiba Hassan-Wassef, Trustee, African Nutrition Society
  • Sheikh Tijan Tunkara, Youth Representative and Community Activist
  • Dr. Lawalley Cole, Executive Director, Coalition on media and education for development, Africa Forum (CAFOR)   
Shared resource of a participant:
https://www.iamwanda.org/

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The EU eats the world, shows new WWF report

WWF (2022) Europe eats the world: How the EU's food production and consumption impact the planet #15 p.

23 May 2022.  The EU imports vastly more food than it exports and our food consumption has a detrimental impact on the planet – but there is appetite for change.

Despite being the world's largest exporter of agri-food products in economic terms, the EU carries a significant trade deficit when measured for what actually matters in nutritional terms, such as calories and proteins, shows a new WWF report released today. The EU consumes more than its fair share and our current high levels of food production are only possible thanks to massive imports of resources.

Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, urgent action must be taken to prevent global food shortages. However, vested interests have been using the war as a justification to water down EU environmental standards with arguments that are but a repetition of the long-standing flawed narrative that Europe ‘feeds the world’. WWF’s report shows that this is a myth.

The EU’s food imports and domestic production are fundamentally unsustainable, as they erode natural resources, drive global deforestation and deplete fish stocks around the world, shows the new report. As much as 40% of the food produced in the EU is also never eaten, and this wastefulness comes at an enormous cost to our climate and biodiversity.

Trying to increase food production in the EU in response to the ongoing global food crisis, as some political and lobby groups have been suggesting, would likely only exacerbate these problems. Instead, shifting our consumption can make a greater contribution to food security and lower the impacts of the EU food system.
“In response to the global food shortages and price increases spurred by the war in

Ukraine, some have suggested that the EU needs to water down its environmental standards to increase its own production in order to ‘feed the world’. But this kind of rhetoric is flawed and misleading. Only a more sustainable food system will be able to provide food security at home and abroad. The EU should not focus on producing more, but on producing and consuming differently." 
Ester Asin, Director of WWF European Policy 
“Our report clearly demonstrates that while the EU may be reaping billions from theglobal agrifood trade, this surplus hides many uncomfortable truths. Rather than the world’s granary, the EU is in fact the world’s high-end grocery store, exporting products aimed primarily at wealthier consumers, and our high levels of production are achieved through unsustainable inputs, imports and wasteful land use. The EU grocery store is running up a social and environmental bill so high, we are practically eating the world.” 
Jabier Ruiz, Senior Policy Officer for Food and Agriculture at WWF European Policy Office and lead author of the report

The report shows that:

  • The EU’s agri-food trade model revolves around importing low-value raw products, such as cocoa, fruits and soybeans, and exporting high-value ones like wine and chocolate – making a positive contribution to the EU economy, but not necessarily to the global food supply.
  • Many of the agri-food commodities imported into the EU are produced at the expense of millions of hectares of forests and other natural ecosystems, fuelling climate change, biodiversity loss and social injustices; the EU remains the second-largest importer of products linked to tropical deforestation. The new EU Deforestation Law, currently being discussed in the European Parliament and the Environment Council, is an opportunity to stop this destruction.
  • The EU imports nearly twice as much seafood as it produces, and some of this seafood comes from tropical regions where local communities rely on these fish stocks for protein but are facing declining catches due to overfishing and climate change. Aquaculture could provide some solutions, but only if it focuses on herbivore species such as carp and filter-feeding molluscs, rather than carnivorous species such as salmon.
  • The EU produces more animal products than is recommended for our health. To sustain this oversized livestock sector, more than half of the grain crops we grow are fed to animals, and we import vast amounts of soy and other feed. The production of crops for feed or fuel is intrinsically inefficient, increasing the impacts of our agriculture and food on biodiversity, soil health, and the climate.
  • The EU wastes vast amounts of food every year, estimated to be as high as 173 kg of food per person. While there is a growing drive to address food waste at the retail and consumer level, food loss on farms is often overlooked, but as much as 15% of total food production is estimated to be lost during or shortly after harvest each year.
  • There is an appetite for change from EU consumers. Three out of five Europeans want to eat more sustainably and three out of four want EU legislation to ensure that all products sold in the EU do not lead to biodiversity loss.
  • Food businesses are increasingly engaging with nature-positive food production, regenerative agriculture and higher animal-welfare standards. Today, some 14.6 million hectares of land in the EU and the UK – 8.1% of the total agricultural area – are farmed organically by nearly 350,000 producers, and the EU’s organic food market has doubled in value since 2010.
The upcoming legislative framework for a sustainable food system, which the European Commission is expected to propose in 2023, must be a turning point. The report provides several policy pathways through which this new law can guide the EU’s food consumption towards sustainability.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Turning Science into Action IPCC Webinar Series

The Adaptation Action Coalition convened a four-part webinar series, from March 11th to April 4th, on the Working Group II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Titled Turning Science into Adaptation Action, it set out to answer the question: how do we translate IPCC science into action to advance adaptation progress and achieve a climate resilient world?

