News summary below extracted from the SDG UPDATE: A compilation of items recently posted to the SDG Knowledge Hub,
Author’s post: Elizabeth Kahurani – Communications Specialist, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
November 30, 2017.
A bright spot from this year’s annual global climate talks (COP 23) was an agreement by UNFCCC parties to address agriculture in the negotiation process, a decision that ended a long-standing stalemate that hindered progress on agriculture for years.
With this decision, both the technical (Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, SBSTA) and implementation (Subsidiary Body for Implementation, SBI) bodies within the climate change negotiation framework are required to address key issues in a joint process linking climate change and agriculture. Countries have until March 2018 to make submissions on issues to be included in the joint discussions.
Drawn from previous discussions, issues likely to make the list of negotiations range from soil health and carbon, adaptation, adaptation co-benefits (mitigation), to improved nutrition, food security, water, and livestock management. If this process leads to a policy framework by 2020, there will be increased prioritization of resources towards the production and availability of knowledge, technical, methodological, and financial resources needed for effective action relating to agriculture and climate change.
Even as this process moves forward, countries can begin to take appropriate measures for agriculture to fill the ever-growing food demand from increasing populations and help meet the targets on zero hunger of the second Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 2), while contributing to tackling climate change (SDG 13). One such measure of great potential is the use and management of trees on farms, i.e. agroforestry.
A study released by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) at the UN Climate Change Conference shows that agroforestry covers about one billion ha of land worldwide, with experts estimating that the carbon storage potential in these agroforestry systems can offset an equivalent of 20 years of emissions from deforestation. Further evidence shows that agroforestry contributes to microclimate and water regulation, supports biodiversity conservation, improves soil fertility, and helps diversify nutrition, significantly contributing to food security. This potential role of agroforestry is set out in more detail in a recent ICRAF study titled, ‘How Agroforestry Propels Achievement of Nationally Determined Contributions.’ The study shows that most countries have prioritized agroforestry as one strategy towards achieving their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
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