Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Doha: Agriculture, Landscapes and Livelihoods Day 5

3 December 2012. Doha, Qatar. “No agriculture, no deal” was the mantra coming out the fifth Agriculture, Landscapes, and Livelihoods (ALL, formerly Agriculture and Rural Development) Day on Monday. Yet it appears as though the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) will not make any sort of recommendation regarding agriculture to the UNFCCC at COP18, due to difficulties in reaching consensus. And while according to Mahmoud Sohl (ICARDA), one of the speakers on the high level panel at ALL Day, “if they don’t put agriculture on the agenda, then they are not serious” about dealing with climate change, clearly participants at this year’s ALL Day felt strongly that agriculture needed to be part of the solution to climate change.

However, ALL Day also demonstrated that agriculture poses a unique challenge; there is such a diversity of interests, priorities, and stakeholders that underlie a more general agreement around issues and urgency. Whereas some like Sohl stressed a need for research into technology and sustainable intensification, others placed emphasis on institutions to strengthen gender considerations and integration of adaptation and mitigation.

African negotiators are concerned about the lack of 

trust at the Doha climate change talks. 
(Source: Flickr/UNFCCC)
A High-Level Panel that kick-started ALL Day reflected this diversity, composed of representatives in farming, research, and policy. But the session was not all about talking heads, as Dr. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda (CEO, FANRPAN) called 0n the audience for feedback and questions. Through the farmers who voiced their concerns and opinions, it became increasingly apparent that these stakeholders felt as though their experiences and hurdles with climate change were not being heard in high-level policy.

The challenge for the agriculture community within UNFCCC processes is to find a unifying voice. As Dr. Sibanda said during the opening panel, “let’s all speak with one voice – it’s all about the food.” And regardless of whether or not something comes to fruition at COP18 or beyond, the message is clear that all of these different voices – particularly those without much access – need to come to the table to deal with climate change in a context-specific and meaningful manner.

Swaziland’s Dr Emmanuel Dlamini, Director of Meteorology, said there was a mismatch between what some richer nations had promised and what they were prepared to put on the table in Doha.

Many developed parties, including Norway, Japan and the EU, have met or exceeded their targets for FSF, which promised a total of $30bn from 2010-2012. The EU insists that there is money budgeted for support to continue and RTCC understands that the US also intends to maintain its climate finance at current levels.
However, African countries would prefer to see more concrete pledges.

“They are saying ‘we’ll continue with FSF, there’ll be no cliff, well keep providing funds’, so it’s difficult when we ask for a [formal] decision and they say they are just giving assurances. So you start saying are we negotiating in good faith?”
“The negotiations greatest challenge is building trust. To a certain extent, the trust that is there, if it is there [at all], is not sufficient enough to make us agree to make a successful outcome. When there is no trust among people then the good faith is damaged,” added Dlamini.

EU negotiator Artur Runge-Metzger insists the bloc will continue to provide climate finance beyond 2012

With the climate talks in Doha in their second week, Kenya like many African countries is pessimistic that any concrete decisions will be reached at the ongoing negotiations. However Kenya says it is willing to continue working with other African countries to fight for the continent's concerns even as the negotiations time the last lap. NTV's Loise Wangui reports on the talks.

No comments:

Post a Comment