During the opening session, the need for urgent, accelerated adaptation action was emphasized. As the keynote speaker, Dr. Debra Roberts, IPCC Working Group II Co-Chair, put it: “There are increasing gaps between adaptation action taken and what’s needed, but there are feasible and effective options we can take to reduce the risks to people and nature.” There were also interventions from high-level actors such as recently appointed UN High-level Climate Champion for Egypt who urged for an immediate, equitable and whole-of-society approach for adaptation.

The technical sessions covered the chapters on Water, Infrastructure, Health, and Climate Resilient Development of the WGII report. The sessions illuminated the great potential for resilience work in key areas such as urban infrastructure and water, to address compounding climate risks while achieving multiple benefits of adaptation. Furthermore, tools like the Water Tracker for National Climate Planning , presented by Alliance for Global Water Adaptation, underscored the importance of a cross-sectoral, integrated approach to national water resilience planning. A common recommendation from both panels was to actively unite diverse sources of knowledge, institutions, and scales to bring about coordinated, inclusive, and swift adaptation action. The Principles for Locally Led Adaptation was another highlight, wherein the growing political commitment and the global movement to translate these principles into action was discussed.

The final session hosted a high-level panel representing­ six AAC member countries (Fiji, Nepal, USA, Malawi, Costa Rica, and Germany), during which recent progress and ch­allenges in implementing adaptation solutions were discussed through a cross-sectoral lens. In translating the IPCC WGII report findings into informed action, a key takeaway was the importance of community-based and regionally led action; Costa Rica, Nepal and Malawi strongly argued that if adaptation efforts are to be sustainable, vulnerable communities on the front lines must be a part of key processes like vulnerability assessments, planning, and related programs. To close the session, high-level adaptation champions, including Egyptian Minister of Environment Dr. Yasmine Fouad and UK’s Rt. Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan, put forth strong calls to action for urgent delivery on the commitments made in Glasgow, through bold and concerted efforts, in the lead up to COP27.

Presentation Resources

Dr. Junguo Liu's slides on Water and Climate Change from the webinar:

Dr. Gina Ziervogel's slides on Infrastructure and Water with a focus on cities and settlements from the webinar: 

Kelsey Harpham's presentation slides on Water for Resilience:

Alexandre Chavarot's slides from his presentation on infrastructure:

 

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Pastoralism and large-scale REnewable energy and green-hydrogen projects: potential & threats



Pastoralism and large-scale REnewable energy and green-hydrogen projects: potential & threats

A study commissioned by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Germany, looks into how large-scale solar- and wind-power and green-hydrogen projects affect pastoralists in the drylands. It seeks to highlight this growing challenge so that: i) policymakers and civil society can shape the expansion of producing renewables in the drylands so that it does no harm; and ii) pastoralists can become better prepared to deal with this expansion, and could even benefit from it.

The report gives a short overview of the current situation, trends and perspectives in generating solar and wind energy in the drylands globally. Special attention is given to issues around rights of land tenure and use. This provides the context for studying the challenges and opportunities for pastoralists faced with the expansion of green-energy production in the drylands for public and commercial benefit.

Selected cases are presented of experiences made by pastoralists in interaction with green-energy projects. The focus is on Africa, but also cases from other parts of the world are reviewed. Information on the co-existence of pastoralism and renewable-energy generation in some parts of the world shows how pastoralists might be able to benefit from this.

The report provides some recommendations for avoiding conflict and enabling multifunctional land use in ways that recognise the rights of pastoralists to access natural resources and energy as well as the opportunities for society at large to access renewable energy. It offers initial ideas as to how pastoralists could have a fair share of the benefits created from renewable-energy generation on their traditional land.

The authors of the report come from Agrecol Association (Germany) and the Centre for Research & Development in Drylands (Kenya), both members of the Coalition of European Lobbies for Eastern African Pastoralism (CELEP)

Related:

The coming food catastrophe

From the economist:  

Why the world is tipping towards mass hunger.    

People have become familiar with the idea of a cost-of-living crisis, but that does not begin to capture the gravity of what may lie ahead. The war in Ukraine is battering a global food system weakened by covid-19, climate change and an energy shock. Ukraine’s exports of grain and oilseeds have mostly stopped and Russia’s are threatened. Wheat prices, up 53% since the start of the year, jumped a further 6% on May 16th, after India said it would suspend exports because of a heatwave.

