About IATP

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy promotes resilient family farms, rural communities and ecosystems around the world through research and education, science and technology, and advocacy.

Founded in 1986, IATP is rooted in the family farm movement. With offices in Minneapolis and Geneva, IATP works on making domestic and global agricultural policy more sustainable for everyone.

IATP Web sites

About Think Forward

Think Forward is a blog written by staff of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy covering sustainability as it intersects with food, rural development, international trade, the environment and public health.

Categories

Archives

RSS feeds

 Subscribe in a reader

« "Understanding the Farm Bill" on Facebook | Main | Monsanto’s Roundup-Ready crops increasing herbicide use »

October 29, 2010

Climate change and agriculture: Are we getting to the heart of the matter?

This Sunday, the Netherlands, several other governments, the World Bank and the FAO are hosting a major six-day conference on agriculture, food security and climate in the Hague. Those closely following the climate talks believe that this conference is an attempt to include agriculture much more centrally within the climate negotiations of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

In principle, that is a welcome idea—to finally address the air, water and land-related pollution that industrial agriculture causes and the dangers it poses to our health and the health of the planet. Agriculture, along with land-use changes, is said to contribute up to 30 percent of the gases that are warming our planet to dangerous levels. However, we must be able to recognize real solutions in addressing these problems.

The conference agenda shows scant evidence that the real causes of agriculturally based greenhouse gas emissions will be addressed. For instance, one of the biggest sources of agriculture emissions is industrial livestock factories. According to one FAO paper, the livestock sector contributes almost 80 percent of all agriculture-related emissions. Yet, industrial livestock factories do not appear to be a topic of discussion. 

Instead the emphasis will be on finding “innovative” ways to finance adaptation to climate change in developing countries and “innovative” practices that can help small farms adapt to climate change.  Innovation is well and good, only in this context it appears to mean carbon markets and “climate genes.”  Up to 75 percent of these patented technologies are owned by multinational seed and agrochemical companies such as Monsanto, BASF, DuPont and Syngenta.[1]

Civil society organizations, including IATP, concerned about this meeting and its intentions have joined together to send a statement to these governments, the World Bank and the FAO. They say it’s critical that governments heed the policy recommendations of IAASTD, a comprehensive assessment conducted by over 400 experts. They say that small family farms, laborers, indigenous peoples, women and civil society organizations are already providing practical, just and affordable solutions to the problems of food security and climate change. They just need to be heard.



[1] Others include Bayer, Dow, Mendel, Ceres and Evogene. Source: Syam, N. “Implications of an IP Centric Approach to Adaptation of Agriculture to Climate Change.” Power Point Presentation. South Centre, October 2010

 

 

 

Shefali

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341e565253ef0134888942d1970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Climate change and agriculture: Are we getting to the heart of the matter?:

Comments

The comments to this entry are closed.