Biogas brings farmers multiple benefits, fights climate change too

by Sun Yinhong

Access to energy is key to eradicating poverty and ensuring food security. Rural communities need energy for a variety of purposes including cooking, lighting, heating, and powering farm and other production tools and equipment. For these communities, biogas from human and animal waste offers a low-cost energy solution and eases the burden on women who spend long and hard hard hours collecting firewood. And there are added benefits: biogas stoves produce fewer harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and by providing an alternative to timber, also reduces pressure on forests and reduces associated emissions from deforestation. Continue reading

Chad’s herdspeople map out their climate futures

by Giacomo Rambaldi

In Chad, the Fulani-Mbororo herdspeople have struggled to manage their herds under increasingly unpredictable weather patterns.

On the one hand, the Mbororo people have a deep understanding passed down through generations of their land and its climate conditions. They know how to read the signs offered by nature.

Scientists, on the other hand, hold the key to interpreting the impacts of the latest research. If these two groups could come together and pool their combined expertise, perhaps the M’bororo people could maintain their traditional way of life and the scientists would gain from a more profound understanding of the areas. Continue reading

Farmers dial in for climate information – but are they getting the message?

By Arame Tall and Caity Peterson

Smallholder farmers are an extraordinarily adaptive bunch. They are well aware of changes occurring in their environment and usually take quick steps to accommodate them, or even benefit from them if they can. However, the increasing unpredictability of climate patterns and the rapid pace of change are becoming overwhelming; traditional knowledge and coping mechanisms often can’t keep up. Continue reading

Navigating a Climate-Smart Landscape

by Rachel Friedman, Ecoagriculture Partners

As the year comes toward a close – after record high temperatures, drought, and storms – it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore agriculture’s importance both in mitigating climate change and adapting to its impacts. And at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, this year may be the one for agricultural landscapes. Continue reading

Agriculture Day Recap: Climate-Smart Agriculture, in Durban and Beyond

Although the outcomes from Durban do not go far enough to hold global temperatures at a two-degree warmer world, nor is there sufficient finance or appropriate mechanisms in place to tackle the major adaptation challenges faced by least developed countries, at least there were some outcomes that may eventually help poor farmers deal with climate change.

Now you can re-visit some of the top stories from Agriculture and Rural Development Day 2011, including the climate-smart agriculture success stories highlighted in our learning events, keynotes and plenaries, and media coverage.

Here’s a rundown of summary blogs and presentations from the day’s learning events:

Continue reading

Victories for Food and Farming in Durban Climate Deals

by Vanessa Meadu, CCAFS

After a grueling two weeks of negotiations, where it looked at times like climate talks might be deadlocked, world leaders on Sunday agreed to a number of decisions including the Durban Platform, which contain some provisions for adaptation, progress on a green climate fund, and a deadline for governments to adopt a new universal legal agreement on climate change by 2015.

Regrettably, the outcomes from Durban do not go far enough to hold global temperatures at a two-degree warmer world, nor is there sufficient finance or appropriate mechanisms in place to tackle the major adaptation challenges faced by least developed countries. But at least there were some outcomes that may eventually help poor farmers deal with climate change, which threatens food security among the most vulnerable. Continue reading

Africans Put Agriculture in Climate Focus

African farmers, researchers and high-level politicians join to push climate-smart agriculture to the forefront at COP17 in Durban

“We must deliver the resources poor farmers need to sustain their lives,” said Honourable Professor Jumanne A. Maghembe, Tanzania’s Minister of Agriculture to a crowded room at the Africa Pavilion. He spoke to the opportunities and challenges of climate-smart agriculture for African farmers, one of the hottest, and sometimes contentious, issues at this year’s UN Climate Conference in Durban. Continue reading

Agricultural Adaptation Through Local Participation

by Caitlin Corner-Dolloff, Oxford ECI

Farmers, researchers, and government officials alike recognize that adaptation to climate change must take place now. But how can this be done most effectively? It was clear from the ARDD learning event on lessons from the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA) program, funded by the Canada’s IDRC and UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), that one of the biggest challenges is the need for climate change adaptation solutions to be context specific. A one size fits all approach to policy will not work. This has led many researchers, practitioners and funders to focus on local participatory approaches to adaptation planning and building adaptive capacity.

Why is local participation so important? Continue reading

Climate-Smart Smallholder Products: A New Product Label ?

by Jeff Brez, IFAD.
At Agriculture and Rural Development Day (ARDD) at COP 17 in Durban, IFAD teamed up with Cafédirect and Fairtrade Africa to offer a learning event on “Getting Climate-Smart Smallholder Products to Market.” The case study was based on an IFAD public private partnership in São Tomé and Principe with the Government, communities, Cafédirect and other private sector companies. Read more about the project, the objectives of the event, the moderator and speakers.
The two main questions posed by moderator extraordinaire Matthew Wyatt of DFID, were simple. Can smallholders offer climate-smart products? Will consumers pay for them? He led a lively and focused discussion – thanks Matthew!