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Ag Day Emphasizes Climate-Smart Strategies

Agriculture, climate change and food security come together at the 2010 Agriculture and Rural Development Day.

By Abby Tripp, Hobby Farms Assistant Editor

December 7, 2010

2010's ARDD featured over 400 representatives from all over the farming and science industries
Courtesy CIAT/ Neil Palmer
Participants at Agriculture and Rural Development Day 2010 drafted policy recommendations to improve agricultural development and address climate-change concerns.

More than 400 policy makers, farmers, scientists, and representatives from the private and public sectors gathered in Cancún, Mexico, on Dec. 4, 2010, for this year’s Agriculture and Rural Development Day. ARDD, which gave attendees an opportunity to discuss food security and the role of climate change in agriculture, was held in parallel to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP16.

Billed as an event where climate change, food security and agricultural development intersect, ARDD 2010 showed how agricultural development can contribute to lower carbon emissions while adapting to climate change and supporting sustainable food security.

Presenters included Ignacio Rivera Rodríguez, Mexico’s vice minister for rural development; Inger Andersen, CGIAR Fund council chair and World Bank vice president of sustainable development; and Don McCabe, president of the Soil Conservation Council of Canada.

In his opening remarks, Rodríguez cited the common belief that agriculture part of both the climate-change problem and solution. He argued that climate change offers “an opportunity to change the way we produce, consume and develop, without compromising economic growth.”

According to Andersen, opportunity for agricultural development has the potential to be a triple-win that benefits the environment, farmers and food security. By using good land management and agriculture practices, including agroforestry systems, zero tillage, and improved water and fertilizer management, she said farmers could help cut carbon emissions by at least 13 percent.

While it’s farmers who implement climate-smart strategies, Rodríguez pointed out they can only do so with government support. The Mexican government, he says, is meeting this need through a concrete set of strategies and policies designed to reduce carbon emissions by 7.83 million tons over the next two years.

Offering a farmer’s perspective, McCabe noted that all farmers—regardless of their operation’s size—focus on profitability. He echoed Rodríguez’s call for governmental solutions, but emphasized the need for policy action independent of scale. All farmers can contribute to climate change mitigation, he said, and all farmers “live the cycles and impacts of policy.”

The theme of pursuing political solutions to agricultural concerns carried over into five parallel roundtable discussions that followed the plenary sessions. Participants in each roundtable discussed options for capitalizing on the intersections of rural development, agriculture and climate change. Each panel identified current knowledge gaps between the development, agriculture and climate-change agendas. Panelists also worked together to craft a set of recommendations for national and global policy makers.

Alongside the discussions ran an Ideas Marketplace, which featured more than a dozen organizations presenting their activities, policies and experiences along three themes: policies and technologies, achieving co-benefits through sustainable agriculture, and integrated approaches to agriculture and forestry.

A summary of ARDD’s presentations, roundtable discussions and policy recommendations was presented at a Dec. 6, 2010, COP16 side event titled “Enabling Agriculture and Forestry to Contribute to Climate Change Responses.” The results of Forest Day 4, held on Dec. 5, 2010, were also reported.

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Ag Day Emphasizes Climate-Smart Strategies

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Reader Comments
R, Knight, NC
Posted: 12/14/2012 12:05:19 AM
climate change has been an ongoing feature of this planet since it was created...There are many places today that use to be colder that are not and vise versa.......I believe archeology has shown for example that the Romans grew varieties of grapse in Elngland that would not grow there now because its colder..Nto to far from Mississipppi Gulf Coast is a community called Orange Grove, where 100 years ago orange trees were grown in abundance. Not today, winters too cold.....What climate change means today is fearmongering. If you lie about something long enough people begin to believe it. What's underway here is more government controll over our lives in the the name of saving the planet
Robert, Ellisville, MS
Posted: 5/24/2011 1:41:30 PM
Well, anytime I hear anything written in conjunction with "climate change" I know not take it seriously. At least not in terms all the rosy talking points they discuss.

If anyone is curious, they call this climate change because the original movement to panic people into supporting more drastic government controls by pushing the fear of an impending ice age certainly proved to be a lie. The reason was that it never got colder. So the same people changed the argument to global warming. The problem with that is that it isn't getting any warmer. Just another false environmental scare to raise your taxes. So they changed the fear mongering to climate change and that works perfectly because one thing climates regularly do is in fact change. How convenient lol

What is not reported in this article is how the UN is pushing for a 1.5% transfer of gdo from northern hemisphere countries to the poorer southern countries. That's the real agenda you won't hear these people talk about. They just want your money and power. If you have a doubt, ask yourself if any of these government solutions include subsidies to large corporate farms that make it so difficult for the small farmer to compete. Then ask what they do when the small farmers actually do become competitive. They introduce legislation like SB 510. Begs the question why anyone but a large industrial farm would want a government solution lol
John, Kapaa, HI
Posted: 12/12/2010 11:36:12 AM
Tammy, Livingston, TX
Posted: 12/8/2010 4:51:29 PM
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