Why agriculture needs to be part of a climate change deal
An interview with ASB Global Coordinator Dr.
Peter Akong Minang
Haskins, Burness Communications
If a REDD
(reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation)
mechanism is included in the Kyoto Protocol’s successor agreement, will
this be a major win for the forestry community?
Yes, definitely. This will open up new opportunities for countries that
have been doing good work to protect their forests as well as provide a
financial incentive for other countries to keep their forests. But we
also need to recognize the biodiversity benefits of a REDD mechanism as
well as the gains in poverty alleviation.
Minang: "REDD payments alone cannot succeed in reducing deforestation,
unless agriculture is taken into account"
REDD-type schemes have already been created in Brazil and Indonesia.
Are any being implemented in Africa?
ASB is pulling together an inventory of REDD projects around the world.
So far, we’ve found that Africa has less than 30 of the 180 projects
around the globe. To put this in perspective, an entire continent has
5% fewer projects than a single country, Indonesia. This is not good
news. It’s a repeat of the experience we had with the CDM. Africa needs
to catch up in terms of its REDD readiness.
the Congo Basin in particular?
Right now, REDD investments in Africa are not targeting the areas that
would be most effective for climate change mitigation. These include
the Congo Basin, which is extremely rich in tropical forests. The
problem is that countries with the highest potential for mitigation in
forests also have poor governance, especially forest governance. We
investigated why this is happening and found that governance and
historical relationships between investor countries and African
countries are part of the problem. You absolutely need very good
governance to deliver on REDD.
to read the full interview online!
Updates on ASB
ASB Partners receive $1.8 Million USD from Norway for REDD activities
ASB is pleased to announce it has received funding for two projects
from Norway’s Climate and Forest Initiative 2009!
“REALU Architecture: Reducing Emissions from all Land Uses”
and “Building REDD Capacity for Developing Country
Negotiators and Land Managers”, will be implemented by ASB partners
in advance of the UNFCCC 15th Conference of Parties in
Copenhagen in December. Click
to learn more.
"Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation through
Alternative Landuses in Rainforests of the Tropics" was launched in
Bogor, Indonesia on 25 May 2009. The project seeks to better understand
drivers and impacts of deforestation and provide policy options for
emissions reduction. With funding from the European Union, it is being
implemented by the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, the World
Agroforestry Centre, and several other national and
international partners. Read
back from UNFCCC meeting in Bonn (June 1-12)
REDD questions from the latest UNFCCC talks
As the draft REDD negotiating text (download PDF: FCCC/SBSTA/2009/L.9)
was hammered out in Bonn, ASB has identified five key
questions for further work.
These questions are central for ongoing work by the ASB Partnership, as
we formulate policy options for Reducing Emissions from Agriculture,
Forestry and other Land Uses in developing countries, leading up to the
Copenhagen meeting of the UNFCCC this December.
- Is REDD Plus going to be part of
nationally appropriate mitigation activities (NAMAs) or not?
- What would REDD+ include? Options include
deforestation/degradation, sutainable forest management (SFM),
conservation and more. What is the definition of REDD+?
- What would be covered by the market and what
would be covered by the fund (and/or the auction proposed by Norway)?
What are the transitions points between the fund-market phased approach
from Bali? Europe seems to prefer REDD under a market and PLUS- SFM and
Conservation under a Fund…
- Is the baseline going to be defined by
“reference emission levels” or “reference levels”?
- To what extent can the IPCCC Good Practise
Guidance be adopted as the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV)
standard? EU and others say “as is”, some G77 + China countries argue
that this is not feasible.
Peter Minang conlcuded, “The door is wide open for including emissions
reductions from agriculture under NAMAs… and the door for REDD+ has not
to online version]
ASB scientists share
perspectives on REDD and Agriculture in Bonn
As the international climate community discusses a future agreement in
Bonn this week, ASB Global Coordinator (acting) Peter Akong Minang is
there to share perspectives on reducing emissions and increasing carbon
storage in forests, agriculture lands and mosaic areas. ASB research on
Carbon Stock Pathways to Rural Development and Africa’s
Biocarbon indicates that intermediate land uses can help
mitigate climate change, and help farmers adapt by improving resilience
and providing sustainable income.
Dr. Minang spoke on June 5 at a side event on Agriculture, Land and
Climate Change, convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization
Earth Neogtiations Bulletin has full coverage (scroll to bottom).
Dr. Minang was also invited to give ASB’s perspective at an
event convened by the International Food Policy Research Institute
(IFPRI) , which focused on the importance of negotiation
outcomes that support adaptation and mitigation by poor farmers in
developing countries. The panel included Dr. Gerald Nelson, who
represents IFPRI on the ASB Global Steering Group. The discussion was
videorecorded and you can watch
the webcast online now.
