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Countries call for improved efforts to transfer technologies for the adaptation of climate change to small-scale producers

 Agriculture and food security are tightly linked, reason why the resilience of agriculture to climate change should be strenghten. 

San Jose, Costa Rica. November 5, 2013 (IICA). According to the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), at least 17 countries in the Americas support the idea of creating a working group on agriculture under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The same countries also believe that a priority of the group should be to improve technology transfer, to enable small-scale producers to adapt to climate change.

In a report prepared by IICA to promote dialogue on agriculture and climate change among its member countries, the organization explains that the question of the creation of the working group will move closer to resolution at the next session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 19). The existence of such a group would make it easier for the countries to reach science-based decisions related to adaptation policies and measures.

The COP 19 will be taking place in Warsaw, Poland, from November 11-22, 2013.

IICA’s document summarizes the concrete tasks on which 17 countries in the Americas believe that the working group should focus, operating under the aegis of the Framework Convention’s Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA).

The States sent their submissions on the subject to the UNFCCC between June and October of this year. In addition to boosting the capabilities for transferring technology to small-scale producers, they suggested that the potential impact of climate change on agriculture in the Americas needed to be assessed even more carefully, research strengthened to determine different degrees of vulnerability, and better climate information systems developed.

The countries that sent in submissions to the Framework Convention were Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, the United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.

These nations argued that the creation of the working group was justified because production systems must be able to feed the world’s growing population.

“It must be remembered that agriculture and food security are very closely linked, so the adaptation of the agricultural sector to climate change also has to include actions that will guarantee humankind access to sufficient food,” remarked the Director General of IICA, Víctor M. Villalobos.

The technical report suggests that the adaptation measures should include small-scale producers and the most vulnerable populations, especially in the developing countries, where most of the population depends on subsistence farming and the sector is of key socioeconomic importance.

It also underscores the need to promote more sustainable agricultural practices that will contribute to the conservation of natural resources.

IICA’s actions to undergird the efforts of the Latin American and Caribbean countries to devise measures for adapting agriculture to climate change include the development of a platform for dialogue, which the nations can use to share experiences and agree on a joint position, in order to act as a bloc in the UNFCCC negotiations.

The Executive Secretary of the Framework Convention, Christiana Figueres, recently cited this model of collaboration as an inspiration and an example for other regions to follow.

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For further information:
Report: The position of the Americas on agriculture within the agenda of the international climate negotiations