CAN Intervention at COP 19 in the SBSTA Workshop on the current state of scientific knowledge on how to enhance the adaptation of agriculture to climate change impacts...

Thank you chairs. I am Ram Kishan from India and am speaking on behalf of CAN-International.

Global food production and thus food security are threatened by climate change. Every person in the world depends on agriculture for his/her very sustenance; most of the rural poor depend on agriculture for their livelihoods while agriculture has tremendous importance as a means of driving sustainable development. Local and mostly small-scale food producers feed the vast majority of world population. Climate change puts all of this at risk. The sustainability of agriculture and enhancement of food security, now and into the future, are of absolutely vital importance. Agricultural activities contribute about 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions (plus an additional 10 percent from clearing forests for agricultural land). Addressing these emissions will be critical if we are to achieve the UNFCCC goal of limiting average global temperature increase to two degrees Celsius.

Thus, to the greatest extent possible, policies at all levels should be designed and implemented to meet four goals:

  1. In sustainable ways, maintain and increase the security of food supplies for food insecure people, particularly in developing countries;
  2. Enable small-scale food producers and other vulnerable populations to become more resilient to climate change;
  3. Sustainably reduce emissions from the agricultural sector; and
  4. Reduce emissions from the conversion of other land to agriculture.

The UNFCCC should facilitate the potential for countries to:

  1. Promote biodiverse climate-resilient small-scale agriculture based on agro-ecological principles;
  2. Support appropriate technology development and transfer that enhance sustainability of food production systems;
  3. Include safeguards which protect biodiversity, equitable access to resources by rural peoples, food security, the right to food, the rights of indigenous peoples and local populations, as well as the welfare of farm animals, while promoting poverty reduction and climate adaptation;
  4. Explore opportunities to sustainably reduce emissions from the agricultural sector; and
  5. Reduce emissions from the conversion of other land to agriculture.
  6. For developing country agriculture the priorities should be sustainability, climate resilience, and food security, and Parties must provide resources for promoting biodiverse, resilient small-scale agriculture and appropriate technology development and transfer.

Developed countries must progress toward full and comprehensive accounting of the emissions associated with their agricultural activities, including bioenergy production and use.

Thank you.