November is Climate Month on Agrilinks
This post is written by Ann Vaughan, RFS Senior Climate Advisor and Jennifer Tikka, Director, RFS Center for Agriculture-Led Growth.
Dear Agrilinks Reader,
Happy November! Here in the United States, we’re getting closer to Thanksgiving, which is an opportunity to come together with family and friends and good food. Unfortunately though, we know a global food crisis is forcing tens of millions of people into hunger and the situation is only likely to get worse. We are also closely following the situation in the Horn of Africa, and particularly Somalia, where USAID is working to prevent a possible second famine in just under 10 years.
We are also just a week away from COP27, hosted this year by the Egyptian government in Sharm El Sheikh. The Conference of the Parties, or “COP,” is the annual gathering of governments and advocates to take stock of — and advance — progress on climate commitments. Importantly, this year’s COP has a dedicated ‘themed day’ for Agriculture and Adaptation, which is an exciting opportunity to elevate how we can best help farmers around the world address the impacts of climate change and, where possible, decrease emissions from food systems, which globally contribute about 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. While farmers and food systems in low-income countries contribute very little to global emissions, they are being affected more severely and often have fewer options to adapt.
Why should the agricultural community care? As farmers will be the first to tell you, life is getting harder each year as drought, extreme heat and erratic rains make production more difficult and less predictable. The science also is clear and disturbing: In the last 60 years, despite advancements in agriculture, climate change has reduced global farming productivity by an average of 21% with impacts predicted to accelerate in coming decades according to a Cornell-led study. The IPCC projects that as much as 10% of land currently suitable for major crops and livestock could become unusable for farming by 2050, and up to 34% unusable by 2100. Moreover, climate-smart investments in agriculture in more robust farming systems are essential for slowing or reversing extensification of agriculture and the destruction of carbon- and biodiversity-rich fragile environments — forests, wetlands and hillsides.
To help make sure we all have the latest tools and tricks to help farmers, herders, fisherfolk and everyone within the food system be prepared to adapt to, and where possible, mitigate the impact of climate change, we will be sharing a series of blog posts and resources from our partners, featuring examples from the field and actionable recommendations for the development community. Blog posts will span topics related to reforestation and agroforestry, climate smart agriculture, coastal adaptation methods, opportunities for methane abatement, innovative financing and more.
Please bookmark this post and follow @Agrilinks and @FeedtheFuture on Twitter to see the latest updates on climate change and food security, as well as what we’re up to at COP. If you would like to submit a post or resource to Agrilinks or share what you are doing for COP27 and beyond, please reach out to [email protected].
And don’t forget to register for our webinar on November 30th!