High-Level Meeting on African Agriculture Calls for Support for Climate Change Adaptation, Forwards Declaration to CSD 17

Libertina Amathila, Deputy Prime Minister, Republic of Namibia

10 February 2009: The High-Level Meeting on African Agriculture in the 21st Century - Meeting the Challenges, Making a Sustainable Green Revolution, which convened from 9-10 February, in Windhoek, Namibia, adopted a declaration in which participants called for, among other measures, support to help African farmers adapt to climate change.

The ministerial meeting was an intersession meeting in preparation for the 17th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 17), to be held in May 2009, in New York, US, which will focus on agriculture, rural development, land, drought, desertification, and Africa. The meeting considered how African Governments and other stakeholders can meet those challenges and revitalize African agriculture and the broader rural economies in ways that are economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. Discussions were held under two main themes: how to operationalize a green revolution in Africa, and integrating African agriculture into global markets.

The meeting adopted a final declaration in which participants, inter alia: supported the call for an African green revolution to help boost agricultural productivity, food production and national food security; called for State support, in particular to small-scale agriculture, including institutions and an enabling policy environment that provides incentives for innovation and risk taking by farmers; and underscored the importance of developing the agricultural sector to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and eradicate poverty in African countries.

Regarding climate change adaptation, the declaration prioritizes enhanced financial and technical support for crop and livestock research and development. It also recommends that CSD 17 consider that governments: help small-scale farmers to better manage the various risks they face, including price, weather, climate and natural disaster risks, by mitigating risk, assuming a share of the risk, and promoting the development of agricultural insurance markets; and further enhance cooperation in areas such as biofuels, drylands agriculture and combating desertification. [IISD RS Briefing Note] [Meeting Website] [Final Declaration]