Together, Russia and Ukraine provide 28% of the globally traded supply of wheat, 29% of barley, 15% of maize and 75% of sunflower oil (see Briefing). Ukraine’s food exports normally feed 400m people worldwide. The high cost of staple foods has already raised the number of people who cannot be sure of getting enough to eat by 440m, to 1.6bn. Nearly 250m are on the brink of famine. If, as is likely, the war drags on and supplies from Russia and Ukraine are limited, hundreds of millions more people could fall into poverty. Political unrest will spread, children will be stunted and some people will starve.

Mr Putin must not use food as a weapon. Shortages are not the inevitable outcome of war. States need to act together, starting by keeping markets open. World leaders should see hunger as a global problem urgently requiring a global solution.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Financial Solutions for Women in Rural and Agricultural Livelihoods

19 May 2022. InfoPoint Virtual Conference: "Financial Solutions for Women in Rural and Agricultural Livelihoods: Evidence and Experience"

Recording forthcoming.

Financial inclusion is a pathway to better livelihoods. DG INTPA is a member of CGAP, an inclusive finance think tank and donor consortium promoting access to finance across the world especially for the most underserved people, often women.

In this session CGAP shared insights from its research together with partners Wi-Agri and MyAgri, financial and non-financial service providers active in Cote d'Ivoire and Senegal

CGAP, Wi-Agri and MyAgri shared their experiences, challenges, and successes on working with women in rural and agricultural livelihoods (WIRAL) to increase their incomes and resilience, where agricultural development, digital technology, financial services, and gender intersect.
  • Cecile Billaux - Head of Unit, INTPA E2, Micro Economic Analysis, Investment Climate, Private Sector, Trade and Employment
  • Jamie Anderson - Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP
  • Max Mattern - Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP
  • Estelle Lahaye - Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP
  • Renee Chao-Beroff - CEO and Founder, Wi-Agri
  • Anushka Ratnayake - CEO and Founder, myAgro

Healthy Soil and Healthy Food and the Community Managed Natural farming programme in Andhra Pradesh

19 May 2022. Healthy Soil and Healthy Food and the Community Managed Natural farming programme in Andhra Pradesh by AFSA
  • This session presented a synthesis and overview of what came out of the 12 presentations in January – March this year.
  • These presentations from 12 organisations working with farmers in different parts of our continent shared how implementation of the 9 principles of natural farming is going: what’s working and where are the challenges?



Soil Biology for Crop Nutrition and Reduced Pathogen Outbreaks

19 May 2022.  Soil Biology for Crop Nutrition and Reduced Pathogen Outbreaks -
Can a thriving soil food web reduce pathogen outbreaks and improve soil fertility?

Fungi have a role and place in the diverse ecosystem that is Life on Earth. Fungi became known as ‘pathogens’ because of our monoculture style of agriculture. But fungi have an imperative role in sequestering carbon in the soil, holding water in the soil, and building resilience in the face of climate threats to agriculture. This presentation was part of the Soil Regen Summit 2022. See: 15-17 March 2022. Soil Regeneration Summit: Farming for the Future

This live interactive webinar with Dr. Mary Cole, Dr. Elaine Ingham and Graham Lancaster brought extensive knowledge and experience in soil biology and soil chemistry. This webinar answered questions from the live audience.

Check the Summit presentations by the panelists here: soilregensummit.com. The four speaker presentations from the Summit will also be released on our YouTube channel over the next few weeks.

Sustainable Finance for Climate


18 May 2022
. IFC’s global virtual Sustainability Exchange explored how sustainable finance can help drive the environmental and justice agenda by prioritizing climate and social targets.

Extracts of the programme:

WELCOME 
  • Morgan Landy, Senior Director Global Infrastructure, IFC 
  • Denise Odaro, Head of Investor Relations & Sustainable Finance Coordinator, IFC 
  • Katherine Koh, Climate Lead Infrastructure, IFC 
  • Veronica Nyhan Jones, Global Manager, Sustainable Infrastructure Advisory, IFC 
COMMUNITIES STRONG: FINANCING RESILIENCE ON THE FRONT LINES @11:24
  • Honorable Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados See picture 
  • Emmanuel Nyirinkindi, Vice President, Cross-Cutting Solutions, IFC 
CREATIVE ACTION 4 AFRICA
  • Makhtar Diop, Managing Director, IFC See picture
  • Idris Elba, Actor, Producer, Humanitarian & UN Goodwill Ambassador, IFAD
  • Sabrina Dhowre Elba, Model, Activist & UN Goodwill Ambassador, IFAD
  • Gilbert Houngbo, President, IFAD
VAST HORIZONS: ECO-ENGINEERING 
  • Kadija Simboro, General Director, Farafina Eco-Engineering, Burkina Faso
BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE: DATA & VOICE @39:43
  • Hassanein Hiridjee, CEO, Axian Group 
  • Linda Munyengeterwa, Director, Middle East & Africa Infrastructure, IFC See picture 
HUMANIZING FINANCE 
  • Audrey Choi, Senior Advisor & CEO, Institute for Sustainable Investing, Morgan Stanley See picture
  • Denise Odaro, Head of Investor Relations & Sustainable Finance Coordinator, IFC 
SUSTAINABILITY-LINKED PARTNERSHIPS 
  • Froydis Cameron-Johansson, Group Head, International Government & Sustainability Relations, Anglo American 
  • Ignacio de Calonje, Sustainable Finance Lead, Infrastructure, IFC 
LEARNING TOGETHER: FINANCING AMBITIOUS GREEN ENERGY IN ASIA 
  • Eugene Cheng, Group Chief Financial Officer, Sembcorp Industries 
  • Jing Li, Thoh, Head, Group Corporate and Treasury, Sembcorp Industries 
  • Gwendolyn Loh, Vice President, Group Sustainability, Sembcorp Industries 
  • Isabel Chatterton, Director, Asia Infrastructure, IFC 
FRESH PERSPECTIVES: FINANCE IS FOR EVERYONE 
  • Aisling McCaffrey, Assoc. Director Financial Services Advisory, Grant Thornton Ireland 
  • Maya Burney, Founder, Womvest South Africa 
  • Nomindari Enkhtur, CEO, Mongolian Sustainable Finance Association 
GREENING TRANSPORT & MANAGING WATER IN CENTRAL AMERICA 
  • Victor Vial, Chief Financial Officer, Panama Canal 
  • Sanaa Abouzaid, Regional Manager, Central America, IFC

