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High-Level Side Event on Climate Smart Agriculture Emphasizes Early Action Initiatives

7 December 2011: The High-Level Side Event on Climate Smart Agriculture, held on the margins of the Durban Climate Change Conference, heard a call to action from many of the dignitaries present who highlighted the need to support agriculture that addresses not only food security challenges but also climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Taking place on 7 December 2011, in Durban, South Africa, delegates heard about the early action initiative, which is being led by the African Union (AU) and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), with the support of the World Bank and others. The initiative aims to incorporate climate-smart agriculture systems, techniques and policies into existing national and regional agricultural practices and strategies. It is hoped that this not only will strengthen climate resilience but also assist donors in channeling their support to already established programmes.

Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, said Africa is one of the potentially most vulnerable areas to the effects of climate change, but suggested that through linking food security, poverty and climate change and ensuring research is conducted on best practices, early intervention techniques and improved capacity and resilience, countries will be able to attain a "triple-win" situation and positively contribute to African countries' development.

Delegates heard the call for efforts to scale up action on and support for climate smart agriculture investments under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), a programme of the AU and NEPAD and endorsed by many other countries. It was noted that early action should include technical assistance, integrating climate resilience and mitigation into ongoing activities, and scaling up support for investments that are already seen to be "climate-smart." [World Bank Press Release] [Jacob Zuma's Statement]