COP 26 events show climate links with locust upsurge and agricultural adaptation | News | SDG Knowledge Center
Agroecology and locusts were highlighted at two side events organized during the Glasgow Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 26). The conference was held in Glasgow, UK, from October 31 to November 13, 2021. An event titled Agroecology: Ecosystem-Based Adaptation in Agriculture showcased agroecology within the framework of ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) for transformational changes in food systems, and highlighted the opportunities strategic for joint programs and strategies between agriculture and climate change communities. Participants agreed that:
- the current global food system destroys natural ecosystems, contributes about a quarter of global emissions and does not achieve zero hunger;
- systemic responses are needed to address the systemic challenges posed by climate change, EbA and agroecology;
- upscaling should be seen as creating an enabling environment for EbA and agroecology, which involves addressing rural development challenges, such as land security, community empowerment and inclusive service delivery; and
- new measures to internalize negative agricultural externalities are needed, as well as new valuation techniques to take into account positive externalities.
Jes Weigelt, TMG Research gGmbH, summarized the key messages of the TMG-ICRAF white paper on ecosystem-based adaptation in agriculture, calling on agro-ecological communities and EbA to jointly build on their principles, policies and common strategies to deal with political and structural problems. rural development issues.
Country presentations focused on:
- The Bolivian legal framework, which declares agroecology of national interest, addresses administrative mechanisms to promote agroecology and strengthens indigenous approaches;
- Challenges in Bolivia, including too much support for industrial agriculture and insufficient support for agroecology, limited opportunities to realize non-monetary benefits and discriminatory market approaches;
- Kenya’s climate smart agriculture, which meets the basic needs of farmers, especially women, who make up 65% of the agricultural workforce; and
- Andhra Pradesh Community Managed Natural Farming in India, which has resulted in lower farming costs, increased yields and returns, water and energy savings, and where farmers pay around $ 200 upfront with returns sometimes 20 times higher.
A representative of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) underscored the need to: mainstream agroecology into national and subnational policies as a precondition for funding; remove the 90% of food system subsidies that give perverse incentives; coordinate flow financing policies to shift to nature-friendly investments and ODA financing; and reduce investment risks for the private sector and create good income for agroecological farmers.
This event was organized by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), in partnership with TMG, and CIFOR-ICRAF.
Another event on understanding the interdependence between the current Desert Locust Crisis 2019-2021 + and the Climate Crisis, discussed the threats posed by the current Desert Locust upsurge, including to food security and livelihoods , especially in the Horn of Africa, which could lead to more suffering, displacement and potential conflict.
Key messages from the event included the need to:
- Integrate prevention and management of transboundary pests and diseases into climate change adaptation and governance;
- Understand the real costs associated with the Desert Locust crisis, including the negative impacts of the use of toxic pesticides, which could harm human health and biodiversity, including pollinators and wildlife; and
- An innovative early warning system and the development of biological control options for the benefit of smallholders, vulnerable people and the environment.
Regarding prevention efforts in East Africa, speakers stressed: the need for collaborative research and participatory mechanisms in decision-making; an ecological niche model to predict Desert Locust breeding sites; and the need for consistent funding of surveillance systems and early control mechanisms without the use of hazardous pesticides.
Alexander Müller, Founder and CEO of TMG, stressed: that the Desert Locust crisis is intrinsically linked to global climate change; action against pests and diseases must be integrated into adaptation efforts; and the need for a strong risk management mechanism, with guidelines in place and proactive institutions.
The event was co-organized by TMG, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and others. [ENB coverage of side events at COP 26]