Powerful words from inspiring speakers
  • “Living sustainably is not only a matter of moral principle, but a matter of survival.” –Mia Motley, Prime Minister of Barbados
  • “The arts are an instrument of change.” - Idris Elba, Actor, Producer, Humanitarian & UN Goodwill Ambassador, IFAD
  • “Farmers are the custodians of the earth.” - Sabrina Dhowre Elba, Model, Activist & UN Goodwill Ambassador, IFAD
  • “We must be sure that every corner of Africa has the proper coverage. We have to give the best quality of data to everyone.” - Hassanein Hiridjee, CEO, Axian Group
  • “We think social indicators are a huge opportunity for sustainably-linked finance. They are what will really uplift communities.” - Froydis Cameron-Johansson, Anglo American
  • “We don’t feel it’s fair that somebody who made a significant investment in a carbon-efficient fleet should pay the same as somebody who has made no investment. Our pricing strategy reflects that. It’s part of our responsibility in the industry to incentivize our customers to do everything they can to meet this [climate] challenge.” - Victor Vial, CFO, Panama Canal
  • “We believe having women employed in various job segments, especially in male-dominated positions, is very important. Through this, women will have more career opportunities, with increased power in society.” - Aysel Özkan, IZSU General Manager
  • “Fusion companies are working at a pace now where we can see commercialization starting within 10 years….with the potential to generate endless clean energy.” - Katie Rae, CEO and Managing Partner, The Engine
  • “We really believe in the idea of edutainment, which is education and entertainment.” - Alex Rendell, Actor & Producer, UNEP National Goodwill Ambassador for Thailand
  • “With dance we can express our emotions. When people are dancing and doing moves together they feel united.” - Olena Shptenko, Ukrainian dancer and choreographer

Land-Water-Energy Resources Use Webinar by FANRPAN

17 May 2022. CLAB Africa Webinar Series – WEBINAR 2: LAND – WATER- ENERGY RESOURCES USE
The key messages from the thematic brief 2 are as follows:
  • Adoption and/or amplification of micro-gardening techniques such as composting and vermicomposting, with a particular focus on economically vulnerable social groups such as women and youth.
  • Sustainable intensification of smallholder farming by providing the necessary financial and skills investment.
  • Need for greater research efforts for sustainable intensified agriculture focused on developing improved fallow management.
  • Integration of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) in land policy, beginning at a local level; and
  • Utilization of tertiary institutions for capturing, making sense of and applying IKS.
Speakers:
  • Dr. Gabriel Lekalakala shared the challenges & key governance frameworks for equitable, sustainable resource use of land, water and energy.
  • Prof. Neill Goosen from the ARUA Centre of Excellence in Energy
  • @StellenboschUni emphasized on the importance of a nexus approach in #land water and energy research and policy interventions
  • SDG Water Investments Specialist Ms. Shamiso Mlilwana from @GWPSAF

Related:
2nd Call for Applications for the SADC Renewable Energy Entrepreneurship Support Facility: sacreee.org/job/sacreee/2n
due 12 June 2022

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Matchmaking event G-STIC Climate Action Programme - Call 2022

17 - 18 May 2022. Matchmaking event G-STIC Climate Action Programme - Call 2022

To support developing countries in the fight against climate change, the Government of Flanders launched in 2021 the G-STIC Climate Action Programme, a call for proposals that provides international climate finance in line with the Paris Agreement. By providing financial support to projects for climate change adaptation and mitigation, the G-STIC Climate Action Programme aims to strengthen developing countries' implementation of climate policies, strategies, regulations and action plans.

