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UNFCCC Releases Workshop Report on Adaptation of Agriculture Sector

UNFCCC14 March 2014: The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has released a report on an in-session workshop on the current state of scientific knowledge on means of enhancing the adaptation of agriculture to climate change impacts, while promoting rural development, sustainable development and productivity of agricultural systems and food security, particularly in developing countries.

During the workshop, which took place in Warsaw, Poland, on 12 November 2013, during the 39th session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 39), presentations from representatives of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) set the scene for the discussions by highlighting the scientific aspects of adaptation and adaptation co-benefits from a global perspective. They also outlined the challenges, opportunities and success stories regarding the practical implementation of adaptation and identification of co-benefits.

A panel discussion took place in the second part of the workshop. Panelists, representing Switzerland, India, Japan, Colombia, Ireland and Malawi, were guided by questions related to: climate change impacts on agriculture in their respective countries; experience with practices and approaches for addressing the adaptation of agriculture; and experience with applying scientific knowledge for enhancing adaptation in agriculture, while promoting productivity and taking into account co-benefits.

During the ensuing discussions, parties highlighted the important role of agriculture in national economies and of the agriculture sector in ensuring food security, while taking into account the diversity of agricultural systems and possible adaptation co-benefits. Developing countries emphasized the importance of agriculture in poverty reduction, sustainable development and livelihoods. Parties urged considering the interests of small and marginal farmers and indigenous communities, and the role of women in agriculture.

They also highlighted interlinkages between adaptation and the need to further advance scientific knowledge in the agriculture sector, taking into account financing, technology transfer and capacity building needs, as well as enhanced cooperation, and the sharing experiences and information. Workshop participants determined that SBSTA's work on agriculture could play a significant role in providing parties with an opportunity to share information on adaptation practices, and explore ways to apply existing and relevant, as well as acquire new, scientific knowledge.

The report has been released in advance of SBSTA 40, scheduled to take place in June 2014, and provides an overview of the workshop's proceedings, including summaries of the presentations, panel discussion and plenary discussion. [Report on the Workshop on the Current State of Scientific Knowledge on How to Enhance the Adaptation of Agriculture to Climate Change Impacts]