Adaptation Efforts Focus on Small-scale Farmers, African Forests, Biodiversity Conservation
Original post by Elena Kosolapova, for IISD
Recent initiatives promoting climate change adaptation have featured small-scale farmers’ efforts in Colombia’s agriculture sector, forest experts’ call for climate finance and reduction of legal barriers to commercial tree growing in Africa, and a series of publications on integrating biodiversity conservation and adaptation.
With the support of the private sector and the local community, UN Environment (UNEP) has implemented a demonstration plot in Colombia’s region of Ubaté, known as the country’s dairy capital. Part of UN Environment’s project ‘Microfinance for Ecosystem-based Adaptation’ (MEbA), funded by the Government of Germany, the demonstration plot showcases 11 ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) measures to teach farmers how to adapt to climate change and increase their productivity in a sustainable manner. These EbA measures include using: earthworms to generate nutrient-rich natural fertilizer; bees for crop pollination; ditches to divert and distribute excess water during the rainy season; greenhouses to allow for production all year long; solar dehydrators to add value to the products and shield the farmer from price volatility; and drip irrigation to maximize water efficiency.
Producers can participate in a training programme that aims to help them apply the recommended techniques to their land. The local financial institution Bancamía offers producers microcredits that make these solutions feasible.
The declaration issued by the Second African Regional Conference of Forest and Farm Producer Organizations calls upon African governments to facilitate climate-related financing for tree growing and sustainable forest and farm management by smallholders.
At the conclusion of the meeting of the Second African Regional Conference of Forest and Farm Producer Organizations (FFPOs), held in Morogoro region, Tanzania, from 28-29 September 2017, forest experts issued a declaration, calling upon African governments to facilitate climate-related financing for tree growing and sustainable forest and farm management by smallholders. The declaration also, inter alia: urges governments to reduce legal barriers to commercial and sustainable use of forests and trees; pledges to ensure full inclusion of women, youth and indigenous peoples in the forest and farm sector; undertakes to promote trees as an asset with a broad spectrum of forest products; and sets out to employ agro-forestry practices, increase capacity, add value to products and services along the value chain, and increase collaboration with informal and formal networks at all levels.
The Second African Regional Conference of FFPOs was organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), together with international, regional and local partners. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) published a newsletter on integrating conservation and adaptation. The newsletter includes blog posts on snow leopard landscape management, the EbA Planning Tool Framework developed by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and other EbA resources.