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Agriculture should be vital part of climate change meet: Experts

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions through carbon sequestration, soil and land use management, and biomass production through improved and informed agricultural practices have to be emphasised at the UN Climate Change meet.



Mumbai, May 31: Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions
(GHG) through carbon sequestration, soil and land use
management, and biomass production through improved and
informed agricultural practices have to be emphasised at the
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change which begins
tomorrow at Bonn, experts said.

Agriculture and climate change are inextricably linked
and agriculture is part of the climate change problem,
contributing about 13.5 percent of annual greenhouse gas
(GHG) emissions (with forestry contributing an additional 19
percent), compared with 13.1 per cent from transportation.

Agriculture is, however, also part of the solution,
offering promising opportunities for mitigating GHG emissions
through carbon sequestration, soil and land use management,
and biomass production, experts participating on a
teleconference from Washington told media across the globe
last week.

They were happy that the UN climate change conference at
last agreed to take agriculture as part of their agenda in the
forthcoming meeting at Copenhagen (COP15), and said that it
was time push the relevant issues related to pro-growth,
pro-poor in the negotiations.

Climate change threatens agricultural production through
higher and more variable temperatures, changes in
precipitation patterns, and increased occurrences of extreme
events such as droughts and floods.

If agriculture is not included in the international
climate change negotiations leading up to the 15th Conference
of Parties (COP15) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate
Change in Copenhagen in December 2009, resulting climate
change policies could threaten poor farming communities and
smallholders in many developing countries, experts said.

The policies could also impede the ability of
smallholders to partake in new economic opportunities that
might arise from the negotiations, experts said.

The experts said that funding mechanisms should be
allowed that recognise the connection between pro-poor
development policies for sustainable growth and sound
climate change policies.

Therefore, agriculture must be on the Copenhagen agenda.
Indeed, it must be on the agenda of negotiators well before
COP15 during the meeting during the next 12 days and
essentially, three avenues must be pursued, investments -
there must be explicit inclusion of agriculture-related
investments, especially as part of a Global Climate Change
Fund.

Incentives - there must be a deliberate focus on
introducing incentives to reduce emissions and support
technological change and information - there must be a solid
commitment to establishing comprehensive information and
monitoring services in soil and land use management for
verification purposes, they added.

Bureau Report

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