In 2022, the Government of Flanders provides 15,88 million euros for the second project call of the G-STIC Climate Action Programme. These subsidies are meant for both demonstration projects as well as dissemination & capacity building projects implemented by Flemish organisations in developing countries.

Innovation Challenge “Advisory for Agroecology”

17 May - 2022. Innovation Challenge “Advisory for Agroecology” by GIZ
It featured six innovations in advisory that will provide the basis for a discussion on how to bridge the
gap between science and practice.

Although the relevance of agroecological farm and management approaches for achieving sustainable development goals is widely acknowledged, a gap persists regarding their implementation. Agroecological approaches require the co-creation of knowledge and exchange at eye level between scientist, extensionists and farmers. But how to achieve this goal?

The jury has selected six semi-finalists. 

Representatives from science, advisories, and farming reflected on their approaches, especially with regards to bridging the gap between science and practice.

Panel Discussion - How to Bridge the Science-Practice Gap?
  • Marcela Quintero - Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical
    Agriculture (CIAT)
  • Rasheed Sulaiman - Center for Research on Innovation and Science Policy (CRISP) + GFRAS
  • Janet Maro - Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT)
  • Stefan Kachelriess-Matthess (GIZ)  
  • Moderation: Abram Bicksler - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Transparency, inclusiveness and sustainability in global (land) investment

16 May 2022 - InfoPoint Virtual Conference via Webex Meetings: "Transparency, inclusiveness and sustainability in global (land) investment"

Recording forthcoming 

The objective of this Infopoint was to mobilise for more responsible and inclusive investment. 

This Infopoint conference, organised by the Land Matrix (a EU funded project, tracking large-scale land investments worldwide) was structured around the release of its latest report focussing on evolution, impacts and VGGT implementation in the framework of large-scale land acquisitions (ref report: Little progress in practice. Transparency, inclusiveness and sustainability in global (land) investment in Africa (see www.landmatrix.org). 

The presentation of these results were complemented by a presentation of the International Federation for Human Rights, discussing the above results in the framework of the EU’s new rules for companies to respect human rights and environment in global value chains.

  • Etienne Coyette - Policy officer, INTPA F3 - Sustainable Agri-Food systems and Fisheries
  • Sacha Feierabend - Program officer, Globalisation desk at FIDH
  • Ward Anseeuw - International Land Coalition & CIRAD - Lead data, learning and knowledge

Friday, May 13, 2022

Proceedings-Biennial Africa Climate Smart Agriculture Stakeholders Conference

 Proceedings-Biennial Africa Climate Smart Agriculture Stakeholders Conference


In 2009, Climate-Smart Agriculture was developed and introduced to mitigate the effect of climate change on the agricultural sector. The CSA framework gained acceptance, and its implementation seems to have gained ground. A conference aimed at fostering a continental and national CSA readiness to avert the negative effects of climate change. "Climate-Smart Agriculture" (CSA) has gained ground as a keyword in agricultural development projects. The conference was held from the 1st to 2nd December 2020 and attracted many stakeholders across the continent. Over 850 participants joined on Zoom, FARA Facebook page, and YouTube channel.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Achieving Restoration Objectives through Safeguarding Legitimate Tenure Rights


9 - 20 May 2022
. Abidjan, (Ivory Coast) hosts the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

The COP15 theme, ‘Land. Life. Legacy: From scarcity to prosperity', is a call to action to ensure land, the lifeline on this planet, continues to benefit present and future generations.  ​


