Agriculture Should Be at the Heart of the Climate Agenda

By Fabíola Ortiz

MARRAKECH (IDN) – The African continent is responsible for emitting only four percent of greenhouse gas emissions, yet six of the ten countries most threatened by the climate change effects of such emissions are in Africa.

With the continent currently receiving just five percent of funds to combat or cope with climate change, and a very small proportion of these being allocated in the agricultural sector, experts at the latest United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP22) in Marrakech have warned that agricultural yields in Africa could fall 20 percent by 2050 if agriculture does not adapt to climate change.

There is a strong need to increase the continent’s resilience to the impacts of climate change, Mohammed Badraoui, head of Morocco’s National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA), told IDN.

FAO Joins the South Centre to Boost South-South Cooperation

By Bernhard Schell

MARRAKECH (IDN) – The South Centre and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN have decided to join together to foster South-South Cooperation with the aim to improve food security, boost rural development, and address climate change in the Global South.

The five-year cooperation agreement – in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) – builds on years of collaboration between the two organizations. It was signed on November 11 on the sidelines of the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) taking place in Marrakech; Morocco from November 7 to 18, 2016.

Climate Change Threatens USD2.5 trillion Losses in Agriculture

By Jutta Wolf

BERLIN (IDN) – Global warming threatens to cause a huge economic damage to agriculture, adding up to the annual amount of roughly 0.8 percent of global GDP by the end of the century, which translates to losses of $2.5 trillion dollars, warns a new study.

But further trade liberalization in agricultural commodities could reduce financial damage globally by 65 percent, to 0.3 percent of global GDP (Gross Domestic Product), says Miodrag Stevanovićby, lead author of the study by a team of scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

Asia Trade Deal RCEP Will Undercut Farmers’ Control Over Seeds

Viewpoint by GRAIN

BARCELONA (IDN-INPS) – Ever since the ink dried on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), people have become aware of another mega-trade deal being negotiated behind closed doors in the Asia-Pacific region. Like the TPP, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) threatens to increase corporate power in member countries, leaving ordinary people with little recourse to assert their rights to things like land, safe food, life-saving medicines and seeds.

RCEP is being negotiated between the ten countries that form the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and their six biggest trading partners in the region: Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

According to the latest leaked draft of the RCEP agreement, dated October 15, 2015 and published by Knowledge Ecology International, the negotiating countries fall into two camps when it comes to legal rights over biodiversity and traditional knowledge useful for food production and medicine.

Scientists Deal with a Silent Killer of Productive Lands

BEIRUT (INPS) – Salinity is one of the most severe environmental factors limiting agricultural productivity. According to the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), rising salinity is fast becoming a silent killer of productive lands in areas like the Indo-Gangetic Basin, Euphrates River Basin, Nile Delta, and Aral Sea Basin.

The global cost of salinity-afflicted loss in crop yields is roughly 27.3 billion USD per year, according to a recent study, ‘Economics of Salt-induced Land Degradation and Restoration’, published by the Research Program on Water and Land Ecosystems of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Moreover, the salinized areas are increasing at a rate of 10% annually for various reasons.

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