30 years

Agriculture on the agenda

CTA partner the Southern African Confederation of African Unions (SACAU), which represents 17 farmers' organisations (FOs) in 12 countries, has been vocal in calling for CoP negotiators to recognize that agriculture should feature in the debate about climate change. Here, SACAU policy analyst Manyewu Mutamba explains why agriculture should receive more attention.

QUESTION: Why is it so important to have agriculture and farmers' voices in the climate change negotiations?

ANSWER: Agriculture is one of the most climate sensitive sectors. Farmers' livelihoods are threatened by the impacts of climate change on production systems. Their participation at the climate change negotiations will ensure that the global agreement genuinely addresses farmers concerns and aspirations regarding climate change. Practical experiences from farmers are also import to ground many of the solutions being proposed at these negotiations which sometimes can remain rather abstract without such a reality check

Q: Are you satisfied with the progress made so far?

A: Progress has been slower than we had hoped, but we are happy to have agriculture firmly on the agenda. The negotiations are complex and protracted, but each year we see commendable efforts which give us comfort that agriculture will be adequately addressed in the on-going climate negotiations

Q: What is the next step in your strategy and what do you expect it to achieve?

A: For the next two years the agriculture negotiations will focus on key scientific and technical issues around agriculture and climate change that are central to shaping the agreement. These processes have opened up space for participation of stakeholders like SACAU to make submissions on how they want these issues to be treated. Partnership with key technical and other partners to prepare detailed submissions ahead of key meetings will be an important part of the strategy for SACAU.