COP15 is filled with some 2,000 participants, mostly from the African continent, who brighten the
meeting rooms with colorful, traditional garments. Among these are heads of state (nine from Africa), ministers and key delegates who have met during the first two days to share what’s happening in their countries and sectors and advocate for the funding, policy and support needed most to fight land degradation on their home turf.
  • A hallmark report released by UNCCD in advance of the COP – the Global Land Outlook 2 (GLO2) – is serving as the scientific foundation for discussions. Among other staggering facts, the report found that 40 percent of all ice-free land is degraded, which has direct consequences on half of humanity and poses risks for half of global GDP.
  • “Future-proofing” is a term heading up the conference lexicon, referring to the need to proactively protect communities and landscapes from the future effects of climate change.
  • The need for gender equity is front and center. Eighty percent of employed women in most least-developed countries rely on agriculture for their livelihoods, but few own their land – for example, only 5 percent do in the Middle East and North Africa. The event opened with its second-ever Gender Caucus examining policy, finance and activism in this sector, and the launch of a new report on the gendered effects of desertification and drought.
  • The microphone has been given to youth much more than in COPs past. Sixty percent of Africa’s population is under the age of 25, and this demographic is increasingly viewed as a generational leader. Two of the main concerns voiced by the continent’s youth are the unsustainability of food and agriculture and access to water, as droughts are becoming increasingly severe and desertification is spreading.
  • The Great Green Wall – a UNCCD-led effort to restore a green belt across the Sahelian region to prevent the southward spread of the Sahara Desert – remains achievable but needs significantly more support to be realized. Leaders are calling for more funds, national coordination and task forces to ramp up the initiative.
  • Indeed, a little bit of money goes a long way. According to the UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw, each monetary unit invested in land restoration could return up to 30 times its value, and land restoration globally could generate up to USD 140 trillion. According to the GLO2, USD 1.6 trillion is needed for land restoration over the next eight years.
  • President Ouattara announced the Abidjan Legacy Program as a new five-year strategy to restore the country’s forests and food supply through modern methods such as by using the latest tree-planting technology and climate-smart plant varieties. The country aims to raise USD 1.5 billion to support the effort, and the African Development Bank, the E.U., the Green Growth Initiative and the World Bank have already pledged funds.
  • The first two days ended with the “Abidjan Call” – a collective assertion from leaders stressing the need to make drought an issue of highest global priority and to continue working toward a net-neutral level of annual land degradation by 2030.
  • Key figures presiding over the event have included UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw, Ivorian president Alassane Ouattara and first lady Dominique Ouattara, former Finnish president Tarja Kaarina Halonen, president of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid, UN deputy secretary-general Amina Mohammed, young Kenyan conservationist Patricia Kombo, Indigenous rights activist Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, French president Emmanuel Macron, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen via video, and spiritual leader and environmentalist Sadhguru.

The UNCCD Science-Policy Interface (SPI) 

The UNCCD Science-Policy Interface (SPI) was established at COP11 in 2013 (Namibia). 
  • See SPI members
  • The SPI works to translate scientific findings and assessments into policy-relevant recommendations. This includes collaboration with different scientific panels and bodies. It promotes dialogue between scientists and policy makers and other actors on desertification/land degradation and drought (DLDD). 
  • The mandate of the SPI is to provide the Committee on Science and Technology (CST) with thematic guidance on knowledge sharing requirements, thus helping the Convention to fulfill its mandate.

10 and 11 May 2022 Green BUSINESS FORUM 2022 

The business forum highlighted the key role the private sector plays in developing and implementing sustainable innovations to protect soils and rehabilitate land. Below are some extracts:

10/05 Smallholder agriculture: The untapped business opportunities for the private sector (IFAD)

This side event showcased different investment models to: 1) de-risking approaches to mobilize private funding and investments into rural MSMEs and 2) to expand markets, and increase income and job opportunities for small-scale agriculture.

11/05 Quelles stratégies de mobilisation de la finance verte pour le développement économique de la Côte d’Ivoire ? 
Panel 2 : Quels accompagnements des PME, des ETI et de l’écosystème pour la mobilisation des fonds verts ? 
  • Modérateur : - Marc DAUBREY, CEO Green Invest 
  • M. Salimou BAMBA, DG Agence CI PME 
  • M. Jean-Yves KPALOU, Conseiller Technique en charge de la mobilisation des ressources et de la coopération au Ministère des Eaux et Forêts 
  • M. Vincent ISTASSE, DG BANK OF AFRICA (BOA-CI) 
  • Mme ASSEMIEN épse KOUASSI Aurore, Responsable Gouvernance et RSE (BOA-CI) 
  • M. Fidèle KOUADIO, Chef de service Genre et Environnement du FIRCA 
  • M. ADAÏ, CEO AGROMAP
N'Diaye Oumar, Directeur Exécutif Adjoint du FIRCA, a participé au panel à la COP15 Abidjan Business Form pour parler d'expérience de l'institution en matière de mobilisation de ressources et de financement de projet adressant les questions climatique dans le cadre de la lutte contre la désertification et la protection de l’environnement.


Innovative financial mechanisms for landscape restoration (AFDB)

This workshop shared innovative ways for raising finance through the Global Mechanism (GM), Adaptation Benefit Mechanism (ABM) and the voluntary carbon markets. AFDB and partners shared how the ABM can be used to restore landscapes in the Sahelian region. 
  • The ABM is a results-based financing mechanism for mobilizing public and private sector finance for projects and programmes enhancing the resilience and adaptation of vulnerable communities and ecosystem by introducing a new incentive - certified adaptation benefits, delivering verified and largely quantified information on progress towards resilience and adaptation, climate finance and other sustainable development goals of the host countries, which can be used for by the buyers for transparency and reporting. 
  • Payments upon delivery of certified adaptation benefits will create a new revenue stream for activities that would not be realized otherwise.

