IFAD Governing Council Considers Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture

22 February 2011: The 34th session of the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) met from 19-20 February 2011, at IFAD headquarters in Rome, Italy.

During his opening speech, IFAD President Kanayo Nwanze highlighted the need to meet challenges related to overcoming hunger and poverty, mitigating climate change, achieving energy security and protecting the environment. He noted the sharpened approach of IFAD to work toward the proactive creation of vibrant rural economies that attract young people, offer them opportunities and allow them to fulfill their personal aspirations. He called for recognition that farming of any scale is a business and highlighted the need to invest in political, human and financial capital. President Nwanze described IFAD's track record and ability to leverage partnerships. He said IFAD's work going forward will be shaped by the findings of the "Rural Poverty Report," which underscores that there is a need to recognize the profound impact that climate change is having on efforts to sustainably increase agricultural production.

During the meeting, Uzbekistan's and Hungary's applications for membership to IFAD were approved by the Governing Council. The meeting held side events focusing on the experiences of rural youth from developing countries, including cases where young entrepreneurs had leveraged small start up loans from IFAD and rural development programs to build successful businesses, and efforts by young people to make rural areas attractive to work and live in order to slow migration to urban areas.

The meeting was preceded by a workshop that announced the establishment of an indigenous peoples' forum under IFAD to advance participation of indigenous peoples in IFAD discussions. The meeting was followed by the First Session of the Consultation on the Ninth Replenishment of IFAD's Resources.

Among the documents placed before the Governing Council was the "Progress Report on the Global Mechanism of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa." This document reviewed the Global Mechanism's budget in 2010, operational activities of IFAD and the Global Mechanism, and IFAD administrative support to the Global Mechanism. [IFAD Governing Council Website] [IFAD President's Statement] [34th Session of the IFAD Governing Council Documents] [IFAD's Ninth Replenishment Meeting Documents] [Workshop Establishing the Indigenous Peoples Forum] [Progress Report on the Global Mechanism]