20111207-135825.jpgJacob Zuma, Kofi Annan and Meles Zenawi support Climate-smart Agriculture at Durban.


FAO led a learning event looking at what tools and policies are required to bring food security, adaptation and mitigation together at the Agriculture and Rural Development Day taking place in Durban, South Africa on the sidelines of UN climate change talks COP17 .

The impact of best practices were shared among some 60 participants attending the session looking at several examples:
1.Drought-resistant varieties using local biodiversity, leading to increased productivity and reduced risk  in Mali.
2.Community seed enterprises developed, leading to availability of suitable seeds for local farming communities  in Cameroun.
3. With urea deep placement technique improved fertilizer management was reached,wasting less resources (25% decrease in urea use). It also showed a 25% increase in crop yields; and increased opportunities for income. In Bangladesh some 2,500 urea making pellets created, mainly run by women in Bangladesh.
Some examples of measures that need to be taken, to scale-up cliamte-smart agriculture discussed among all participants and speakers at the learning event included:
1.Increase south-south cooperation (e.g. in transfer of technology)
2.Have proven economic performance/impact
3.Ensure solid scientific basis (strongly considering local knowledge)
4.Integrate climate concerns into national agricultural policies, extension messages and education systems
Stay-uned for the photos and links to presentations.
Read the press release: A  joint appeal to COP17  climate negotiators here.

The summary if the Climate-smart knowledge day is now available here

For the first time ever during UN Climate Change talks, FAO presented all its work on food security and climate change in one single event. Near 100 attendants had the chance to learn more about FAO’s work on climate change in one single venue and engage in a debate on topics ranging from fisheries to soil carbon sequestration, all the way to genetic resources and energy and food systems.

Experiences from Malawi, South Africa, Brazil and Cambodia on Climate-smart agricultural practices, deforestation and fisheries were also discussed during this one day event.

An event that deserves a repeat for sure. If you didn’t get a chance to attend, no worries the presentations are here and there will be a side event on 2 December on climate-smart agriculture organized by the Rome-based agencies: FAO, IFAD, WFP at COP 17 at 13.15-14.45 in Room 2 of the ICC center in Durban, South Africa.

Presentations are available here

FAO today released findings of their global remote sensing survey. This is the first comprehensive picture of losses and gains of forests worldwide.

The results largely confirm earlier numbers by the FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010, which is based on country reporting, however some obaervations can be made:

Tropical deforestation was lower than previously reported, averaging about 9 millon ha/year for the 1990-2005 period. The net loss in the tropics was about 7 million ha/year.

Boreal, temperate and subtropical zones all show net gains of forest area, only the tropical zone has a net loss.

The results will lead to new analyses of forest and land use dynamics, and the approach used offer interesting possibilities for monitoring in REDD+ countries.

Tomorrow, the new global and regional results from the new global remote sensing survey of the FAO Forest Resources Assessment will reveal the gross and net changes in forest area for all regions for the period 1990-2005.

As a run-up, the methodology is presented at the FAO Climate-smart Knowledge Day, including discussing how the approach can be used at country level to support REDD+ related monitroing and reference level analyses.

Some key points and lessons include:

  • - use sampling – it is much more efficient than full cover
  • - rely on manual verification of changes – automatic remote sensing classifications are inherently unreliable
  • - land use change is very different from land cover change
  • - with global data now available, the FAO approach and tools are available for countries that want to make a cost-efficient monitoring of changes
  • - the approach covers all types of lands and can therefore be applied to agriculture monitoring as well.

Stay tuned for the results tomorrow. What do you think the tropical deforestation rate is??


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