Fragile Contexts: Putting communities, private sector and resource mobilization center-stage at COP15 (African Development Bank)

African Development Bank has been and continues to support of its Regional Member Countries in overcoming the multiplicity of interlinked and context-specific challenges. This includes national and regional initiatives such as the Great Green Wall (GGW), Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program, Desert to Power (DtP), Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones among many others.

During COP26 (Glasgow), the AFDB (Climate Change and Green Growth Department together with the Transition States Coordination Office and the Bank’s Gender, Women and Civil Society Department) worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to raise awareness of the climate funding gap for countries in fragile contexts (see here for more information). This needs to continue during COP15 (Abidjan) and later this year at COP27 (Sharm El Sheikh).

Side events 

Side events organized within the sidelines of the official sessions of the Conference of the Parties (COP) and/or its subsidiary bodies convened by the UNCCD provide an informal opportunity for Parties and accredited observer organizations to exchange information and experiences on diverse issues related to the objectives of the Convention.

11/05 Launch of the FAO-UNCCD Technical Guide on Responsible Governance of Tenure and Land Degradation Neutrality

11/05. Side event AFDB’s Climate Change and Green Growth Strategic Framework and plan of action : support the ecosystem restoration agenda in Africa

11/05. Side event by Global Landscapes Forum - GLF Achieving Restoration Objectives through Safeguarding Legitimate Tenure Rights 

Smallholders need secure land tenure to ensure investments in ecosystem restoration and food security and land-based adaptation options for millions of people around the world. As the global community scrambles to address multiple crises, responsible land governance is more urgent than ever before. In this context, TMG Research and its partners have developed a human rights-based approach to land governance monitoring, including a reference tool called the Human Rights and Land Navigator, which they will launch during this side event session. 

The online tool aims to make the UN-backed Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) more tangible by detailing the human rights on which they are based. During the session, UNCCD stakeholders and human rights actors will discuss the potential of the international human rights system and the new tool to enhance the implementation of the VGGT and safeguard legitimate tenure rights for ecosystem restoration. The event provided practical entry points for land rights defenders, national-level policymakers and human rights bodies to advocate for and monitor progress on land governance instruments.


11/05 Side event IFAD: A new Momentum on the Great Green Wall

The eleven countries of the Great Green Wall (GGW) are among the world's poorest and most vulnerable countries to climate change. The GGW aims to restore 100 million hectares of degraded land, sequester 250 million tonnes of carbon, and create 10 million green jobs in rural areas across the Sahel by 2030.

11/05. Side event CGIAR - Conflict, COVID, Climate Change: Bouncing back from crisis through theAgriculture Breakthrough

Bouncing back from crisis through an Agriculture Breakthrough. An in-person UNCCD COP15 side event hosted by AICCRA, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Clim-Eat. Unfortunately, livestreaming of this event was not possible. 
  • Robert Zougmoré, West Africa Lead, Accelerating Impact of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA)
  • Nahla Noobi, Head of Terrestrial Biodiversity at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, United Arab Emirates
  • Helena Owen, Development Counsellor, British Embassy, Côte d'Ivoire
  • Sebastian Lesch, Head of Division German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
  • Joost Nelen, Global Expert on Pastoralism, SNV
  • Nora Kaoues, Program Manager, World Bank
  • Representative of the FACT Dialogue [TBC]
  • Christophe Kouamé, Country Director, Côte d’Ivoire, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and Convenor, Humid West Africa
Related: From 17 - 20 May 2021 AICCRA was launched with a high-level opening event, which was followed by a series of dialogues involving AICCRA's partners.


13 May 2022. UNEP: The Great Green Investment Opportunity The Great Green Wall: an overview of current progress and the key investment opportunities for green jobs, women’s livelihoods, climate resilience, and Integrated Ecosystem Management.

13 May 2022.  IRENA - Scaling up clean energy and climate action on the ground

14 May 2022: IFAD - Integrated approaches for sustainable land management in sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia

The Resilient Food Systems programme (RFS) engages smallholder farmer groups, private sector entities, governments, and scientific institutions to advance environmental management for food security. Lessons learned on scaling up sustainable land management in Cambodia will be shared, and we will hear about ecosystem services payments in Nigeria, Senegal, and Burundi. Download the flyer


16 May 2022. BothEnds - Funding agroecology as a pathway to achieve Land Degradation 
Neutrality – How funders can best support agroecological initiatives by local communities in drylands

16 May 2022. Euroclima + - Nature-based Solutions for restoration in Latin America. Lessons  learnt from the EUROCLIMA+ programme

16 May 2022. Agrisud International - Agro-écologie et Approches territoriales : au-delà des mots, des méthodes et des outils pour agir

17 May 2022. CIFOR - Agroecological transitions for dryland resilience

17 May 2022.  Adaptation Fund: Enhancing Access to Finance for Sustainable Land Management through the Adaptation Fund to tackle climate change induced land degradation

18 May 2022. World Agroforestry - Restoration of degraded cocoa landscapes: lessons from Côte 
d’Ivoire

19 May 2022. Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques- Autonomisation des communautés rurales pour la gestion durable et la valorisation des systèmes naturels et agricoles




IPES (2022) ANOTHER PERFECT STORM? # 20 p. How the failure to reform food systems has allowed the war in Ukraine to spark a third global food price crisis in 15 years, and what can be done to prevent the next one. A special report by IPES-Food, May 2022


With the invasion of Ukraine sparking a third food price crisis in 15 years, a new IPES-Food special report, ‘Another Perfect Storm?’ takes stock of the critical factors fanning the flames of global hunger - and what can be done about them.

