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Global Conference Paves the Way to an Alliance on Climate-Smart Agriculture

growsmartgetherday5 December 2013: The Third Global Conference on Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security and Climate Change focused on building partnerships that will lead to the establishment of an Alliance on Climate Smart-Agriculture (CSA).

The Conference, which took place from 3-5 December 2013, in Johannesburg, South Africa, established a roadmap for the Alliance on CSA, including three early action groups that will develop work programmes on investment, knowledge and an enabling environment. The CSA Alliance will aim to accelerate development and implementation across agricultural systems and scales through investment in sustainable agricultural productivity, resilience to climate change, and climate change mitigation.

In his message to the Conference, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscored the role of climate-smart agriculture in addressing agricultural mitigation and food security goals, citing the example of efforts to increase resiliency in the Sahel. Participants stressed opportunities for African countries to become self-sufficient in food production over the next decade and divert funds spent on imports to promote agricultural transformation within Africa. They also described the challenge of taking solutions "off the shelf" and implementing them in the field through international and regional cooperation.

During the Conference, the World Resources Institute (WRI), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Bank issued a report on achieving a sustainable food future titled ‘Creating a Sustainable Food Future: Interim Findings' which recommends reducing waste and demand for animal products, as well as following other "climate-smart” guidelines.

The CSA Alliance is anticipated to be launched during the UN General Leaders' Summit on 23 September 2014, in New York, US. It will be based on five regional consultative meetings to be held between February and May 2014. The Conference was organized by the Governments of South Africa and the Netherlands in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the World Bank and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). [Conference Website] [UNSG Message to Conference] [IISD RS Story on the Sustainable Food Future Report]