‘Land Day’ statements
on mitigation in soils and agricultural areas
On Saturday 6 June, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
Secretariat hosted “Land Day” as a parallel event to the UNFCCC
meeting. During the meeting, Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the
has since caught up, and monitoring carbon
sequestration into soils can be monitored with much greater accuracy”
and that “a successful outcome will include incentives for the
agricultural and forestry sectors to adopt decisive mitigation
Developing Countries Split on Accounting for Ecosystem Carbon
The Katoomba Group’s Ecosystem Marketplace has posted analysis
of the outcomes of the climate change talks that took place in Bonn.
The major point of disagreement in Bonn was how to account for
reductions in greenhouse gasses through changes in agriculture,
forestry, and other land uses (AFOLU). Read
necessary complication in the climate negotiations
has posted an insightful overview of the challenges that agriculture
faces for inclusion in a post-2012 climate agreement. The article
mentions work by IFPRI, the Terrestrial Carbon Group and FAO, including
the FAO side event where Peter Akong Minang presented in Bonn early in
on Africa: Agriculture, Biocarbon and Climate Change
Talking Biocarbon with Africa’s MPs
Biocarbon is key to mitigating climate change and benefiting millions
of smallholder farmers. This was the message that Dr. Peter
Akong Minang from ASB shared with legislators from across Africa at the
Conference on Climate Change from 25-27 June 2009. Dr. Minang was
invited to speak by the parliamentarians to give perspectives on the
Africa Biocarbon Initiative, which promotes a broad AFOLU (Agriculture,
Forestry and Other Land Uses) perspective for emissions reduction and
carbon storage. Click
to see Peter's presentation and read more...
substantially scaled-up finance, technology and capacity-building to
combat climate change
At the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) in
May, African Ministers for environment adopted the Nairobi Declaration,
highlighting the major challenges and opportunities for Africa in the
negotiations for a more equitable climate regime. The Declaration
provides African countries with a platform to make a strong case for
support at Copenhagen 2009. The declaration refers to the
important role of forests, agriculture and other lands in
climate change mitigation and adaptation. Read
House Passes Landmark Climate Change Bill, Now Heads to Senate
The United States house of representatives
have passed a “landmark”
climate change bill that includes provisions for domestic reductions as
well as offsets through investments in reduced emissions from
deforestation in tropical forest nations. Read
Farmers’ solutions to
climate change - proposals for including agriculture in a post-Kyoto
The International Federation of Agricultural
Producers (IFAP) is calling for agriculture to be included in the new
climate change deal. On May 27, the Federation hosted “Climate
Change: Farmers’ Solutions”, an event where farmers and
stakeholders dialogued on the role of agriculture in mitigating climate
and Climate Change - IFPRI 2020 Vision Focus Briefs
The International Food Policy Research Institute has released a series
of 13 policy briefs on the role of agriculture in climate change. ASB
scientists Brent Swallow and Meine van Noordwijk have co-authored one
of these briefs, “Direct and Indirect Mitigation Through Tree and Soil
PDF). The rest of the briefs can be downloaded here.
Agriculture within a Copenhagen Agreement - FAO
FAO makes three proposals for anchoring agriculture in a future climate
change regime:(i) Include Agriculture in the Nationally Appropriate
Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) of developing countries(ii) Ensure financing
for agricultural mitgation (iii) Move towards a comprehensive landscape
Terrestrial Carbon Group Policy Briefs
The Terrestrial Carbon Group has released new policy briefs on key
issues related to carbon mitigation and storage in land. Read
Natural Fix?: The Role of Ecosystems in Climate Mitigation - UNEP
This report describes the contributions that
ecosystems can make to mitigate climate change. It presents carbon
capture and storage through a Green Economy lens, outlining the
potential in terms of natural systems, from forests to grasslands which
have been doing the job in a tried and tested way for millennia. Read
Resources and Events
articles on best forest practices for adaptation and mitigation for
Tropenbos International (TBI), the European
Tropical Forest Research Network (ETFRN), GTZ and Wageningen
International are jointly preparing a special ETFRN Newsletter on best
forest practices for climate adaptation and mitigation.
Blog: Connecting Agricultural and Environmental Science to the Climate
The ASB Partnership has joined the Rural
Climate Exchange, a new blog launched by the Consultative
Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The purpose of
this blog is to help bring such knowledge to light, so it can better
serve global efforts to cope with climate change.
Congress of Agroforestry Nairobi,
Kenya 23-28 August 2009 Read
Forestry Congress Buenos
Aires, Argentina 18-25 October 2009 Read
by the Earth Negotiations Bulletin at the Bonn UNFCCC meeting:
The “forest club” made its first
appearance today as the REDD and LULUCF discussions got underway. “What
are they talking about” one bewildered observer was overheard
whispering in the back of the REDD contact group. “These people speak
their own language,” his colleague whispered back. Perhaps one African
delegate was right in Tuesday’s AWG-KP plenary when he welcomed a
specialized spin-off group on LULUCF, saying “generally speaking, those
negotiators are a different breed.”