World food prices continued to see record-breaking highs in April 2022, hitting food insecure countries and populations hard. Numbers of undernourished people could increase by 13 million this year.

The special report blames fundamental flaws in global food systems - such as heavy reliance on food imports and excessive commodity speculation - for escalating food insecurity sparked by the Ukraine invasion. These flaws were exposed, but not corrected, after previous food price spikes in 2007-8.

The expert panel calls for urgent action to:
  • support food importing countries (including through debt relief),
  • curb excessive commodity speculation and enhance market transparency,
  • reduce reliance on fertilizers and fossil energy in food production,
  • build up regional grain reserves & food security response systems,
  • and accelerate steps to diversify food production and restructure trade flows.
Read the special report [EN]
Read the press release [EN]

The Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP)


27 March - 1 April 2022.
 Virtual Gobeshona Global Conference. 

The seven-day long annual Gobeshona Global Conference on Locally Led Adaptation will was hosted by the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) fully online! See all the recordings here. This conference brought together researchers as well as practitioners and supporters of LLA under one platform to focus on Learning and Measuring progress locally, nationally and globally, each year and track progress year on year.

Extract of the events (see the Gobeshona Global Conference 2 programme)

29 March 2022. The Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program 

(AAAP) hosted a session titled, "AAAP: Transformative Adaptation to Accelerate and Scale Climate Action". The recording was put online 28 April 2022.

The session focused on policy shifts, the enabling environment, financing, community engagement and private sector involvement to accelerate and scale climate adaptation in Africa.

The session brought together policy makers, sustainable financiers, climate resilience experts and youth advocates to discuss the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that calls for increased speed and scale in implementing adaptation actions.
"Climate change impacts are already occurring, faster and more severely than previous IPCC reports indicated. This new report makes it clear that we are already facing irreversible losses and damages to human societies and ecosystems around the world" Dr. Rebecca Carter, the Acting Director, Climate Resilience Practice at the World Resources Institute, setting the scene for the session.
There is the need to incorporate indigenous knowledge with scientific knowledge to develop the most effective adaptation interventions and solutions. Farmers, use indigenous knowledge to predict drought and rainfall and this knowledge is important for adaptation action, Prof. Philip Antwi-Agyei, Associate Professor at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and Lead Author of IPCC's special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C
Zambia Ministry of Green Economy and Environment official Chitembo Kawimbe Chunga said adaptation should be integrated into local and national development plans.

She added that laws, policies and regulations on adaptation exist in Zambia that show where and how to adapt. Zambia is working with development partners including the African Development Bank to explore best practices for adaptation and resilience building among communities. Chunga is also the National Coordinator of both the Transforming Landscapes for Resilience and Development and the Zambia Strengthening Climate Resilience projects.

The audience followed presentations on different funding sources, including green bonds and blended finance to mobilise finance for adaptation.

Background:
The Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP) is an Africa-owned and Africa-led response to the continent's expressed needs and priorities to reduce its vulnerabilities as well as harness opportunities. 

  • It will contribute to closing Africa’s adaptation gap, support African countries to make a transformational shift to put climate adaptation and resilience at the center of critical growth-orientated and inclusive policies, programs, and institutions. 
  • The AAAP builds on the priority areas identified by the countries in their NDCs and NAPs and accelerates momentum through large scale proof of concept investments, innovations, and knowledge and technical assistance initiatives. 
  • The program is designed to drive a harmonized approach to project implementation and monitoring.
  • The AAAP was first presented and was well-received at the Climate Adaptation Summit in January 2021. The Summit was the largest gathering ever of global leaders on adaptation. The AAAP was officially launched on April 6th at the Leaders Dialogue on Covid-19 and climate emergency. 
  • More than 30 African heads of state and other global leaders rallied behind the AAAP, endorsing it as a key vehicle to operationalize the Africa Adaptation Initiative's mandate. Following this event, a communiqué was issued by African leaders underlining the importance of climate resilience as a key element of Africa’s economic recovery plans.

The recording was put online 8 May 2022.
In this session, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), and the UN Climate Resilience Initiative (A2R) supported by the FAO, along with local partners, highlighted how locally-led nature-based solutions can accelerate climate action and policy with regards to adaptation and resilience.