A2R at the UNFCCC Africa Climate Week

Several A2R Members were actively engaged in the UNFCCC Africa Climate Week convened on March 18th -22nd in the lead up to the UN Secretary General Summit on Climate Change. The whole week was organized around thematic blocks that hinged on three of six of the “transformational areas” that will guide the summit in September: nature-based solutions, energy transitions and cities and local action, as well as their priority action areas for policy, finance and technologies on the continent. All outcome reports of ACW can be found here: https://www.regionalclimateweeks.org/session-report.

On the first day of the conference, the A2R members FAO and GRP in cooperation with the African Union Commission organised a one day affiliated event on “Stepping Up Action on Building Climate Resilient Agriculture and Food Systems in Africa”.

Climate Resilient African Agriculture and Food Systems

The one day affiliated event on “Stepping Up Action on Building Climate Resilient Agriculture and Food Systems in Africa”, was structured around six themes. The event showcased successful actions state and non-state actors are already taking across Africa to build the resilience of agriculture and food systems, and the opportunities for action to take these to scale. The six themes of focus are as follows:

  1. The role of climate risk analyses for evidence-based NDC and NAP implementation – from planning to action for resilient farmers’ livelihoods.

  2. Nature Based Solutions I – Africa’s agriculture and food systems powered by nature

  3. Colliding climate and conflict risks: building resilience from an integrated approach in fragile and most vulnerable places

  4. Scaling up private sector investment that builds resilience in agriculture

  5. Nature Based Solutions II – Large Scale Restoration and Agroforestry for building resilience: lessons from Africa

  6. Early Warning – Early Action and Forecast Based Financing: Experiences and Challenges from Africa

Overall, participants rallied around the messages that taking action on building resilient food and agriculture systems is a consistently highlighted priority for African countries from top African leadership to individual farmers representing the diverse African landscapes. Farmers thereby need to be at the centre of the transformative changes to achieve resilient food (rural and urban) and agriculture systems.

Crucial milestones are thereby:

  1. To halt land degradation and agricultural expansion into natural ecosystems such as forests and grasslands.

  2. To make sure money goes where and when it matters. In addition to mobilising climate finance to food and agriculture sectors at large, finance flows need to target action at local level.

  3. To change the rules of the game to be able to embed resilience into food and agriculture value chains. This means working to develop food standards (including on nutrition and food safety) to encompass standards on resilience across the whole value chain

Climate resilience building for the agriculture and food systems requires a transition and immediate shift in paradigm and action that is context-specific and aimed at preventing, anticipating, coping, adapting and transforming to the effects of climate variability and extremes for livelihoods, food and nutrition security. Each one of the above-mentioned actions need to go hand in hand with social transformation for equal opportunities, inclusion, empowerment of women and people living with disabilities.

The consolidated outcome document of the whole day can be found under: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/f0e05f_fe7eba3973f3492e9b0709e9aa770c1a.pdf

Roman MalecComment