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FAO Issues Agriculture Brief in Advance of Bonn Climate Talks

FAO29 May 2014: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has issued a brief, titled ‘Agriculture at the UN Climate Change Talks,' in advance of the Bonn Climate Change Conference taking place from 4-15 June in Bonn, Germany. The brief, which is targeted at an audience with a particular interest in agriculture and land-use issues, highlights the meeting context, key issues for agriculture and land use and areas where agriculture will be directly and indirectly addressed during the discussions, including both negotiations and side events.

The question of whether to include agriculture in a 2015 climate change agreement, which is expected to be agreed on at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UNFCCC, at the end of 2015 in Paris, France, is gaining attention due to the negative impacts that climate change is already having on global food security, as well as on sustainable agricultural production, poverty reduction, employment, foreign exchange earnings and economic development.

More specifically, the briefing raises issues related to, inter alia: whether or not agriculture will be part of the 2015 agreement; whether, if included, agriculture might have a dedicated space or be part of a land-use cluster within a new agreement; whether, if not included, agriculture would then be placed “outside” climate financing allocations; and if such exclusion would negatively affect farmers who ultimately adapt agriculture to a changing climate.

The briefing notes that agriculture will be discussed explicitly under the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) agenda item on ‘Issues relating to agriculture,' and less explicitly under the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP), and under SBSTA agenda items relating to: methodological guidance for REDD+ activities; the Warsaw international mechanism for loss and damage; land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF); and market and non-market mechanisms under the UNFCCC. Agriculture may also be indirectly addressed under the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) agenda items related to nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) and national adaptation plans (NAPs).

In additional, numerous side events addressing agriculture will be held in Bonn, including on: climate-smart agriculture (CSA); the role of the UNFCCC in reducing emissions for agriculture while improving food security; planning climate adaption in agriculture; and integrating agriculture in the NAPs process. [Publication: Agriculture at the UN Climate Change Talks]